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GHS students go on cultural trip to Martinique

GHS students go on cultural trip to Martinique

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On July 17th, 2012, a contingent of 10 students and three teachers of the Girls’ High School embarked on a 10-day cultural and linguistic tour in the French-speaking island of Martinique.{{more}} The objective of this trip was to enhance the students’ ability to speak French and to give them first hand experience of the French culture in Martinique.

The experiences that the students had were very diverse. One of the most exciting aspects for the members of the group was being able to savour French Cuisine, on some occasions prepared especially for them by families and at other times bought in restaurants and fast-food establishments. The students enjoyed getting up early on mornings to go to a nearby Patisserie to buy freshly made baguettes, pains au chocolat and other pastries for breakfast.

Some of the major highlights of the trip were the warm reception awarded the group when they were received at the Conseil Regional (the Regional Council one of the highest political bodies in the country) by its president M. Serge Letchimy, as well the invitations to visit the communes of St. Anne and Saint Marie given by their respective mayors and the genuine welcome given to the group upon its arrival in these communes. The students also had the opportunity to visit the Mairie (Town Hall) of Schoelcher where they learned about the functions of town halls and especially about marriage procedures in Martinique.

The group also had the spiritual experience of attending church, some on Saturday and others on Sunday, where they sang and read the Bible, and listened to sermons in French.

The other daily outings included visits to:

  • L’Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, where the group was given a tour of the campus and learned about programmes offered and costs. The group also got to visit one of the dorms.
  • La Savane des Esclaves where the group learned about life on a slave plantation
  • Le Domaine d’Emeraude which displays the flora and fauna of Martinique and shows the various stages of formation of the island.
  • Le Centre de Découverte des Sciences de la Terre- a volcanic centre were the students learned about seismic activities and the volcano La Montagne Pélé which they also climbed.
  • The town of St. Pierre and its historical ruins which remain from the volanic eruption in 1902.
  • Le Musée de la Pagerie where students learnt about Josephine Bonaparte and saw relics from her daily life as the Empress of France.
  • The students thoroughly enjoyed the exciting water rides in the waterpark Aqwaland and the very gymnastic feats and the quads at Mangofil.

The other visits and adventures would be too many to mention here but it must be noted that the teachers were overjoyed at the way the French language came alive for the students as they interacted with persons on the street, in the stores, made friends in the square on evenings and asked questions in French in a formal setting at the Conseil Regional. Many students have expressed the fact that the experiences of the 10 days would no doubt be some of the most memorable moments of their lives.

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