My goodness, three more days until I leave here. It’s absolutely insane how the time has flown by! Two days ago (on Saturday), it would have been exactly one month since I left Saskatoon.. so if you think that this has been a long time, just remember that it’s only 10% of the length of time I’m spending in France. Crazy! This weekend was the best weekend, as well as the last weekend. On Thursday night, my roommates and I did some research for the trip to Montréal and then at 12:30, we decided to order some food. I ended up getting a pita thing, but it wasn’t very good so Chris and Carla ate it. We stayed up and talked, played poker and blackjack, and then went to bed at around 2.
The next morning, we had class and then I just relaxed for the afternoon. That night was Casino Night! We all got chips at the beginning and then we could play any games that we wanted. I played a couple games of Bingo at first, which was a waste cause I was never even close to winning. I then spent the rest of the night playing Blackjack. I did really well at first, and then slowly lost my money. I eventually got bored so I just went all in and ended up winning, so I kept playing. I ended up with $4600, which isn’t that much compared to everyone else, but it was still a lot of fun. At the end of the casino night, there was an auction where we could get prizes using our money. All of my friends and I put our money together and ended up winning two prizes: a seahorse and a date with one of the Animateurs. Afterwards, we went to a party and then went back home. We ended up going to bed at around 3, only to get up the next morning at 7.

Saturday morning was the start of our trip to Montréal! The bus left at about 8:30 so when we got there, we were all ready to go for brunch. We spent at least an hour looking for a specific restaurant, and ended up finding it very close to the place that we started. I just ended up getting chicken fingers, which were really gross but whatever. After brunch, we went to our hostel to drop off all of our bags. Now, this hostel was probably the sketchiest thing I’ve ever been associated with. When we first got there, the woman made it very clear that there were no boys allowed in the female dorm (which we were totally fine with because we wanted our privacy anyway). However, when we got to the hostel (by walking through an alley), we walked into it and there are beds right there in the entrance. This was the female dorm. So, in order for everyone to get to their own dorm, they’d have to walk into ours anyway. There was absolutely no privacy at all, and the beds were just air mattresses on top of a bunkbed (the top bunk being too difficult to climb up.. you literally needed to get pushed up by someone else). The bathrooms were in the basement and they were co-ed, which were quite interesting. There were five stalls and five sinks, as well as five showers all in one big room (keep in mind that the hostel was fully booked, meaning there were 96 people). Our time spent at the hostel was short, and we all talked about how homesick we were. It’s weird how I’ve only been homesick from Saskatoon during one day of my four weeks spent here and after being gone from my apartment for one day, I was already homesick. We all missed our beds, the kitchen, living room, our doors. It’s good to be back again 🙂
As gross and creepy as the hostel was, I’m still glad I was able to experience it. It reminded me so much of summer camp, except at least at summer camp, you knew what the other people before you were doing in your bed (sleeping of course). My friends and I now know that even if a hotel would be ten dollars more, it’s worth paying for. After dropping all of our stuff off at the hostel, we had to walk back to where the buses dropped us off so that we could go to our activities. The activity that I went to was the Biodome, which is basically a zoo. There were so many different kinds of animals and it was really cool to be able to be so close to them. Two and a half hours later, we all met up at the hostel before going our for supper at a restaurant called Deli 12. I ended up getting souvlaki with rice and salad, which was very good! Shereen and I then split a piece of strawberry cheesecake cause we thought we should treat ourselves, and it was so worth it! After the restaurant, we went back to the hostel so everyone could get ready for the night. Mariam and I left at around 10:30 and found a small festival that was going on so we looked around the little shops, and then went to Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream. I got mint chocolate chip (best kind I’ve ever tasted, and it wasn’t even green!) and Chunky Monkey, which was a banana-chocolate chip type ice cream, which was also really delicious. Mariam and I then walked to Rue Sainte-Catherine, and it was so nice there! There were so many people and we ended up finding a concert. The band’s name was Zébulon and they were an awesome French band (I got their CD!). After the concert, we found out that there was another concert that was going on, so we got a map to try to figure out where we had to go. Two intoxicated guys came over to us and explained (in French) that they were tourists and asked us for directions but we told them that we were tourists as well and we found out that they were trying to go to the same concert as we were so we decided to walk with them since they seemed a lot safer to walk with than for us to walk by ourselves. They were really nice and we found out that they were from Paris so I got their numbers so that I could call them when I go to France (which I found out they lied about, since I found out their hometown is Montréal haha). They got sidetracked so easily so we ended up leaving them, and continuing by ourselves. The picture to the right is of Hervé (pronounced Harvey – “like the restaurant!”) and Hugo in front of the car that they spent fifteen minutes looking at. Mariam and I continued walking down the street, and we probably walked for about 45 more minutes before stopping at the next Tim Horton’s for an ice cap. We just sat down as soon as we got inside, and waited for the two guys in line to get their food so we could go up. These two guys were just talking at first, and then they started to get pretty friendly with each other. Mariam looked at the window, saw the rainbow flags, and realized that we were in the middle of the gay strip! We then went outside and there were guys everywhere. We just continued walking so that we could get to the end of it. I’m going to be honest in saying that this was the area that I felt the most safe in because I knew there wouldn’t be any creepy men. When we got to the freeway, we came to the conclusion that the concert was too far to keep walking for and made our way back to the hostel. We got back to the hostel’s area at about 2:30 and decided to go to the Tim Horton’s close by but it was closed so we went to McDonald’s instead and found Christine and Laura. We stayed and talked until 3:30, and then went back to the hostel. After getting ready for bed, I finally got to go to sleep at four. However, at that time Mariam came up to me and said that there was a man in her bed! Apparently she was going onto her bed to change (keep in mind it was pitch-dark), and she must have put all of her body weight onto the man’s stomach and she woke him up. She shined her cell phone in his face asking why he was in her bed and he tried to explain that there was a double booking (in a girl’s dormitory? I don’t think so..). Chris ended up going to the front office to tell them, and at 4:30, all of the lights turned on and I heard “Excuse me, you’re in the girl’s dormitory” “Oh really? I’m sorry, I didn’t realize. I must have gotten into the wrong bed..” “What’s the number that you were assigned?” No answer. I’m guessing he snuck in with someone and found a bed that he thought was empty. After all of that commotion, I fell asleep.

I woke up at 8:30 the next morning. Yes, I was supertired, but I didn’t feel comfortable sleeping. I spent the next two hours getting ready and researching places to go on the computer, and then everyone else woke up at 10:30. At about 11:30, Christine, Laura, and I went to Tim Horton’s for lunch. The weird thing about the Tim Hortons in Quebec is that they don’t have any garbages and instead have shelves to put your trays on (see the picture at right). After eating, everyone else joined us so we waited for them to eat and then at one, we all split up and Christine, Laura, Mariam, Nicole, and I went shopping. We went to many stores and when all the stores closed at five, we went to the Hard Rock Café for supper. I ended up getting wild Alaskan salmon, and it was so delicious! We had a lot of fun and just enjoyed ourselves throughout the entire day. After supper, we walked to a concert and got there just in time. We got to see one song before Chris called and asked where the concert was. For some reason, it was too difficult for them to walk over so we had to walk to the bar to get them and bring them back to the concert ourselves, which took up an hour of our time (and put our feet in even more pain). We got back in time to see the very last song, and then had to walk all the way back to farther than where they first were to get to the bus station. My feet were absolutely killing me so it was nice to sit through the two hour bus ride. I got back to my apartment at 12:30, and we stayed up talking and eating until three. I ended up getting to bed at four, yay!

This morning, I woke up at 7:30 and went to class. I could hardly keep my eyes open considering I’ve only gotten about 15 hours of sleep in the past four days. After class, I got lunch and ate it in my room, and now I’m here! I have to go to my last computer lab workshop in 10 minutes, and I’m looking forward to it being done! I hope everyone had a GREAT weekend!!!! I definitely did!! Sorry for this entry being so long!! Four more days until I’m home!! xoxo

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Well, as much as I love the rain, it has been raining on and off for the past week, and it’s still supposed to rain on the weekend, which won’t be fun at all. I’m thinking I may have to purchase an umbrella for the time I’ll be spending in Montréal. And it’s official everyone… I leave from here in exactly one week, give or take a couple hours. This means I’ll be home in eight days!! I’m excited to be able to see everyone again, but I’m definitely going to miss it here. The past few days have been really relaxed, maybe because I’m worn out from doing so much the first three weeks. I have learned that it’s actually possible to live off less than six hours of sleep every night and not because you have to, but because you want to. When I first started here, I remember trying to go to bed by 11 so that I would be able to get my eight hours of sleep in, but as time moved on, I learned that it was impossible unless you wanted to miss out on all the fun. Now, I try to make sure I start getting ready for bed by 1 and I’m lucky if that ends up happening. I’ve also started to have occasional afternoon naps, which for me is weird considering I’ve never been able to sleep in the afternoon unless I’m sick. So for the past four days, I’ve been trying to regain all of my energy so that I will be ready to go to Montréal! Another thing that I’ve learned here is that Quebec drivers are absolutely crazy. I’ve almost gotten hit at least three times, and it’s gotten to the point where it’s scary to cross the street. My friends and I feel that it’s safer to jaywalk across a really busy street than cross at a crosswalk, especially at a stop sign. When it’s a Quebecer’s turn to go at a four-way stop, they WILL go, and they don’t care if you’re right in front of them.. or they just don’t bother looking. Since that bad experience, I’ve never crossed at a crosswalk since. I’d rather just stay safe (bet you thought you’d never hear that one, hey?).

On Sunday night, we decided to just have a relaxing night. Chris, Carla, and Mariam each made a dish for supper and we all actually ate at our kitchen table together. I’ve grown to really like Chris as a roommate, even though he’s not technically one. Not only is he a supernice guy, but he makes really good food, plus he planned out our entire trip to Montréal 🙂 It was interesting being able to try all of the food that all of my roommates have everyday at home. After supper, Nicole, Carla, Mariam, Chris, and I decided it was time for a much-needed iced cappuccino. At 9:30, we walked to Tim Horton’s (which is pretty much the same distance from my house to the 51st Tim Horton’s). Once we got there, I got a medium one and it was heavenly. Like actually, I was going through iced cap withdrawal and I desperately needed one, considering I used to have one pretty much everyday. While in Tim Horton’s, we had some great conversations and I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. It was a great time! We ended up getting back home at around 11:30 and then we all visited in the living room before going to bed.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were all pretty much the same: class with a mini-test, lunch, workshop, supper, and home. Today, our workshop was cancelled (thankfully), and I’m really looking forward to Saturday, when we have our trip to Montréal!!!!!! Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures for this blog because there hasn’t really been anything to take pictures of but there definitely will be some next time! I hope everyone’s enjoying the week and looking forward to the weekend. Have lots of fun!!!! xoxo

Two More Weeks?!

I can’t believe there’s only two more weeks left!! On Wednesday night, I was planning on studying for my final so that I could at least do decent on the exam but my plans were changed. Katie ended up calling me, followed by a call from Stephanie so I ended up being on the phone for four hours that night, and by the time I could start studying, it was one. No big deal though; I went to the exam the next morning and found out that there were a lot of unexpected things included in the exam that I wouldn’t have studied for anyway. I passed and that’s all that matters. Right after the exam, we started our second course. We then had lunch and went to our workshop (computer lab), then had supper. After supper, we went back to the apartment to work on homework and later that night, we decided to order a pizza. This time we just got it from Pizza Hut because we know that they cut their pizzas. After finishing our homework, we went to bed.

Friday was a very tiring day since we stayed up so late eating pizza. We went to class and after lunch, I went back to the apartment and fell asleep on my bed. Thankfully, someone called me (still not quite sure who..) at six, which was when la soirée québécoise started so I got out of bed and went to get supper before going to la soirée québécoise. It was basically a night full of crêpe-eating, folkdancing, and storytelling. The best part of the night was when three of the guys walked in wearing all blue. And by wearing, I mean they were painted. My friends and I left the festivities soon after the dance and went back to the apartment, and later went to the Mexicans’ apartment. The Mexicans were having a goodbye party for their friends who only signed up for the three-week program. At about midnight, everyone headed to centre-ville and we went to a club called Le Temple, where there was lots of dancing and drinking. We headed back home at about two, and ended up going to bed at around four.

Saturday morning was the trip to Parc national de la Mauricie but all of us ended up sleeping in so none of us went. I woke up at about 12:30, and all of my roommates and I just talked and ate lunch together at around three. After lunch, a few people went to the beach and a few people just stayed here, including myself. One of my friends (Kristin) likes doing photography as a hobby, so she ended up posting pictures of all of us on her blog. I’ve taken a few from her so I’ll be able to show everyone at home. After my relaxing afternoon, we all met up at a restaurant called Gambrinus at eight and afterwards, made our way back to the apartment. There were probably about seven of us in the apartment, and we were just playing cards and relaxing. Suddenly, our door buzzed and about ten people were at the door. That’s when the party started. More people started coming, and there were about 20-25 people who ended up coming here. The rules state that we can only have four other people in our apartment at any time, but no one seemed to care because everyone was having a lot of fun. Luck seemed to be on our side last night though. Everyone started to head out at about one, so by 1:25, there were nine people in our apartment. Then at 1:30, Nicole got a call from her boyfriend and left. As she was leaving our apartment, security was walking in and because the music was so loud, when security walked through our door, they couldn’t hear that we were speaking English. Because Nicole left two minutes before security walked in, there were only eight people total left in our apartment, which is the allowed amount! We only got asked to turn down our music, and then they left. Phew! Luckily, they didn’t notice the fire alarm that was disconnected or the hookah on the kitchen table, and they just seemed to ignore all of the bottles of alcohol that were all over our living room. We just stayed up and talked for a while, and I met a Polish guy who plays piano as his job! Plus he’s only 18, so he must be amazingly good! Apparently he has concerts everywhere. I asked if I could watch him play sometime, and I’m superexcited to hear him! After talking, I ended up going to bed at about three.

This morning, Shereen and I woke up bright and early (at nine) to go to church with Kristin. The church was huge!! And it was so pretty! It was actually a great experience, except for the fact that none of us understood the sermon at all. It’s hard enough going to a new church, especially when it has a different belief system than your own, but when it’s also a completely different language, it definitely makes it a bit more difficult. After church, we went to a cute little coffee shop and visited, and then went for a short walk downtown. We then came back home, and my family called so I talked to them for a while, and now I’m here! I’m planning on going to the mall this afternoon, and then I’ll find out what’s in store for tonight. I hope Stephanie’s having a great time 🙂 and I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and staying safe! I love and miss you all!! xoxox

Halfway Done!

So as you can tell by the title, today is the official halfway point of the program. The time has went by soo fast and it’s hard to believe that I’ve already reached this point! I’m pretty sure that the rest of my time here will fly by. Not only is today the halfway point, but it’s also the day that my monthly text-messaging renews itself. For those of you who see me texting all the time, you probably won’t be surprised to know that my count for this month is 1682 messages sent. But if you look at is this way, that averages out to about 55 texts a day, which actually isn’t that many. So what have I been up lately, you ask? My honest answer is not much of anything.

Sunday, I woke up at about ten because Mariam and I were planning to go to the fair that came to Trois-Rivières. To our dismay, the forecast called for rain so we didnt actually end up going. I was pretty disappointed because it only cost ten dollars to go on as many rides as I wanted, but now I’m just looking forward to the Ex more! For the rest of the day, I just relaxed in my room because I was still pretty tired from the day before, in Québec City. I then realized how much I missed everyone, and had a huge catharsis. All is well now though, and I think I was just really wornout, so I went to bed early.

On Monday, I went to class and we started off with a minitest. The rest of the day was pretty relaxed. After my workshop, Mel phoned me and we watched a movie together (we both watched the same movie at our homes, while on the phone the entire time). We watched John Tucker Must Die, and afterwards, we talked for a while. Our phonecall lasted for 169 minutes, which is pretty normal because we usually talk for about an hour and a half to two hours everyday. After I got off the phone with Mel, I watched Enchanted because even though it’s supercorny, I still love how cute it is! Plus guys, you can learn a few things from it.. 🙂 After the movie, I went to bed early again so that I could catch up on sleep.

Yesterday, I started my “no facebook or msn week” so I won’t be on either of those until Monday. I had a presentation in class on ‘what’s one of the most important things to you’, and I did La Musique! I went back home after class, and watched A Night At the Roxbury. Mariam and I then went to our workshop, only to find out it was cancelled so we just stayed in the cafeteria and visited with people before having an early supper. After supper, we went back to the apartment to clean and then we went to the campus pub for Carla’s (one of our roommates) surprise birthday party. She wasn’t expecting it at all when she walked in, and I think everyone had a good time! The picture that I put on is of me and all of my roommates. After the pub, a bunch of us went back to our apartment to visit and to listen to music. Afterwards, everyone went home and we did our homework. After studying in bed, I went to sleep.

Today, I’ve only went to class. I didn’t go for lunch because I actually feel like I’m getting fat from all of this food! An occassional poutine turned into a poutine every second day, which turned into a poutine everyday. I’m scared that if I keep going, it’ll turn into two poutines a day. Sure, I could order something else but my choices are basically pizza, cheeseburgers, or fries, and I feel like my body can’t take anymore grease. For this reason, I made pasta at the apartment for myself, and I feel a lot better! It’s hard to try to eat healthy when there’s not really anything healthy to choose in the cafeteria. In an hour, I have my workshop and then I’m going to have to study hardcore, because my final exam is tomorrow! After tomorrow, I’ll be starting my second course. I hope everyone is having a great time!
Love Janelle

Québec City

I’m finally back from Québec City, which was an awesome trip! I have recently realized how this program has affected my English. First off, when speaking English, I’ll want to add random French words into my sentences because I’m mixing all of the words together. Secondly, I’m forgetting how to spell. For example, yesterday when writing my blog, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about how apartment was spelt, and I couldn’t remember if it was spelt with one p, or two. I guess it can only mean I’m learning French! Today, I woke up at 7:15 after having a very, very short sleep and I got ready for the day. We probably didn’t leave campus til about 9, but we made our way to Québec, and got there around 10:30. When we got to Québec, we went on a walking tour, which just showed us around Old Québec, and after that, we got the chance to explore on our own. We first made our way to Ashton, a restaurant that apparently has the best poutines ever (and they were actually pretty good). After that, we went to Simon’s to shop for clothes and then we went to a coffee shop to regain our energy and have a nice visit. Some more people met up with us, so we shopped some more and then went for supper to one of the best places I’ve eaten in a while, called Le Rétro. It was very well priced, and their plates had so much food (very delicious too!). I ended up getting penne with tomatoes and tomato sauce, as well as the soup of the day, which was carrot soup (so good!), a Limonade Maison, and an apple tart thing. It was basically lots of layers phyllo dough, and then on top, thinly sliced apples with caramel sauce everywhere, and was amazing. After supper, we had to make our way back to where the bus was going to pick us up, which basically took about 45 minutes. On the way, we found some entertainers on the road, and I got so excited when I saw them. I’ve decided that it’s what Katie and I are going to be doing for the rest of our lives. There’s a video of them below. We made it back to the bus just in time (at 9), and got back to the campus at about 10:30. Now, I have lost all of my energy and I’m ready to crawl right into bed and have a nice, long sleep. I hope everyone’s having a good weekend!!! xoxo

Finally the weekend!

Officially three more weeks until I come home! On Wednesday, I woke up right at 8:30 to Mariam knocking on my door, wondering if I was ready to go to class. Either my alarm didn’t go off, or I slept right through it but I definitely wasn’t ready. Mariam went to class solo, and I went back to bed. I know; I’m a horrible person, but I might as well take advantage of my “skip day.” After getting extra sleep, I woke up at 12 and went to IGA to buy groceries. I’m starting to get used to walking for a half an hour each way everyday while carrying something heavy in the boiling hot weather. I came back just in time to go to my workshop, which was the computer lab. I spent my time taking notes on conjugating verbs cause I’d rather do that than sit and talk to a computer. I then had supper, and because I missed breakfast and lunch, I had at least 15 dollars to spend on food. After supper was Info Week-end, a presentation on the weekend trip. I then went back to the apartment, did some homework, and went to bed.
Thursday I woke up on time and went to class, had lunch, and then went to my workshop. The conversational workshop was actually pretty fun. We had to write up one lie and two truths, and then everyone else had to ask questions to find out which one was the lie. After the workshop, I had a quick supper, and then Mariam and I went to the mall to shop for clothes. I ended up getting two sweaters (as if I need any here..), and ice cream! 🙂 When I got home, I got to talk with my parents on iChat, and then Steph, Katie, Andrea, and Mel came to my house to talk to me on iChat as well! I loved being able to see everyone and talk to everyone!!!! After talking for at least two hours, I finally got to start working on my homework at around 1, and then went to bed.

Today was quite the fun-filled day. I woke up and went to class, of course, and one person even got a red card. After class, I went back to the apartment and got ready for the beach, and at 1:30, we got on the bus. The beach was so nice! There was a DJ, lots of people, and dragonboat racing! I definitely joined in on the dragonboat racing, and our team won! So then we went to semi-finals, and won again! For some reason, there wasn’t a final but we probably would have won anyway 🙂 After all of the racing was finished, we went back to the campus for supper. I then talked to Mel on the phone, and talked to my parents on iChat. Afterwards, Mariam, Shereen, Chris, Carla, Nicole, and I went to the Shisha bar again. We stayed there for about an hour and a half, and then Mariam and I went to Subway before coming back to the apartment. Now I’m in my apartment, but I should be going to bed cause in five hours, I have to wake up for my trip to Québec City!!!!!! Good night! xoxo

Too hot to handle!

Well I’m hoping everyone had an awesome weekend! I started my weekend off with the Bal Costumé and I decided to be Barbie. Never again. I mean, sure it was a fun time and everything, but when I ended up getting a stalker to the point where I had to leave the dance cause I was so uncomfortable, I was kind of disappointed. I probably stayed at the dance until 11ish, because Mariam and I decided to leave after Scott the Stalker kept following us around. No big deal though; Mariam helped me out along the way. After we left, we met up with some people who neither of us knew, but they were very nice and a lot of fun. We went to Café Mosaique, a shisha bar, and it was definitely a new experience for me. Don’t worry, I didn’t do it, I’m not becoming the “hardcore, tattooed, partying freak” you all seem to think I am 🙂 We stayed at the café until two in the morning, then Mariam and I went back to our apartment and found Shereen, who also just got home. At three, we decided we were superhungry and wanted to order a pizza. So that’s what we did. We ordered one chicken pizza and one cheese pizza, and then Carla came home. When the pizza came, we quickly opened the first box, only to find out that the pizza wasn’t cut. I don’t know if they did that purposely or what, but we found it kind of hard to eat considering we only had butter knives to cut it with. We opened the second box and to our surprise, it was covered in olives and red peppers. So Shereen runs to the window , pulls out the screen, sticks out half of her body, and starts yelling to the pizza man, “La pizza n’est pas correcte! Le poulet! Le poulet!” Yes, she did happen to have a few drinks that night and the rest of us found it quite entertaining. I’m sure everyone else in the residences were wondering why someone was yelling “le poulet” at three in the morning. The pizza man walked all the way back upstairs, called the pizza place, and then explained to us that the chicken was hidden under the cheese. Why we got all the extra toppings? We still don’t know, but it was still a pretty good pizza. We stayed up talking until about four, and then all of us went to bed.

The next day, we were supposed to wake up early to go on a mandatory tour around Trois-Rivières at 9:45. My roommates and I decided not to go the night before so I ended up sleeping in until one, and woke up to find Shereen and Marian sitting at the kitchen table eating lunch: pizza. I joined in, and then relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. At about five, a few friends and I went to Loblaws to go grocery shopping, and then quickly walked back to the residences. We took a taxi to Le Buffet des Continents, and waited in line for at least a half hour to get a table. Finally, we got to get food. This buffet was amazing! There was food from all over the world, and it had pretty much everything you could think of. I passed on the frog legs though.. and I actually piled my plate up completely and I only got to go through three of the buffet tables. Like, it was huge! After eating for an hour and a half straight, I could barely move but I made it back to the apartment okay. Mel ended up calling me, just as she does every night so I talked to her and Andrea for a while. Then at 1:30 in the morning, Katie called me (finally) and we ended up talking nonstop for three hours and ten minutes 🙂 By the time I got to bed, it was about five so I fell asleep pretty much as soon as my head hit the pillow.

The next day I woke up at two, and chilled for the entire day. It was very relaxing, and I honestly didn’t do anything at all, except talk on the phone with Mel, and later with Steph and Katie. Afterwards I did homework before bed with all of my roommates.

The next day was Monday, meaning classes started again. We had two mini-tests, which sucked, and then we got to learn more French! After class, Mariam and I had lunch, and found out that one of our friends got a red card because she got caught speaking English. She got two points taken away, and now she has to read a French poem by heart in front of the entire cafeteria tomorrow to earn back one of her points. After lunch, we went to our workshop, which was Laboratoire français. It is honestly the most boring thing ever. We sit on the computer, and repeat the phrases it says for an hour and half. Could I have done this in Saskatoon? Uh, yeah.. so it’s kind of just a waste of my time. My friends and I weren’t too impressed, plus we have to go to the workshop twice a week. After the workshop, we had supper, and then I went back to the apartment. Luckily, I didn’t have any homework cause I did it all in class, but I was in my room from 7 until 11 that night because I was on the phone. Mel called me at least three times throughout the night, then I had to talk to my mom, dad, and sister..oh, and my cat. Not only was I stuck in my room the entire night, but it was ABSOLUTELY BOILING HOT! Like actually, I was pretty much unable to survive. But I went to bed and eventually fell asleep.

Today, I woke up and went to class, where we had a small auction-type thing. After class, I had a quick lunch, then walked to the mall with Shereen, Nicole, Alicia, and Christine. I totally bought a fan!!!!!!! It’s like, 12 inches of relaxation fit into a box. Currently, it is cooling the air around me so that I will be able to sleep and be in a good mood. Anyway, after going to the mall, I walked back with my fan. It took about 40 minutes, and my arms started to hurt, plus I was boiling hot, but it was all worth it. I got back to the apartment, and had to go to my workshop, which was conversational french. I couldn’t focus at all cause the heat took out every ounce of energy that I had but it was pretty much a debate thing. After the workshop, I had supper and then started to do my laundry! Now, I’m just waiting for it to finish, and I think it could possibly be done so I should go check. I love you all!! xoxoxo Janelle

My first week in Trois-Rivières

Bonjour! Well I’ll start off by saying how much I already miss each and every one of you. Life is different without having a mom nagging me to pick up after myself, or friends walking into my house without warning 🙂 Tomorrow, it’s already been a week since I’ve left, and the time has definitely flown by. As much as I miss you all, I am still having an awesome time in Trois-Rivières!

As you all know, I left last Saturday morning at 6 o clock, without any sleep for the past two nights. The plane arrived in Winnipeg and I waited for about an hour and a half before boarding the plane to Montréal. From the airport, I took a bus to the downtown bus station, and I waited for about 2 hours before getting on a bus that took me to Trois-Rivières (approximately 2 hours long). I then took a taxi to the Université du Quebec à Trois-Rivières and found out where my apartment and room was located. Lucky for me, I was placed in the new residences, but unfortunately I’m in apartment 8 (the top floor). You can honestly feel it getting hotter and hotter as you climb up the stairs, and trust me, humidity and a girl from the prairies don’t mix well together. I have three other girls living with me – Shereen, Mariam, and Carla – all of whom are from Ontario. The apartment is absolutely gorgeous and gigantic, and each of us get our own room. I was supertired and after I found out that we have to get breakfast at 7:30 (meaning we wake up at 6:30, which is 4:30 SK time), I almost died. The next day, I woke up and walked straight to the grocery store to buy my own cereal so I could save myself from getting up so early. Still, classes start at 8:30 every morning but it’s nice to have the extra hour.

On Monday, everything began. We took a pre-test, which determined what level of French we were at. I got into Intermediate so you might think, “oh yay, out of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced, Janelle did pretty good” but get this: all of the people in my class got between 26% and 28% on the pre-test. Worst I’ve ever done on a test? Most likely. But apparently, that’s a good mark so I’m not complaining. At 9 o clock that night, everyone had to take an oath stating they would always speak in French unless there’s an emergency. Basically if I get caught speaking in English at any time in any place, I will get a red card and I will have to do janitorial work the next day. I will also get a point taken away. At the beginning, we start with five points, and once we get to zero, we’ll be sent home. So if I do speak English, I have to be very careful where I speak it, and who I speak it to. It’s so weird because since I’m around so much French, I’ve actually been starting to think in French, and mix my English and French words together, and this is only the fifth day!

On Tuesday, we got the day off since it was Canada Day. At nine pm, Mariam and I took a taxi to centre-ville (downtown). It was absolutely amazing there, like being in a completely different country. The main street was closed off and filled with people, and everywhere you looked, people seemed to be having a great time. We met up with all of our friends, but quickly separated. Mariam, Kristin, and I went to a little coffee shop until eleven and then we all met up yet again to watch the fireworks together by the river. After the fireworks, we called for a taxi to take us back to l’université but after waiting for a half hour, we decided we should walk home. Keep in mind our first class was the next day. I stupidly wore heels because I wasn’t expecting to walk anywhere, and I definitely felt the blisters forming on my feet as we walked home. After an hour of walking, we finally arrived at one and enjoyed our short sleep.

Wednesday we had our first day of class. I still haven’t heard my teacher speak a word of English, and I doubt I will because she doesn’t know any. Our class starts at 8:30 and goes until 12:06 (official board rules), and I have the same class from Monday to Friday. I’m probably one of the youngest people in my class, as well as in the program. In my class, the oldest person there is 62! There are many parents in the program who have brought their kids as well. In the afternoons, we have ateliers (workshops). On Wednesday afternoon, we had to sign up for the ateliers we wanted, and I signed up for Conversation intermédiaire (conversations in French) and Laboratoire français (learning French with the help of a computer). The rest of the day was filled with information about the coming weekend.

Thursday (yesterday), everyone was extremely tired. We started off with our class, had lunch, and went to the workshop. Mariam and I could hardly keep ourselves awake during the workshop, but it was still pretty fun. We had the Conversation intermédiaire and it was pretty much like speed-dating, so we talked to a different person every three minutes. After the workshop, we had supper and then went back to the apartment. My roommates and I stayed up talking until one, which sucked in a way cause I was planning to catch up on sleep. It’s great to have roommates that are so easy to talk to, and I’ve already gotten to know them really well.

Today, I had class as usual, and was given a lot of homework for the weekend. I forgot to mention that my teacher’s nickname is Madame Devoirs (Mrs. Homework), because she assigns homework every single night. We don’t have ateliers on Fridays so I basically have the whole afternoon off until supper. After supper, we have the Bal costumé. I still haven’t figured out what kind of costume I’m going to wear to it but I will eventually. I hope everyone is having a great time wherever they happen to be, and I hope to hear from you all during my time here, in Trois-Rivières. Thanks for reading! Love always, Janelle