Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

SO THIS HAPPENED TODAY…..

Hi people!! Today marks 1 month since we landed in Canada! Whoop whoop! I thank God for our journey so far. I also thank God for the beautiful weather. We have had 4 weeks of absolutely amazingly splendid weather since we came, except for 2 or 3 days of rain. I often say that we brought the fine weather with us.

 

BUSSING AROUND

We have taken the bus often in Ottawa. Now that we get the hang of it, we actually have used it more often than the other forms of transportation i.e. Uber. Lol! We haven’t driven yet. To be honest, we have not gone out much in our first month. But when we do, we like to hop on the bus.

 



It has helped us better understand our surroundings and the various neighbourhoods. When we get on the bus, I study the passengers in different areas, as they change from a majority of a particular ethnicity and demographic to another from bus stop to bus stop. It helps me understand what each neighbourhood is like, where to avoid and where we should consider renting in.

 

BABY MAMA DRAMA AVERTED

Anyway today on the bus, we had our stroller with our son in it in the reserved area on the bus. I know that he’s a grown man at 3 years old, lol. However, we walk a lot, and it is nice to know that he can sit in the stroller when he gets tired or wants to nap. On the days when we haven’t taken the stroller, our arms have suffered! He is a healthy chunky little man!

 

At a particular stop near Wellington, a lady with stroller got on the bus. There were people seating in the second reserved area (for strollers, wheelchairs, and people needing assistance) on the bus. So she shouted, “I need some space for my stroller, please!” We just asked our son to get up, packed up the stroller, and cleared the way for her to stay instead.

 

In true Canadian fashion, she was very grateful and thanked us. We thought nothing of what we did, it was the only sensible thing to do. She had a 6 month-ish old baby in the stroller. Meanwhile, our son was awake and could sit on his own in a proper seat.

 

SHE SAID WHAT???

Then out of the blue, the following conversation ensued:

Woman A (the woman with the stroller) to another woman: You wouldn’t believe the day I have had, and I still have a lot to do. I have to pick up my daughter from school, then go to the (stand?) to wait for my son who’s getting off the school bus.

 

Woman B (just another lady sitting across from her in the bus): Is it your child?

In my mind I was like “it??? Who says that?”

 



A: Yes, he is.

 

B: How many kids do you have?

 

A:  Four. Well, three at home and 1 in foster care. We see him once a week on Sundays. He will soon have to decide if he wants to come live with us or if he wants to stay with his foster parents. We won’t turn away our child if he chooses us, but we will advise him to stay where he is.

Me at this point, “?????!!!!! Should we be hearing all this?”

 

B: I know what you mean. I also have a 13 year old son who at 16 will be eligible to decide. I currently live in a shelter and if he opts to stay with me, how will we cope or live?

 

A: Oh! They will then move you to the YMCA!

 

Fortunately, the next stop was ours. Even if it wasn’t, I was ready to get off. Coming from Nigeria, I was certainly aware of this. However, I was shocked that they were able to speak freely on a packed bus about their plight.

 

SUBMITTED FOR PROCESSING

I later realised that I was also jolted by the fact that there were homeless people in this our Canada, the “land flowing with milk and honey”, the “chance for a better life” Canada! These were Canadians through and through. Not immigrants, original Canadians, and yet they had found themselves destitute and fully dependent on the system. 




 
I am not naive, I lived in England for a year during my MSc. I knew that even developed nations had homeless people. Perhaps it was God reminding me of this fact, because till today, I hadn’t seen any homeless person in Canada. Maybe I just wasn’t looking closely enough.

 

Then I did some soul searching. We didn’t come to Canada because we were broke. No, all the money in our POF (proof of funds) was ours. Not a dime was borrowed! We had worked hard in Lagos and were comfortable. However, we came here seeking better opportunities for our kids, a more stable environment for them to grow up in. A system that worked.

 

A country where good healthcare was not a luxury but a right of all citizens. We worked hard in Nigeria and we had proven to ourselves in Lagos that hard work and determination pay off in the long run. Thank God, because I would be feeling deflated and shattered right now if we had fled from poverty in Nigeria to Canada.

 

IT ALL STARTS IN THE HOME

Instead, I left the bus more determined. It was a reminder for me that all those “opportunities” we were seeking for our kids were available to everyone. However, what would set our kids apart in the end would be our home training, our instilling in them the mental toughness they require for life, our constant and unrelenting prayers for them.

 

Furthermore, we have to lead by example. We have to work hard, so that our children grow up knowing that they have to give 100% in everything that they do. Their success is assured by God’s grace alone, and not because they are in Canada.

 

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND THE “CANADIAN DREAM”

Then I made a quick stop on Nairaland and saw this Youtube video:

 

For some reason, it brought back all the feelings I had earlier in the day hearing those 2 women discuss on the bus. You see, I am sad for these ones. I am sad that they were desperate enough to flee to Canada illegally. However, I wonder sometimes…..I know there are some who in spite of their hard work, they just could not make it in Nigeria. Nigeria is a developing nation with so many challenges that I can’t even be bothered to list here.

 

Similarly and as Mr. O pointed out tonight, I do not know everyone’s story. Perhaps the women on the bus earlier had suffered from mental health issues that resulted in their current situation. Or perhaps, woman A had had these 4 children solely for the benefits that she would receive. We have heard of people in the UK, Germany and Canada doing this. The Mathematics of it still does not add up in my head, but I guess for some people, it makes sense to procreate for benefits.

 

WRAPPING IT ALL UP

I am afraid to say but some people are just lazy and looking for instant wins. Step 1: Go to Canada, Step 2: Get rich! I am not sure what book they read this in, but it is a big fat lie! Success is not a 2-step journey. Riches may be acquired in 2 steps though i.e. Step 1: Buy a lottery ticket Step 2: Win $1 gazillion! With immigration however, it doesn’t work like that. And if any of these ones have such hopes, they will certainly be disappointed in Canada.




 

To anyone who just wants the child benefits that the Canadian system has to offer, who doesn’t want to work, but wants the system to work for them, I say good luck. Unfortunately, it is just a vicious cycle and the rot continues. Because, they will raise kids who will watch them laze about all day waiting for the benefits cheque in the mail. Sadly, there is then a high probability that the kids would end up with the same mindset. That is the vicious cycle which is just so hard to break out of.

More determined as a result of my learnings today, I intend to continue to give my all in homeschooling our son, and in our small business (I will discuss this later) which I run from home. Well, when I am done writing this post that is! Lol!

 

March with purpose and determination!

 

Mrs. O

19 thoughts on “SO THIS HAPPENED TODAY…..

  1. Hello Mrs O

    Your post just resounded what I’ve been saying really. The hard/smart work required to ‘make it’ in Canada is not funny. sacrifices needed to get things like job licenses, acquiring new school degrees etc will hurt but in the long run, it will all be worth it.
    If we could be determined enough to be disciplined and get good jobs and live comfortably in Nigeria, how much more in an economy that works?
    In all, we shouldn’t take away the God factor though.

    Glad to see you guys are settling in well… wish you lived in Ontario instead!

    1. Very true Avril. That is our hope and prayer. That God blesses the fruits of our labour here, even more so than in Lagos.

      We are in Ontario, just not in Toronto or the GTA area. Who knows, next stop may be Toronto for us!

  2. I am following ur blog bumper to bumper. We just started our PR process. Like you, we are very comfortable in Nigeria but we want better life’s for our 3 kids.

  3. There will always be milkers of the system. To have the conversation in a public bus means it is a kinda accepted way of life. Not for our kids. We will teach them to work hard but smart by God’s grace. I’m glad y’all are settled in nicely. Keep the posts coming.

  4. Thank you so much for taking us through this journey with you…truth is I am taking the whole immigration thing with a pinch of salt and as I said to some people, if it does not work out, I can always come back home, they thought I was crazy.
    I am looking forward to getting the golden mail but at the same time, we do know this is not going to particularly be a walk in the park but with God on our side and the right values, we can make something great of it.

    1. I agree. I remember when I resigned, my boss said, “If you ever want to come back home, please give me a call. Also, if for whatever reason Canada doesn’t meet your wildest expectations, do not take it as a failure on your part. Know that it was part of your journey.” I thought about it for a long time. Of course, we do not pray for, neither do we expect it not to work out. We are sure that this is where we are meant to be…..for now. If God decides down the road that we should be elsewhere, then He will open doors elsewhere and lead our hearts there. We love love love Canada, but our faith is not in Canada, it is in God.

      And your approach is great. We should all prepare our minds that the journey may not always be easy, especially at first. Change never comes easy.

      All the best, and I await your testimony.

  5. Mrs O, I looove your writing style, so relaxed, like you were sitting across on my couch just gisting. I have created my EE profile and sitting pretty waiting on my ITA. I see that you are homeschooling your son, I hope i have the patience to do that ,plus i have four children. Keep it coming dear, you have an ardent subbie.

  6. Hello Mrs O,
    I looove your writing style, so relaxed, like you were sitting across on my couch just gisting. I have created my EE profile and sitting pretty waiting on my ITA. I see that you are homeschooling your son, I hope i have the patience to do that ,plus i have four children. Keep it coming dear, you have an ardent subbie.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. May I as what your CRS score is?

      Woah! 4 kids! Well done!! Do you have any below 4?

      1. Hello Mrs O,
        My score is 405 with accompanying spouse and 425 without, thinking of doing without, because hubby can get a tourist visa to at least get us settled in. I have 2 kids under 4…. it is well 😁

        1. It is well oh, my sister! Regarding the CRS score, this is such a tough decision. What does your hubby think? If you both decide to, yes, then go for it. But it may be tough being here alone with 2 kids under 4. However, God is your strength!

          You could file for your hubby after you get here. But, my understanding of that is you can only file for anyone if you do not receive social assistance. Who knows, the cut-off score may drop soon.

          Let us know what you decide. I wish you all the best.

          Mrs O

          1. Hello Mrs O,
            I am still quite undecided, I heard Ontario will take anyone above 400, but you have to settle in Ontario ie PNP route. My problem with that is the proccessing time, I heard it can be more than 2years. I dont have the full information so I cant move on. Thanks for the good wishes. Remain blessed.

          2. I understand what you mean. Our Ontario nomination took 11 months!!! It was the longest 11 months of our lives! But these days, because of the low cutoff scores, fewer people are going the nomination route and processing times have drastically reduced. I heard it is now under 1 month. However, the only experience that I have is ours which took….yeah, 11 months! lol!:)

            Yes, you have to settle in Ontario if you go that route. But Ontario isn’t bad.

  7. Hello Mrs O,
    I am really so happy to be on your blog.
    It brings a lot of reminders for me. I would appreciate if you can give us some useful information about working from home because i have 3 children under 9 years. We are moving to Richmond Hill ( Hubby’s pastor is there) in December though if i had to choose Ontario, it will definitely be Toronto.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for stopping by. I have heard Richmond Hill is lovely! You should love it there. Hmmmm….re: working from home. I really want to share a post on that. I will try to do so soonest, God willing.

      All the best,

      Mrs O

  8. I love your blog and it’s been really helpful and i have shared it with a couple of friends and colleagues working on relocating. We plenty wey wan run.

    I just entered into the pool this week and hoping for an ITA soon.

    I read on the CIC website that you can use your foreign (Nigerian) license to drive if you have an international driving permit from your country http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/newcomers/after-transportation-driving.asp#licences

    You may try this route until you are ready for the test and get some one in Nigeria to process it and send it to you.

    1. Hi and thanks for stopping by. Yes, my husband has this. We are also able to use our Nigerian licence to drive for 3 months. However, we do not have a car yet. That may all change once Mr O gets back though.

      Thank you so much for sharing my blog too 🙂

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