Students in grades four to seven at Lord Tennyson Elementary School in Vancouver, BC are the first Canadian school children to participate in the Canada/Ethiopia Twinning Project and write letters to their ‘twin school’ in Axum, Ethiopia.
Lord Tennyson is ‘twinned’ with Bazen Elementary School. Earlier this spring they had received a letter from the school. The Bazen students study 10 subjects, including mathematics, science, geography, music, Amharic language, Tigrinya language (the local language), drawing and painting, and physical education. Their favourite subject is science. The Bazen students wanted to know if the Canadian students would like to visit Ethiopia and whether Canadian teaching is practical or theoretical.
Students from grades four through seven from Lord Tennyson have written back to the Bazen students. Below are some excerpts:
Dear students at Bazen elementary. My name is Saffrin and I’m 12 years old. I am very happy to get a chance to write you a letter. I am very curious about your life. Have you ever seen snow before? It is a very beautiful thing. We get it a lot here in Canada. Also, Canada invented Maple Syrup. That is a kind of sauce that is really sweet and we put it on pancakes. Hope you enjoyed my letter. Yours truly, Saffrin
Dear Bazen elementary. Hello, my name is Erik. I come from Lord Tennyson. It is very beautiful in Canada. I live in an apartment, there are VII (seven) floors in the apartment. I was wondering if you could answer a few of my questions. Is it very very hot all year where you live? Do you have different numbers than us? What do your numbers look like? Sincerely, Erik.
Dear students at Bazen Elementary. I am a girl named Noorin and I am eleven years old. I love cooking and talking to my friends. I was born in Iran and live in Vancouver with my sister and brother. Of all my family, I am the youngest sniff sniff! What do you like to do after school? What is your wish? Sincerely, Noorin
Dear Bazen. Hi, my name is Phoebe. I am ten years old and I have a fourteen-year-old sister named Emma and a mom and dad and a cat named Abby and a hamster. My hobby is art. I am an art freak.
Dear Bazen Elementary. My name is Jasper and I am 9. My mom was born in Ethiopia. I will tell you a 100% Canadian story. Some racoons used to come to my house, because I have cat food. One night we left pie out and in the morning the crust was gone and all there was, was a ball of pie with racoon prints!
Hello my name is Isabella. My favourite colour is green. I want to be a Marine Biologist. The truth about Canada is that we do not (most of us) live in igloos or have beavers as pets.
Dear Bazen Elementary. My name is Kaitlin and I am 9 years old. I don’t have any pets but just one fighting fish. My favourte sport is gymnastics. My favourite song is Tik Tok by Kesha. I love fruit. In Canada boys and girls are equal. Both have rights and both go to school. A woman can also do any job a man can do. What is your country like? Do you enjoy school? Do you like animals? I do.
Dear Students of Bazen Elementary. My name is Trsik and I am thirteen years old. I am in grade seven at Lord Tennyson Elementary school, which is named after a British poet. I am from Ethiopia, as well, and I am so excited to communicate with my brothers and sisters back home. I speak French and English, and I can understand Tigrinya quite well, but I am not very good in Amharic. My parents are from Adigrat, which is very close to Axum. I’d love to learn more about Ethiopia and what it is like because the last time I went was when I was three years old. I’m really looking forward to this project and hope you are too! I can’t believe I got this opportunity and really hope we can be great friends.
CNIS would like to thank the principal, the teachers and the students at Lord Tennyson for their participation and enthusiasm for the Ethiopia Canada Twinning Project.