1. How do you like Canada?
I like the peace, and also I have a job and can study. I had no English when I arrived, but now can speak and work.
2. What was your journey here?
My country isn’t peaceful or safe, so I came here.
3. What do you miss about your birth country?
The food, I miss the culture, because it’s where I was born and grew up.
4. Was there anything about Canada that surprised you?
The snow. Also the ducks, we don’t have those in my country. Even in the airport, Canada is so big, there are lights everywhere, I had never seen an airport that big.
The people that were waiting for me. I thought it would only be one person, but there were so many. They told me one person will come (I thought it would be someone from the government), but it was a whole group. They had a flag and flowers for me.
I woke up the next morning and just saw Canadian people. I felt like people from the government would help me, but it was all Canadians. When I first came to Brockille I thought there would be Somalians here, but there weren’t. I was a little stressed when I first arrived visiting the hospital and the dentist. When you’re new someone it’s not easily to land.
I did ziplining, I’d never done that before. I thought when I was up there, I was shocked.
5. What’s the same/different about your birth country and Canada?
My country is not safe, Canada is safe, you can go any time and anywhere you want. It’s a peaceful country. It’s much hotter in Somalia, even than Canada in summer. The rivers are kind of the same. There are islands in Somalia and I visited them.
In Canada people don’t eat together, in Somalia everyone eats together.
6. What do you like/dislike about Brockville?
I like that it’s quiet, and also it’s peaceful. I feel a bit alone here, I wish there were more Somalians here. I’d love to be able to speak in my own language. I like Brockville for sure. I liked apple picking. I loved the boat tour of the 1000 Islands.
7. Is there anything about your culture you’d like to share here?
They do henna in Somalia, I do it myself on my hands. It’s my hobby. When girls get married, they do all the henna on their hands. When my husband joins us, I’ll do my whole hands and legs and neck. We also do it for holidays
We make sometimes, with neighbours, and all of us come together for a meal, eating our special cultural foods. We sit on the floor. Religion is different there as well. We do Ramadan. We don’t like to eat by ourselves, we eat all together. When we are family, when my husband and daughter, we never eat alone. I never ate alone before becoming here. Even with our neighbours.
I visit my friend Fatemah, and we make a big plate up and we all eat together. We share a religion, but we come from different countries, so we have some differences in our cultures. But we understand each other because we share a religion.
8. Have you joined any local organizations and/or gotten a job and/or are attending school?
I have a job, I studied, I’m still trying to do both. I’m working to balance both. I want to work on improving my English. I send money home to help my family. I’m also working on my G2 exam.
9. What are your goals for the future?
Bringing my family over is the most important. I would love to be a nurse in the future. I want to learn more English and improve.
10. What has been your favourite thing since arriving in Canada?
When I was in Toronto, I saw the CN Tower (I didn’t go up it) and seeing Niagara Falls. I also really liked the zipline. I also love the St. Lawrence River.