I’m Michelle Payette-Daoust.
My Bonjour, Hi! tells you something important about me: I’m a Montrealer. This is how Montrealers often greet each other for the first time.
Montreal is a magnet for Quebec’s immigrants, and living and working here means being in a dynamic, diverse, multilingual, multiracial, vital, creative community that welcomes difference and isn’t afraid to air its dirty laundry for all to see, even if this means showing itself in a less favourable light.
I’ve lived my whole life here, on the western part of the Island of Montreal, and for the past 14 years have been teaching French to the immigrants who have just arrived, and to Canadians from other provinces who want to work and especially live in Quebec’s fantastic culture.
My students have opened up the world to me, and helped me to feel part of a much broader human community. I’ve been changed by them, and hope we can travel a great distance further together.
I returned from a trip to London in September 2015 infused with a burning desire to write more and to explore the boundaries between the singular and the universal in the human experience. It’s also while in London that the metaphor of the human reef first began to resonate.
REEF is my home—a shelter for my personal writing.
I hope it can be your home away from home.
You can find your way to all of my writing on my Facebook page.
“I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.”
― Ani DiFranco