Today was the first day of service with the students in the “Be The Change” group here in Montréal. We started the day off by meeting the deputy Frantz Benjamin and the city council member Josue Corvil. They told us what their job entailed, as well as a little description of the current political situation in Montréal and Québec. We had a very nice conversation and learned a lot about the special situation of Québec compared to other Canadian cities and their promise to do their best to help when the public needs them. We had time to ask further questions about this. . We ended out conversation with a nice lunch that had been prepared for us, and then received a flag of Québec before leaving.
After lunch, Melissa, Jada, and I rode in Donna DeLuca’s car, who is a leader of “Be the Change”, and who is also a teacher at Louis-Joseph Papineau School, which is the school where the students we met gp to. She gave us a tour of the city as we rode in the car with her, and she explained that the location where the school is, is a very impoverished area of Montréal. Then we arrived at the school where we were greeted by many students such as Grace who is a student there, around our age who spoke very quick French. We talked about our favorite animals, and how many credits she has in high school. (She has 74 credits, while the normal maximum is 72 which was very impressive.) Yasmine and Bayard were our tour guides and showed us around the school which included places such as the library, auditorium, and a classroom. We also learned about 5 values that are important for the organization, Be The Change. These values include “Amour, Famille, Respect, Paix, et Joie” which is “Love, Family, Respect, Peace, and Joy.” They hold these values very close. Afterwards, we got a tour of the garden that we are going to be working tomorrow and Wednesday. Then we went back to our Airbnb, briefly, to go pick up Kim Hebron, who is our co-chaperone/leader for the week. We were all very excited to see her! Soon after we got Kim, we took the subway to Downtown Montréal. We met the students there and we got a tour of the city which included walking through Chinatown and ended up staying at the Vieux-Port which reminded me of a boardwalk with many shops and a light-up ferris wheel. When the students from Louis-Joseph Papineau left, we went to go get dinner at the food trucks. We all ended up getting fish andcChips, and I had the best lemonade of my life! The rest of the night consisted of strolling around the Port, shopping, eating ice cream, and watching seagulls as we sat by the water. We then made our way back to the Airbnb, ready for the service that awaits us for the next 4 days.