Sunday, February 21, 2016

Voyageurs! (You gotta be real careful and make sure you don't mispronounce that one!!)

This year David had the option to go to middle school or stay in elementary but switch to French Immersion.

I'd always wanted him to take french immersion, so I was very happy when he decided to go that route! He's always had a good eye for languages, and he seems to be making the transition quite easily.

They've been learning about Festivale at school, and because they are a French language class, they were able to attend the Voyageur celebration at Fort Langley for free.

First we learned about how Voyageurs (David kept calling them Voyeurs. Hah!) transported their goods, how their goods were considered more valuable than the voyageur's lives, we learned about the kinds of food they ate and how they camped.

Then the kids formed two teams and raced each other to move all their goods to the camp site.

David and Jade were on opposing teams, so I had a hard time choosing which team to cheer for.

FYI, those bales were not the hundred and twentyish pounds a voyageur had to carry on his back.

At our next stop, we learned how to pull taffy. This is something we "kids" attempted to do with our kids the year (2008/9) we got so much snow. Now I know what we were doing wrong that year, so bring on the cold and snow!!

Once we'd learned about maple syrup and how to make the yummy candy, each kid got to try making their own.

It smelled amazing.

Apparently it tasted amazing too!

This guy was amazing. Look at how smiley he was. That's one thing I love about visiting Fort Langley; their volunteers are brilliant. So much fun, so personable, and they make history interesting!

The candy would probably have been a highlight. Except the whole day was fun!

Next we moved on to the boats, and portaging. And also rowing.

I wish I'd gotten video of these kids singing en francais and rowing for their lives. It was hilarious.

There were a few drills to practice rowing only on the right or only on the left, and then some cheering to celebrate their successes.

Next we moved to the party place to PARTY.

We learned a few dance moves.

And what to do if you're not a good dancer (shake the dice!)

And then we moved to the cooperage. We all had to learn weaving.

Voyageurs had to weave their own belts to support their backs when they carried those heavy bales. Apparently most voyageurs succumbed to hernias at a young age.

We met with the blacksmith.

And finally we went up to the big house to learn some traditional songs. And this was probably the highlight for me. Look at how animated this volunteer was.

Thank you for a truly wonderful field trip! What fun!!