February 2020: USA, Here we come!

2020 New England Trip

Some Lycee Nelson Mandela students in the  SIA Premieres Class went on a school trip to Boston, Massachusetts and stayed with host families in Saco, Maine, for the annual exchange with Thornton Academy.  Marine tells the story:

We all met in the airport really early in the morning and I actually can’t explain how excited  we were!! 

We spent a couple hours traveling from Nantes to Boston and everyone of us started to realize that the day we’ve been waiting for so long was finally happening.

We arrived in Boston Monday 24th of February, and everyone was so happy, and everything felt amazing. We arrived in a very cute youth hostel right in the heart of downtown, Chinatown in fact, where we all rested for the rest of the day. We spent 3 days in Boston walking a lot (around 15km per day!) and visiting all the monuments. We toured Harvard, MIT, the Boston Common, Beacon Hill, and we even walked all along the Freedom Trail learning about this amazing country and its early settlers.  We learned about the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere from the Old North Church to Concord, commemorated in Longfellow’s famous poem: “Listen my children and you shall hear, of the midnight ride of Paul Revere…”

Then we took the Amtrak “Downeaster” train to Saco,  in the York county, in Maine. “Downeast” means up north in fact! We couldn’t wait to meet our exchange students and host families!! We arrived at the train station where two teachers of Thornton academy (the school we stayed) were waiting for us. We rode in  the school buses and our heartbeats went faster and faster. When we arrived at the school, we all met our exchange students and we went straight to class with them. After a few “Get to Know You Games” like All My Friends.. and Dodgeball we all made amazing friends very quickly!! 

Then we spent days at school experiencing American classes and teaching methods, we visited Maine’s biggest city, Portland, where we did a Selfie Scavenger hunt. We had a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed those times with our American friends!!! 

We did really fun activities such as snow-tubing we had a great time sliding down!!

But suddenly, on  Monday morning March 2, we had really bad news… we had to go home early because of the Covid19 virus… No one expected our trip to be cut short. We couldn’t accept the concept that we had to leave so early… But no time to cry: we all decided to live the last moments 100%. That day we visited the Maple Sugar shack where we learned a lot about how to make Maple syrup and the hosts of the shop were so kind to us. 

We went back home with our exchange students for the last time.. We decided to improvise a party all together. We danced, we sang, we played games, and we were all friends and we enjoyed that night a lot .

And on Tuesday we had to leave. We actually travelled for one long day, it was so ANNOYING. We spent 9hours at Charles de Gaulle waiting for our connecting flight, so we made our own masks in the airport!! 😀

What I can say today is that even though our trip got cut short, I will always remember that fantastic week. I feel so grateful to Ms.Barstow and Ms. Cuvelier who organized this unforgettable adventure. I’m not sad because I think we were really lucky to go at all, because I mean not everybody can experience what we did. I will always remember that trip and now I cannot wait for our American friends to visit us next year!!!

Portland, Maine: All together at the oldest lighthouse in America!

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