Tuesday morning, September 27th, the class of 2018 plus Sereina, our exchange student from Switzerland, packed into a HS van and off we went! Our fearless driver, David Barham, took us safely to beautiful Quebec city, where we arrived some 6 hours later. For the next 4 days, our 11th grade students explored the narrow cobblestone streets of the old city, discovering historic landmarks that they had heard of in French class but which meant very little until then: we followed the trails of Champlain (the founder of Quebec in 1608); re-lived the great battles of the Plains of Abraham thanks to the Musée du Fort Sound and Light show; attended a musical evening with the Quebecois composer and singer, Gabrielle Shonk; ate delicious food in typical Quebecois restaurants where some students dared to try local delicacies such as rabbit or venison… On Thursday, we jumped back in the van and took off to explore the gorgeous Canyon of Sainte Anne where the reds and oranges of Autumn were beginning to appear. We walked bravely on suspended bridges some 60 meters above the waterfall and admired the power of the river in this rugged, billion year old landscape. Power of Nature gave way to power of the Human Being as we later entered Sainte Anne Basilica, welcomed by beautiful singing during a Michaelmas Service! The students observed with reverence the imposing architecture, the magnificent mosaics and a beautiful replica of Michaelangelo’s Pietà. After such impressive sights, it was a relief to roll on the floor, jump on trampolines, juggle and do various pirouettes under the guidance of Gaétan, a wonderful clown/mime and teacher at Ecole du Cirque de Quebec!
These are only some of the activities our students enjoyed during their 4 days stay in Quebec, while trying out their French skills and taking in the history and the beauty of this charming jewel of French culture in North America. I am very grateful to have been able to share this joyous trip with such eager, curious and well behaved students. I’ll sign up again for next year! Wouldn’t you?