Winter Newsletter 2015-2016 School Year
Greetings and Happy New Year to all! It’s almost difficult to wrap our minds around the fact that the first semester is almost over! The white stuff has been on the ground for more than one month and our international students have all experienced at least one big Canadian snowstorm.
They had a chance to celebrate and discover new holidays traditions, with some surprise Christmas visits. They are discovering new sports and activities at school with their host families and in the community. They're having so much fun—that sometimes they don’t even notice how quickly their French language skills are improving. We are happy to present some of the highlights of their adventures over the last couple of months.
Holiday Acadian-Mexican Pot Luck
What happens when you bring together two cultures, two types of traditional music, some wooden spoons, and everyone makes and brings their favourite foods to celebrate the Holiday Season? A whole lot of fun! The Acadian-Mexican Pot-Luck organized by our coordinator for the Moncton-Dieppe region took place on a Friday night in the middle of December at the Rotary Park Pavilion in Dieppe. About 40 people attended the activity.
Photo on right: Host family members at Acadian-Mexican Pot-Luck
The international students in this region are from Mexico, and they sang a few traditional songs from their country.
Everyone also had a lot of fun taking turns trying to crack open a piñata, especially the youngest host family siblings; they really enjoyed the shower of candies and treats that flowed out.
Photo above (left to right): Mexican international students Jose (Shediac Region), Juan, Astrid, Pablo and Daniel (Moncton-Dieppe Region).
A local Acadian musician, Art Richard, performed a few traditional songs and taught the students how to play wooden spoons. Playing the spoons (wooden and metal) is a typical French Canadian tradition, both in Quebec and in the Acadian culture in Maritime Canada.
Photo on right: Acadian musician teaches Mexican students to play wooden spoons.
Have a look at these two videos below. One is a “how-to-video”, from a musician in our neighbouring province demonstrating the challenge offered to our Mexican students. It is not unlike playing the castanets from the Spanish/Latin American tradition. The other video gives you an idea of how they sound in a traditional Acadian song: “La chanson d’la cuillère” from the 1977 album by the New Brunswick traditional folk band, Beausoleil Broussard. The map in this video shows all the regions in Atlantic Canada where there are French speaking communities.
Christmas Surprise for Pablo!
When Pablo made his way to the Fredericton Airport with his host family on Christmas Day, he though they were just going to pick up a package that had arrived for him from Mexico.
Well, the Grade 8 student at the Saint-Anne High School in our capital city had no idea what was in store for him: a surprise visit from his Mom, Laura. What a happy reunion!
Family reunion in Canada for Kevin
Kevin’s Mom and brother travelled all the way from Mexico to spend some Holiday time with him and his host family in Campbellton in northern New Brunswick.
With so much snow on the ground, and being so close to Sugarloaf Provincial Park, they did not run out of fun activities in order to experience a real Canadian winter! Kevin is a Grade 10 student at the Polyvalente Roland-Pépin in Campbellton. His host family Mom posted a great album of their holiday photos on Facebook. Check it out HERE.
Above photos: Kevin, his brother and his Mom meeting Santa and holding out their hands to feed the little chickadees.
Ana Carmen: On the road during the Christmas Holiday
Ana Carmen, a Grade 10 Mexican student at L’Odyssée High School in south-eastern New Brunswick embarked on a 440 km trip to visit some other international students in the northwestern part of the province during the Christmas Break. Here’s a translation in English of the article she wrote in French about her adventure.
Last December 28th, before going back to school, I took the bus to Edmundston to stay with two of my best friends, Alejandra and María. The trip was very enjoyable because I was travelling in the same bus with my cousin and his best friend who were travelling on to Quebec City.
On the first day, we played in the snow with sleds for the first time in our lives. After, Alejandra, María and I, cooked up our famous ‘chalupas’ for supper.
The second day was the best, because we went downhill skiing at Mont Farlagne! It was a tiring but fun day, and in the evening we went to see the movie Alvin and the Chipmunks at the cinema downtown.
On New Year’s Eve, we travelled to Grand Falls. María’s family had organized a fiesta with many Mexican decorations especially for us, with Mexican music and food and lots of other stuff.
On January 1st, Alejandra and I returned to Edmundston and went downtown to shop for jewellery at the Pandora store.
My last day was short because my bus back to Moncton left at 2: 10 p.m. The ride back went well. This was one of my best trips. I will never forget my Christmas Holiday visit in Edmundston and Grand Falls. — Ana Carmen Garcia Tovia
Winter fun in New Brunswick
Check out this video from the province’s Department of Tourism to discover more winter fun activities in New Brunswick!
José: the 10th member of the Vigneau family
By: Dominique Vigneau, host mom
We’ve embraced José into our already large family since the end of August. He has seven host bothers and sisters aged 17, 16, 13, 11, 9, 7, and 3.
Needless to say, it took some courage and open-mindedness on his part to choose to come and live with such a big host family! But José easily adapted to our daily routine, mainly because of his easy-going personality and keen sense of observation.
He is much appreciated for his discretion, his politeness and his kindness. He’s always eagerly taken part in our activities and household chores, sharing and taking in our games, our outings, our family meals and our culture.
We have supported him in his learning of the French language and have showered him with daily attention. He’s had the privilege of partaking in some relaxing moments with our teenagers and receiving large doses of affection from the young ones!
All of us living together sometimes has its challenges, and we’ve all had to make a few compromises. José had to adapt to our family rules, and for our part, we showed tolerance for his experiencing his stay here from his own personal and cultural point of view.
We have had such a wonderful experience with José. We consider him as part of our family and truly hope that he will cherish some fond memories of his stay in Acadie!
Note from the editor: José Lopez Gonzales will be returning to his home in Mexico at the end of this month after completing one semester in Grade 10 at l’Odyssée High School in Moncton.
For more photos of José and his host family, please visit our Facebook Album.
Trick or Treat!
Charlotte, the witch, had a lot of fun trick or treating at Halloween this year. This photo is just one of many fond memories, the Grade 10 student in Grand Falls will take back with her to Germany this month.
Photo: Charlotte with one of her host brothers and his neighbourhood friends
Auf Wiedersehen Charlotte
Charlotte was enrolled for the first semester at the Polyvalente Thomas-Albert High School, and will be returning home at the end of this month. Her host family organised a goodbye party for her, with the other international students from Grand Falls and Edmundston. We wish Charlotte and the other international students leaving after the first semester the very best in their studies and on their life’s journeys. We hope they get a chance to see their Canadian host families and friends again in the future!
Photo from left to right: Ana Laura, Saskia, María Reneé, Charlotte, and Maria Alejandra
Maria Renée’s Birthday Celebration
It was cupcakes all around for Maria Renée’s birthday at the end of October. The Grade 10 student from Mexico celebrated at lunchtime with fellow international students, Charlotte, from Germany, and Ana Laura, also from Mexico, in the cafeteria at the Polyvalente Thomas-Albert High School in Grand Falls.
Photo from left to right: María Reneé, Maria Alejandra and Charlotte.
All in the family!
Lisette Maltais, a host mother and sister to our Campbellton-Dalhousie coordinator Marie-France, invited all four of the region’s international students and their host family members to her home for a big supper in November. About 20 people showed up, and everyone contributed.
Photo on left : Luis (Mexico ) Paulina (Germany ), Kiyo (Japan) and Kevin (Mexico) Photo on right: Host family members' musical talent!
Lisette made up a big batch of seafood chowder, her mother made hot biscuits and other host parents brought dessert. Marie-France’s son Paul had his guitar and sang songs in French, Spanish and English, and Kiyo accompanied joined him with her beautiful singing voice on a few tunes. At the end of the evening they played word games and charades, which is a lot of a fun in any language!
All dressed up!
Mario and Paulina, Grade 11 students from Colombia attending the Nepisiguit High School in Bathurst in the province’s northeast, got all dressed up.
They attended the annual Bal des neiges (Winter ball), one of the many activities organised at the school to celebrate the Holiday Season.
Photo (left to right): Mario Andres Valencia Escabor, Kylie Doucet (friend) and Paulina Pruneda Moreno
Backstage with Kiyo
As an extra-curricular activity, Kiyo is taking dance classes at the Rythmoflex Studio in Campbellton. The Grade 11 student at the Polyvalente Roland-Pépin High School was really excited about the Christmas dance recital, which took place at the local auditorium. She’ll be on stage again for two nights on April 30th and May 1st for the end of class performance.
Photo on left : Kyio backstage at her Christmas recital with three friends from dance class.
Photo on right: Great selfie with her host mother Lisette, coordinator Marie-France, their mother and fellow international students Paulina and Luis.
Standing tall at CFB Gagetown
In November, four of the Mexican students got a rare opportunity to visit Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in Oromocto, thanks to Patricio’s host father.
Patricio is a Grade 8 student at the Arc-en-ciel School and his host Dad, a member of the 12th Armoured Regiment of Canada, is stationed there. About 75 % of the 10 000 residents in the area are CFB Gagetown employees and their families.
A tour of the base was arranged when two students from the Moncton area—José, who attends Grade 10 at L’Odyssée High School and his younger brother, Juan V enrolled in the English program—came for a weekend visit. Pablo, a Grade 8 student at the Sainte-Anne school in nearby Fredericton, joined them.
In the photo, they are standing atop a Leopard Tank that was used in Afghanistan. The boys were really impressed with their visit; it was quite an exciting adventure! Photo (from left to right): Pablo, Patricio, José and Juan V
Hockey, fries, gravy & cheese!
Maria Alejandra got to see her very first hockey game during a weekend outing with her host family in late November. The Grade 10 Mexican student attends the Cité des Jeunes A.-M.-Sormany High School in Edmundston.
She had a great time all bundled up in winter clothes inside the local arena. She and her host sisters warmed up between periods with steaming plates of poutine. This culinary concoction, typical of our neighbouring province of Quebec, is a mix of French fries, rich gravy and gooey cheese curds. It is also Maria’s favourite Canadian dish. Mmmmm…. ¡Muy rico!
SUMMER CAMP : August 10-24, 2016
Please CLICK HERE for more information about our 2-week French Immersion Summer Camp with detailed information and pricing.
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Suzanne GAGNON, Director
New Brunswick French International Student Program
Place aux compétences
344, rue Main, suite F
Shediac, NB E4P 2E8 CANADA
Office: (506) 533-3646
Cell: (506) 533-6381