Sunday, May 30, 2010

Still in Trois-Pistole

Hello there!

Another update from TP (aka Trois Pistole)! Commencing the third week here I am approaching mid-way point, and although there has been definitely a lot of great things about the experience and program I am also excited to be almost midway done! Why? Well…let me start at the bottom(bad) and work my way up to the top(good).


  1. being paralyzed and trapped in language that you suck at! Although I am getting better I am still not very good and can’t be my self, communicate my desires, or take control of my life when I can only speak French. I see how hard it must be for immigrants in Canada who don’t speak English very well, and why they flock together to speak their mother tongue whenever they get a chance!
  2. The food here sucks. Well, ok, perhaps that’s SLIGHTLY harsh, it could be worse, but its definitely lacking. For example tonight was “spagetti” however the tomato sauce was more like tomato water with a few pumpkin and sunflower seeds in it with ice burg lettuce salad. Who likes iceburg lettuce salad, really, who?! The food hardcore lacks nutrition and paluability, but much to my shirgrin I have grown used to it…can’t wait to come home and be re-united with spices, fresh veggis, and cooked (rather then raw) tofu!
  3. Lastly for the whine fest, is …

Now for the Good:

  1. there are tons of super fun activies, such as tonight when I finished my sweet mask for the maskerade ball next Friday! Its made from bandage plaster and painted and I love it.
  2. weekly movie nights, although in French, its still pretty sweet to aller, and its at the school aditorium, so its like going to the movie theatre for free. This week was this crazy messed up movie with this guy that fantasized about women…
  3. Although class kills me every morning, I am happy to have it and to be learning. I do love learning, yes I am a nerd, and I am happy to be one. I am so grateful for the sun though, when we have our breaks and I am able to sit outside with my friends in the sun on the grass. Ok, computer about to die, that’s all for now.
  4. meeting lots of really interesting other people from all over Canada! We all seem to have such diverse lives its really awesome! This weekend there was a trip to quebec city that I went on and it was absolutely fabulous to have a break to speak English and actually get to know one another…and to be in a big city. And what a beautiful city, its like your in Europe, so many ppl out and beautiful architecture! Ahhh!!!
  5. the gorgeous exterior here! Just spend 2.5 hrs outside tonight biking and sitting and journaling and its so calming and grounding. I love it!
  6. although I don’t think I could do a small town, I love the community feel of it. Everyone saying hi to others as you walk, recognizing people, etc. although annoniminity is nice sometimes…but I guess when that is wanted is when you go off for bike rides in the woods!
  7. I also love the water. I have found my sole mate, the ocean.

I could go on, but I will stop here! The experience is a challenge, and its got its bads, but also its goods. And its important to keep the goods bright and shinning, cuz those are what are really important (cheesy but I really thinks its true…although I have to remind my self of this!)!

Well, thanks for listening! 2 weeks left in Trois-Pistoles before I come home, I will try to make another post before I leave, but if not, desolate (sorry in French).

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Last Friday I set off to Northern Quebec, Trois-Pistoles to be more specific! I am spending the next 5 weeks here with 260 other University students from around Canada. Why would someone do such a thing you ask?? I have asked myself the same thing every day the past 3 days, but the reason remains, to learn French. I am here through the Explore Program which is a government funded program that promotes the learning of French by Anglifone students in Canada by providing an oppurtunity for us to travel to a French speaking area where we can only speak French for 5 weeks!

So here I am in Trois-Pistoles, the town of 3 200 people, yet it contains many suprises! 1st of all, there is a shopping mall, containing 5 stores (dollarama, Harts, Ardenes, a pharmacy, and a grociery store)!! I was so surprised that there was even a shopping mall, this is very exciting stuff! Also, the grociery stores (of which there are two!!) carry tofu, soymilk, and other fairly hippee-ish things, again the surprise!

We are on the St. Lawrence, so the weather here is pretty cold and crazy, although today was beautiful, clear skies and no rain that is. Unfortunately the food sucks, and I wish I could cook for myself, but alas the facilities are not available. I am learning to love the taste of raw tofu with peanut butter, something on a regular bases I wouldn't eat, but I need to get nutrition somewhere (I am constantly eating nuts and raisons during the day too). However, the lady that makes our food seems to be really happy to have us there to cook for.

Everyone here is super nice, both the towns people and the students, and I have met soo many people already, I can't believe its only Tuesday!! Yet being social is an extreme challenge when I can only speak French and my French is extremely limited!!!!

The picture above is of a concert I went to on my first night here, it was hip-hop-ish, but in French of course!! The guy singing is rapping, and he apparently is the mayors son. After him a group called Radio-Radio came on. Apparently they are famousish...also were very good! The concern was in an old blacksmith shop, which was pretty sweet! Well thats all for now mon aimee! this is a week late due to my shitty access to internet...but next time.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Epic Bike Ride to Guelph

Biking is fun, I love to bike around town, and even on mini-trips out of town, especially in Waterloo where we are spoiled by how close the scenic country-side is to the city. Bike for 20 minutes and you are in rolling hills farm land.
Enjoying the scenery after turning back from our 2nd wrong turn

Based on this love, a friend and myself decided to go on a long bike ride, and bike to Guelph to visit our friend for lunch. What started out happy and cheery ended exhausted, with ACHING bum muscles!!
Lynn re-fueling during our first picnic rest of the trip

Let me explain, the bike ride was suppose to be 35 KM, but after going the wrong way 3 times it ended up being 55 KM!! To make matters worse it was a very windy day, and we had to bike of 2 busy highways!! Plus, I think I now have several areas of sun-burness!! But we did get to guelph, ate delicious lunch at the Cornerstone, got to hang out with our friend, and walked half-asleep around for a while before my amazing parents picked us up saving us from having to ride all the way back to Waterloo.
We made it to Guelph!

It was fun, although slightly painful, and I DO look forward to doing it again, since next time we WONT get lost!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

KW Vegan Bake Sale

About a month ago (during exam time) I randomly decided to organize a vegan bake sale in Kitchener Waterloo as part of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale which occurs within the weeks of April 24th to May 7th all over the world.

Jacki and I working the table

When I made this decision I did not consider how it would pan out, but it was a great event! With the help from several friends we publicized, rounded up many bakers and recruited even more eaters, all to make an amazing day!!!
Muffins, Brownies and Baklava Hanging out with the flowers

All proceeds of the bake sale are going to the KW Humane Society, and after counting it all yesterday, it totaled $419.78!!Various Baked Goods

The Bake Sale was a great success, and I look forward to it becoming an annual Kitchener Waterloo event! Thanks to everyone who made the day ROCK!