In Clairmont, the month of May always feels like a time of transition.
Our houseparents love springtime, too. Mrs. Lafond-Puyo is probably embarking on some form of organisation project (in case you didn’t know- she LOVES to organize), while Mr. Lafond is embracing his inner chef with summer barbecues.
We girls also love the season. We ditch our jackets for shorts and choose to ignore that in the Alps, sometimes it snows even in early June! Miraculously, the buttery cake that rests in the kitchen remains untouched because everyone is ready to look their best for the summer!
It’s a time of new beginnings, but also a time to reflect and reminisce on our accomplishments and memories from the past year. It’s a time to watch the Year 13 prepare to embark on new journeys, a time to say our goodbyes. The Year 12 takes on the duties of the graduands and it feels as if everything is falling into place as a result of a long year’s hard work.
This May, we have been reflecting and moving forward more than ever because it is our last year with Mr. and Mrs. Lafond-Puyo as our houseparents! After almost nine years of running Clairmont house with love and expertise, they have decided to start a new chapter in their lives next year. Mr. and Mrs. Lafond-Puyo will be leaving to work at a nearby school, where Mrs. Lafond-Puyo has been offered the position of Deputy Head! When the Lafonds made this announcement to us, almost every single girl in the house broke into tears. The Lafonds, for all of us, have been our second parents in Clairmont.
Here at Aiglon, many of us are hundreds of miles from our families, yet our houseparents have taken on the pastoral role of not just caretakers, but of family. We are all incredibly happy for the Lafonds and their new chapter, so these last few months are bittersweet for everyone.
It’s Sunday evening in Clairmont, yet there is an absence of pre-Monday blues in the girls’ smiles. Mr. Lafond-Puyo is grilling burgers on the big balcony as the sun sets behind the mountaintops, and the smell of the barbecue has wafted up to the top floor. When a prefect rings the bell for dinner, girls sporting wide grins race out of their rooms in a stampede, chasing the aroma down to the common room.
It is moments like these that we Clairmont girls want to preserve forever. The moments when we are sitting in a circle telling stories about the most futile things, yet laughing hysterically. The moments after winning interhouse sporting events (which, not to brag or anything, is frequent), the cheering and the unequivocal feeling of pride when our sports captain walks up to receive the trophy. It’s those moments, when we are cheering as if our lives depend on it, that we are reminded that the other 55 girls in Clairmont house aren’t just classmates or peers, they are our family.
Written by Cami (Year 11)