By Anyha Brigette & Bernice Camille
After being afforded such a rare opportunity and approaching two months into the ELAN Immersion Program with barely any obstacles, no-one could have predicted the storm we were about to weather: COVID-19. What have we not heard about it? It is everywhere and of course with it came panic. Under these circumstances, as foreign students miles away from home, one could imagine our strong desire to return home especially since this virus had been very quickly deemed a worldwide pandemic by the WHO (World Health Organization). Who would have ever thought that we would be confronted with such a grueling situation?
The challenges really kicked off around mid-March alongside the start of confinement. During the first week, most of us were agitated and concerned because of the growing number of cases pushing us to decide whether or not we were going to stay in Martinique. It was not an easy decision to make but in the end, after careful consideration, most of us stayed in Martinique with only one returning home. Those of us who stayed knew it would not be easy but we were prepared to face it all and provide support to one another in whatever way we could, yes, with social distancing at the forefront of our minds. That was great. Now that we had the hard part done, we could easily move forward, or at least that was our thought, until the mains had to be cut off for some time! It was safe to say that following this incident we had plenty of concerns, however, we were not alone since we were able to rely on the ELAN administration team. Mrs. Schuller and Ms. Darius both were and still are very encouraging and supporting during this time. They provided us with as much advice and answers they could to all our queries; we were also kept informed on the situation in Martinique, how to remain safe and entertained for the duration of the confinement period. Additionally, to provide us with some relief for one of our biggest frets, Mrs. Schuller and Saint Lucia’s Consulate made arrangements to facilitate our grocery shopping. Classes too were not suspended and our teacher- Mrs. Butcher- was very accommodating until our last scheduled class. These four-hour a day classes were resumed online and moving past the technical difficulties, we were provided with the guidance and teaching we needed to advance our B1 level to B2.
As we move on, studying and preparing for our exams, we remain hopeful that things will subside and return to normal, but we are assured that we are not alone during this time.