AISB Quebec Trip

AISB Quebec Trip, by Clara Saiel

This spring break was unlike the others. We had the exceptional opportunity to go on a trip with the school to Quebec, Canada. This trip was the occasion to reinforce our French and to learn about the Quebec culture. We had a great time starting March 23rd when we were at the airport to March 31st when we came back. Every part of the trip was perfect. We did many enjoyable activities that taught us many things. We started our trip in Montreal and then went to Quebec City. We were accompanied by two guides who stayed with us the whole trip Mary and Wendy. From all the activities we did, there were some strong moments that marked me more than others. The snow sledding, the Sugar Shack, and the poetry night were for me the strongest moments in our trip. Even though we weren’t always all together and close, in those moments the group wasn’t divided we were all together sharing the experience.

The snow sledding was magical. For some of us it was the first time seeing snow. Having the opportunity to touch and feel it was unforgettable. We spent the whole day in an amusement park just sledding down the snowy hills and screaming of fright with our friends. Although we were intimidated by the first and easiest hill, we managed to reach the Everest ride. The most terrifying of all the rides. You had to go up a set of slippery stairs to reach the Everest which was built on a wooden structure. As we sled down the Everest, we could feel our stomachs drop. We felt the adrenaline. Some of us had an overdose of snow, we tried the white powdery snow. After sledding until late afternoon, we visited the ice hotel which was in the same site as the sledding park. This hotel was amazing. It was all built from ice. It had to be destroyed and rebuilt every year. The hotel had a theme every year. This year it was the circus. The walls were full of carvings and sculptures of acrobats and lions. Inside the hotel it was -5 degrees Celsius. It was even colder than outside. Ice is a good insulator and keeps the cold inside. This is necessary to keep the hotel from melting. We finished our visit in the bar of the hotel having a drink out of a cup made from ice. This experience was memorable.

The Sugar shack was another part of the trip that I really enjoyed. Canada is well known for their production of maple syrup. We went to the sugar shack, a place were maple syrup and maple syrup goods are produced. There, the owner of the sugar shack explained the origins of maple syrup and how it was used by the natives. He also told us about the process to make maple syrup. First, you make a hole in a maple tree. Second, you put a pipe into the hole that is attached to a bucket. Next, you let the sugar water drip into the bucket until it’s full. Finally, you collect that water and boil it into maple syrup. After this explanation, we had the opportunity to buy maple syrup goods. We bought maple butter, maple tea, maple popcorn, maple cookies, maple candy, and many other maple products. After a visit of the sugar shack ,we had a traditional dinner in the sugar shack. We were encouraged to add maple syrup in everything we ate even the soup. After an excellent meal came the best part, the dancing. Our guide Mary taught us a traditional dance that we all learned and enjoyed doing. This moment was my favourite of the trip. Everyone was close and danced together we were one united group. We tasted one last maple syrup good before leaving. We went outside and stood in front of a wooden tube that held snow. Maple syrup was poured into the snow we had to wait 15 seconds. Then we could wrap the sticky maple syrup around our sticks. It was delicious. This was one of those days you never forget.

In Quebec, we stayed in a hostel that was part of a school. This hostel receives groups from all around the world like us. On our last night in the hostel, we had the privilege to meet some of the students in that school for a poetry night. A very reputed Quebec poet also assisted. The poems we shared were about identity. We shared a part of us in those poems. We gave the students there a glimpse of who we were and how we felt. In order to show them a part of the Malian culture, we brought some Malian tea with us and served it to them. They were delighted and liked it very much. This night was the opportunity to exchange with those students and meet people from other cultures. I’m very thankful for having such an opportunity.

This trip to Quebec was also a French immersion trip. It was to reinforce our French skills. Their French there is absolutely not like ours. They have many funny expressions and they invent some words sometimes. I’m personally not a fan of their accent and wouldn’t want to speak like them. There are some expressions that I particularly found funny. For example “C’est Correc’ “ is their way of saying something is good in our French we say, “c’est correct”. Quebec French also takes many words from English due to the fact that they were colonized by the British. For example they call yogurt “yogurt” like in English when we say “yaourt” in French. Even though their accent is special it’s a part of their culture and it’s what makes them who they are.

This was my first school trip and I had a very positive experience that I would repeat without hesitation. Not only did we learn, but we bonded with each other. I highly recommend Quebec as a destination to anyone. This trip took a long time to be organized and waiting for it was endless, but worth it. I’m very thankful to Mr. Yattara and Mrs. Laliya who gave us their time and effort. I look forward to other trips and opportunities like this one.


 Le Voyage Scolaire d’AISB au Québecby Malika Keita

Le voyage au Canada était une expérience extraordinaire. Nous étions 23 élèves que représentait le Mali, et nos autres nationalités. C’était un long voyage, nous sommes partis du Mali à minuit trente pour un voyage de sept heures du Mali en Turquie. Après nous avons pris l’avion d’Istanbul à Montréal, ce qui a pris dix heures de vol considérées très longues pour la plupart d’entre nous. À notre arrivée personne ne pouvait cacher son enthousiasme. Nous avons rencontré nos animatrices Marie et Wendy à l’aéroport. Elles étaient tellement contentes de pouvoir enfin nous rencontrer, nous qui venons de si loin. Nous avons dormi dans une auberge de jeunesse et le lendemain nous sommes partis en bus pour le Québec. Au Québec, nous logions dans une auberge, qui était aussi une école, l’Auberge du Mont.

Tout le long de la semaine les activités s'enchaînaient. Nous avons fait en une semaine ce que des personnes font en deux ou trois semaines. Une des activités préférées des élèves était la glissade sur neige. Cette activité se passait au Village Vacances Valcartier. Nous avions des bouées que nous transportions partout pour glisser sur des pistes de neige. La neige était quelque chose que la plupart d’entre nous n’avions jamais vue. Il y avait tellement de neige au Village Vacances Valcartier que c'était l'occasion pour s'amuser dans la neige, faire des bonhommes de neige et des batailles de boule de neige. Il y avait des pistes de tous les niveaux et c’était définitivement une des activités phares de ce voyage.

Nous sommes allés également à la Cabane à Sucre où l’on produit le sirop d’érable. Nous en avons profité pour faire des achats de sirop d’érable et d’autres produits. Le même soir nous sommes allés manger au restaurant de la Cabane à Sucre, c'était une soirée très agréable parce que nous avons appris une danse traditionnelle du Québec avec notre animatrice Marie. Ce qui a marqué ce moment c’est que nous avons pu être un groupe uni. Tout le monde est venu danser et a fait de ce moment un moment unique.

En outre, nous avons passé un après-midi au Cirque du Soleil. Là-bas nous avons fait des groupes et nous avions tous un coach qui nous faisait naviguer et essayer les différents types d’activités que le cirque avait à nous offrir. Nous avons pu faire des acrobaties, du monocycle, du trapèze, du trampoline, de la jonglerie et encore plus. Il y avait aussi une soirée poésie où sept élèves ont pu partager un poème sur l’identité avec des élèves de l’école où nous logions. C’était une expérience assez forte en émotion, et nous avons rendu nos accompagnateurs très fiers.

Ce voyage nous a apporté beaucoup de choses en tant que personnes. Il nous a appris à être plus matures, parce que quelquefois les animateurs ne pouvaient pas s’occuper de tout le monde en même temps. En ces moments là, on apprend à se contrôler et essayer d’aider. Nous avons aussi appris à s’adapter par rapport à la culture des Québécois. Quelquefois leurs étaient différentes de ce que à quoi on est habitués au Mali. Nous nous sommes adaptés et nous avons appris plus sur leur culture et leur histoire. Une grande partie du Canada c’est leur accent français et la façon dont ils changent les mots. Pour certains d’entre nous, leurs accents étaient insupportables mais encore une fois, nous avons fait des efforts pour s’y adapter. Cette expérience nous a permis de renforcer nos liens entre amis et accompagnateurs. En vivant ensemble pendant une semaine les gens autour de toi apprennent à te connaître mieux et des amitiés encore plus fortes se construisent. Je voudrais remercier Mr Yattara et Mme Ba pour nous avoir accompagné et rendu ce voyage inoubliable.

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