I grew up in a family of musicians in the Lorraine Region of France. Our family reunions revolved around preparing and sharing good food, followed by singing, making music and then, moving the dining room table to make room for dancing. To this day, this upbringing has colored my daily life, my social interactions, as well as all I have naturally created and attracted in my environment.
Within a few years after moving to the United States, over 45 years ago, I felt compelled to share the growing love for my native country, France, by:
- Co-creating a Cabaret in New Haven CT
- Initiating a play running yearly for 7 years, “Café Déclassé,” an Interactive/environmental musical very well loved Paris Retro type of show in the New Haven area directed by Amy Seham
- Creating and directing “French on Stage,” a traveling theatre designed to draw interest and excitement for learning the French language
- Teaching French Cooking in Chicago and in New Haven area
- Teaching the French Language and culture to children and adults for 30 years
- Presently and actively learning Spanish
From 2000-2007, I taught French and Theater at Brevard Academy in Brevard, NC. I have been teaching in Asheville, NC for 10 years, where I have developed and run my own independent company, “Ah Joie de Vivre.”
While I have been visiting my family in France, I also have developed a deeper relationship with my native country through traveling and exploring different regions, strengthening old friendships and forming new ones. I have traveled in France along with many of my American friends joyfully sharing with them my love for my native country. Many people I have met over the years have asked me if I would organize trips in which they could participate. This is how Kindred Voyages was born. Another way of sharing my native country and what I love most about France is discovering some of the richest regions and their historical diversity, culture and beauty, while incorporating some evenings of singing, dancing and sharing food as I thrive to provide Kindred Voyagers with the experience and sense of community with natives of France.
Listen to Maya’s Reflections.