Practicing French—and having fun—where French is spoken

On the morning of May 31, twenty-four 8th grade students and eight adult chaperones departed the St. George School in a coach bus at 6:30 am bound for Quebec City. After months of planning and fundraising, the trip was finally a reality!

The first stop once we crossed the border was a break at the Galeries de Capitale Mall to do some shopping, get lunch, and stay cool in the 90 degree heat. After checking into the Hotel de Concorde, we had time to swim before getting a bite to eat on the Grand Alleé around the corner from the hotel. Then we were off for some intense games of laser tag at Defi Laser.

After a late night, we rose early to visit Ecole de Secondaire Rochebelle, a high school in Quebec. There we met our pen pals, a group of immigrant students who had been learning French much like us. We had written back and forth during the school year and now finally got to meet some of them. We did some ice breaker games, got a school tour, were amazed by the student art show, and then went outside for some games on the sports fields before we said au revoir.

The bus then dropped us off in the lower town of the Old City of Quebec where we had lunch at various cafes, shopped, and took in the famous sites of Old Quebec. We practiced our French at every place we visited and the people of Quebec were very patient and friendly.

Back to the hotel for another swim, and to get ready for dinner and the Dance Cruise. After enjoying some poutine and other food at Les Trois Garcons, we walked through the Old City again to get to the boat for the cruise. The boat was packed with kids from Philadelphia, Vermont, and Quebec and we danced away the evening. It was a beautiful night on the St. Lawrence with the city all lit up behind us.

The next morning we walked to Paillard, a French bakery, and enjoyed the croissants, breads, and chocolat chaud. We then drove to Montmorency Falls, a beautiful sight, and walked up the steps on the side of the falls (some of us got soaked by the mist) before riding down on the cable car. After that we went to the Aquarium Du Quebec where we saw polar bears, seals, walruses, and a beautiful display of jellyfish. Then it was time to take the long bus ride home.

What an amazing trip it was! Thank you to all of the parents, the school, and the St. George Community for making this happen!

—This report was prepared by members of the 8th-grade class and Josh McPhail.

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