A Travellerspoint blog

Time flies when you're having fun

With December right around the corner, it is also the moment of realization that I am already past the halfway point of my stay. Here are the special moments of my amazing trip.

I had some ideas of what live in Canada would be like and there are moments that show what the life of an international student in Nova Scotia is like, both general moments that are for everyone and moments that make my trip special and unique.
As you maybe have read in my other blog “An unusual start of October”, I had two very exciting weeks with a highlight every day to start October. After a week like that, you might need a week in which you don’t do a lot and you are able to get some rest. However, this trip is not a vacation, it is the life of a normal Canadian that you follow and you can make is as full and interesting as you want.

The week in mid-October was very important for the high school soccer team. We fought ourselves in the play-offs which would end in one school becoming champions of our region. We had games on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and the final on Saturday. It was an exhausting week but we eventually came as winners out of a thrilling final. Our school became champions of our region!!! A personal highlight for me was that I had the honour to receive the championship banner, a sort of trophy, as the captain of the team. The first international captain of the Riverview mens soccer team ever.
Soccer champions

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Soccer is not the biggest sport in this beautiful country. That is without doubt ice hockey and my school happens to be pretty good at it. Our hockey team played their home opener the 16th of October, and I do not exaggerate if I tell you that the entire school plus more came to the hockey arena to watch the game. Our Redmen got a very well deserved lead after a great start. The opponents were almost able to tie the game, but the cheering school mates and the perseverance of the team prevented that from happening and the game ended in a 5-4 victory.
This hockey game was a moment that showed to me and all the other internationals how strong the school culture and school spirit is in Canada. Not only with the Canadians, but they do everything they can to let you as an international join in their fun. Multiple people asked me in the week before the game if I would go to the home opener and that I have to, and that it was going to be great. They were absolutely right. Even though I don’t know the ins and outs of the game, I really enjoyed it and the atmosphere was overwhelming.
Riverview Hockey home opener

Riverview Hockey home opener

The next week had four major things for me in store. The first thing was on Wednesday the 25th of October. With Halloween a week from then, there was a reason for the school to host a party. We had our dance and everyone, and I mean everyone, did everything they could to not just show up in amazing costumes, but also to make sure that everyone around them was having a fun time and that nobody was standing alone. All those things above are needed for a great party, but the thing that was the most special about this dance was that it was fully organized by students. If the home opener was not enough to show you how strong the school spirit is, then the fact that many students gave up their free time to organize a dance for the other students is.

The second landmark was the 16th birthday of my Spanish host brother David. We celebrated it on Thursday with family and friends coming over for supper. It was up to David what we would have for supper, and he came up with the brilliant idea to have steak from the BBQ with homemade fries and a fresh salad. It was our turn after supper to hand him his presents and to make sure that he would have a birthday that he will never forget.
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The third highlight that week was on the Friday. The NSISP, the organization that governs all the international students, had organized a dance similar to the one our school had. People came in costumes and we all had a great time. It was long party and at the moment that people got bored and wanted to go home, the NSISP fired their secret weapon to keep the party going. PIZZA. I had to leave the party a bit earlier to get some rest, because I had a vital day ahead of me. A soccer game that would decide if our season would last longer, or would end right away.

Our game was against a school from Halifax with over 3 times as many people as at our school. Our job was very simple. Win and we would go to Halifax for a weekend to fight for the championship of our province. After a very tough and rough game in which we were the better team, we broke in the final ten minutes and lost 3-2. This was a huge disappointment for us, but there was for me one tiny piece of positivity. The tournament would be in the next weekend and I already had something amazing waiting for me in that weekend, but more on that later. We had to hand in our shirts and the season was over. We achieved great things as a team, but most importantly, we were a real team and we enjoyed each second that we were together. Whether it was a practice, a game, or a drive to a tournament. We always found a way to make the best of it and that is after all what this game is all about.
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The next week was the week in which I would witness one of the most Canadian/American holidays thinkable. It is a day of giving and taking. Whether you give or take depends on your age. Parents give, children take. I am of course talking about Halloween. It started for the international students at my high school with a field trip to Hank’s Farm, famous for its corn an pumpkin field. We spent hours wandering around and getting lost in these fields. It was a great experience and we realized that we are a very close group of students. No one was walking alone.
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The thing that makes this day special is that it is one big contest between everyone. A contest between the families to decorate their house more than their neighbours, between the parents to give more candy than their neighbours, and between the children to get more candy than their friends. I went on the street too, but I thought that I was out of place sometimes. Not necessarily because of my age, but people asked me if I wasn’t too old to go trick or treating with my 192 cm/6’4’’. I explained to them that I am an international student, on which everyone responded with a short chat about where I’m from, what Halloween is like in my country and if I like it so far over here. That is what I’ll never forget about my Halloween. Not the garbage bag filled with candy and chips, not the pain in my stomach afterwards for eating too much, but the kindness of all the strangers I talked with and their enthusiasm about me being an international. Many of them even invited me to come inside and offered me a cup of tea or coffee. It showed me again how kind Canadian people are and why I like it so much over here.
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As I already mentioned, I would have had the provincial championship tournament this weekend, but we lost our qualifier and I already had something else huge planned that weekend. I was as one of the lucky few selected to go on a free 5-day trip through Nova Scotia to see all the universities so that we are able to decide whether we want to go to a university in Nova Scotia, and if so to which one we want to go. This meant that we had to visit eight universities in four days. We were on a very tight schedule and there was not much room to relax, with over 20 hours in a bus. These rides went by in a blink because of the amazing group we had. From a karaoke session, to very good conversations, everything was possible. I can write pages about the great time I had during this mini vacation, but the best way to show this to you all is with a video I made and posted on YouTube with the name “Edunova university trip-Ewout”.
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university trip

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The 11th of November is a very special day in Canada. It is Remembrance day. A day devoted to the soldiers who paid the highest possible price for their country and the freedom of other countries. It happened to fall on a Saturday this year, so we had a ceremony at school on the day before. I’ve tried to write down what it was like, but the closest I can get is overwhelming, incredible and breath-taking. There were stories from soldiers who lost their friends, a story of someone who lost his husband and the numbers of the amount of people that went to battle and literally gave their everything. Most impressive is that it often was not for the freedom of Canada, but for the freedom of other countries. I saw a lot banners with Lets we forget during that period and that’s after all what this day is about. To make the sacrifices in the past unforgettable.
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Making moments and deeds unforgettable is also something that I try to achieve during my stay in Nova Scotia and the international group activity planned on the 26th of November helped a lot with that. We first went with all the 150 international students in this area to the movie Wonder, a great and very touching movie. After that, we went to the hockey game of our Screaming Eagles, that ended in a smashing 5-2 win for our Eagles. This was very good, because we had a meet and greet planned with the players after the game. We ate supper together and at the end had time to get autographs and pictures with the local warriors.
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What were my ideas about life on the other side of the big ocean? My ideas were mostly full with kind people, who are proud of what is theirs and who go big on holidays. I can say that my stay so far confirms all those ideas incarnate. Everyone is kind to you, even if they don’t know you at all. All the Canadian people are very proud of what they got. Proud of their school, proud of their country and proud of what they support, such as their hockey team. The way they celebrate Halloween and remember Remembrance day shows all of those aspects. It is hard to believe that I am already for more than three months part of this beautiful culture and it is even harder to realize that I just have two more months to go here. Time does fly when you’re having fun, but luckily we are able to hit the brake at the really important moments and take our time to realize how unforgettable they are.

Posted by NSISPFC 16:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Second month in Canada

Fantastic new experiences in Canada

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile" by William Cullen Bryant, and that is what I described my second month in Canada. Hi, guys is Tony here, my last month in Canada was great, I had a lot of joy and a lot of new interesting experiences. But, right now I'm in my second month, October, and is Autumn, which means it is time for the maple leafs to turn their famous color, red. The color that I heard about it many times and for the first time ever, I see a beautiful red maple leaf in my backyard trees, and after two and three weeks, their all turned to one color, and it was a chill experience to me to see all of the leafs, all red and red.
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In the time when me and my family when to Comeauville, the beautiful town beside the sea, I spend three days in there and it was fun. We're all go shopping and go eat lunch together, it was fun and I also enjoy my first Thanksgiving in Canada, it was wonderful, but it was more wonderful is that I was able to have two Thanksgiving, how fun is that.
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There is one special event that I forgot to tell you guys, is this event is full of spookiness and scariness. That's right, is Halloween, me and my friends are all pumped up for this event, for me it was my first Halloween, so I was so excited for it. At first, we had a Halloween dance at our school, the dance was wicked, everybody was dressing their favorite costume, that dance night was awesome.
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After that, I went to the Hockey game with my friends and other schools in CCRSB. The team that we cheered to is the Halifax Moosehead, they were awesome players, they played against the Charlottetown Islander. The game was intense, there were so many penalties and so many painful tackles, but in the end, the Moosehead won with the score of 6-2, they left with happy smiles, and the crowd was also happy too. It was so fun to watch the game with my friends and also have some fun at the rink.
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Finally, the Halloween day has come. My friends and I were volunteers to go asking people to donate food instead of candies. It was a fantastic night and also cold, we split off into two groups and compete whoever get many bags of food as full as possible, wins. So, the journey began, me and Anna, Domenico and Tommaso and Quang, all four of us went Trick or Eat in the neighborhoods, it was funny and also a great time too, everyone was laughing and talking and also have quite a few of snacks gave by the neighbors, seeing kids with their tiny cosstume with their adult go trick or treating, and also the experience to go trick or treat in the first Halloween night, it was scary to see all of the house we went through, decorated with lots of spooky things. After filling up our bags, we went to the Tim Hortons to meet the others, and so we went to the Food Bank and to donate all of it, the results were fantastic, we donated lots and lots of food, we're all happy and thank you for the people who donate their food to the Food Bank. Exhausted and also cold for a while, we enjoyed our hot chocolate in the kitchen behind the Food Bank where everyone goes there to relax after a long night to go Trick or Eat. After that, we're all went back to the place we met and say goodbye to each other and went home.
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All of those events was my wonderful time in the second month in Canada, it was great to participate in those activities and enjoy it with family and friends. October has been so far, was my favorite season, well almost. It brings me lots up life experiences and also a joyful time in here, the beautiful view of the maple leafs on trees, the special Thanksgiving time with family, and those great events with friends, all of that was awesome, and it also make myself lots of smiles. This is my life in Canada, and I will see you in next blog.

-Tony-

Posted by NSISPFC 16:50 Archived in Canada Tagged #nsispfc #nsisp #studyabroad Comments (0)

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 Comments (0)

Came back to my second home.

looking forward to having a great grad and the third year in Canada.

all seasons in one day 10 °C

When I came back to Canada after having a great summer back in Korea, I was more nervous than when I was first here.
Do you know why? It is because this is my grad year. I have been studying in Canada since 2015. I started from grade 10 and now I am grade 12. I will probably have a lot of schoolwork but I am pretty sure I will enjoy learning in the new school called Bridgetown Regional Community school. ( my school was Bridgetown Regional High school but they built a new building and changed the name of the school). I also feel a little bit pressured that I have to graduate the school with good grades. If I were here for just experience, I would not be too much pressured about my mark in school, but I am planning to go to a good university in Canada as well, so I am making so much effort to have good grades in Canada. However, this schoolwork does not bother me or make me feel super frustrated at all because I love learning things in English.
I can not believe that the time flew so fast. It took lots of time for me to settle in different food, life pattern, culture and mostly time. Sometimes I felt homesick because I wanted to see my family back in Korea so much. But as I started to make lots of Canadian and international friends, I started to feel home and adjust myself in this culture just fine. The hugest cultural difference between Korea and Canada is that in Canada, greeting other people on the street is very normal but in Korea we do not usually do it. That is where I started to think that Canadians are very friendly and nice. Also, In Canada, majority of people are very open-minded that they express how they feel or think about something freely. How I felt about this? ' This is the country of freedom'.

Canada has taught me a lot of things and I have learned a lot of things from Canada.
When I came back to Canada, there were lots of Canadian friends who greeted me with their love as well as my host family.
' Why do I feel more home here in Canada than South Korea?' 'Why do I feel like I was born here?'
Everybody here respects me more than I deserve so I learned how to respect other people fully here.
Not to mention, by being involved in multiculturalism, I have learned that everybody is equal and should not be discriminated whatsoever.
And I was very happy to interact with a lot of different people.
( I was not a racist back in Korea though. I am saying that this culture is the most awesome culture that Canada should keep forever.).

Two years ago, my first year here, I was very shy so it took so much for me to make friends here but now, It has been a month, I have made more Canadian friends and became close friends with new international students. I help new international students out with schoolwork and settling in a lot because I know how it feels to have a person who helps me out a lot in unfamiliar situations, circumstances and places. Those international students are so happy that I became their friend and I am also very happy to have new friends. Sometimes I miss my old international friends who used to stay here with me but I know that I have to be focused on new friends because missing them being sad does not bring those old friends back here.

I feel like I just came to Canada but almost two months have passed. This year would also pass very quickly but I have to make sure that I have good memories before I go back. I perhaps won't see these great people around me after graduation. That makes me very sad and that is the reason why I have to make lots of memories so that I do not regret the past in the future. I am very happy to share my memories here with a lot of people who are looking forward to coming here and experience Canadian culture. I also wish I was a foreign Correspondent last year, then I could have shared a lot of great memories I had last year.

I will be updating my next blog the end of this month as soon as I make a great memory I want to share. Also, I will write other blogs to share good memories that I already had but not shared yet. I hope you guys have a good day and thank you for visiting my first blog!
-Written by Chan Yoon. 10/16/2017

Posted by NSISPFC 20:44 Archived in Canada Tagged #canada #nsisp #international Comments (0)

First month living in Canada

Experiences and fantastic joys and fun.

"If you can dream it, you can do it", and that is what I have succeeded. Hello, everyone, my name is Tony, I'm from Sai Gon, Vietnam. I'm 16, and I am one of nine " foreign correspondent" of the Nova Scotia International Student Program. Studying abroad and experience new kinds of things is always my big dream, and finally, I've reached that dream and take on another step. Having the first time to go study in a different country alone is really a challenge for me, and I was really nervous and scared, but that thought can't take me down, so I step on to continue my adventure. After joining the ESL camp with other friends around the world, I was really happy to make friends with them and it was a fun experience to me, we were having lots of fun together, then I met the other eight foreign correspondents, all nine of us are all from nine different countries, one is from Brazil, one is Italy, Netherland, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, China and me, from Vietnam. We all having ourselves get along with each other, we all have a lecture about our duty, then we introduced ourselves to the Canadian Ambassadors, who were chosen to guide us in our years in high school, after that we all went out to see the downtown Halifax, it was a beautiful town where you can go hang out with your friends and your family, it is a place where tall buildings and restaurants are open for guesses and also have the most magnificent library I have ever seen.
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I'm attending Cobequid Educational Centre, the school which I will spend 2 years to study until I graduate. I went to a school tour with the ambassadors and other international students, there were a lot of them and they were all first time went to study abroad like me. CEC was huge, it was so huge that I got lost on the first day of school. The school offers the IB program which is the program that I will learn and graduate from it. Graduate the IB program and earning the IB diploma is my goal to make the next step to University. My school is full of amazing teachers and also amazing friends, the school had been welcomed international students from all around the world, from Europe, US, and also Asia.
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The place where I'm going to stay is a little town call Truro, Truro is a beautiful and peaceful place, the streets are clean, there are shops, churches, and markets, also pizza stores. On every Thursday, the church near my school will have a free meal for everybody, me and my friends usually go there and eat together, and also, if anyone who rode this blog, if you want to eat the best chicken wings in Truro, in my opinion, go to Bubba Ray's, that is place where you can taste the best wings.
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In the first week was so amazing, I and my host family went on a camping trip at Sunset watch, it was a perfect camping place, although it was kind of cold when we arrived there. We set our trailer near the beach, it was the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and when sunset, it is more beautiful. At night, we have marshmallows and hot dog grilled on the fire camp, it was a fantastic experience for me and I will definitely be revisited again.
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Canada is famous for their national sport, hockey. And that is the first thing that I want to do in my "stuff to do list in Canada", to see a hockey match and see how is it be to be a hockey player. I and my family went on to the hockey stadium to see the match between Truro's hockey team, Bearcats, against the other team. The match was amazing, seeing players skating on the ice, movements to steal the puck and swing to the net, and some tackles too, but the most important things were the players, they play with all of their passion to their sport and together with their teammates. Being able to see this national sport was fantastic.
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After two days in the new school, I joined with my international friends for a bonfire at one of our ambassador's house. The bonfire was fun, we had so many activities and also fun together and having marshmallows again, but I still love the texture of the marshmallows when its grilled on the fire.
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All in all, it was a great month in Truro and it will be more fantastic in the next month so I will write another one in the next month, this is the story of my life in Canada. See you guys.

Tony.

Posted by NSISPFC 16:19 Comments (0)

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