Hiya!!! Merry Christmas everyone!
Our First Canadian Winter
I’ve been AWOL for a couple of weeks, I know. Well, that’s because I have been very busy defrosting my frozen fingers! Lmao! Honestly, though, the weather has been real here. It has been snowing almost non-stop throughout this month of December, and the temperature has averaged -10C or less for the month.
Personally, I have struggled at times with the weather. I have whined and complained about the weather more times than I can remember whining about anything before now. The snow was cool at first, but now I can’t wait for it to be gone already. And our first Canadian winter is only just getting started. Lord help us!
This is not a pity post though. I am writing this for my “December 2018” self. You see, I know that the first Canadian winter can be tough but it certainly gets easier to deal with and manage, once one gets used to it.
For those of you who have asked about the weather here in Ottawa, I have been made aware that Ottawa is definitely colder than Toronto. However, though Canada, in general, is a very cold country, the people here have the warmest hearts! Throughout this time, we have met such nice people here. This kind of makes up for the freezing weather IMO 🙂
We went to the airport last week to pick up our last pieces of stuff which we had shipped from Nigeria. We took an Uber there and, boy, was that a blessing! The Uber driver was a friendly Tunisian elderly man who gave us some good advice. He told us to make sure we “hold on to our kids very tightly” as they integrated into this new environment.
He shared with us stories of his friends who had “lost” their kids after they relocated to Canada. One particularly troubling story he told us was about a family who had lost their kids because one of their kids told his teacher in school that his father had threatened to kill him. We could tell that he was measuring his words but also speaking from a deeply personal place, so we listened very carefully.
He explained that, of course, no father wanted to kill his son. However, this was a common phrase which parents (especially African parents) use to instil discipline in their kids. As a Nigerian, I definitely could relate to that. He advised that we learn to strike the right balance of discipline while adhering to the Child Protection laws here.
For those of you who are landing soon, make sure that you have with you a list of items (personal effects and food items) that you are bringing into Canada, as well as a list of items that you will be bringing into Canada after your first landing. This applies if you intend to ship or cargo more stuff after you arrive.
Once you show this to the immigration officer during your landing, you will be given a Form B4 from customs at the airport which exempts you from tax on your personal effects that you will bring in afterwards. In any case, they typically ask you at the airport if you intend to ship more stuff in. If you do, please say yes and get the Form B4.
In our bag of goodies from Nigeria, we had some African food including Ijebu garri (dried cassava flakes) and roasted groundnuts. Yours truly had it for dinner two days in a row! On the second day, my 3-year-old son and I both ate it together. I asked him what he was eating, and he called garri, granola! I was mortified! Strike One!
Then when I tried to teach him what it was called, he pronounced it like he was calling the English name, “Gary”. Strike Two! Someone needs a trip to Nigeria asap. Lmao! We eat a lot of Nigerian food at home though. But he refers to everything as “semoo”. Lol. I guess we need to start teaching him that there is semolina, fufu, eba, pounded yam etc.
Wrapping It All Up
Anyway, tomorrow is Christmas! Wow! The year has flown by and I cannot believe it has come to an end already.
The end of the year is the absolute best time to reflect and be grateful. In the true spirit of Christmas, I would like to extend my love to everyone. I am deeply grateful for all of you guys, my readers, family and friends who continue to support me in my journey. I could not have done it without you guys and for that, I am grateful.
I am super stoked for the New Year. God has been super faithful to us this year and we are very grateful to Him. We are also very expectant for the New Year. He has given us a taste of the greater things He has in store for us in 2018 and we will be dancing into 2018 in our household with gladness, gratitude and eager anticipation!
Merry Christmas once again to you all, and here’s wishing you a prosperous 2018 filled with God’s goodness and grace, the best health and abundant love!
Lots of Love and Christmas Cheer,