On Thursday September 20, we will be taking a group of fourteen Year 8 students to New Caledonia for a week. They will be learning about Pacific Cultures and spending time in cultural and linguistic immersion with their buddies from College Champagnat, our Marist sister school in Nouméa. This year, our students are lucky enough to be part of Champagnat College’s EPI project, which is a compulsory extra-curricular project that all French students undertake in middle school. This involves working with their Melanesian buddies on a project about native Kanak culture at the Tjibaou Centre in Nouméa They will be cooking traditional Bougna (meat and veg wrapped in banana leaves and cooked on a ground oven), trying their hand at basket-weaving and learning about how traditional Kanak huts are built and operate.
Students will also be required to engage in a number of linguistic and cultural tasks throughout the week such as changing their money at the hotel counter, ordering their meals, and surviving the school canteen with their buddies, all in French.
Our trip combines Melanesian/Polynesian cultures and metropolitan French culture. Amongst other things, students will attend a cooking class where they will prepare lemon meringue tart under the supervision of French Chef, Samuel Machon. We hope that our students will learn a lot from this trip, and not only improve their language skills, but also increase their understanding and empathy with a different culture.