Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Today marks the halfway point of the program already. Crazy. I'm trying to upload photos but blogger isn't cooperating so for now I'm just going to type. I left off on the morning of our first Saturday here. That afternoon my roommates, Ashley, Museb and myself went downtown to explore a bit. We ran into Steve (who lives across the street) and his girlfriend Courtney just after we arrived and together we all headed down to a chocolate/ice cream shop that had been recommended to us. We got our ice cream (vanilla soft serve dipped in milk chocolate for me) and Steve and Courtney headed home for dinner. Ashley, Museb and I took advantage of the beautiful day and went for a walk along the river front and about 3/4ths of the way over the foot bridge that connects Chicoutimi to North Chicoutimi. (there is a car bridge that runs parallel) When we came back to the Chicoutimi side we decided we were ready for our first Chicoutimi poutine so we got some at a place by the water. By the time we got back to the shops in downtown most of them were closed so we just came home and worked on homework.

Sunday was a school sponsored trip to Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay. It was a beautiful day for a hike. Clear but not too hot with a nice breeze to keep it cool. Here is where the description would be better with pictures. Anyways, suffice to say it was a lovely day. My new hiking boots were great. I didn't get any blisters but I was VERY tired by the end of the day. We had an early night again.

Monday was a statutory holiday. Victoria Day in the rest of Canada, "Journee national des patriotes" here. I was just happy to have the day off. We ended up having a girls day. Ashley, Victoria and another girl, Beth, who lives one street over, and I went exploring. It was a miserable grey day. Our goal was to drive the 256kms around Lac-St-Jean but we only made it less than a quarter of the way. We stopped when we felt like it at places like a micro-brewery that was actually closed but that we got a brief tour of anyways. At a "fromagerie", a cute little town with a waterfall, and whenever Ashely wanted to take pictures. Just before we got back home we stopped for ice-cream again (you'll notice a recurring theme in these posts: cheese, ice-cream and beer for Ashley and Victoria. We've consumed beaucoup de each.) That evening Ashley and I again met up with a few people at La Tour. We were celebrating our "one week of being in Chicoutimi anniversary" :)

Tuesday morning were classes and in the afternoon my group (4) had our first introduction to "Danse folklorique et chanson Quebecois" The dancing was a lot of fun (it makes me miss square dancing even though it's quite different). The "chanson" unfortunately put me to sleep. It's a lot of really interesting history about the Quebecois music scene presented by the extremely dynamic music "teacher" but it's right after lunch in a dark room and I nodded off a few times.

Wednesday was classes but our teacher was absent. I'm not sure what was going on that week, something personal I think because she seemed close to tears a few times. Wednesday it got the better of her and we had a sub for the day. It was good. We focused on oral activities which I need. That afternoon we had other activities. Everyone is assigned to different things. We were given all the options, asked to rank them according to our preference and then we were placed according to availability. I'm not totally sure how it all works bust some of the choices are: rock climbing, canoeing, gigue and/or gumboot (both forms of Quebecois dance), general sports, media, improve, etc. I'm in gigue, "losir creatif" which is essentially arts and crafts and the choir. Wednesday I had choir and losir creatif. We made cards. Something I'm familiar with but I realized quickly that I didn't know how to say "may I borrow your scissors" in French so it was good for my vocab :)

Wednesday night we had dinner at school again and then the two upper level classes did improve. It didn't contain as much talking as when the animateurs did it the week before but it was still hilariously funny. One of my favourite moments was when they were pretending to give a safari at a "bilingual zoo". One of the people was a cow and on cue she mooed in English "Mooooo" and in French "le mooooo" LOL

Thursday was the full day of classes. In the afternoon for the Quebcois culture part my class had cards with significant events in Quebec history. The teacher read out the year "mille-neuf-cent-quatre-vignt-quinze" or 1995 for example and whoever correctly identified the card first got to read out the event. That one was the latest referendum regarding Quebec soverienty. That night Ashley and I ended up back at La Tour for a bit. She wasn't in to whatever we were served for supper so she wanted a snack. Of course the restaurant in the pub was closed by the time we got there :P

Friday after class instead of taking the mini-bus home, Museb and I joined Steve, Courtney and a bunch of others for lunch at a coffee shop downtown called "Cafe Cambrio". Then Museb and I walked to the car rental place where he picked up a car so he could go back to Montreal for the weekend for a conference. The rest of the weekend was free with no scheduled activities. Friday night along with a bunch of people from school, Ashley and I went back to Cafe Cambrio to the "bar" they have in the basement. I put bar in quotes because while they did have a bar, that wasn't really the feel of the place. They had live music that night, a blues cover band called "ExcaliBlues". They were really good. French guys who mostly sang in English but it was really fun.

Okay, I'm fading. That's another week. I'll fill you in on the rest of the weekend and our other adventures another time. Hopefully with pictures!

No comments: