Adventures with Friends

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

S bike(Steph on her way with me to the Bastille market just after her arrival in Paris)

English  Anglais  英語  Mamałak’ ala

The last couple of weeks have been filled with studies and hanging out with friends visiting from Canada during their Spring Break. For French studies this past week, my prof discussed the differences between Classical and Baroque Art. It’s perfect timing because the Petit Palace museum is hosting a Baroque exhibition to which I intend to go this coming weekend. For literature, we focused on the author Guillaume Apollinaire who unfortunately passed away at a young age during WWI. He was the creator of  calligrammes, a form of French poetry that I have used with my high school students. This type of poetry creates the image of the topic through related words. During one semester a couple of years back, my class exchanged student made calligrammes with an immersion class from Ontario through blogs and Twitter.


(One of Apollinaire’s famous calligrammes)

When I wasn’t busy with school work, I would join my friends who were visiting Paris and Bruges, Belgium. Steph and Doug, teaching colleagues, visited me from Port McNeill. This was their first time to Europe and they managed to fit a lot in during the 5 days they were here. They even managed to fit in daily jogs. Doug ran at least 20km a day and often more. Steph and I went jogging one morning together with the mid-point of the run being the Simone de Beauvoir bridge, a unique undulating walkway over the Seine. Called a passerelle, it is solely for pedestrians and cyclists.

Morning run.png(Our morning run to the Simone de Beauvoir bridge)

Simone de Beauvoir Bridge(The Simone de Beauvoir bridge)

S on bridge(Steph making her way across the bridge)

Luckily, we all exercised during the week because we definitely took advantage of the local dessert shops. In fact one night, after going for fancy ice cream and hot chocolate, we stopped by a patisserie and ordered even more desserts.

dessert.png(Our ice cream and hot chocolate order at Amorino)

more dessert.png(Steph with our second helping of desserts)

One afternoon, we ventured out on the Vélib bikes and toured around the city. We rode along the Seine, passed the Louvre and Place de Concord, and made a stop at the Champs-Élysées. After, we biked to the Eiffel tower and then walked up to the Trocadéro to see the tower at night. Other adventures for Steph and Doug during their 5 days included: a trip to Versailles, visits to a couple museums, Notre Dame, and Steph’s highlight-  the Marie Curie Institute. Being a teacher of sciences, Steph was very excited to see the space where Marie Curie worked and made many scientific discoveries. We then went by the Panthéon, where Marie Curie was the first female to be buried with the remains of distinguished French male citizens.

S at Marie Curie Institute(Steph in one of Marie Curie’s research labs)


(Steph with a photo of Marie Curie overlooking her garden)

Marie Curie book.png

(Standing next to the statues of Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre.  I am holding a French Marie Curie book that I want to share with my students in Canada)

Pantheon(The Panthéon)

Alas, Steph and Doug returned home to Canada on Friday. Meanwhile, another friend, Melissa who works at Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw, came to Europe as well. Instead of meeting in Paris for the weekend, we decided to meet in Bruges, Belgium. This was absolutely  amazing! What a beautiful town! It was the first over night trip that I have done since my arrival in Paris at the end of January. I enjoyed the quieter laid back lifestyle there. We  did lots of walking, admired the boats cruising along the canals, bought artisanal Belgium chocolate and relaxed in cafés where waffles and crêpes seemed to be the dish of choice. On our second day in Bruges, one of Melissa’s friends from the Netherlands came to join us and we continued to explore the town.

M and S.png(Melissa and I standing on one of the many small bridges over the canals in Bruges. The town square is just behind us)

Paul(Melissa and Paul sitting in a typical Belgium café)

Choc. shop.png

(Melissa taking a selfie beside the delicious chocolates that we were able to sample before buying)


(Mary’s– a true artisanal chocolate boutique where every chocolate is still made by hand)

One of my highlights in Bruges was meeting a young college student named Lucile. She was at  booth celebrating the 16th anniversary of the Rome Treaty for the EU. It seems that they were trying to promote the benefits of the EU at a time where there is a lot of EU scepticism.  She gave me lots of French materials including: pens, lanyards, stickers, and maps for my classes back in Port Hardy. She is also working on getting me connected to  her former French teacher from her home town of Dijon, so that my students can do a writing exchange. I look forward to that possibility.

Now with all my friends returning home after their Spring Break, I am back in full swing with my French studies.


(Tourist boats cruising along the canals in Bruges)

Louise(The goodies Lucile gave me to share with my students)

EU(Photo op with EU birthday balloons that they had set up for each passerby)

Français  French  フランスご

Cette semaine à l’école j’ai appris la différence entre l’art classique et baroque. C’est bon parce qu’il y a une exposition de cela au Petit Palais à Paris maintenant. En ce qui concerne les écrivains, mon prof m’a dit de Guillaume Apollinaire. Quel écrivain extraordinaire! Il a crée la calligramme de laquelle j’attache une photo dessous. C’est intéressant parce que mes étudiants ont écrit des calligrammes en se servant d’un blog et de Twitter avec une classe en Ontario. C’est dommage que Guillaume Apollinaire soit mort si jeune pendant la Première Guerre mondiale.

Des amis, Steph et Doug, de Port McNeill, sont venus à Paris pour rendre une visite. Ils ont fait beaucoup ici pendant 5 jours. Ils ont fait d’exercices et des excursions à Versailles, aux Champs-Elysées, à l’institut de Marie Curie, à la Notre Dame, au Panthéon et aux quelques musées. Pour l’exercise, ils ont fait du jogging et de la bicyclette. Un jour Steph et moi, nous avons couru au Pont de Simone de Beauvoir. C’est un pont ondoyant. Après, Steph était très heureuse de voir l’endroit où Marie Curie avait travaillé. Nous y avons pris des photos dans la jardin. Grâce à l’exercise, nous avons pu manger des desserts sans avoir mauvaise conscience à faire de cela.

Alors, le weekend où Steph et Doug sont revenus au Canada, je suis allée à Bruges en Belgique pour rencontrer une autre amie, Melissa. Bruges est une petite belle ville pleine de boutiques, des cafés et des canaux sur lesquelles on peut voir des bateaux touristiques. Nous avons trouvé un chocolatier et nous avons achetés des chocolats si délicieux. Nous avons aussi rencontré un autre ami qui vient des Pays Bas. Nous avons traversé par les canaux et nous avons fait du tourisme. La meilleure expérience pour moi, c’était voir une fête à laquelle des étudiants célébraient l’anniversaire de l’Union Européen. J’étais heureuse que je fasse la connaissance de Lucile qui m’a donné beaucoup de cadeaux pour mes étudiants qui apprennent le français au Canada. C’était un bon weekend!

Avec de la tristesse, j’ai dit “au revoir” aux mes amis.  Maintenant, je me mets à étudier encore le français chaque jour.

日本語  Japanese  Japonais



Bruges Belguim

(A night view in Bruges)

 train schedule.png

(Watching the train arrivals to see where I need to board)


Dux̱watłala̱n i’ax̱a̱lu’t. Hexdan leda Bruges Belgium. Bakowa̱n dła̱wa ‘namugwad.

Gare de Nord.png

(Waiting for the TGV- train grand vitesse to take me to Belgium for the weekend)

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