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Curling for the first time

French exchange student Elsa Lopes-Quintas tries her hand at curling at the New Caledonia Curling Club in Pictou on Saturday.
French exchange student Elsa Lopes-Quintas tries her hand at curling at the New Caledonia Curling Club in Pictou on Saturday. - Fram Dinshaw

Back in France, Elsa Lopes-Quintas had never even set eyes on a curling rink.

But she happily hit the ice at the New Caledonia Curling Club Saturday, joining her friend Ji In Yoo, a fellow exchange student from Korea.

Both girls are spending a year as Grade 12 students at Pictou Academy and they have made it their mission to enjoy Nova Scotian culture’s finest offerings.

“Being on the ice that’s pretty fun, it’s super slippery,” said Lopes-Quintas. “There’s a lot of activity we can do and all the students are very nice.”

Her home is near the city of Lyon in the heart of France, half a world away from where Yoo grew up.

Lopes-Quintas said she did her research before choosing Canada for her student exchange, saying that she was attracted by the nature.

“It has a really good reputation,” she said of her host country.

So far, the research has paid off. The two girls are bonding over a newfound love of curling and Yoo’s instructor told her she’s improving fast.

“Mike actually told me that I’m really good at it as a beginner,” she said with pride.

Both girls were seen on ice, confidently sliding granite stones towards their on-ice targets several times.

They joined local families and children trying their hand at curling for the first time, helped along by veteran players turned instructors for the day. The curling lessons formed part of the Pictou Winter Carnival.

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