Humans of La Tour VIII: Gigica

This article is one of a series of posts dedicated to our latest project, Humans of La Tour. Inspired by the successful Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, Humans of La Tour is comprised of a series of journalistic portraits created by the Journalism students at La Tour. They seek to highlight a few of the many people who make up the La Tour community: those we see every day as our professors and classmates, as well as those whose hard work and dedication keep the school running smoothly on a daily basis.

Each portrait was created by an Anglophone Section student in Ms. Temple’s Journalism Elective as part of their final project for the Spring Semester 2021.

By Lucas Hoffmann (1EA)

Kabylia, land of the Kabyles, is a beautiful region in northern Algeria. The Berber peoples constitute a diaspora of more than two million people spread all around the world, mainly in France and Canada. Gigica, whose name is of Kabyle origin, is a cleaning agent at La Tour who you may have seen navigating the busy hallways at lunchtimes to clean all shared surfaces such as door handles, is a part of this diaspora.

Before coming to work in this school, she dedicated herself to sewing traditional dresses from this region of Algeria. Being asked how attached she was to Algerian culture and traditions, she answered: “I grew up in Algeria and came to France in 1988, when I was around 25 years old.” Not forgetting her Kabyle heritage, she now also works in the cleaning department of La Tour. Her job is very wide and consists of many different actions, daily but essential for us all: “I clean the toilets, empty trash cans, wipe the dust and the ground, and end with the cafeteria”. She adds: “I have a very precise daily routine.”

The Pandemic added a task to her daily routine at La Tour: the cleaning of all door knobs to protect students and staff as well as their families from contracting the virus. She has been a crucial part of the sanitary measures implimented at La Tour this year, and we are all very grateful for her hardwork.

The interview with Ms. Gigica ended on a message she wanted to send to students and that you might be able to guess. “Be careful with the toilets! Please don’t dirty too much, that’s it. Some people create a real mess, and do not respect others’ work”. This is where you, reader, can act to make her job less laborious and tiring than it already is. She thanks you in advance ;).

Quotations in French were translated by the author.

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