Posts Tagged With: CentennialCollege

‘We Live in Paradise..!’ (Summer International Program – Italy)

Dante Alighieri – The father of Italian Language said this, and trust me all the people residing in Italy believe this very firmly. And I am extremely fortunate to experience it to the fullest and living life the Italian way..!

Starting a journey with many postponed/canceled events resulting in not meeting a single person of my group made me skeptical but contrasting it completely the group that I got because of this summer program at the prestigious and much honored Centennial College was indescribable. They were the best and extremely fun-loving travelers I’ve met in my lifetime. They are some of the most caring, most mannered and most adorable people I’ve ever met. They were not my friends before but in 15 days all of them became more than family to me. Again a lot of thanks goes to Centennial College..! I’m not exaggerating about them; not even a bit – this is the truth, meet them & find out yourself.

This incredible group consisted of 19 friends from all across the world..! They were from  Uganda, Afghanistan, Russia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Philippines, Africa, Sri Lanka, and myself from India. Truly a Global Experience..! Centennial College will surely be remembered forever by me with utmost reverence. Thanks, @CentennialCollege for selecting me in #SIPItalyUrbania and #SaGE for arranging everything so perfectly and gifting me the #GlobalExperience. I learned a lot from you all..!

The hosts Lea and uncle cared us with unseen love &  extreme respect – treating us just like their sons and served us delicious food with a personalized table-linen(our names written on them) – Ps She had 30 years of experience as a cook/chef. The L’insegnante (teacher) Anna Ferri who took our Language Class was the coolest and the best teacher I ever had. She was awesome at teaching Italian, a caring, and a happy person. She did her best to understand us. Even she used to play great Italian songs in-class to fill the blanks listening correctly to the lyrics. And yes, we even watched a movie in class. Thanks, Lea and Anna for making Italy trip very memorable.

Thanks, Diletta for arranging the housing so properly – can’t expect anything more even in my imagination. Lastly, thank you very much, Pearl, for arranging the make-up orientation and supporting me very well through the whole process. I came to know how an excellent email looks like.. Giovanni – the Managing Director at Centro Studi Italiani and Enrico the student coordinator thanks for all your help, patience, and #extraordinary support. Happy Birthday and thanks to Anna for being with us and guiding us at all places – Urbino, Venice, Florence, Gubbio and Rome.

Grazie Mille (Thank You Very Much) Centennial for bestowing us with a remarkable and unforgettable #international experience, providing us the substantial bursary and giving abundant happiness in college-life.

Readers, I highly recommend to experience the Paradise yourself..! I bet you’ll have many things to say and tons of memories to share. Even my computer has 141+ Gig memories of Italy…IMG_20170924_102801_012.jpg

#Cheers to the reality that was better than a dream..!

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Do share your precious comments, thoughts.

Forgive the errors with your big heart.. & thanks for reading. I’ve shared many more events, memories, and photos of Italy on Facebook. Click Here to read and see them all..!

– Rishit Sheth

Categories: Italy, Summer International Program (SIP) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My adventures in an unknown land – Oviedo, Spain

By Xiuhua Wang, SIPs, Oviedo, Spain, 2016

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Hola, buenos días.

I met my Spanish mother at the bus station, when all we could understand each other were “Hola” to me and “Hello” to her. And that’s how my adventures in Oviedo began…

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Oviedo is the capital city of the Principality of  Asturias in northern Spain. Got a chance to explore this city during the whole August, I have fell in the love with this small but neat and charming city.

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It’s a historical city that founded more than a thousand years ago. And from those ancient buildings, we read the history.

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Or, catch a glimpse of their wisdom in those statues…

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After class, drinking a cup of Sidra (Cider, alcoholic beverage made from apple ) may be a good idea.

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Or, seeing around just a few kilometers away from this lovely city…

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Or, how about dance?

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Categories: Spain - Language & Culture, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learning From the Best Teacher

Javier Garate Alfaro, GCELE Jamaica 2016

Javier

At the Camp Power To Be Literacy and Leadership Camp in Negril, Jamaica I made a friend who reminded me of a younger me. I did not spend much time with him because I did not want to show preference above all the other campers. However, every time I had the opportunity to talk to him, I shared as much advice as I could and asked as many questions as the time let me. I felt he is the kind of person that this world needs – he is part of the next generation.

One day he was unusually quiet. I just walked next to him without asking because I did not want to invade his privacy. He told me that his grandfather passed away a week ago and this was the reason why he was sad. I hugged him and told him that his grandfather is in a better place. I did not know what else to do. Then, he left running towards the rest of his friends: the Gorillas, as they named themselves. A lot of questions remained: Is he ok? How is he doing? Should I do something else?

A wonderful kid taught me how to grieve. I was supposed to teach him, but I was the learner. Jamaica has been a reminder that we must be humble and learn from kids and not to believe that they only have to learn from ‘grown ups’. There is also another message: Canada and its’ students can learn a lot from Jamaica. We must know that the world has a lot to share and they are willing to do so. Let’s open our senses and be humble always!

Categories: Centennial College, GCELE, Jamaica | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

San Sebastian

As a frequent traveler, I have been to 16 countries and over 50 famous destinations all-over the world; but if you ask me to recommend the best beach I have ever been, with no doubt, I will give you the name “San Sebastián”, or in the local Basque language, “Donostia”.

Before I start to introduce this amazing city, I would like to quote some words from my travel guide book; “We would like to say there is nothing impossible in the world, but there is one exception, that if someone comes to San Sebastián and didn’t fall in love with the city, which is absolutely impossible”. I was very much impressed by it, and of course, San Sebastián was even beyond my expectation, and here is why:

Spectacular beach
There are two beaches in San Sebastián, which are Zurriola Beach in the east and Kontxa Hondartza Beach in the west. These two beaches are actually quite close, but in two different styles, like completely different. So firstly, the Zurriola Beach is open towards to the Atlantic Ocean, then the wave here is pretty big, for sure it is not good for swimming, and it is absolutely ideal for the surfing. BTW, the surfing class is also available here, if you haven’t tried before, here is one of the best places for beginner. By contrast, the Kontxa Hondartza Beach is bigger, but much more relaxing, prefect for swimming, snorkeling, beach volleyball, beach football, sunbath, book reading, sand castle building… and many other fun activities.

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Historical part
Right beside of Kontxa Hondartza Beach is the historical part of San Sebastián. The archaic street, shops and churches will bring your back to the old time, to see the old Europe, when the great artists were traveling cross Europe, and making their masterpieces. Just don’t follow the crowd, make you own way, get lost in the city, you will alway discover something new and something interesting, and trust me, it is really fascinating.

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The food!
San Sebastián is not only famous for its beautiful beaches, but also, it is called the capital of “Pintxos”. “Pintxos” is the traditional Spanish food, south Spain call it “Tapas”, it is made by many ingredients, with over 1 million different flavors and matches. I believe it is understandable that food is really hard to be described in words, then you will have to try you own. But I will put my reputation here, to say, San Sebastián’ Pintxos is definitely one the best in Spain.

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There are much more about San Sebastián I couldn’t put in words here, but there is one thing I have to say, that San Sebastián is one of the best destination in Spain, and if you go there, you will find out more.

Victor

Categories: Summer International Program (SIP) | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Your GEO experience starts here!

Hello fellow Centennial peers,

Summer is ending and we’re all ready for another wonderful semester.  How was your summer?  Was it as memorable as mine!?  If you haven’t heard of the Centennial GEO office or their study abroad programs then this is the blog post for you!

I know how he did it :)

I know how he did it 🙂

My name is Jack, and I’m going into my fifth semester at Progress for Automation and Robotics.

For the past two summers, I and many other Centennial students have participated in month-long Language and Culture programs abroad through the GEO summer abroad program in Spain.  Both experiences have broadened my horizons and opened my mind to infinite ideas on how to apply my area of study to everyday issues.  It has made me a better person (I hope), and allowed me to pick up some basic Spanish.

What’s in it for you?  Why should you participate?

Let me take you through my summer Spanish journey, the people I met and the things I’ve learned.  You decide for yourself if a summer abroad is worth your time and money.

For me, this summer was one word: amazing!  For the first four weeks, myself and three other Centennial students studied Spanish language and culture in Logrono, La Rioja – the wine capital of Spain.  We met other students from New York, Utah, San Diego, Germany, Italy, China, Korea.  Friendships and bonds were forged through field trips and going out at night into the old town for tapas and dancing!  On weekends, we made trips to other major cities.

Basic Spanish A1 passed!

Basic Spanish A1 passed!

We experienced everything from the beauty of San Sebastian’s coast line, the modern architecture of Bilbao, the world famous art in Barcelona, to of course, Pamplona for the Fiesta de Sanfermin, aka “The Running of the Bulls” made famous by Hemmingway’s “The Sun Also Rises”.  Pearl, I assure you, none of us ran with the bulls.

When it was time to bid farewell and say ‘hasta luego’ to all our new friends, I embarked on a 30 day trek through northern Spain called the “Camino del Norte”.  I hiked up mountains and lost myself in spectacular vistas from San Sebastian to Bilbao.  Bilbao to Santander took my breath away with magnificent beaches and the sea meeting rivers and valleys.  I swam in the Cantabrian Sea on lunch breaks to beat the afternoon heat.  From Santander to Gijon, I walked along cliffs to find hidden beaches inland and along the coast; more beach days don’t hurt after 20 km morning marches.

Up Mountain = Scenic Vistas

Up Mountain = Scenic Vistas

On my journey to the final destination of Santiago de Compostella, everyday melted together into a rhythmic dance of steps, rest stops, and taking in the moments.  A life changing journey!

However, it was the people I met this summer that made it spectacular as it was.  My fellow classmates in Logrono, new friends from New York, Utah, and Italy all infused my mind with new ideas, new perspectives, and new information about different topics and cultures.

The people of the Camino were unique individuals sharing an unique adventure with random strangers from around the world.  Each and every person along my journey has influenced me and has been influenced by me in a positive way and taught me valuable life lessons.  No amount of money can equate to such an experience.  Thank you all!

Happy faces :)

Happy faces 🙂

And finally, what I learned. Well I learned that people are people. Regardless of their culture or background, they all want the same thing at the end of the day: safety, health, and social contact.  We, as Canadians, are privileged to have many of those things given to us just by being Canadians.  So my word to you the reader: take advantage of these GEO study abroad programs.  Broaden your horizon, experience the world and meet awesome people.  After, take the new you and make the world better for everyone else that lives in it, especially those less fortunate.

But it all starts with you.  You need to have an open mind, an open heart, be humble and wise to know that there’s always something new to learn and someone out there that can teach you.  Next time the GEO email makes it to your inbox, open it and apply for an unforgettable summer abroad!  Or go to the GEO office located in the International Office at Progress Campus!

Jack Yin, Automation and Robotics

2015 Summer Abroad – Language and Culture, Logrono, Spain

Categories: GEO, Spain - La Rioja, Spain - Language & Culture | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Trip to Remember!!!!!

Trip of a lifetime to say the least! This past June I had the opportunity to travel to Prince Edward Island to participate in a GCELE and represent Centennial College, my second home.

The first day we spent at the Habitat for Humanity warehouse cutting lumber that was to be made into picnic benches for an upcoming fundraiser. It was rainy and cold but that never stopped us! We pushed through lifting, cutting, transporting, and organizing every single piece of wood. We encouraged each other and most of all we completed our task with no injuries, all 10 fingers in tact!

The second day we finally got to work on the house. It was amusing to see all of the ladies minus Pierre, wearing hard hats with tool belts. Most of us had never even picked up a hammer before. We divided ourselves into a few small groups and we worked effectively. At the end of the day it was an unbelievable feeling to see how much worked we had completed. We all had a sense of accomplishment knowing that our hard work would give a family a home that they would otherwise not be able to afford.

Later that night we had the pleasure of meeting Erica and her daughter, who are the future owners of the house we built. The moment we were introduced it gave me clarity. I knew then that no matter how many bumps and bruises I got, I would never quit.

Overall it was an experience I will never forget. Not only was I able to apply what I learned during my first year at Centennial College, I also was able to learn so much. Hats off to Pierre and Anjana, at all times they kept their composure and helped to keep the group focused and on task. Thank you Centennial College for the opportunity to travel to Prince Edward Island and help to make a difference in a deserving families life.Bonding over some grub!!!

P.E.I = Beautiful

P.E.I = Beautiful

After a hard days work;)

After a hard days work;)

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Prince Edward Island, the birthplace of Canada.

Words cannot describe how amazing and humbling my experience with Habitat for Humanity PEI has been. This past week, I had the opportunity to work alongside some of Centennial College’s most hard-working, respectful and hilarious staff and students whom I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet outside of being selected for the GCELE. Additionally, I had the chance to meet and work with some of Habitat for Humanity’s most dedicated and inspiring employees and volunteers.

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Prior to this GCELE trip, I had attended a HFH volunteer orientation session in Toronto a couple of years ago. I didn’t commit to any builds at the time so I wasn’t sure of what to expect on this trip to PEI. With this trip, I was thrown into close living quarters with 13 strangers. We had little Internet access, very few hours of screen time, communal accommodations and a structured schedule set by Habitat for Humanity.

Here are some things that I learned while on this GCELE:

  • Hearing individuals’ stories of hardship and perseverance make way for personal reflection and feelings of gratitude. One of the restaurants we went to during the week was Sadat’s Cuisine in Charlottetown. The Sadat family of seven came to PEI as refugees in 2007 (article here). And with the help of Habitat for Humanity, the Sadat family was built the biggest home on PEI to date to accommodate their large family. While Said Akbar Sadat was telling his family’s heart wrenching story about coming to Canada and starting over, his voice was filled with love and appreciation for the kindness and gifts they’ve received.
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  • Teamwork, pitching in and cooperation are vital interpersonal skills – especially when drywalling! We were there to help build a house for a family in need – there was no room for people to slack off and not participate in the daily tasks assigned.
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  • You are bound to experience discomfort and inconveniences – you’ve just got to suck it up and stick it out! I can confidentially say that I had the most mosquito bites of our group on this trip. My left eyelid was swollen for the first half of the trip with a bug bite below my brow line and one under my eye making me look like a female Quasimodo without the hunchback. Showers, bathroom and the kitchen were shared spaces so you had to be mindful of others. There may be snorers amongst the people that you’re sharing a room. Your everyday comforts and luxuries are not always readily available, so find better ways to spend your time. Another takeaway from this point? Bring lots of insect repellent and ear plugs.

I had a wonderful time in PEI and I am so grateful to have experienced it through Centennial’s amazing GCELE program. From my experience, Islanders are very friendly and gracious people. The lifestyle there is very relaxed compared to Toronto and there’s very little traffic on the roads. There’s a strong sense of community and pride in PEI… I mean it is the birthplace of Canada after all.

PEI-bridge

Fiona Lui
Children’s Media post-graduate program
PEI TEAM #2

Categories: Canada, GCELE, Habitat for Humanity, PEI | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Who You Want To Be

At their Jr. High School in the mountains Butuo County, we asked a class of Grade 8 girls the same question we were asked at their age: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Most girls answered that they wanted to be a doctor, teacher, or famous singer. I found it curious that the girls wanted to enter into the same professions, despite each of their unique qualities and talents.

When we returned to Xichang, a larger city outside of Butuo, we ran a similar Career Workshop with a different class of girls and asked them the same question. We were pleasantly surprised by a host of varied and enthusiastic answers: lawyer, chef, fashion designer and shop owner, music teacher, engineer! These students were older and had received more education than the younger students in Butuo.

We worked with the students to create their own “Dream Boards” to show their hopes and dreams and who they aspired to become in the future. One of the students had the most thoughtful Dream Board. It showed that she wanted to travel the world, become a lawyer, or an accountant, or a ballet dancer, get married and become a good mother.

When she presented her Dream Board to our group, she said, “I used to only have one dream. But the future is uncertain, so we must have many dreams. You must be who you want to be!”

Our group on our last day together. Our t-shirts say,

Our group on our last day together. Our t-shirts say, “Make the most of it”.

The students in Xichang grew up in Butuo County and have had to overcome many obstacles to get where they are today. In spite of their difficult journeys, the girls in Xichang dared to dream to enter such creative and personalized professions because their education has allowed and inspired them to.

On this GCELE, my ideas on the value of education were reinforced. Education has the power to reach into a seemingly hopeless situation, widen horizons, open doors to opportunities for growth and excellence, and maximize potential.

Education truly makes a profound difference. It is a priceless gift. You and I have the power to give it!

– Althea Gorospe

Categories: Centennial College, China, Empowerment Camp, GCELE | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Educate A Girl, Educate A Village

I met Emma at her Jr. High School in the mountains of Butuo County. At almost nineteen years old, Emma is the eldest of her class. I remember that she is shy, but has the kindest smile and the strongest singing voice. She impressed me by saying that she wanted to be a photographer or journalist. To me, these seemed to be out-of-the-box professions, as her classmates wanted to be doctors, teachers, or famous singers. As I helped her fill out the Goal Worksheet we distributed to her class, she told me that she loved watching the news reporters on television. She wanted to see the world and take photographs of her travels.

Photo taken by Emma.

Photo taken by Emma.

Emma had lived a difficult life and still dared to dream. Her hopeful and resilient spirit humbled and inspired me. We spent the rest of the day by each other’s side. She held my hand as we said goodbye; I didn’t want to let go. I reminded her to never give up on her dreams and to always keep smiling. She asked me to never forget her, and I certainly never will.

Later, I learned that Emma’s mother had pulled her out of school three years earlier. Her mother had arranged a marriage for her, and she was engaged to a man from her village. Emma’s family had already paid a dowry to the man’s family. Her mother insisted that she give up her education so that she could return home and get married.

Fu Hui Education Foundation negotiated with Emma’s family in order for her to return to school. They made a contract that would allow for Emma to attend school for another three years, until she finished Jr. High School.

Outside of Emma's school in Butuo County, Sichuan Province, China.

Outside of Emma’s school in Butuo County, Sichuan Province, China.

Unknowingly, I met Emma while she was in the last days of her formal education. Summer was fast approaching, and Emma was due to return home and get married. She would never be able to attend high school, graduate from university as a journalist, or travel the world.

I can’t describe the feeling I felt when I learned the truth; perhaps I could say disappointment, or sorrow; burdened, or heartbroken. Perhaps a mix of all of those. One of the kind Fu Hui volunteers comforted me with this: that although Emma would not be able to continue her education, she would return to her village as an educated woman. Emma has received endless benefits from her education, and she would share these with her family, her future children, and others in her village. She will be a beacon of light, a carrier of knowledge that can lead to hope for a better life.

“If you educate a boy, you educate an individual. If you educate a girl, you educate a village.” – African Proverb

Emma and I.

Emma and I.

– Althea Gorospe

Categories: Centennial College, China, Empowerment Camp, GCELE | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Who Helps Who Part I : BUILDING COMMUNITY : PEI -1 JUNE 21-28, 2015

DAY 1

Leaving Toronto to PEI with no clue what I would get and do but building a home to a mother and a daughter. It started how I was over excited to get ready what should I bring: a note from pre-departure meeting was really helpful. I got everything I needed especially things related to my skin cares. on Sunday June 21, 2015 , Charlottetown greeted our team with pouring rain and no sun. Oh well, It looked so gloomy but the excitement shed up all the anxiety. When we arrived at the Brackley Hostel, I was silently speaking to myself: “How could I survive?” , Who  are going to be my roommates?” ” Will I get along with them?” “oh well… whatever happens let it happens….I will make it work somehow”

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We are not looking for the gate B2C, we are looking for food court

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We are greeted by pouring rain

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Here is the Full Team: full of excitement

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Check in at the hostel we will call home for the next 8 days


DAY 2

It”s still raining, we will still work! plan B work! instead of working at the job site on Nine Miles Creek in Cornwall, we headed off to the warehouse of Habitat for Humanity PEI. We are doing wood cutting. From the stage of scared of hand saw to the stage of having fun with it. It’s a learning process on going. Although I currently study at Architectural Technology program, it does not mean I will be able to apply the knowledge I have learned in practice. It’ s a labour intense. Either you have to have a strong muscle or you have to have a strong will to be able to survive here. I have the second one ( according to my team leader).

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Scary  face full of fear

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working on wood cutting

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I am excelling  it and am enjoying it

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we accomplish all target for the day

DAY 3

We are expecting a sunny day. We started by having breakfast made by 2 wonderful ladies Daisy and Beini, our Team Leader Pierre and Rebecca help washing dishes. Day 3 it’s our first day at Nine Miles Creek House. Our schedule for today are : assembling scaffolding,  finishing all rigid insulation + taping, putting doors and windows and framing interior walls. We did it a good job and we reached the target. Therefore, we deserve good dinner.

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Beside they are strong women, they are excellent chefs

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Our one and only gentleman Pierre and our friend Rebecca are helping wash dishes

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First day at Nine Creek MIles house. I am anxious and excited

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My photoshoot before working hard

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First we have to assemble the scaffolding, second start working on rigid insulation and taping

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Karla my friend looks like a professional rigid insulation technician

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We are all working hard that day to reach our target for the day

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I am working on rigid insulation

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The progress of the house at 3.00 pm: It seems we have almost reached the target for the day

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We deserve a nice dinner at Factory Restaurant ( no seafood menu though yet)

DAY 4

This morning  I woke early at 6.00 am and I was talking with my dad and my sister on video call. I found out that mom does not do well, a day before they took her to the hospital and she is being treated at ICU. Dad told me to stay strong and to be professional and to stop crying. My team are awesome they give me hugs to comfort me. So enough with a sad moment,  I make crepes for all: cooking always makes me happy. Our Schedule for today is to assemble the shingles and to continue the framing job. . After working hard, we go back to the hostel , take a nice showers ( we competed to get to  men shower rooms  with our only guy in a team: first come first serve type of thing). this Evening we are going to have dinner to a restaurant named  Lobsters Wharf by the Charlottetown waterfront ( it sounds fancy, right?),  After Dinner we have 2 surprises from our sweet project coordinator Monic,  The surprise visits for the night are the Cow ice cream and Tim Horton!!!!  the Cow ice cream visit after dinner is the hit of the day. However, for others,  they are happy too because they get the surprised visit to Tim Horton

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My not so perfect crepes apparently taste delicious according to me 🙂

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Watch out : these girls are strong enough to carry a pack of shingles ( approx. 25 kg)

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it looks easy hammering but I tell you it’s not

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A framing job needs skill like Beini and Daisy have

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the Roofing job, the skill I wanted to learn badly on the job site but apparently I was not qualify according to my team leader ( joking). Brittany and Rebecca are hired!!!!

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Day 4 Dinner at Sea-view restaurant named Lobster Wharf ( still no seafood being served yet)

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Oh! This Fish and Chips dinner hm delicious   ( next to our table, a group of people are having lobster dinner: envy)

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A Good girl with a good work ethos  deserves a cone of Cow Ice cream: being spoiled with a free ice cream

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A good guy and good girls also got a surprised visit to Tim Hortons

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Things you get for granted in Toronto, you get here as a privilege

wait for my Day 5-Day 8 story : its getting more interesting…………..

Categories: GCELE, Prince Edward Island | Tags: | Leave a comment

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