During our vacation in Louisiana I insisted that we take a day trip to Arnaudville, a tiny town in the area of Lafayette. I’d read an article a month ago about how Arnaudville was a center for Cajun French language students. The article was about French immersion programs and referenced the field work being done in Arnaudville by familiar names at LSU, Tulane, and ULL to document and preserve the French language in Acadiana. Two days ago, Claude (Alice’s dad) sent me another link to an article in the Advocate which referenced Arnaudville and several other towns where local business owners are making use of French. The effort to promote cultural tourism by making French more a part of public and commercial life in the region is being coordinated by CODOFIL. The program is called “Franco-responsable”, a name which doesn’t seem to fit and is more cryptic than the earlier “Ici on parle français” signs put up in the windows of businesses willing to carry out economic transactions in French.
Before visiting Arnaudville a couple of weeks ago, I thought it might be a nice place for a second, winter home. Alice and I could pass the cooler months not on Long Island where we tend to bunker in and wait for the spring thaw before resuming normal life, but in French Louisiana where we would hang out in the local coffee shop, playing Bourré with the locals, and gossiping in Cajun French.