Day 25: Enjoying the Experience

There have been a number of experiences that I have enjoyed since moving to the northern hemisphere. The first thing that comes to mind is the definite separation of the year into seasons. I enjoy the beauty of Autumn as the leaves change colour and fall to the ground. When I first saw the change, I gazed in wonder at the varying coloured leaves on trees: red, yellow and orange. After Fall comes winter and often, with the cold, comes snow. I have delighted in my children’s enjoyment of the gently falling snow. I have lifted my head in wonder as snowflakes fall lightly from the sky. I have listened to the crunch of virgin snow as I walk over it and have reveled in its sound during the quiet after a snowstorm.

With winter comes a celebration that I have always enjoyed as a child: Christmas. Celebrating my favourite celebration in Toronto has shown me a different dimension of the festive season. I have gawked at the annual Santa Parade; I have looked though windows at the beautiful Christmas decorations; I have tasted the various flavours of the season in coffees and biscuits.

I have enjoyed a range of events I never thought I would have the chance to experience. I remember fondly my first ride on a Ferris wheel. I think back to taking my children to the circus for the first time. I remember the first trip to the Ontario Science Centre, and our first visit to the Toronto Zoo.

There have been many moments that I have enjoyed with my family since my arrival in the north. And I believe that many more await us.

photo (10)If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt is: enjoy)

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Day 24: We Dared

We dared:

To take back control of our emotions after our home had been invaded.

We dared:

To take control of our fear.

We dared:

To step out of our comfort zone and make changes in our lives.

We dared:

To move away from family and emotional support for the safety of our children.

We dared:

To take a leap of faith; to take a chance that our choice was the right one.

We dared:

To trust one one another and to support each other.

We dared:

To make the choice that we believed was right even though others were against it.

We dared.

photo (10)

If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt is: dare)

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Day 23: Look and You Will See

“Look and you will see”.

This expression has been especially true for me as I have adjusted to life in a big Canadian city. I have come to realize that if I look, I will see beauty among the grey skyscrapers of the inner city. I have come to know that if I look, I will see beauty in the ice-cold Canadian winter. I have come to understand that if I look closely enough, I will see and find that person who is willing to share time for a friendly chat.

Becoming aware of who and what is around me has helped me enjoy my experience here more than if I had closed myself within my apartment. Keeping my eyes open has made me aware of opportunities. Listening to others as they speak has led me to visiting places and even taking courses that have personally benefited me. Looking and seeing, being aware of my surroundings, has helped me to adjust to a life that is far different to what I imagined would experience when I was growing up.

photo (10)If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt is: look)

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Day 22: Expectations

When I moved north, I had not really thought about the expectations I had. At the time of our move, my hands were full with a two and three year old. I expected things would be a little challenging as I would not have the support of my mom; nor the help of the maid who came twice a week to help with housekeeping. I knew we would no longer be living in a house in the suburbs but in an apartment in the city. I expected that it would take time to find work as I had heard stories from my family members who had left South Africa.

The reality of the move, though, was far harder than I had expected. Searching for a job not only took a long time, but became extremely frustrating. Work experience in South Africa was disregarded as the same question was asked: “What Canadian experience do you have?”. Walking to the supermarket and library became a challenge during the winter months when my young toddlers did not want to go out into the icy cold winds. My expectations of living in a safer environment, though, were realised as I have often walked the streets with no fear of being mugged. We feel secure in our apartment and know, if we were to move into a house, we would still experience that sense of security. 

We have experienced things that we did not expect in our move to Toronto. However, we have adapted and have come to accept many of the idiosyncrasies of this city.

photo (10)If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s guest prompt is: expect)

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Grateful for Badminton Courts

Saturday mornings you will often find my family at the badminton courts at our local community center. Here my husband, a badminton enthusiast, teaches my daughters and I the craft of hitting the shuttlecock over the net.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Badminton courts. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

As beginners, we do not give my husband a good workout – that he gets when he plays with other experienced players at the courts.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Badminton raquets. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

He does enjoy the time we spend together though. I do too. Playing badminton has become something that we do together as a family. The added bonus is that we are getting a little bit of exercise. :)

Processed with RookieWhat have you been grateful for this week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(Join me and share something that you have been grateful for in the past week. Link up with my post and feel free to use the badge my daughter created. )

Thank you for last week’s contributions. I enjoy reading what others are grateful for – the posts make me think of other things I am happy to have in my life. 

Va Va Vasa

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Day 21: A Taste of Tim’s

The second time I tasted a Tim Hortons coffee, I was hooked.

Before arriving in Canada, I had not been a regular coffee drinker: my hot beverage of choice was rooibos tea – unsweetened and without milk. However, whenever my mom had percolated coffee on her stove, I would take a cup. But never at any other time. My coffee-drinking habit changed with a visit to Tim Hortons, a Canadian brand coffee shop. On a previous visit with my husband, I had had a regular coffee and it was a drink I did not think I would repeat.

When drinking coffee with a colleague, she suggested I try the vanilla coffee – and I loved it! I enjoyed its flavour, the touch of sweetness and the fact that the coffee taste is not too strong. When drinking this flavoured coffee, I find no need to nibble on a biscuit or eat one of the coffee shop’s timbits or doughnuts. Instead I find the drink satisfying on its own and have discovered it keeps me going for a while longer until my next meal.

Now every time I meet someone for coffee, I suggest Tim Hortons so that I can taste once more the second flavour I tried there.

photo (10)If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt is: second)

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Day 20: Fear

It was fear that brought us to this place so far away from home.
Fear of crime,
Fear of injury,
Fear of death.
It was fear that drove us to move away,
Far away,
From the imbalances that affect our country’s security.
It was fear for our children’s lives,
Fear for their future,
That drove us to fly across the world.
It was fear for our children that motivated us,
Each and every day,
To not give up.
To struggle.
To strive for that moment when
All we feel is hope.
Hope for the future.
Hope for the children.
And hope that it is not all in vain.

photo (10)If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt is: fear)

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Familiar Streets

On Saturday I was walking down streets I have walked down for years in all types of weather. What I enjoy most about this time of year is the beauty of the Fall trees.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

A quiet neighbourhood street. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

I enjoy the blanket of leaves that fall on the ground and do not mind at all that they have not been swept up.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Falling leaves. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

We have had many windy days and I am saddened to see that some trees are almost leafless.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

A leafy street. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

And yet many trees are still ablaze with colour even though their branches are not full.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

A blazing sight. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The blaze of colour mixed in with the green is a sight I enjoy seeing: so much so that I look up as I pass by.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Look up! © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Even though I walk these streets many times, each time I enjoy the sights before me.

Do you enjoy seeing the colour of Fall in your neighbourhood streets?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk. Head on over and see other walks that you can take.)

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Day 19: Canadian Citizenship

The day we became Canadian citizens dawned like ever other day. The sun was shining outside and the breeze was a little cool. Many years had passed before this day; days that had been filled with hope, despair, and plenty of determination. On this particular morning, my family and I took our time dressing in our best clothes. We believed the ceremony to be a milestone of our stay in Toronto and wished to honour it well dressed.

The building in which the ceremony took place is like any other in Toronto: tall and faceless. We entered it and took the elevator up to the designated floor where we found the room easily. People were milling around the corridors waiting for the event to begin. Some were alone while others were chatting quietly with family members. When it was time, we all took our seats and listened to the judge that addressed us. He stressed the honour that was being given to us; and shared with us his own experience of becoming Canadian. I remember the ceremony ending with us all swearing allegiance to the Queen and then singing “O Canada” for the first time as Canadian citizens. We pinned the small Canadian flag we received onto our jackets and went to celebrate this milestone in an adjoining room with our new fellow Canadians.

photo (10)If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt is: honour)

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A Black and White Portrait

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of a self-portrait I had created as an example to show the kindergarten children that I teach. This week I thought I would share the most recent photo I have of myself. My husband took this picture in March while we were on the bus home after a day out.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

A black & white portrait. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

I do not have many pictures of myself as I am often the one taking the pictures.

Do you have many pictures of yourself?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post is linked to Paula’s Black & White Sunday)

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