RUMFORD — A recent trip provided numerous first time experiences for many Mountain Valley High School students: first time in a foreign country, first time outside of Maine, first time staying at a hotel, first time in a big church and first time dining in a formal restaurant.

MVHS students traveled five hours by coach bus to Quebec City for a long weekend. They had the opportunity to use the French they have learned in Madame Catherine Charles’ French classes.

They were willing to share many highlights from their trip.

Typical of teenage boys, food seemed to top some lists of favorites. Junior Andrew Boucher said, “I got to try new things like poutine and rolled-up crepes in maple syrup. La cabane à sucre [maple sugar shack] was my favorite place because there was not only tasty food but also a fun dance.”

Freshman Josh Maillet said, “My favorite part of the trip was going to L’Astral at Loewe’s. The food was fantastic and the view of Quebec was breath-taking!” L’Astral is a revolving restaurant perched atop Loewe’s Le Concorde Hotel. From their tables, guests are treated to a 90-minute bird’s eye tour of Quebec City.

“My favorite part was the aquarium,” said junior Erin Thibodeau. “The first exhibit I visited was the jelly fish exhibit. It was all dark and each tank had colorful lights. The jelly fish looked incredible.”

Sophomore Caleb Gauvin said, “I loved seeing the architecture and how beautiful Old Quebec was.”

Senior Joshua Rainey, a veteran of the trip to Montreal last year, gave credit to Charles’ planning. “It’s hard to choose a favorite. Quebec is such a unique city with numerous things to do and see. Madame does such a great job planning this all out.”

Boucher drew connections beyond his French class. “It was also a fantastic review for my AP [advanced placement] U.S. History Exam.”

In addition, the students toured Le Parlement, Vieux Québec, le Chateau Frontenac, Rue du Trésor, Place Royal, Notre Dame de Québec, Les Chutes Montmorency, Le Basilique Ste. Anne de Beaupré, and Le Canyon Ste. Anne. Students learned as they experienced a different culture and language.

JT Greene, a freshman, learned a key question for travel in French-speaking Quebec. “‘Tu parles Anglais?’ means do you speak English?” he said.

Sophomore Nadia Tag discovered the connection between French, British and American history. She explained, “I learned quite a bit about the history of Quebec and what took place on the Plains of Abraham.”

Now that the students are seasoned travelers, they offer advice for other students going on similar trips.

“Don’t stay in one place too long. Try and see everything,” said sophomore Jacob O’Leary.

Similarly, freshman Ryley Flynn added, “try what you can. Try everything.”

The students included Elizabeth Adley, Corbin Arsenault, Jared Arsenault, Kristin Arsenault, Karissa Bickford, Andrew Boucher, Joey Buccina, Garrett Carver, Kayla Drapeau, Alex Fage, Ryley Flynn, Claudia Gallant, Caleb Gauvin, JT Greene, Ellie Hall, Kristen Henry, Sarah Klein, Josh Maillet, Tasia McCann, Dalton Milledge, Angela O’Leary, Jacob O’Leary, Leah Perry, Tucker Phelps, Abbey Pinkham, Josh Rainey, Alex Ridley, Nadia Tag and Erin Thibodeau.

Chaperones included Susan Adley, Janet Hall, Linda Klein, Vikky Milledge, Ken O’Leary, Karen Phelps, Tracy Pinkham and Connie Venskus. Marie Gauvin was the “official” photographer for the second year in a row.

Students paid the cost of the trip.


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