Final Reflections

Well, it’s been almost 3 weeks now that I have been home. After my return, the first couple of days were spent at work preparing to give a workshop at SFU (for the Japan Foundation) about the new BC Japanese curriculum 5-12 to Japanese teachers.


(Presenting the workshop at SFU)

Now, with that behind me and with memories still fresh in my mind I wanted to write some reflections for my 5-month trip to Paris from Port Hardy.

What were some of my realizations?

  • Paris is a great place in so many ways: Paris is sleepy until 10:00am in general; people gather along the Seine to sit back and relax with friends; people are very accepting of various lifestyle choices; interesting and fun events and festivities are popping up every week; there is good transportation; and art is ubiquitous
  • If you invite family and friends to visit you in Europe, they will all come. For many years, I have invited family and friends to visit me in Port Hardy which is surrounded by extraordinary beauty, but to date not that many people have visited in the past 13 years. However, staying in Paris was a different story. Before I left, I casually said to people to come to Paris if they had the chance. I didn’t realize 14 people would have the chance and in the end during my 5 months there I ended up meeting up with them. After speaking to others who live in Europe, I have heard that this is a very common phenomenon when one lives in Europe- people will come to visit, more than in other areas of the world.
  • It takes a lot longer than I expected to write a blog in 4 different languages- on average it took 5-8 hours for each blog entry. However, this was a good exercise in maintaining my writing levels in each language.
  • Life is precious- was reminded of this throughout my trip, especially after Mike from Australia passed away from a heart attack on the cycling trip.

What were the highlights of my trip to France?

  • Meeting Lynn from Bellingham at the Sorbonne and speaking French with her for the full 4 months
  • Studying art history and literature with two inspiring profs at the Sorbonne
  • Visiting Vimy Ridge
  • Hiking in Étretat
  • Visiting Katarina in Stockholm and taking in the many festivities there
  • Cycling through Provence with Intrepid Tours with a group of amazing people

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(Our cycling group at Pont de Gard in the Provence region)

What I was thankful for?

  •  Parents of a former student of mine recommending the apartment in the Marais district where I stayed
  • The BC Teacher Exchange and Mobility Award

  • Being able to access the professional development fund from the BCATML
  • Being connected to Yolanda Robins, a property manager from MAC IMMO, who was helpful with my stay in Paris.
  • Good health and no major mishaps while I was away
  • Having the opportunity to fulfill a Iife-dream of going away to celebrate language, culture, and mobility around my 45th birthday


(In Paris at 17 years old (1987) on a school trip with classmates from my French and German classes. This was a year and a half after my back operation to fix my scoliosis that was discovered when I was 15)


(30 years later (2017) on the same steps at the Opera House in Paris. Thankful to have no back complications from my surgery when I was a teen.)

What’s next?

  • Continuing to appreciate the best of French lifestyle- appreciating French art, literature, music and sitting back and socializing with friends over good food.
  • Reading my first French novel from cover to cover- I think I will start with Sagan’s Bonjour Tristesse
  • Continuing with French and Kwak’wala studies
  • Working with Japanese teachers around the province on the new BC curriculum for second languages
  • Returning to work in the fall to teach French, ELL and facilitate the learning of Kwak’wala
  • Presenting the benefits of digital technology for language learning at the BCTF Super Conference in Vancouver in October, 2017
  • Saving for another educational leave in 5-7 years- perhaps to a Spanish speaking destination next time with Michael
  • Simplifying life and avoiding excess


  • I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to live, study or travel abroad to go for it. Such an enriching experience! In one of our texts at the Sorbonne, we read that living in another country helps people to adjust to life’s changes and to remain resilient.
  • I encourage others to learn and live in a foreign country to gain new perspectives in our globalized world.
  • I encourage others to take a break from one’s regular routine and try something new.

Until next time…

À plus tard…



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My Final Week in France- À La Campagne

A brief write-up in English, French, Japanese, and Kwak’wala follows about the past week in Paris.

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(Market day in Castillon with Moira and Ken)

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

For my last week in France, I retreated to the outskirts of Castillon, a small country  town in the Bordeaux region of France. It was a delight! Friends from Vancouver, Steph and Ken, with whom I stayed in Amsterdam, had a house exchange there as well. I joined them with another friend, Moira, for the week. Steph, Moira and I used to work together in Richmond at McNair Secondary 20 years ago.

Bord 2

(The home where Steph and Ken had a house exchange near Castillon in the Bordeaux region of France)

The house was a beautiful stone home among rolling vineyards and close to a lake called Cadie. It was cool to find art in the house from Haida Gwaii and the Kwagiulth. In fact, one of the pieces was done by Ross Hunt, who has a major influence on the students I work with at Port Hardy Secondary.  The heat was just as hot as on my cycling tour in Provence. On average, we were inundated with 32-39 degree temperatures. So, we were so thankful for the lake nearby where we swam or for breezes that would blow through in the evenings in the region.

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(Vineyards seen all over this region)

Day ventures included visiting St. Émilion, Dordogne, Vayres and Bordeaux city. Two highlights were visiting some ancient cave homes and having dinner at Chateau Vayres. The dinner was advertised on a local events website. 150 guests could register for just 12.50 euro to attend a picnic dinner at the chateau where everyone was to dress in green and white chic attire. When we arrived at the chateau, we were ushered into an area with rows of picnic tables which had been decorated in white table clothes on which were green and white candles. After the dinner, we were taken on a candle light tour through the castle. We heard stories of how King Henri IV had resided there for his summer vacations.  In Bordeaux, I was able to see the architecture of Victor Louis (1731-180) who, according to my art history prof, was the inspiration for many buildings in Paris. Very ornate homes, hotels, and a theater stood as a reminder of the bourgeois styles of the era.

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(Green and White chic picnic at Château Vayres- Steph, Moira and Ken sitting off in the background next to some very generous French locals who shared their homemade canelés with us)

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(Guide showing us around the castle all lit up with candlelight)

During my stay in Castillon, I received news that Mike who had the heart attack on the cycling trip passed away last Sunday. Condolences go out to his surviving daughters in Australia and England to whom the cycling group sent some pictures and some good memories of our time with Mike.

I am spending my last night in Paris, at the Airbnb I stayed during my last week of studies. I am looking forward to returning home and reuniting with friends and family and to be surrounded by cooler weather and the ocean. Upon returning home, I will post a reflection based on my 5 months away.

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(Homes built into the rock in Dordogne)

Français  French  フランスご

Ma dernière semaine en France- J’ai fait une retraite à la campagne pour me détendre avec des amis. Mes amis, Steph et Ken, avaient encore une échange maison à la campagne près de Castillon. Une autre amie, Moira y était aussi. Steph, Moira et moi, nous avons travaillé ensemble à l’école secondaire, Matthew McNair; il y a 20 ans.

Quelle belle maison! Elle était située parmi des vignobles et près de lac Cadie où nous avons nagé. Il y avait d’art des artistes de Haida Gwaii et de Kwagiulth. J’étais étonnée de voir des peintures de Ross Hunt. La météo- il faisait trop chaud. Steph, Ken, Moira et moi, nous avons fait du tourisme à St. Émilion, Dordogne, Vayres et Bordeaux. Les endroits les plus extraordinaires que j’ai vus étaient un vaste réseau de grottes et le Château Vayres. Nous avons dîné au Château avec 150 autres personnes. C’était un Dîner En Blanc et Vert après lequel nous avons pu voir le château baigné de lumière des chandelles. Ce qui m’est intéressé aussi était la ville de Bordeaux où se trouve un théâtre qui a été construit par Victor Louis. Un architecte superbe qui a influencé la fabrication des bâtiments à Paris.

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(All dressed up for our Dîner en Blanc et Vert)


(Sun setting on Vayres Castle)

Pendant ma visite à Castillon, j’ai reçu des nouvelles graves; Mike, le cycliste qui a eu la crise cardiaque est décédé dimanche. Nous sommes tous tristes.

Je reste à Paris une nuit avant de revenir au Canada. Je suis enthousiaste de voir encore ma famille et mes amis à Vancouver, à Kamloops et à Port Hardy. Je suis aussi heureuse d’être encore près de la mer. J’écrirai bientôt une réflexion de mon voyage.

日本語  Japanese  Japonais

先週、私はフランスの小さい街に行きました。あそこで友達は住みやすかったです。うちは美しくてブドウ園に近かったです。すごくきれいアートもありました。KwagiulthのRoss Huntのアートを見ました。


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(One of the many families dressed up for the dinner at Château Vayres)

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(Theatre constructed by Victor Louis in Bordeaux)


もうすぐカナダヘ帰ります。家族と友達に会うことはうれしいです。Port Hardyへ帰る時にフランスの旅行の反射を書くつもりです。


Hexdan leda St. Émilion, Dordogne, Château Vayres et Bordeaux. Dux̱watłala̱n Steph, Ken, Moira.

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(Upstairs at the home in the countryside near Castillon)

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(Art work of Ross Hunt displayed)





Exploring Some New Destinations Besides Paris


(A view along the water in Lyon)

A brief write-up in English, French, Japanese, and Kwak’wala follows about the past week in Paris.

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

Well, it’s been three weeks since I left Paris to do a bit of travelling around Europe before I head home to Canada at the end of June. I would have updated earlier but I have not had dependable WIFI services along the way.  So here I am finally in a small hotel in Arles France with what seems to be a strong internet connection and I am able to update my blog.

After finishing exams at the Sorbonne in French language studies, I left to Lyon to a music festival called Nuits Sonores. There I enjoyed an afternoon and evening at a venue called Le Sucre, where many different DJs played various kinds of music. I also enjoyed visiting some sights around Lyon including a boat cruise along the Rhône and a walk up to the Basilique Notre Dame from where you can overlook the city.

DJ line up

(DJ line up for the Nuits Sonores music festival in Lyon)

Le Sucerie

(Le Sucre- the venue for Nuits Sonores)

After Lyon, I headed to a small seaside town called Étretat. I had read about Étretat in one of my books from the Sorbonne. It is quite an adventure getting there ( a combination of trains and buses), but it was well worth the effort. Upon arrival one smells the ocean and views many chalk cliffs. If there is heaven on earth in France, it’s in Étretat. The views are stunning and the locals are very helpful and friendly, like being at home in Port Hardy. Three days here was a perfect amount of time to hike the local trails and to see Les Jardins d’Étretat.


(A view from the hike along the trails on top of the cliffs)

Etretat 3

(A view looking up to the church in Étretat from the beach)

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(Art and greenery combined in the Étratat gardens)

E garden 3

(More sculptured art in the garden)

After a full day of travel on trains, buses and a plane, I arrived in Stockholm where I met a friend from my high school days. Katarina was a rotary exchange student from Sweden in my grade 11 year at Kamloops Senior Secondary. We have kept in contact over the last 30 years and this was our second time meeting up. She is one of those friends with whom you can instantly and easily reconnect no matter the time and space between meet-ups. We went hiking around her island, went dancing and partook in the Taste of Stockholm event in downtown Stockholm one afternoon. To my surprise, I spoke more French in Stockholm than I did in Paris. Stockholm is very multicultural now and there are many French speakers there. In fact the only school on the island where she lives is French speaking, thus most families who reside there use French as their main language. Also, there are many immigrants in Sweden from various French speaking places in Africa and the Caribbean including: Sénégal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Haïti. I will definitely return to Stockholm for visits; it’s such a vibrant city.

Stockholm 1

(A Taste of Stockholm event in the central square)

From Stockholm I flew to Amsterdam to meet two friends from Vancouver who had exchanged their condo in Vancouver for an apartment along the canals. Steph and Ken were great hosts and took me to the Rijks Museum where I got to see many more works of art that my Art History prof had talked about in my classes at the Sorbonne. We also went to the Modern Art museum in Amsterdam where there was an interesting exhibition featuring ideas that are currently being developed to aid refugees around the world. Various architects, information technologists and artists have paired up to invent various useful and creative products and housing for refugees.

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(A view from my room in the Amsterdam apartment)

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(Just leaving the Rijks Museum)

Amsterdam 7

(Write up at Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam)

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(Example of architectural possibilities for refugees)

Following my very short 2 day visit in Amsterdam, I went by train to Avignon, France. There I met up with 6 other people for an 8 day cycling tour around the Provence region of France. The group of 6 included two people from the UK, one from New Zealand, one from Australia and two Canadians. We had two guides that took us on rides that ranged from 35-60 kms each day. It ended up being tougher than we expected because there was a heat wave in the region and we were riding many days in heat that ranged from 32-37 degrees. On our 4th day, when we were making our way up the mountain from Saint Remy to Les Baux en Provence, one of the riders suffered a heart attack. He remains in hospital at the moment and is being monitored. We are all in shock and await news on his condition. Times like these remind us of how precious life really is and how important it is to value family, friends and one’s health. One of the main reasons for me doing this 5 month trip was to appreciate and celebrate life’s blessings so far because we never know what the future will bring.

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(Map of the 8 day cycling tour in the Provence region)

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(Cycling in Provence)

Cycle 2

(Cycle group stopping for photos of one of the many sunflower fields in the Provence region)

Français  French  フランスご

Après avoir voyagé sans wifi, je peux écrire mon blog finalement ici à Arles. Je suis partie Paris le 27 juin et je suis allée à Lyon où j’ai regardé une fête de musique qui s’appelle Nuits Sonores. C’était superbe! J’y ai aussi fait un peu de tourisme. J’ai visité la Basilique Notre Dame de Fourrière et je prends un bateau touristique pour voir la ville.

Ensuite, je suis allée à une petite ville, Étretat sur la côte ouest de la France. Il était difficile d’y aller parce qu’il est loin de Paris et on doit prendre des trains et un bus. Mais, il vaut l’effort. Si c’était le paradis sur terre en France, ce serait la ville d’Étretat. Dans mes yeux, avec de grandes falaises blanches, la mer et le jardin le plus joli en France, c’est une ville très tranquille et fantastique. Je pense que le mode de la vie à Étretat ressemble le mode de la vie à Port Hardy.

J’ai quitté Étretat pour Stockholm le 2 juin. J’y ai une amie qui a étudié avec moi au lycée à Kamloops en 1989. Nous sommes restés en contact. Nous avons fait des promenades, de la danse et nous avons bien mangé à un restaurant bangladais. Stockholm est très multiculturel et a beaucoup de personnes qui parlent français. En effet, j’ai parlé plus de français à Stockholm qu’à Paris. À cause de cela, je voudrais encore visiter à Stockholm.

Des amis de moi, Steph et Ken, a fait un échange maison à Amsterdam. Ils font une échange maison avec leur appartement à Vancouver pour un appartement à côté de canaux à Amsterdam. Alors, ils m’ont invité à les rendre visite. J’y ai passé trois jours. Nous sommes allées aux musées Rijks et Stedelijk. J’ai pu voir des œuvres d’artistes très connus et une exposition au sujet de la crise des réfugiés dans le monde. L’exposition a compris des idées très utiles.

La semaine dernière, j’ai fait un voyage à vélo en Provence avec six autres personnes (deux Anglais, une Néo-Zélandaise, un Australien et deux Canadiennes). En moyen, nous avons roulé 35-60 kilomètres par jour. C’était merveilleux, mais il avait extrêmement chaud (32-37 degré). Je suis très triste qu’une personne dans notre équipe ait eu une crise cardiaque. Il est maintenant à l’hôpital et nous sommes tous en état de choc et nous attendons des nouvelles de médecin. À cause de cela, je réfléchis beaucoup d’importance de la famille, des amis et de la santé. Nous devons vivre avec le sens de carpe diem parce que nous ne savons jamais ce qui se passera à l’avenir.

Etretat 2

(Sun about to set on the beach in Étretat)

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(Ad for laser light show at Les Baux)

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(Unbelievable laser light show underground at Les Baux)

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(Art by Arcimboldo at Les Baux)

日本語  Japanese  Japonais

すみません、最近wifiを見つけることをできませんでした。そして、私はblogを書きませんでした。でもArlesという町でいいwifiがあります。五月17日にパリを出てリオンへ電車でいきました。コンサートを見に行きました。すごく良かったです。その上に、有名なきょうかい(Basilique Notre Dame de Fourrière)に行きました。あそこでいい形式があります。町をよく見るために私は観光船観光船に乗りました。きれいでした。

フランスでは一番好きな街はÉtretatだと思います。大きい崖, きれいな庭、青い海があります。この町に住みやすいです。Port Hardyに住んでいることは同じだと思います。



この週末にProvenceでサイクリングのツアをしました。六人がいました (2イギリス人、1オーストラリア人、1ニュージーランド人, 2カナダ人)毎日私たちは35kmから60kmまでサイクリングをしました。楽しかったです。でもすごく蒸し暑かったです。一日には一人は心臓発作がありました. とても悲しいです。今、彼は病院にいて私たちはお医者さんからニュズを待っています。ざんねんです。今、生活について考えています。私たちの家族、友達、と健康は大事な宝ものですね。

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(A twig statue of Monet who used to stand in this spot while painting the cliffs of Étretat)

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(Katarina and I having a meal in a highly recommended Bangladesh restaurant in Stockholm)

Amsterdam 2

(Amazing musicians outside the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam)

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(Cool letter art in front of Rijks Museum)


Hexdan leda Lyon, Étretat, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Provence. Dux̱watłala̱n Katarina. Bakowa̱n dła̱wa i’ax̱a̱lu’t.

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(Lights that the town of Étretat puts on at night to showcase the cliffs)

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(Kayakers enjoying the sunset in Étretat)

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(Out at a cheese tasting with Steph and Ken in Amsterdam)

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(One of the many canals in Amsterdam)

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(More canals)


(Made it to the Mediterranean sea on the bike trip- Saintes Maries de la Mer)

Departing Paris Shortly…

A brief write-up in English, French, Japanese, and Kwak’wala follows about the past week in Paris.


(Le Palais Garnier- theatre for music, opera, and ballet. Pictures of the ballet performance were prohibited, so I was only able to take pictures such as this one)

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

School is finished! Sigh- I completed my last exam yesterday which was a speaking and reading test. I will find out the results from all my exams in about 2 weeks. Even though I did a lot of studying over the past 2 weeks, I managed to get out and visit places that were still on my list of “must sees”. In addition, I checked out some current exhibitions.

One of the “must sees” was the Palace Garnier. This is the music/opera/ballet theatre that was designed by Charles Garnier in 1861. It is considered one of the most beautifully designed pieces of architecture in Paris. I went to see a ballet performed there for a very modest price of 20 euro. The ballet consisted of 4 pieces- all very modern and theatrical. It was quite the show.

Palace garnier

(Part of the entrance into Palais Garnier)


(The ceiling of the Palais Garnier- repainted by Chagall 50 years ago, very controversial at the time because it wasn’t considered “classical” enough. A special write-up about this: Chagall ceiling )

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(View from the top floor in Palais Garnier)

Another must see was a private concert where I saw the Yale A cappella jazz group, Redhot and Blue, sing. I heard about this event from Talia Carner, an author I met just recently on a bike tour. Thanks to a women named Patricia who organizes these events on her website, the first 12 people who sign up and pay 25 euro for the evening get to have dinner and access to a private concert. This was such a special evening. It was cool to find out about the students and their areas of study (from neuro-surgery, to education, to information technology, to global relations, … among others). We all had dinner with the host and then the group sang about 7 songs in the living room of a Parisian apartment.

House concert

(The audience watching the Yale A cappella singers)

Yale Jazz A cappella Group

(The Yale group Redhot and Blue performing. You can find out more about this group:  Yale’s Redhot and Blue)

Last Saturday I went to see the kimono exhibition at the Guimet Museum which specializes in Asian art. It illustrated the history of the kimono up to modern day. It is interesting to see how the Japanese kimono has influenced current French designers. So many of the kimonos, old and new, were stunning. After my museum visit, I went to have lunch at the Taste of Paris event.  This was a two day event that featured about 20 well-known chefs in Paris. They each had a stall where they served about 4 tapa sized specialties ranging in price from 7 to 12 euro from which patrons could choose. Overall, this was a fun event with different dishes, samples, and live music.


(The first posting in the exhibition about kimonos. I loved the fact that the information was written in Japanese, French, and English).

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(Two taste creations that I tried: a lobster appetizer and a lemon meringue tart)

Another special event this last week was the free museum night on Thursday. Most museums stayed open from 7:00pm to midnight and showcased various types of music. I decided to go to the Cluny Museum, recently renamed the Musée de Moyen Âge. There I listened to chants and replicas of musical instruments from the Middle Ages. Some of the singing was absolutely mesmerizing.

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(Musicians playing and overlooking the crowd from the top of the Cluny Museum at the beginning of the event)

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(One of the singing groups in the Chapelle of the museum)

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(A close-up of the same group)

For my final week of exams, I moved into a Airbnb just a few blocks away  from my school as the apartment I had in the Marais had been booked for this time, long before I made my booking. In the end, it was a blessing in disguise. The host of the apartment, Sylvie, is so knowledgeable about music and literature. She is a singer and teaches classical singing lessons. So I often hear beautiful piano and voice lessons coming from the living room. I was surprised to find in my room a bookshelf full of so many of the authors that we had been studying at school. Another interesting fact: her own father is a well-known poet, Michel Deguy, and has many published works. He received national and Académie français prizes for poetry in 1998 and 2004. I am excited to share some of his poems with my own students at home next school year.

New hood 1

(View from my bedroom at the Airbnb in the Montparnasse area)


(A picture of Michel Deguy’s latest book)

On Saturday I leave Paris to do some traveling  around France and to do some visiting with friends in Stockholm and Amsterdam. So I will update my blog when I am able to during this next portion of my journey.

Français  French  フランスご

J’ai fini mes études. J’ai fait mon dernier examen (parler et lire) hier. Je vais savoir mes résultats le 9 juin. Mes études m’ont accaparé, mais j’ai réussi à visiter des exhibitions à voir absolument.

Le Palais Garnier est à ne pas rater!  La renommée du Palais Garnier repose sur une architecture extraordinaire. Il a été crée en 1861 par Charles Garnier. J’y ai vu un ballet. Le prix de ce spectacle n’était pas mal, seulement 20 euros. Le ballet se compose de quatre danses qui étaient très modernes. Quel spectacle! Malheureusement, c’était interdit d’y prendre des photos pendant le spectacle.

Quelque chose d’autre de spéciale était un concert privé où j’ai vu des étudiants de l’université de Yale chantent du jazz. Le groupe musical s’appelle Redhot and Blue. Grâce à une femme que j’ai rencontrée récemment et qui m’a dit les détails de cet événement, j’ai pu y aller. Quelle nuit incroyable! C’est intéressant d’accueillir les étudiants de Yale et d’ savoir tout sur leurs études et leurs rêves. Ces étudiants sont en train d’étudier le neuro-science, l’éducation, l’informatique, et les relations internationales… parmi des autres matières aussi. Nous avons dîné ensemble et après les étudiants ont chanté du jazz dans un appartement privé à Paris.

Samedi, je suis allée au Musée Guimet (Arts Asiatiques). Il y a une exhibition maintenant de kimonos. On peut lire de l’histoire du kimono jusqu’à ce moment-ci. Ce qui est intéressant, c’est que certains couturiers français fassent de la mode dans lesquelles on peut noter des influences japonaises. Quels que soient les styles, vieux ou modernes, tous sont beaux. Après avoir visité le Musée Guimet, j’ai assisté à l’ événement Taste of Paris où on a pu manger des plats de chefs français bien connus. Chaque chef a préparé quarter dégustations pour manger à un prix pas cher (de 7 à 12 euros) parmi lesquelles les clients peuvent choisir. Dans l’ensemble, les chefs ont fait du bon travail. J’y aimais les échantillons et la musique.

La semaine dernière, quelques musées de Paris ont offert une entrée gratuite pour une visite pendant la nuit. J’ai décidé d’aller au Musée Cluny (Le Musée Moyen Âge) pour voir des musiciens et des instruments de cet époque-là. Certaines chansons étaient hypnotiques.

Ensuite, j’ai dû déménager de mon appartement à un Airbnb dans le quartier du Montparnasse. Mais, c’est bien combiné parce que la propriétaire, Sylvie, est très gentille et très cultivée. Elle est prof de chanteurs classiques. Quelquefois j’ai l’occasion d’entendre de belle musique. Son appartement est plein de livres que j’ai  lu pendant mes études à la Sorbonne. Son père, Michel Deguy, est écrivain en France. En fait, il a gagné deux prix pour sa poésie en 1998 et 2004. Je suis enthousiaste de partager des poèmes de lui avec mes étudiants l’année scolaire prochaine.

Ce samedi, je partirai pour un voyage autour de la France. J’irai aussi rendre visite à des amis à Stockholm et à Amsterdam. J’écrirai sur mon blog quand j’aurai la chance.

New hood 2

(Rue Daguerre, my new neighbourhood)

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(A duet about to play replicas of instruments from the Middle Ages. Note the amazing tapestries from that era)

日本語  Japanese  Japonais

最終のテストを受けました。毎日勉強しなければなりませんでした。でも、楽しいこともしました。たとえば、バレエを見るためにPalais Garnierに行きました。この建物の建築はすごくきれいでした。バレエもきれいでした。


先週の週末にGuimet Museumに行きました。着物てんを見にいきました。着物の歴史について読みました。たくさんフランス人の服飾デザイナーは着物からインスピレーションを受けています。それから自分のスタイルを作っています。博物館に全部の着物は美しかったです。

Taste of Parisで有名なシェフの食べ物をやって見ました。おいしかったです。あそこでサンプルも音楽もありました。

Cluny Museumで中せいきの音楽を聞くことができました。楽しかったです。



Cluny 5.png

(Famous jazz performer, David Sauzay, playing at the Cluny museum)

Kimono 5

(One of the displays showing traditional kimonos and the intricate detailing that goes into them)


(The original door curtain for the Matsuzakaya Kimono Factory, 1603-1868)


(Modern interpretations of the kimono)


(Samples from French designers who have been inspired by the kimono)


Hexdan leda ha̱’ma̱’elas. Dux̱watłala̱n da̱nx̱’inux̱. Latła̱n tła̱x yuda̱x̱wp̓a̱nxwat̓ sanx̱tła lax̱ Étretat.

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(A great little crêperie that I found a couple of doors down in my new neighbourhood)

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(Another group singing at the Cluny Museum)

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(A band playing at the Taste of Paris event held at the Grand Palais exhibition hall)

Culture and Castles


(Chambord castle)

A brief write-up in English, French, Japanese, and Kwak’wala follows about the past week in Paris.

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

Last week at school we looked at some art considered modern in my art history class- this included works by Picasso and Bonnard. In literature we learned about the writer Françoise Sagan who at 18 became famous with her novel, Bonjour Tristesse. We also watched the French movie Sagan from 2008 which highlights her successes and tragic life- it’s a must see for Francophile movie lovers.

Sunday was a treat! Susan (Michael’s sister) and Ian took me to a hockey game here at the Accor Arena where we watched Canada play against Slovenia during the World Hockey Championships happening right here in Paris for the next 2 weeks. Canada won 7-2. Way to go Canada! It is so interesting to see a hockey game being played in a different country because the crowd was so encouraging. If a player, regardless of the team he was on, did a great play, the audience clapped. It reminded me of when a musical solo is being played in a band, and the audience claps with appreciation.

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(Susan and Ian at the entrance for the World Championships for hockey)

hockey 2

(The game in action)

Last Monday was a national holiday, so instead of going to school, I went on a bus tour to see the three famous castles of the Loire Valley. It’s always amazing to me that back 200-300 years ago these feats of architecture were built without the modern conveniences we have today.


Castle fire

(Standing near the warmth of a fire in the Chambord castle)

More museums were on my agenda too. With an exam coming up in art history next week, I have been keeping a list of recommended must-sees at the Louvre, at the Picasso museum, and at a modern art museum created by the Louis Vuitton Foundation. I spent about 4 hours at the Louvre looking at works by Rembrandt,  Watteau, Delacroix and saw a special exhibition about Olga, the wife of Picasso.


(The poster announcing the special exhibition about Picasso’s wife in front of the museum)


(The modern art museum created by the Louis Vuitton Foundation)

Between May 15th and May 27th, I have 4 exams, so I am just busy studying for those now. French art history, French literature, and the 4 language skills will be tested (reading, writing, speaking and listening).

Off to study…

Français  French  フランスご

La semaine dernière à l’école, la classe a regardé des chefs-d’oeuvre modernes tels que Picasso et Bonnard. Nous avons aussi discuté l’écrivain Françoise Sagan. Elle est devenue célèbre avec son premier roman, Bonjour Tristesse, alors qu’elle n’a que 18 ans. Nous avons aussi regardé le film Sagan de 2008 qui illustre des succès et des tribulations de la vie tragique d’elle. Ce film est à ne pas rater pour les francophiles qui aiment les films français.

Dimanche était fantastique! Susan (la sœur de Michel) et Ian m’a emmené pour regarder un match de hockey à l’aréna Accor. Il y a une Compétition Mondiale de Hockey maintenant à Paris. L’équipe canadienne a gagné contre l’équipe slovène par un score de 7 à 2. Bravo Canada! La foule aux matchs à Paris est très gentille; tout le monde est encourageant n’importe quelle équipe.

Lundi était un jour férié, donc au lieu d’aller à l’école, je suis allée en autobus pour visiter les trois châteaux de la Loire. C’est toujours remarquable que ses bâtiments comme ceux-ci étaient construits sans utiles de nos jours.

Mon itinéraire cette semaine a inclus des visites à des musées. En raison de mon examen de l’histoire d’art, j’avais créé une liste sur lesquelles j’avais écrit les noms des peintures importantes. Spécifiquement, je suis allée au musée Louvre, au Picasso et à la Fondation de Louis Vuitton. En passant quatre heures au musée Louvre, j’ai observé des œuvres de Rembrandt, Watteau, et Delacroix. Au musée de Picasso j’ai vu une exhibition à propos d’Olga, la première femme de Picasso.

Du 15 mai au 27 mai, j’ai quatre examens. Je dois faire une révision d’histoire d’art français, de littérature française, et de langage (lire, écrire, parler et écouter)

Alors, je dois aller pour faire de la révision…


(Another view of the LVF museum)

hockey 3.png

(A picture of the screen announcing the score near the beginning of the game)

日本語  Japanese  Japonais

今週はアートのクラスで私の先生はPicassoとBonnardの絵について話しました。そのうえにFrancoise Saganの本を少し読みました。彼女の生活の映画を見ました。この映画はすごく面白いです。でも悲しいです。

日曜日には、マイクさんの妹さんと一緒にホッケーのゲームを見にいきました。カナダのチームは勝ちました。今パリにはホッケーのコンペ があります。


来週、私たちはいろいろなテストがあります。アートのテストを勉強するために博物館へ絵画を見に行きました。Rembrandt, Watteau とDelacroixのことを見した。



(Views from the LVF museum- seeing La Défense, the modern business area of Paris)


(A picture of the Chenonceau castle- my favorite because of the water and gardens)


(Gardens at Chenonceau)


Ixḵ̓a̱sa̱la. Hexdan leda humu’wilas. O’a̱m tła̱n la’ł humo’tł. Bakowa̱n dła̱wa Susan.


(A picture of Cheverny castle- the castle that often appears in Tintin comics)

Paris Museums and Memorable Monaco

A brief write-up in English, French, Japanese, and Kwak’wala follows about the past week in Paris.

Monaco Arch 2.png

(Monaco’s hillside full of beautiful architectural designs)

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

For school this week, we studied a few poems by Jacques Prévert, the most studied poet ever in France. In art history class, we looked at a lot of works by Delacroix which led me to the Musée de la Vie Romantique, the Musée Gustave Moreau, and to Le Gouvernement des Parisiens exhibition at Hôtel de Ville to see paintings by him. I enjoyed seeing some of his paintings up close in a collection of George Sand’s treasures showcased at the first museum, but what really caught my attention was the former home and workshop of Gustave Moreau. Moreau had a couple of Delacroix paintings hanging in his house, but what was astonishing was the grandeur of his own paintings. There were over 4000 drawings and paintings in his former workshop. The sheer size of some of the paintings and the ornateness of the house was phenomenal. It is definitely a must see if anyone is coming to Paris.


(Garden at the Musée de la Vie Romantique)


(Staircase and some of Moreau’s paintings in his workshop at his former house, now a national museum)


(Large advertisement for the exhibition of the Parisian Government at the Hôtel de Ville)

I also managed to get to the Maison de la Photographie which is right near my place. To my surprise, I came across some unconventional photography and art by an artist named ORLAN. The funny thing is, I had seen her in a café a few weeks back, but didn’t know who she was. I just knew that she had to be someone famous because people kept going up to her to ask for autographs and photos. It wasn’t until I saw her in a photo at the the photography museum here that I realized who she was. From what I read, she is an art professor at one of the local art schools and she is most famous for her plastic surgery that she had done in the 1990’s as an art form. She actually had over seven plastic surgeries to attain the following alterations to her face: the chin of Botecelli’s Venus, the eyes of Diana in a Fontainbleu painting, the nose of Gérôme’s Psyche, the lips of Boucher’s Europa and the forehead of Mona Lisa. It was definitely shocking to see pictures of these operations up close at the exhibition.


(ORLAN in one of her unconventional pictures)

The highlight of the week was spending last weekend in Monaco with Dad and Anne. By far, this is one of the most beautiful and clean cities I have ever seen. Stunning architecture, ocean views, terraced neighbourhoods and rocky cliffs could be seen at various points in our couple of days there. Anne tried her luck at the casino, while Dad and I wandered and took the tour bus around to admire all the gorgeous sites. The town is currently getting ready for the Grand Prix which takes place there in a couple of weeks.

Monaco Arch 1

(More stunning architecture in Monaco)

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(The main harbour in Monaco- you can see the seats being set up for the upcoming Grand Prix)

Grandprix 3.png

Dad and Anne have now left and in their place, Susan (Michael’s younger sister) and Ian, her husband, are here for a 4 day visit. They are enjoying the sites of Paris while I get caught up on my language studies and review for my final exams. We do have an exciting Sunday planned together though. More news to come…

Monaco Casino

(Dad and Anne in front of the famous Monte Carlo casino)

Français  French  フランスご

À l’école cette semaine nous avons lu des poèmes de Jacques Prévert et nous discutons des peintures de Delacroix. Alors, je suis allée aux trois musées pour bien voir ces peintures. Le premier était Le Musée de la Vie Romantique où on peut trouver des trésors de l’écrivain George Sand. Parmi ces trésors étaient de belles peintures de Delacroix. Ensuite, je suis allée au Musée de Gustave Moreau. C’était magnifique. Il y a des oeuvres de Delacroix mais, ce qui est incroyable, c’est que l’atelier de Moreau ait plus de 4000 grands dessins et peintures. Ce musée est à ne pas rater! Près de moi à l’Hôtel de Ville j’ai vu une grande peinture de Delacroix – La Liberté Guide le Peuple.

Dans le quartier du Marais, on se trouve La Maison de la Photographie. Par hasard, j’y ai trouvé de l’art d’ORLAN, une artiste très fameuse en France, qui j’ai vu une fois à un café mais je ne la connaissait pas. Beaucoup de personnes ont demandé d’elle une autographe et une photo. Ses oeuvres ne sont pas typiques parmi lesquelles existent des photos de ses chirurgies esthétiques.

Le moment le plus marquant de la semaine dernière était un voyage par train à Monte Carlo avec mon père et Anne. Nous avons fait du tourisme. Quelle belle ville et très propre aussi! La mer, les falaises, l’architecture étaient fantastiques.

Mon père et Anne sont revenus au Canada. Maintenant Susan (la soeur de Michel) et son mari Ian sont ici à Paris. Ils profitent de la vie à Paris pendant que j’étudie pour mes examens finals. J’ai hâte de faire quelque chose de spécial avec eux dimanche.

Monaco cafe.png

(A street scene in Monaco)

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(Another street scene by the casino)

日本語  Japanese  Japonais

 Monaco water

(More stunning views of Monaco- this time from water level)

今週、学校でポエトリーとアートを勉強しました。博物館へお絵描きを見に行きました。Gustave Moreau のうちはすごく美しかったです。その上にORLANの有名な写真を見ました。



Monaco Cliffs.png

(The cliffs alongside the sea)


Ik’iḵa̱la̱n. Hexdan leda Monaco. Hexdan leda humu’wilas. Dux̱watłala̱n k’widza̱kwi da na’a̱nge. Dux̱watłala̱n ORLAN.

Monaco me.png

(Dad and me on one of the pathways in Monaco)

Monaco Art.png

(Modern art in Monaco)

Monaco Art 2

Fitting it all in…

A brief write-up in English, French, Japanese, and Kwak’wala follows about the past week in Paris.

Seine 2

(View of the Seine at dusk)

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

With 8 weeks to go, final exams in just 4 weeks, visitors from Canada, and cultural excursions, I am trying to find balance among it all while making the most of my remaining days here.

During this last week at school, we studied extracts from Voltaire’s Candide ou De l’optimisme.  We will be tested on this at the end of the course. We also looked at works by a writer named Raymond Queneau, considered a master of the French language and the inventor of some new structures. He wrote a book called Exercices de Style in which he retold the same story in 99 different ways. It is quite entertaining. He also wrote a poem called Cent mille milliards de poèmes (1961). This is a fun one where there are over a hundred ways to read this poem. It is a work of 10 sonnets in which lines can be interchanged with the others all while retaining correct structures and meaning. Click on the following Youtube clip to see this poem.  Poème This could be fun in a senior French or English class. Speaking about language classes, I sent out an email this week to the education liaison at the French embassy here seeking possible connections to high school teachers who may want to do pen-pal or blogging exchanges. I would also like to visit a French high school. I haven’t heard anything back yet.

Besides doing a a bit of reading at Deux Maggots café where many literary folk used to hang out, I managed to get to two museums this week to have a closer look at some art that my art-history prof introduced. One museum was the Cognaq-Jay where they have a painting, considered the first French still life, by Chardin from the 17th century. The other museum was Le Musée Maillol where the talented tapestries and sculptures of Aristide Maillol are showcased. This museum also has an interesting temporary exhibition which includes pieces that were stolen during the occupation. One piece by Matisse was found again only recently in 2014 and in 2016 it was returned to the family of its original owner.

Deux Maggots

(Hanging out at Deux Maggots)

Still life

(Painting by Chardin)

Otherwise, Dad and Anne have been here visiting. Last Saturday we all went to Vimy Ridge. This has been a dream of my dad’s most of his life. Unlike the other 2 times I went there, this time there was a brand-new information center with quite an animated exposition that included videos, artifacts, and pictures. There is also a temporary showing of some of the messages soldiers wrote on the walls in the trenches. Anne quite enjoyed the town of Arras where they had many panels of pictures of  WWI soldiers. We also took strolls along the Seine on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Dad and Anne went to visit Spain for a few days this week while I remained in school and managed to venture out a couple of nights with friends. One of the nights included an invitation to a private fashion show at the Coach store in Paris. My friend Lynn and I enjoyed snacks there while the staff showed off Coach’s new arrivals for the summer season. There was also a draw in which 3 people won prizes. I was not one of the lucky ones to win a bag or wallet that night.

For Dad’s last weekend here, we are travelling to Monaco for the weekend. I look forward to viewing the countryside of France while we ride the train for 5 hours on our way there.

.Français  French  フランスご

Je tente de profiter de la vie en France pour le reste de ma visite ici.  Dans des cours cette semaine, nous avons étudié de la littérature de Voltaire. J’aurai un examen sur des extraits de Candide ou De l’optimisme à la fin de mai. J’ai aussi regardé des œuvres de Raymond Queneau. Il a écrit des choses magnifiques. Par exemple, Exercises de Style et Cent mille milliards de poèmes (1961). Ce poème est composé de dix sonnets superposés, à rimes identiques qui le rendent très amusant. Je peux utiliser cette technique avec mes étudiants dans les cours anglais et français. Ce que qui concerne les cours de langages, j’ai contacté l’Ambassade Française pour rencontrer des enseignants à Paris qui voudraient faire des activités d’écriture avec mes étudiants. J’attends une réponse.

Ensuite, je suis allée à deux musées cette semaine: Cognaq-Jay et Musée Maillol. J’ai regardé une nature morte de Chardin. Cette peinture exacte est une inspiration pour plusieurs autres artistes. L’art d’Aristide Maillot est aussi bon. Il a fait de beaux tapisseries et sculptures. Dans ce musée il y a aussi une exposition temporaire dans laquelle on peut voir des peintures volées pendant l’occupation de la France. Ce qui est intéressant, c’est une peinture de Matisse qui a été trouvé en 2014 et en 2016 a rendu à la famille originale.

Mon père et Anne sont à Paris maintenant et nous sommes allés à Vimy Ridge samedi. Mon père a aimé cette expérience. Anne a aimé la petite ville d’Arras où on peut se trouver des panneaux sur lesquelles on peut voir des photos de soldats de la Première Guerre mondiale.

Jeudi soir, je suis allée avec mon amie Lynn au magasin Coach pour voir un défilé de mode privée de leur collection d’été. Ils donnent trois prix dans une loterie, mais malheureusement je n’ai pas été une gagnante. C’était très amusant.

Ce weekend je vais à Monaco avec mon père et Anne.  Nous prendrons le TGV pour y aller et je serai contente de voir la Mer Méditerranéen pendant le voyage.


(At the private showing at Coach)


(Winners of the draw at Coach)

日本語  Japanese  Japonais


(One of the many panels in Arras depicting soldiers from WWI)



今週、私の父とアーンさんはパリに来ています。そしてわたしたちはVimy Ridgeに行きました。Vimyへ行くことは父の夢でした。彼は歴史が大好きです。





Hexdan leda humu’wilas. Dux̱watłala̱n ump.  Hexdan leda Vimy.

Dad and Anne.png

(Dad and Anne out walking near the Seine)

Life on the Seine

(Life on the Seine- tons of pop-up cafés)

Easter in Italy


(Easter sign at an Italian storefront in Riomaggiore)

A brief write-up in English, French, Japanese, and Kwak’wala follows about the past week in Paris.

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

At school we have been reading about some cool French inventions. A couple of inventions that stood out to me were: a website called Deezer. This website was created by a 16 year old who left school to develop a music streaming service. The Deezer music catalogue has over 25 million titles and the site has an estimated value of 500 million euros. I love hearing stories of students who find their passion and pursue it beyond anyone’s dreams.

Another invention is the creation of an artificial robotic compound eye, based on the biomechanics of the eyes of flies. The researcher, Stéphane Viollet, is hoping these will replace cumbersome walking sticks for the blind in the future.

For Easter break, I met Michael’s older sister, Deborah, in Italy. She had just completed some diplomatic work for the Canadian government and was planning on taking a European vacation. Instead of us meeting in Paris, we decided to meet in the Cinque Terre region of Italy. Upon reading about this area (see link below), I figured this would be a great place to spend my Easter vacation.

Cinque Terre


(Riomaggiore- the village in which we stayed)

It was a perfect getaway!  Picture perfect vistas were everywhere. We enjoyed wandering the town of Riomaggiore one afternoon and then the next day we hiked along the mountainside from the village of Manarola to Corniglia. We had wanted to take a boat trip the following day, but the trips were cancelled due to rough seas. Therefore, we opted to take the bus to a quaint town called Porto Venere. What spectacular views there too! During the four days I learned a few words of Italian, though this didn’t help me one evening in a busy authentic Italian restaurant that didn’t seem to be frequented by foreigners. The servers and I tried to communicate in English and in French with some gestures as I pointed to what I wanted to order, but to no avail, I couldn’t get my preferences across. So a French woman next to me, translated what I wanted, from French to Italian, and in the end all was a success. The four different types of bread along with a fresh pesto pasta dish were delicious.

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(The beginning of the trail from Manarola to Corniglia)

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(A view from the trail- notice the train tracks below connecting all the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre region)

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(More views from the mountain side)

hike 2

(Deborah and me- half way on the trail)

Now I am back in Paris busy with school once again. After class today, my friend Lynn and I went to the oldest restaurant in Paris called the Procope, founded in 1686, where we ordered the traditional dish Coq au Vin. The ambiance there is amazing with pictures and written histories of many famous French writers such as Voltaire. Our art history teacher told us all about the history of this restaurant.


(Entrance into the Procope restaurant)

This coming Friday, I look forward to the arrival of my dad and his partner Anne.

Français  French  フランスご

La semaine dernière, j’ai lu des inventions d’aujourd’hui en France. On attribue à Daniel Marhely l’invention du site-web . Ce jeune homme a quitté l’école à 16 ans sans diplôme et s’est consacré à sa passion. Il a crée sur l’Internet Deezer qui est un service d’écoute de musique sur l’Internet et a un catalogue de 25 millions titres. Ce site web est désormais valorisée 500 millions d’euros. J’aime les histoires des ados prospères comme cela.

Une autre invention en France, c’est un oeil artificiel (un robot) qui est capable d’éviter des collisions. Grâce à Stéphane Viollet, les aveugles pourraient troquer leurs cannes pour ces yeux artificiels. Pour lui, l’oeil de mouche est son inspiration. On appelle cela le biomimétisme.

Ensuite, à Pâques je suis allée en Italie pour rencontrer la soeur de Michel. Nous nous sommes amusées dans les petites villes de Cinque Terre. Un jour nous avons fait une randonnée à pied de Manazola à Corniglia. Nous voulions aussi faire une excursion en bateau mais,  la mer était agitée. À cause de cela, nous avons décidé de prendre un autobus pour aller à Port Verene. Quelle belle ville!

J’ai appris un peu d’italien. Malgré cela, c’était difficile à commander au restaurant italien. Je suis heureuse qu’ il y ait eu une femme française qui a traduit en italien ma commande. J’ai mangé des pains et des pâtes délicieux.

Maintenant, je suis encore une fois à Paris. Je suis occupée à l’école. Un jour après mes cours, je suis allée avec Lynn au restaurant le plus vieux à Paris, le Procope.  Nous y avons commandé le plat traditionnel- le Coq au Vin. C’était fabuleux et le décor était très intéressant en raison de l’ancienneté.

Alors, j’attends l’arrivée de mon père et Anne ce weekend.

R night

(Riomaggiore at night)

R night 2.png

(Visitors relaxing seaside in Riomaggiore)


(Sunset view in Riomaggiore)

日本語  Japanese  Japonais

今週私はフランスの発明品について読んでいました。音楽のウェブサイト(DEEZER) と義眼があってすごく便利です。





 Corniglia 1

(Viewing Corniglia from the mountain side)

Approaching Corniglia.png

(Getting closer to Corniglia)

Approaching Corniglia 2.png

(Just down the steps to Corniglia)


Ik’iḵa̱la̱n. Hexdan leda Italy. Bakowa̱n dła̱wa Deborah. Hexdan leda t̓sa’mat̓si.

Side streets in Porto Venere

(Exploring the side streets in Porto Venere)

Porto Venere.png

(Arriving in Porto Venere)

Porto Vernere Castle.png

(A view from a cliff in Port Venere- below is the Bay of Poets where Byron supposedly swam to a neighbouring village to visit Shelley)

Spring in Paris

Petit Palais

(Flowers and trees in full bloom now all over Paris)

A brief write-up in English, French, Japanese, and Kwak’wala follows about the past week in Paris.

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

One can witness the arrival of spring in Paris now with all the blooming flowers and trees. There is also an influx of tourists walking around.


(Cherry blossoms in front of the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore- the first bookstore to publish Ulysses when it was banned)

This week at school I learned about Louis Aragon a French writer whose poems have been converted into French songs by many different musicians. One such example is Est-ce Ainsi Que Les Hommes Vivent. An example from Youtube:

Aragon’s poem changed to song

To gain a deeper perspective on Hugo, Monet, and Pissarro, other writers and artists who we have also studied, I visited their homes or exhibitions to learn more about their works. I also managed to get to a play by Victor Hugo. The play was called Lucrèce Borgia, a tragedy about an Italian mother. I saw this play in the oldest theatre, La Comédie Française, which dates back to 1680. The ambiance of this theatre was amazing.

I also saw another play this weekend at the theatre Folies Bergère. The play was based on the fabulous film Les Choristes from Quebec. All the youth in this play did an incredible job of singing. In fact this led to  encore after encore.


(View from Monet’s front door out to his garden)

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(Monet’s Japanese influenced garden- the subject for some of his paintings)

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(One of the many big rooms in Hugo’s apartment at Place des Vogues)

This past weekend, I travelled to Vimy Ridge for the 100 year anniversary of the battle there. 20-30 thousand Canadians were at the commemorative events. It was difficult to see or hear anything because of the crowds. Therefore, I have provided a CBC link here so that you can get a feeling for it.

CBC highlights


(Vimy Ridge Poster for the event)

Vimy 2

(Part of the crowd at Vimy behind the memorial statue- on the big screen you can see Justin Trudeau giving a speech)

The close town of Arras then put on a light show honouring Canadians who fought in the battle.

Arras thanking Canadian soldiers

(Arriving in Arras to signs and posters thanking Canadians for their help in 1917)

Light Show

(Light show honouring Canadians in WWI in the town square of Arras)

On Monday, I travelled on a tour bus out to the beautiful island abbey of Mont Saint Michel. It felt good to be close to the ocean once again. The views there are breathtaking.

For the best meal of the week, it was a picnic that Lynn, a classmate, and I put together and shared on the boardwalk of the Seine.

Seine 2

(Our picnic- 4 different types of cheeses, a baguette, fruit, and a beet and spinach salad. And of course dessert- a chocolate and pear tart)

Mont SM

(Mont Saint Michel- the abbey here dates back to 900)

Français  French  フランスご

Le printemps est arrivé à Paris. On peut voir des fleurs partout. Les touristes sont partout aussi. Dans mes cours cette semaine, nous avons étudié l’écrivain Louis Aragon. Ses poèmes seront rendus célèbres par leurs adaptations fréquentes par les plus grands chanteurs français.

Pour bien comprendre les oeuvres de Hugo, de Monet et de Pissarro, je suis allée à leurs maisons et au musée où on peut regarder des objets fabriqués de leurs vies.

J’ai assisté aussi aux pièces de théâtre. Une pièce était Les Choristes de Québec. Les enfants dans cette pièce chantent extrêmement bien.  L’autre pièce était Lucrèce Borgia par Victor Hugo. C’est une tragédie d’une mère italienne. Je l’ai vu à La Comédie Française. C’est le théâtre le plus vieux à Paris. Quelle ambiance!

Dimanche, je suis allée au Vimy pour assister au Centenaire de la Bataille de Vimy. 20-30 mille de Canadiens y étaient. À cause de la foule, c’était difficile à entendre et regarder le spectacle. Après ça, la petite ville d’Arras avait un spectacle son et lumière pour estimer les soldats canadiens de la Première Guerre mondial.

J’ai visité aussi l’abbaye au Mont Saint Michel. Quelles vues magnifiques!

Pour le meilleur dîner cette semaine, c’était un pique-nique avec une amie à la Seine. Nous avons mangé du fromage, une salade, de la baguette et bien sûr du dessert- une tarte aux poires et au chocolat.


(Folies Bergère theatre)

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(A view from my seat in La Comédie Française)

日本語  Japanese  Japonais






Mont SM 3

(Views from the top of Mont Saint Michel)

Mont SM 4

(More views at Mont Saint Michel)


T̓łisa̱lux̱. Hexdan leda s̱abilas. Hexdan leda humu’wilas. Hexdan leda Vimy. Dux̱watłala̱n Justin Trudeau. Hexdan leda t̓sa’mat̓si.


(A visit to the Luxembourg Museum where there was a Pissarro exhibition- according to my art history prof, there hasn’t been one like this in over 30 years in Paris)

Delving into the Arts


A brief write-up in English, French, Japanese, and Kwak’wala follows about the past week in Paris.

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

This week has been full of artistic adventures. On Monday we looked at songs and poetry. One specific poem I will use with my classes in Port Hardy is called Il pleure dans mon coeur by Paul Verlaine. It is quite easy to understand and is great for practising the pronunciation of “eur“, a difficult one for anglophones. Then on Wednesday we had an art history class devoted to the theme Fêtes Galantes which has its origins in theatre and depicts love and nature at its fullest. I wandered around the Petit Palais one day after class to look at examples of this style of art and of Baroque.

Petit Palais

(Ad in the metro stations for one of the exhibitions at Petit Palais)

Then on Thursday in literature class we were introduced to a group of European writers, some French, who formed the Dada movement, and later the Surrealism movement. These writers and artists were looking for something new. They were opposed to the societal norms of their time and were disheartened after the tragedies of the First World War. So, they experimented and created art and literature that was meant to be bizarre and fun.

On Sunday, I went to the museum Quai du Branly which offers free admission on the first Sunday of each month. It has displays of art work from Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and Africa. They also had a temporary exhibition about Picasso and the many pieces of art that he collected from around the world. During my tour, I came across some pieces from First Nations in BC and Alaska. Unfortunately, there weren’t any names given with the art pieces, just the geographical region or the language of the people. It made me very appreciative of the work that the U’Mista Cultural Center does in sharing the detailed information about their collection and in ensuring the survival of their cultural heritage.


(A piece from Alaska at Quai du Branly. It is very similar to one of the pieces at the U’Mista cultural centre in Alert Bay, BC.)

Another art form that I explored this week was photography. I have been working on collecting photos for my Monday night photography class about life on the Seine. Fortunately, one of the owners of a house boat, let me on her boat to take pictures. What a cool experience! The boat had views of the National Assembly building, the Eiffel Tower and Place de la Concorde. I was able to get close-up pictures of what it is like to live aboard and to have boats and tourists passing by all the time.

View from house boat.png

(A view from the canal house boat called India Tango)

View from boat

(Views from inside India Tango)

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(Tourist boats passing by)

People passing by

(A view from one of the windows facing the street)

Lastly, I have been intrigued by all the street art around Paris. Graffiti lines the streets and can be found in unique places. Materials for the graffiti vary from paint, to paper, ceramics, tiles, or wooden frames.



(Graffiti found in the Marais district)

In regards to good food…  I finally tried the restaurant called Tata Burger right across the street from me. They serve all kinds of gourmet burgers, including vegetarian. For as low as 8 euro you can get a burger, drink, fries and coleslaw. It surpassed my expectations; I will definitely be going back.

Français  French  フランスご

Cette semaine était pleine d’ adventures artistiques. Lundi, nous avons scruté des chansons et de la poésie. Un poème que je partagera avec ma classe est Il pleure dans mon coeur par Verlaine parce que c’est facile à comprendre et il est bon pour pratiquer la prononciation de le son <eur>.  Mes étudiants trouvent difficile à le dire. Ensuite, mercredi le cours d’art était dévoué au thème des Fêtes Galantes dans laquelle on peut voir les symbols d’amour et de nature. Alors, j’ai marché autour le Petit Palais pour voir cet art et du Baroque.

Dans le cours de la littérature, le prof nous a présenté des auteurs Européens qui ont fondés les mouvements Dada et Surréalisme. Ces auteurs et ces artistes cherchaient quelque chose de nouveau et ils étaient contres les conventions de cet époque-là après avoir observé les tragédies de la Première Guerre mondiale. Alors, ils ont expérimenté et ont crée une forme d’art bizarre et amusante.

Dimanche, je suis allée au musée de Quai du Branly qui offre l’entrée gratuite la première dimanche de chaque mois. On y se trouve de l’art d’Asie, des Amériques, de l’Océanie, et d’Afrique. Il y a aussi une exposition temporaire de Picasso et sa propre collection d’art.  De plus, j’ai vu des oeuvres des autochtones de Colombie Britannique et d’Alaska. Malheureusement, il n’y avait pas de noms des artistes, seulement l’endroit ou la langage de peuple. C’est pourquoi je suis reconnaissante au Centre U’Mista à Alert Bay pour partager de l’ information détaillée pour leur collection et pour assurer la survie de leur patrimoine culturel.

Une autre forme d’art que j’ai exploré était la photographie. Je suis en train de collectionner des photos pour mon projet pour lequel je dois prendre des photos de la vie sur la Seine. Grâce aux les propriétaires d’une péniche qui m’a permis à prendre des photos,  j’ai pu voir l’Assemblée Nationale, la tour Eiffel, et la Place de la Concorde. J’ai pu aussi prendre des photos sur le gros plan de la vie sur la Seine et des touristes qui passent devant des péniches.

Je suis aussi curieuse d’en savoir plus de graffiti à Paris. Dans les rues partout et dans des espaces uniques, on se trouve du graffiti. Ce qui est intéressant, c’est que ce graffiti-ci puisse se composer de papier, de craie, de peinture, de carreau, ou de cadre.

Pour un bon déjeuner cette semaine, je suis allée au restaurant <Tata Burger> près de chez  moi. C’est délicieux et pas cher; j’y retournerai encore.


(More graffiti in the Marais district)

日本語  Japanese  Japonais



美味しいたべものは Tata Burger というレストランに行きました。もう一度行きたいです。


(An interesting piece of street art- various small pictures encased in wooden frames)


(Street art dedicated to International Women’s Day 2014. Faces upon smaller faces make up the larger painting)


Hexdan leda humu’wilas humo’tł. Dux̱watłaḻan t̓sak. ‘Na̱xwała̱n ukw lax̱a t̓sak.



(More of the collection at Quai du Branly)