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An unusual start of October

Because of all the things that are happening this month an update about just the beginning of October. Enjoy reading about what I call an unforgettable week.

According to the people who went on an international student program before, the month October would be the month in which the Canadian culture and the Nova Scotian lifestyle start to feel as your own and common. You are here for a month already, so you start to find out how the school works, what places in the city are interesting and where you can get nice food. The first two weeks of October were two weeks full of extremes, with as well very traditional things, as the most unexpected adventures that make my journey unique.

The first week of October was for myself one in which I had to take rest from an incident that happened the week before. I had to stay in bed for a week because of an unlucky collision during a soccer practise. This was of course not how I expected the start of October, but it gave me the opportunity to see a total new part of Canada and its people. I had to pay a visit to the doctor and one thing I recognized was that he spends a lot time per patient. Just like all the Canadians, very interested in my story and why how I like it so far over here. Luckily I recovered just in time, because I had a week with a highlight every day ahead of me. My trip is of course not even at its halfway point, but I can say that this week was, is and will be one of my most exciting weeks during my stay.

Friday the 6th of October is the start of this week. With thanksgiving just a couple of days ahead of us, we introduced some special guests who would stay for a couple of nights at our place. The first guest to arrive was Shinji, a Japanese student who goes to university in Halifax and stayed at my host parents for three and a half years. He would stay till Monday to celebrate thanksgiving with us. The second and third guests came all the way from Winnipeg, Manitoba a city 3,7 thousand kilometres away from our place. My host mothers sister and her husband Kelley and Murray, who would stay till the next Friday.

Those extra guests at home made it busy for us in a very nice way. There was always someone in the living room to talk with, there was always someone to watch a ball game with in the basement, and there was always someone who you could spent some time with if you wanted to leave the house for a second. On Saturday those persons were Shinji and my Spanish host brother David. We decided to go to a Tim Hortons to get something to drink and to talk about our common interest, soccer. We had a lovely afternoon and we walked right into something unexpected when we got home. A couple of family members from my host mother came over for a family night. This was not the thanksgiving dinner, but my host father explained to us that it’s a tradition in their family to have a family night on Saturday, a Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday and a left-overs dinner on Monday. It was at that moment David and I knew we had a weekend full of joy and nice food waiting for us.

Our family night started with a delicious dinner. Everyone brought something with them, which resulted in a huge variety of food to choose from. There was chicken, ham, a salad and so on. After cleaning up all the dishes, we gathered around in the living room with a cup of tea and a muffin and talked until my host father grabbed his guitar and started playing some classic Nova Scotian songs. Everyone started to sing until late and we all went to home and to bed, satisfied by what was a great night.
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We all had a slow start the next morning, until Shinji, David and I decided to go to the mall to
buy some clothes and to get lunch. We all bought some clothes and went back home. My host grand parents came over and I was about to eat turkey for the first time in my life.
Thanksgiving dinner was again a very special night. The turkey tasted very good and we had a great night with our guests. Thanksgiving is about being around with family and friends, being thankful for the life you have and, of course, having a lot tasty food.
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Shinji and I decided to go for a hike on Monday, the day he would go back to Halifax. We felt strong that morning, so we came with the idea to climb Coxheath Mountain. We knew that we were about to do a difficult and tough hike, but we also heard that the view you get when you’re on top of the mountain makes it all worth, especially around this time of the year, when the leaves start to change colours. We made it to the top of the mountain after a rough hike and the view from there was absolutely mesmerizing.
Shinji grabbed his bags when we came home and returned back to Halifax.
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Tuesday was for me a very special day. It was the day that we would celebrate my 18th birthday. My birthday would be on Wednesday but we choose to celebrate it Tuesday because of a very tight schedule on Wednesday. More on that later.
I got home from school and some friends and family of my host parents came over to have supper and to celebrate this landmark with me. It was a very special day and I will never forget this birthday for the rest of my life.

The big day finally arrived after a short night. I set my alarm extra early, so that I could call my parents before I went to school. Many people at school knew that it was my birthday and I got happy birthdays from a lot class mates and from my teachers. Me and my team mates from the soccer team got excused earlier that afternoon because we had to hurry to make it to our soccer game in time. We made it and had a comfortable victory, which meant that we finished our regular season with 10 victories out of 10 games, a decent result. I got excused from the game a bit earlier to go home, get a shower and go to my first home game of the Screaming Eagles, the local hockey team. We were just in time for the start of the game and the Eagles won the game, which made my host parents very happy. After the game we went home and I went to bed. A very busy day full of positivity and nice things around me.
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Thursday was the last day with Kelley and Murray. They made a delicious dinner for us to thank us for the hospitality and the good week we had with each other. We also had to pack our bags because our alarm would go very early on Friday. We would go to a high school soccer tournament in Prince Edward Island, the province next to Nova Scotia.

We had to be at school at 7 AM that morning, since we had a very long drive and a trip on the ferry ahead of us. The time flew by with all the stunning nature and the company of my teammates. We arrived at the soccer field and our tournament started 30 minutes later. It was an overnight tournament with 3 games and one possible final. We finished second after a couple of very difficult games and we had a great time with the team.
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My first two weeks of October were two weeks of ups and downs, or let me rephrase that, one tiny down and a lot of ups. This summarises my entire trip so far. It is lovely all the time, but it is a real life experience too, so something unexpected can happen. A minor speedbump can occur. It are those moments when you realise how much you enjoy all the things that seem to be normal over here, because you missed it for an entire week. I really feel like a Canadian already. The people who went on this international student program before were absolutely right.
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-Ewout

Posted by NSISPFC 14:41 Archived in Canada

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