Learning in Québec

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I'm someone who began learning French when I was 53. I took a BA in French at 60 but wasn't happy with my level of comprehension (though I read very well). So, having really become comfortable with Spanish only by living on the Mexican border, I'm spending more time in Québec and near the border of Quebec, in Vermont, to see if I can do that here with French. I want to encourage others to do the same.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Vive Québec! Vive Québec libre!

Général Charles DeGaulle came to Québec in 1967 (November, I think, so just after my daughter, Leecia, was born in late October). His speech is a landmark in Québec history for his having shouted out Vive Québec! Vive Québec libre! I've walked past him hundreds of times now, because I live on an alley that is just the other side of that little red house with white porch. The one with the Québec flag.

So much to learn, so little time to tell about it. On my last full day of this long stay, I'm in the Gabrielle Roy library on a nearly cold August 29. Monique Laforce has met me here. We're going to attend a workshop around the corner on Community and Free Education. Having Monique along will be great, because she can fill me in on anything I didn't understand.

Then I'll go for supper by invitation from Itzela Sosa and Martin. Itzela, from Mexico City, is translating to Spanish the first biography of Flora Tristan, by Éléonor Blanc, which I've already translated to English.

Here are Itzela and Martin. She works on a PhD in Sociology at Université Laval. Martin, from Argentina, works on a graduate degree in Engineering. Ils sont très beaux, n'est pas? Itzela is as beautiful as Flora Tristan was.


On Wednesday Monique and I visited l'Ile d'Orleans, several miles north of the city. One gets there on a bridge from which you can see the water falls of Montmorency. It's one of those scenes that really deserves the word formidable. But I don't have a picture of that, because I was driving.

Here's a picture of me and Monique at a snackbar -- le Bar Laitier. Monique lived here on l'Ile d'Orleans many years ago.

We found the house where she lived, and now it's a gallery, so she was able to walk through some of the rooms she once knew. She lived only across the street while expecting that son. He is now in Afghanistan but only until he returns home to Québec on October 6.

And here's another picture of DeGaulle, because it is.

Goodbye for now, Québec, mais juste Au Revoir.

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