Mitchi may have made life a tad more bearable and fun in Victoria, but I still had to deal with school. I went to a private school about a fifteen minute walk from home, and I was shocked to find that I was the only "colourful" looking person in my entire kindergarten class. Literally EVERYONE was blonde and blue eyed, including Fran, the teacher. My classmates thought I was weird because I liked to climb trees instead of talk about Sailor Moon, and Princesses, and took awhile to warm up to me. I would often spend my days wishing that Mitchi or Alexis (who would start school the following year), could be there with me. My teacher however, LOVED me and I would spend much of my freetime being Fran's "special helper". She sort of replaced my own Mom for awhile, who had sunk into a deep depression being so far away from home, and with my Dad hardly being home. She rarely got out of bed and I ate most of my meals at Mitchi's house. One rare evening when I was home my Mom caught me in front of a mirror looking at myself saying "maybe they don't like me because my eyes aren't blue, maybe it's because my hair is dark or curly...." she felt as if enough was enough and pulled me out of school for a week, and took my brother and I to the big city of Vancouver, which was just an hour away by ferry. A week later we came back discouraged, Vancouver wasn't a fun city, and the only other race besides white was Chinese, so we still hadn't found anyone who looked like us. Our solace was the small Synagogue we belonged too. Our Rabbi was a lesbian, and many of the families had been blacklisted by the main Synagogue in town because they were of mixed religions like my family, which the main Synagogue did not allow. Literally this Synagogue was the size of a box, but Kolot Mayim is the most diverse place in Victoria. Many of the children were adopted from other countries, and Alexis and I made some of our first BC friends there. We would go to Hebrew school on Tuesday's and Sunday's, and then to services on Friday nights and Saturday mornings for Shabbat. I genuinely loved going to Kolot Mayim and learning about Adonai (God in Hebrew), and all of the Talmund stories.
Eventually things in Kindergarten began to get better, or maybe I just learned how to conform. I became quite popular with my classmates, pretended to like all of the same things they liked, and I began to become a little happier. My Mom ended up getting a job as a professor at The University of Victoria, and started her own private practice. Essy got a job as a teacher at Oak Bay High School teaching art, and Mitchi, Alex, and I spent the summer of '97 traipsing around Disneyland with our families, before embarking back to Montreal to visit our families.
Life was becoming more and more normal, and soon I found much to my surprise that I no longer remembered how to speak French. I had turned into the perfect little Victorian child, and I was quite pleased to do so.