Sunday, 12 March 2017


I had a new Home Care Aide today. This is not surprising, having gone from three day care to seven day care. The two HCA's I have already cannot cover all the days of the week. For now it looks like Cathy will stay with Monday, Micheal will do Tuesday through Saturday, and this new HCA will cover Sundays or those Saturdays when Micheal is not working. I expect there will be other changes over the next week or two as the Home Care agency gets the scheduling worked out.

Today's new addition to the team is a young lady from Belarus. She, her husband, and their two daughters came to Canada about five years ago, part of a general flow of immigrants from Eastern Europe which has been going on in Canada for well over 100 years. She was a nurse in Belarus however her English is not all that good. When they first came here, they settled in Quebec and learned French. Now she has moved to Calgary and must learn yet another language, English.

It is unfortunate for her, this language problem. She is well educated yet cannot put her nursing skills to work in Canada without Canadian certification. Getting that certification will require a substantial improvement in her ability to speak English. This kind of challenge is faced by all kinds of professionals coming to Canada from non-English speaking backgrounds. Fortunately her children will not face this challenge quite as much, having learned French in Quebec and now learning English in school here in Calgary.

The immigrant experience is a fascinating thing. To leave one's homeland for whatever reason, to try to make a new home in a country where you must learn not one but two languages, to fall backwards in life and career, all so that you can improve your life for yourself and your children; this takes incredible courage. Life in Belarus was likely difficult; it's one of the most authoritarian and corrupt countries falling out of the collapse of the old Soviet Union. Canada differs so much from that kind of background, and here they are trying to make it work.

She seems like a truly nice young lady, slender and blonde haired, smiling, gentle, working hard to ensure I am well looked after. I hope she works out. It would be nice for me, and for her too.

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