Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Living in a new place

From the solarium (sun porch) side of the house
 We visited with a lovely woman at the Heritage Resource Center (English-based) in Rimouski this afternoon.  It's a new branch of an Heritage Resource Center in Metís, where there's a larger group of English-speakers, both ancestral (from 200 years ago) and through well-to-do summer residents.

It was interesting to learn a bit more about local English speakers in Rimouski from our contact -- they're a mixed group:  from local University and research institute folks to students to immigrants who speak English better than French.  They have a small English language library here, with a much larger one in Metís.

They're starting to offer programs here locally (they're helped by sponsorship from the Canadian government as "minority" language folks.)  This part of Quebec is a concentrated Francophone area; almost 95% are native French speakers.  Our host at the Center, an American who's lived here for 25 years, said she could count the Americans that she knew lived here on her hands (!); most English-speakers here are Canadians from other provinces.

Now, we're both committed to learning basic French -- I was proud that I spoke an entire sentence in French yesterday, even if it was "I'm sorry, I don't speak French," as I was exchanging light bulbs at our local hardware store.  I had a nice interchange with the older woman (my age) there. Young people here seem glad to practice their English, too, and everyone has been welcoming.




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