This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France
When my four children and myself, we arrived in British Columbia on July 5th 1994, we went to an hotel for three weeks in Richmond. While the children, Roseline, Betty, Syrille and Gaëlle stayed at the hotel and tried to learn English, I was going to work with a car then Hughes Aircraft of Canada had rented for me.
During my last stay there in April-May, I had ordered a new car and found a house to rent. However, there was no reason to move to the house before the arrival of our furniture.
The car I had bought and that I got in the middle of July was a dark green Plymouth Voyager LE, a minivan manufactured by Chrysler.
I had chosen to buy a seven seat minivan because I thought that I would drive my children and some of their friends in it, and I was right about this guess.
The house I had rented was only 10 minute away from where I was working, at 9795 Berry Road in Richmond.
9795 Berry Road, Richmond, BC, today
source: Google Street View
I had spent several years commuting for 1.5 hours or more every morning and evening, and I was fed up with this. So, even if Richmond is not the most dynamic and the most interesting city in the Lower Mainland (the region surrounding and including Vancouver), living there meant a short commute. In fact, after 24 years, my two eldest daughters are still living in Richmond.
Our furniture arrived at the end of July, so we moved in the house. After 3 weeks, we were happy of leaving the hotel.
The landlady owned two houses and was living in the one next door. In my memory, she was from Grenada, but in fact she was from Trinidad. She had two sons and was divorced from her husband, whose real name was Mohamed Ali.
During the week, while I was working, the children tried to improve their English. When we arrived, Roseline has only a little school English, while the three others knew no English at all. It took them only a few months to learn enough English to hold a conversation.
In August, one evening, I told two things to my children:
In two years, you will speak a better English than mine, so I forbid you to make fun of my French accent.
I will speak French to your children when you will have some.
They did not make fun of my accent, but in 2000, they told me that they thought I was "cultivating" my French accent. I assured them that it was not the case.
And I am speaking French to my three grandchildren that are living in British Columbia. Most of the time they reply to me in English, but if I asked them to reply in French, they are able to do it.
In September, the children were to start going to school, and that is when we had our first problem.
Continue to Part 104
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Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
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Part 49 - Part 50 - Part 51 - Part 52 - Part 53 - Part 54 - Part 55 - Part 56
Part 57 - Part 58 - Part 59 - Part 60 - Part 61 - Part 62 - Part 63 - Part 64
Part 65 - Part 66 - Part 67 - Part 68 - Part 69 - Part 70 - Part 71 - Part 72
Part 73 - Part 74 - Part 75 - Part 76 - Part 77 - Part 78 - Part 79 - Part 80
Part 81 - Part 82 - Part 83 - Part 84 - Part 85 - Part 86 - Part 87 - Part 88
Part 89 - Part 90 - Part 91 - Part 92 - Part 93 - Part 94 - Part 95 - Part 96
Part 97 - Part 98 - Part 99 - Part 100 - Part 101 - Part 102