July272013

Caitlins Quebec Blogs-Last Edition

Very well put Caitlin.We are very proud of the way you have conducted yourself and allowed us to share your amazing overseas experiences.To say you got off to a bumpy start would be a bit of an understatement but,you handled it in a way befitting someone with many more years of experience in life than you, and it is a credit to you and your Mum and Dad for the way you dealt with things.We are very grateful for the way you managed to keep us all up to date on this exciting journey.You are to be commended for the information and help you have given over the year to the many other overseas students who sought your advice and who,without your help,may well have had a less than wonderful experience.I know you will cherish the times you shared with the many friends you made for the rest of your life.We wish you all the best for the future and the new and exciting adventures you are yet to encounter.Welcome back home.

Love Uncle Arthur & Auntie Sandra.xxxx

July212013

Hi guys,

I’ve been home for a few days now and things are going well. Sadly, with the end of my amazing year, comes the end of my blog.

However, I will always be able to answer any questions anybody has!
You can contact me at c.helme@hotmail.com or look me up on Facebook Caitlin Helme (however send me a message rather than adding me, because I don’t accept people I don’t know on my page!)

Thanks a lot guys. I can’t believe so many of you have been following my life for the last year! Good luck on your exchanges for those who are about to go!!

ALL MY LOVE!
Caitlin!

2AM

One last update

I write this now on the aeroplane on my way home to New Zealand. One year on, a brand new me is home bound. These experiences I have lived for the last year have shaped me as a person, and I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

I experienced my 18th birthday in Quebec, and while it was sad to have such a milestone away from my natural family, it was an opportunity for me to immerse myself into the québécois culture. I received kisses on both cheeks from the French Canadians, birthday greetings from people at school I’d never before seen in my life and had my earlobes pulled by the Spanish. Having the exchange students in your town sing to you in more than 10 different languages is quite an amazing experience, and felt truly blessed to be spending such a special day with such special people.

Many of my favourite times here were the trips I did with exchange students. The connection we make is something indescribable to others, and I have made some of the best friends of my life. Together we got soaked by Niagara Falls, hiked the Grand Canyon and took control of the stage to perform native songs for a group of Americans in the tiny cowboy town of Williams. We felt like stars in Hollywood, we walked the strip of Las Vegas, were dazzled by the lights of Times Square in NYC, and surfed with turtles only meters away from us on Oahu island, Hawaii.

With my family in Quebec I was eaten alive by Mosquitos in the beautiful region of Lac Saint Jean, skied and hiked various mountains and danced and sang all week long at ‘le festival d’été de Québec’ (Quebec summer festival). I stayed in a Mongolian yurt, was convinced to have a spa surrounded by snow, and ate more than my fair share of maple syrup. They were there when I laughed, and were there to comfort me when I cried. They are truly my second family now. They taught me about Quebec, and I taught them about New Zealand. They laughed at my French, (which at times was terrible!), and I laughed equally at their English.

My last few weeks in Quebec were filled with emotions, I’m not even sure how to describe. Neither of my two languages have words able to truly explain this to someone who hasn’t lived it first hand. They were weeks of reflection, on how this was everything I could have ever wanted and more. But they were also weeks of realisation that this is all over, and no matter how hard we wish, we can’t have any days back. The goodbyes were the hardest things I’ve ever had to say, understanding that truly there’s a chance I might never see these people again, however we know that no matter where we go in life, no matter what different paths we take, we will always have a small piece of one another with us.

Thank you to my families, both in New Zealand and in Quebec. Thank you to my friends, again both the kiwis and the foreigners. Thankyou to the TSB community trust, and to all the others who contributed to my fundraising. And lastly thank you to AFS and the AFS trust. You made this year, this wonderful year, everything I ever wanted it to be and more.

You can take the students out of their host countries, but you can’t take the new culture out of the students. This isn’t a year of your life, it’s a life in a year!

AFS Quebec 12/13 - Je me souviens!

July152013
12AM
My amazing, crazy, generous, caring, hilarious host family! ❤

My amazing, crazy, generous, caring, hilarious host family! ❤

July142013

Tiesto, le festival d’été de Québec 2013

1AM

Tiesto, le festival d’été de Québec 2013

12AM
This week I have been at the summer festival in Quebec City! ‘Le festival d’été de Québec’.
The first night Catherine and I went and got dinner together first, then headed down to watch the black keys! I didn’t LOVE it because I really only know one or two of their songs, but the atmosphere was cool anyway.

The next day I went and walked around vieux Quebec with Catherine, then at night I met my family for ‘Les trois accords’ a French comedy band. This was great because its something my family had shown me a few months ago so we have quite a few jokes based on it. It was SUCH a good show. They included a brass band, three other female singers playing in the festival (including cœur de pirate my fav French singer), fire dancers and cheerleaders. 
Their newest song ‘j’aime ta grand mère’ (I like your grandma) the entire crowd was singing! And then when they came back out for an encore the chorus of the song said ‘non non ne prends pas ton avion, quand tu pars tout est long’. Which says like ‘no no don’t take your plane, when you leave all is long’. I found it pretty ironic considering I only have a week left here… 

Last night was Bruno mars and Ellie Goulding! I had never seen a crowd like that before. So so many people! Both were AMAZING. 
Not many people knew Ellie’s music so I had a bit if a solo sing a long a few times. However much more people knew Brunos music, so it was a real party! 

The next day we went to ‘les chemins invisibles’ a free circus show put on by Le cirque de Soleil. It was so good!!!!!

The night after I went with Catherine to a dj night which had Martin Solveig, bassnectar and tiesto. It was so good we danced so much! And of all the 90,000 people that were in the crowd, the one we met was an ex exchange student.

My time here is not over, yet I thought I’d give you a small update. 3 days to go! xxx

This week I have been at the summer festival in Quebec City! ‘Le festival d’été de Québec’.
The first night Catherine and I went and got dinner together first, then headed down to watch the black keys! I didn’t LOVE it because I really only know one or two of their songs, but the atmosphere was cool anyway.

The next day I went and walked around vieux Quebec with Catherine, then at night I met my family for ‘Les trois accords’ a French comedy band. This was great because its something my family had shown me a few months ago so we have quite a few jokes based on it. It was SUCH a good show. They included a brass band, three other female singers playing in the festival (including cœur de pirate my fav French singer), fire dancers and cheerleaders.
Their newest song ‘j’aime ta grand mère’ (I like your grandma) the entire crowd was singing! And then when they came back out for an encore the chorus of the song said ‘non non ne prends pas ton avion, quand tu pars tout est long’. Which says like ‘no no don’t take your plane, when you leave all is long’. I found it pretty ironic considering I only have a week left here…

Last night was Bruno mars and Ellie Goulding! I had never seen a crowd like that before. So so many people! Both were AMAZING.
Not many people knew Ellie’s music so I had a bit if a solo sing a long a few times. However much more people knew Brunos music, so it was a real party!

The next day we went to ‘les chemins invisibles’ a free circus show put on by Le cirque de Soleil. It was so good!!!!!

The night after I went with Catherine to a dj night which had Martin Solveig, bassnectar and tiesto. It was so good we danced so much! And of all the 90,000 people that were in the crowd, the one we met was an ex exchange student.

My time here is not over, yet I thought I’d give you a small update. 3 days to go! xxx

July82013

When you have to reconfirm return flights:

blazersandpins:

This is me who has been putting off ringing the airline to ask about her baggage allowances for the last three weeks now… 8 days to go, maybe ill ring tomorrow..

1AM
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