I came to Canada in the winter, on December 3rd, 2004. It was very cold and there was snow everywhere. I had never seen snow and had never flown before. That was my first time for both things. It was amazing. Canada is a very beautiful country.
My husband applied for me to come to Canada. I got married in Canada and then I had a baby. When my son was only three years old my husband passed away so after that things were hard to do. I had to find a teacher to help me learn English. Then I was able to find a job. Now I have been working for ten years in Canada.
Canada gives me a good feeling and it is a beautiful country. It has parks and great surroundings. When the snow comes it looks like a beautiful white world. In the summer it is green everywhere and in the fall it looks like the world is gold. I like the summer and fall seasons. The winter is just ok because the winter is so long and very cold. Generally, I like Canada.
When I first came to Canada , I didn’t have anything. No home, no car, no experience and no credit. It felt like being reborn.
Saskatchewan, where my second life started in Canada, doesn't have good public transit.
So I arrived at Saskatoon Airport and first rented a car. And after checking in at the Airbnb house that I had reserved in advance, I was looking to purchase a vehicle. Because renting a car is expensive, I thought I should buy a car first.
In order to buy a car in Saskatchewan, I first needed a Saskatchewan or other Canadian driver's license. I contacted a Saskatchewan government agency to exchange my license. They asked me for two documents to prove residency in Saskatchewan. But my family hadn't found a house yet, so I couldn't prove residency So I had to get a house before a car. And luckily I got a house at a good price.
I signed a house contract, modified the address of the bank account based on the house contract, and exchanged my driver's license in Korea for a Saskatchewan driver's license through a bank certificate, and house contract. And with the temporary license issued, I headed to the car dealership area of Saskatoon to find a car the next day.
I didn't have enough credit in Canada and I didn't have enough money for a new car in cash, so I looked for used cars and looked around a few car dealerships and used car dealerships. And I finally signed a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox at a Toyota dealership.
Korean auto dealerships only sell new cars of their own brands. However, new car dealerships in Canada also sell used cars of other brand than their own brands, so if you look around you might be able to get the same car you like for a little less.
And it varies by province, but most provinces require proof of residency in order to exchange a driver's license, so if you want to buy a car quickly, finding a place to live and opening a bank account first is a faster way to buy a car.
There are many nice cities in Canada to explore. So far, I have been to Vancouver, Calgary and Saskatoon. This summer, my latest trip was to Toronto. I did many things while I was there, but I will talk about my favourite three activities.
On the second day when we arrived in Toronto, we went to Wonderland. This is a large theme park. There are many activities in the park. Those activities have 5 levels. The first 3 are most for children. Some activities were thrilling. I played some level 4 activities. I was happy to try different rides although sometimes they made me scream. The next day I went to the Royal Ontario Museum. This was an amazing place. There were many exhibits in the museum. On the first floor I saw some dinosaur fossils. They looked enormous. Then I went to the second floor and I saw lots of great exhibits from different countries. Some of them were from China. I even saw some real mummies there and they looked so terrifying. On the last day we visited the Niagara Falls; it is the best attraction in Canada. It is a huge falls and it is shared by Canada and USA. There are some fantastic views there. We went down to the bottom of the falls on a ship and crossed the Falls. We laughed and screamed when the Falls made us all soaking wet.
In conclusion, I’d like to say that I was very happy during the trip. We explored many nice places and tasted different food in Toronto but I still want to visit go back there again. I hope to explore different activities in Toronto next time.
We went to Toronto on September 19th because my daughter was going back to school at the University of Toronto.
First, we helped move my daughter into her house. We rented a car. It was a U-Haul. myWe were worried about the traffic downtown, but it was easy. In Toronto, the drivers are ok!
Then we visited CN Tower, Blue Jays Club, Niagara Falls, Toronto Island and the University of Toronto. The CN Tower is Toronto’s sign. The Blue Jays are Canada's favorite sports team. Niagara Falls is beautiful and spectacular. We saw Lake Ontario on the Island and the old buildings at the University of Toronto.
I liked to walk around downtown. Many communities looked old and clean. We visited China Town and Korea Town. There was a lot of Asian food. It was delicious.
It was a good trip. I am looking forward to coming back to Toronto.
I started learning English a long time ago, but it is quite difficult for me. I started learning English in Canada 10 months ago. The classes are very interesting and relaxed. After class, the teacher sends me an email with the tasks I need to do by the next class. Sometimes I do it right after class if I have time. I mostly focus on new words. First, I translate into my language to understand well. I hope that soon I will not have to use a translator to understand everything and know how to write. I am grateful to my teacher for having patience with me.
First thing I start from is homework. I have one week to finish my homework. Second, I send it to my teacher for review. Then, I get feedback from the teacher with comments. After that, I fix my mistakes and send my feedback to my teacher. Finally, I am ready for the next lesson.
When I came to Canada, I had made a decision to do everything possible to make my life better. The first year was very hard because we had to get used to everything in Canada. I helped my husband and the kids as much as I could.
We needed time to learn new things, to build relationships with people. Personally, I joined many clubs and activities to get to know people and started learning English online.
This online English program and my instructor have really helped me to learn about Canadian life.
When I came here, my long-term goal was to get a decent job. I really wanted to start working so I could get some Canadian experience. My instructor taught me about job interviews and helped me learn about how the interview process works in Canada.
It was so helpful to me. I also got a lot of support and guidance from community organizations to help me get a job. I was able to get a job at a daycare center in my town. I am so happy to work there and really appreciate all the support that I got. I want to tell newcomers that there are many programs to help them; they should take up on the different opportunities available to them to learn without hesitation and that will help them become successful in Canada.
I know I am very happy with what I have achieved so far and will continue to learn more to achieve my goals of becoming a successful person in this society.
I am going to talk about economic the crisis in Ukraine many years ago. About the time when there was a strike among all doctors and nurses. I had the experience of participating there as well.
In 1990, there was an economic crisis in Ukraine. The crisis lasted for up to 10 years. There was a problem with gas transportation from Russia. Ukraine couldn't pay and took a loan from Russia for gas. There was an increase not only for gas but also for electricity. Then they began to increase payments for utilities, food and all things. The government couldn't pay peoples’ salaries in some companies. For example, my mother worked in a factory and she got one loaf of bread every day but they didn't pay the salary for a while. I worked in the hospital and we didn't get a salary as well for 6 months. We had an organisation that protected human rights. One day we went on a demonstration and went on strike because we wanted to defend our rights. We went to the government house where the Mayor of our city was waiting for us. Many people gave speeches and also people from the Union. We negotiated for a long time and our Mayor promised to help us and return all salaries. After a while, we received our money back.
It was my first experience with a strike. I felt uncomfortable because I didn't go to work one day but I am proud of those people from the Union who defended our rights. After the strike, we received our salaries on a regular basis, but the crisis lasted a few more years.
I would like to tell you about my grandfather and my father.
My grandfather had a difficult life in Ukraine. When he was 17, Germany sent him to work in Germany on a labour camp.
After his release from the labour camp, he fought against Germany for the Soviet Union during the second world war. He fought for 2 years.
In 1945 the war ended. He came home and lived in a small village. He had liver disease. He went to the hospital a lot for his disease. He needed a lot of rest. He became a plumber. He had two kids, my father and my aunt. He lived in the same place for the rest of his life. He died in 1993. He had a very hard life . When he worked in Germany he only weighed 40 kg. He was in a work camp. He never wanted to talk about it….because the Russians might think he was a traitor. He was a very good grandfather. All his grandchildren loved him very much. He had to fight a lot in his life.
Compared to my grandfather, my father had an easier life. He lived in a village and they did a lot of work by hand in his family. During this period in our country there was a lot of crime. There was crime. My uncle took my father out of his town and they moved to a new town in a new region. He got a job in the town as a miner. He had a family. He had a better life in this new mining town.
He worked as a miner for almost 30 years. He had 2 more daughters besides me. He helped me finish my education. He now rests in the kingdom of heaven. We miss him very much.
Today I have a great life because I have freedom first. My father and grandfather helped me to have a great life.
This season was different because the virus made it difficult for anyone to go anywhere, even shopping! My kids asked me before the summer break if we could travel to a different city. I told them that we couldn’t this year and that we had to wait for more people to get their vaccines to stop the virus from spreading and that hopefully next year would be better. This year we experienced something we had never experienced before. Children had to wear masks in school. People had to wear masks to go to the store and talk to their friends. We couldn’t spend time with friends or relatives who lived in different houses because we needed to maintain a safe distance. We couldn’t even give them hugs when we saw them. We couldn’t have parties or get-togethers with our friends. The government said we were not allowed to invite people over for a party because the consequences could be serious. If we don’t listen to the government, we’ll get a ticket. Affected by the epidemic, a lot of people lost their jobs and a lot of businesses closed down. The global economy went into reverse. I hope everyone gets their vaccines soon so that life can go back to normal and we can all hug each other again.
We tend to ask ourselves a lot of questions in our daily lives. Why are some people more successful than me? Why are some people more capable of doing certain things than me? To me, these are examples of people asking too many questions that are not helpful and complaining too much. Sometimes, people question the success of others; they don’t stop to think that, before that person became successful, they probably encountered many dilemmas, trials and tribulations, and obstacles in their lives, which made them the people they are now.
Every time a friend, colleague, or any other person starts complaining too much about their lives, I just say one of my favorite quotes, “Everything happens for a reason.” Sometimes it’s hard for us to fully understand what it means, especially if we have encountered unexpected difficult situations in our lives.
Throughout my life, I have realized that we just need to be GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL for all the blessings we receive, even if they are small things. We can learn to be thankful and grateful for good health, for a good job, and many other blessings we have in our lives. The more GRATEFUL we are, the more BLESSINGS we receive. The more BLESSINGS we receive, the more we can help those in need.
Today I challenge you to think of the blessings you have in your life and keep reminding yourself of them. I promise the more you do this, the more positive you will feel each morning when you wake up. Are you ready to take on the challenge? I hope so!
Once I was entrusted to walk a big dog in the city. This was the first time I had ever walked a dog in my life! I walked the streets and passed many houses and cars. The day was sunny, and my dog and I enjoyed the weather. It seemed to me that those around me were delighted with my cute dog. On the way back, I bumped into people I knew from around town; we talked and discussed the latest news in everyone's lives. We stood and talked for a while. Deciding to show the dog that I was her friend, I knelt down next to her and began to bark. Woof woof! The dog turned her head, listened to me barking, and looked at me while slightly squinting, as though she was puzzled. It seemed to me that the dog was looking at me as though I was not very smart. I figured I was probably in the presence of an intelligent, well-trained dog, (which did nothing for my self-esteem), but the experience was still positive for me. Now when I am asked to look after the dog, I do it with pleasure. Dogs are man's best friend!
I would like to give you some advice about gardening. Gardening is an enjoyable hobby of mine. I have grown flowers,vegetables,herbs and fruit trees for many years. The weather in Saskatchewan is very similar to the weather in Ukraine, just summer is a little bit shorter here than there. At the same time, seeds and plants that we have here have adapted to the conditions of nature.
Before planting any plants, it is really important to fertilize the soil with compost .It will increase the harvest a lot. Also, the temperature is very important. Some plants, like corn and radishes, need completely warm weather in order to be planted. Potatoes and carrots start growing as soon as the snow melts in spring. Garlic and onions should be planted in the fall. Watering the plants when needed is important for keeping the soil moist. We can put mulch from the lawn mower into the soil. This is nice for fertilizing and keeping the soil healthy.
When you grow your vegetables or fruits, you will always have food for your family. It is always good because it is organic, fresh and much cheaper than in the store. It can save you money and keep you healthy.
My favorite movie is “Wonder”, which tells a story about a boy named “Auggie” who has an unordinary face due to a genetic mutation. He had to go through many surgeries from a very young age due to which he had been homeschooled until he was ten. He started going to school when he was in middle school. The movie starts by showing his first day at the middle school and progresses by showing how he struggles to make real friends and gets everyone to accept him with his differences.
When I first saw this movie, it really made me cry! It was really heart breaking to see how the other kids teased Auggie for being so ‘unordinary’ and bullied him. I also cried when Auggie’s mother realized she had ignored her daughter, Via, for many years because she was always busy taking of Auggie. I cried because she was feeling guilty about not being able to spend as much time with Via than Auggie.
This movie has many lessons in it. It reminds me how lucky I am that I have two healthy boys. Meanwhile, I also shows good qualities of ‘ordinary’ kids. In this movie, Auggie is the unordinary one; although, he has facial deformities, he is very smart and good at math and science and has a big dream of going to Mars one day. Then, there are other kids like Jake who is so ‘ordinary’. He is the one who is courageous enough to be the first one to talk to Auggie and when he does wrong, he has courage to admit his fault and apologize. He showed compassion towards Auggie and always tried to protect him. He supported him and was proud of his friend’s achievements. I really liked these characters and hope that my kids will learn from their actions and learn to accept people regardless of their differences.
Finally, I would like to share one precept from the movie that stuck with me. It was the first precept Mr. Browne talked about to the kids on the first day of school. It was, “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” And, that to me, was the most valuable lesson of the movie!
I like shopping simply because I am a wife and mum who needs to go shopping nearly everyday.
When I was in China, I enjoyed shopping with my friends at the shopping mall. As we were picking up some favorite stuff, we could chat with each other which made us relaxed and we had fun. Shopping in this way can also mean walking a long distance without feeling tired in a whole day, so I think it’s a good method to gain two good results. Online shopping is so popular in China, nearly everyone can shop online for everything, even grocery goods, you can buy online. I shop online for some home appliances, but still like to go to a physical store to choose clothes because online the picture of the clothes may cheat us for its’ colour, size and style.
After coming to Canada, I found there are large chain stores: Walmart, Home Depot, Sobey’s, Best Buy and so on. Saskatoon is a small city, so shopping malls here are relatively small and we only have four. Before the Pandemic, I drove to do shopping for nearly everything. After the Pandemic, people quickly transferred to online shopping. We can even order groceries online, just like China.
I want to travel to other cities in Canada. Everyone is anticipating the day that the virus would pass, then I can shop in the really big city’s shopping malls.
I saw one funny statement a couple of months ago. One girl posted it on the Facebook page. She wrote, “My good morning looks like this: kids are yelling and hungry, I and husband are hurrying to work and hungry, cat is meowing and hungry, dog is barking, jumping, hungry and wants to go outside.” I recognized that my mornings are almost the same, we just don’t have a dog. It looks a little bit crazy, but I can truly say that I can’t imagine my life any different. I love my family to the moon and back, like my daughter likes to say.
But what to do if you don’t have kids, a husband, a cat, a dog and even a hamster, and you are not sure about having a pet at all because you don’t have any experience.
When my daughter started dog walking this spring, I thought that dog walking was a good second step before having her own pet. Why the second step you want to ask me? The first step is learning all the important information from books, internet sources, chats, friends, etc. Then you need some practice, and a very good chance to get the practice is through dog walking. Many people will allow you to walk their dogs and will pay you for that. If you have friends who keep dogs, ask them to wash their dogs, cut nails, feed them, and comb fur.
It’s not necessary after dog walking to get only dogs. Of course, get the pet you like most of all. But all these practices can give you invaluable experience in everyday routines that are part of caring for a pet. And be sure that even the pet caring routine will bring you pleasure. You will get tons of fun and happiness with your pet every day!
Entertainment can be a method for people to relax after their hard work. There are so many things to do to entertain yourself. Some people like to play games, some people like to watch movies, others want to post something on their social media profile such as tick-tok or Instagram.
For me, when I have time for entertainment, I prefer to watch movies with my children. I think that watching movies is useful for us. The meaning of different things in different movies helps people learn more about life instead of having the experience in reality. I can learn what to do if I experience a different situation that occurs in movies. They can help me find solutions for some of the situations in my life. It is also an opportunity to enjoy moments I have with my kids when we watch a movie together.
There is a generation gap when it comes to the different types of entertainment my children like today compared with things I used to enjoy at their age. My children, like to play games or watch something on tik-tok. This could be useful for entertainment sometimes but they don't learn the value of life from that too much. In addition, there are so many things on tik tok or social media as well as games that do not have not a meaning, how can this teach them to know how to get better in their life?
Sometimes, entertainment in this way causes more trouble for my children because there are so many people who post things that are not good or appropriate for children and they can not learn anything from so many silly things. Parents should guide their children to go the right way for their life and help them learn about some styles of entertainment that would add value to them and help them become better people in the future.
Hot pot dish is the simplest and most popular delicacy in China. Its flavors are diverse, mainly spicy and ‘sanxian’. ‘Sanxian’ literally means ‘three fresh’. That means there are at least 3 ingredients: sea food, pork and vegetable. So, how we can make a delicious hot pot meal at home? First, go to the supermarket to buy your favorite fish or meat: pork, lamb, or beef; vegetables, for example, celery, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, spinach, and hot pot seasoning. Slice the fish and meat. Wash the vegetables and cut them into pieces for later use. Then pour water into the hot pot (mandarin duck pot) to boil, and put the hot pot seasoning into the pot. Wait for the block ingredients to melt, and then add green onion, ginger, and garlic to increase the aroma. (You can add sanxian and spicy flavors as per your preference) This delicious hot pot soup base is ready.
Now it is time to serve the dish. Put the pot with the boiling soup in the centre of the table. Serve the meat and vegetables around the pot. Add the cut fish and meat in a small amount to the soup base, simmer it for two to three minutes, remove them, put them in the dipping bowl of sesame oil, garlic mash, oyster sauce, green onion, and coriander, and lightly dip a little. The condiments are spicy and delicious, and the aftertaste is endless. The sequence of cooking meat and other ingredients may vary. Come, come and enjoy this simple and delicious mouth-watering food with me!
Soccer is an international sport that is liked by many people around the world. My interest in soccer came from the fact that I was fascinated by watching players perform on various teams. If I remember correctly, I started playing soccer at age three, I played anywhere, anytime, alone or with friends. It was amazing when my family and I watched a soccer game on the television in my home country, this might be one of the reasons why I am trying to do so with my kids now, to show them the importance of teamwork. I focus on teaching them how this group of eleven people (the players) work together to achieve the same goal.
This summer, my family and I experienced that while watching the women's soccer tournament at the 2020 Summer Olympics which took place in Tokyo from July 21st to August 6th, 2021. Originally, it was to be held in 2020, but the Summer Olympics were postponed to the following year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
My family is keen on soccer, this year as in the previous years, we were supporting the Canadian' Women’s soccer team because last time, they had lost in front of the American team. Soccer is a sport where teamwork is well represented, that is a great example for kids if we want to schematize teamwork skills. We watched together how Canadian players struggled with Great Britain in the first round, then they beat Brazil in penalty kicks in the quarter-final, after that they beat the USA in semi-finals to finally win the gold medal by beating the Sweden team in penalty kicks. Have you noticed the determination? They struggled to realize dreams and ambitions. It can be amazing but through this, my children learned how teamwork can develop some skills in real life such as sharing, motivation, leadership, organization, interaction with others, and a positive attitude. Through this competition, I introduce to my children the notion of " fair play", at all the other teams which lost their games with Canada.
The Canadian Olympic Women's soccer team demonstrated that perseverance is key when you want to achieve your goal by winning the gold medal. Sometimes, we need more than one person that is why the word TEAM also refers to Together Everyone Achieves More.
This summer I went to Banff with my family. We stayed at a hotel in Canmore for two days. The weather was sunny and warm. On the first day, we saw Banff city and the Saskatchewan River. I liked to see the falls. We also saw Lake Louise. The lake water was blue and clear. The mountains around and green trees created a beautiful atmosphere.
The next day we climbed the mountain on a gondola up to 2300 meters. It was really fun! I took many pictures of Banff on the way up. I like seeing the chipmunks on the mountain. Then, we swam in the hot spring pool.
It was a lovely short trip with my family.
This summer is beautiful, not as hot as last year. My husband and I like to travel during the summer because the roads are safe.
In August we went to Edmonton to visit our family after a long time, we enjoyed seeing our family there and eating at a Chinese restaurant.
After that, we went to the mall and visited the Chinese Market and bought a lot of food and groceries because in Edmonton there are more Chinese stores than in my city. Then, we went shopping and our grandchildren went to play. We enjoyed our time a lot. Unfortunately, we were only able to stay for one day because of COVID-19, we did not want to stay at a hotel because there were too many people at the hotel. This summer was a little better than last summer because we took the COVID-19 vaccine.
As a mum of two school age children, I planned a staycation and vacation this year. We live in a small city surrounded by lakes, fields and forests so we had a staycation walking, hiking and biking in the area. We also went to the swimming pool and playgrounds. My children participated in a dance camp in our city. There were also many activities for children at our library which my children joined.
My family loves to travel. This year, we went to Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan. We rented a cabin and stayed there for one week. The park is very beautiful and full of wildlife. We saw elks, beavers, foxes, deer and many birds. There is also an amazing sandy beach. We had a chance to rent the canoes and explore the lake. It was a very relaxing time. The most exciting adventure was the guided zipline tour with Treeosix at Elk Ridge Resort. We were all very brave and we enjoyed the tour. It was fabulous! I can’t believe that summer is almost over. Next week, school will start again.
I chose some pictures from Prince Albert National Park. You can find them below.
My family spent our summer vacation camping. We went to Duck Mountain Provincial Lake. We spent one whole week there. We had a family visit from Regina and Moose Jaw. We had lots of fun. Every day, we had breakfast, BBQs, and supper together. The kids hung out between the RVs and the docking area. The most natural place we went was hiking through the forest.
The good thing about our campsite was that we were close to the beach. We could go there anytime with the kids. The main beach was about ten minutes away from our site. The beach had bouncers which the kids enjoyed. We spent the whole day there and ate our supper there. We rented a boat and fished. Sadly, we only caught one teeny tiny fish and let it go. The thing we missed the most was the fire pit because of the Fire Ban. We weren't able to roast marshmallows, BBQ corn cobs, or sit and chat around the firepit.
This trip was so special because this is the first time we hung out with families after COVID-19 restrictions