Saskatoon, Saskatchewan / by Jessica Lee


When I was in the fourth grade, we learned about Canadian geography. We were given maps of Canada we had to colour and label with the different provinces.

I learned how to spell the names of all Canada's provinces through spelling tests. Never in a million years though did I think I would be actually living in the Prairies.

I arrived in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, a couple of days ago and will be here for the next couple of weeks. I'm one of the participants of the nation's Explore Program, a five-week French immersion program partially funded by the Canadian government.

I have no clue what I am doing here. In the Prairies. Last I remembered, my first and second choices for where I wanted to go were Quebec City and Montreal, the French-speaking capital and party-city of Canada. But of course, life doesn't always go the way you want it to and one must learn to adapt. And so that's what I am doing. Adapting.

We began the program only a few days ago and everyone signed a contract where we promised to only speak in French during the time we are here and let me tell you, life has been tres difficile! (very difficult)

Last semester in University, I took a beginner's French course so I can sort of follow along, but it's frustrating as a writer with a huge vocabulary (in English) and generally very opinionated person to be reduced down to simple sentences and occasional silences. It takes much more effort to make small talk and to keep up with the conversation.

I am not sure where this adventure is going, but I will keep you updated as I go along.