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L'histoire d'immigration de Carmen Larsen-Grijalva (immigrante vénézuélienne)

Le Musée examine et accepte les dons de souvenirs et d'histoires, personnelles ou familiales, à la collection. En tant qu'institution pédagogique, ces récits nous aident à comprendre comment les individus se souviennent d'expériences vécues, comment ils les interprètent ou, encore, comment ils créent un sens à partir de celles-ci. Les histoires ne sont pas modifiées par le personnel du Musée. Le point de vue exprimé est celui de l'auteur et non celui du Musée.

Culture : 
Date d'arrivée: 
July 1 2007
Creative Commons: 
Numéro d'accession : 

Texte d'histoire: 

I moved to Canada from Venezuela, on July 1st, 2007 - Yes, Canada Day! And I came initially alone, leaving my 1 year old son with my parents, for 4 months.

      As mother, single mother, I gave myself 4 months to settle in Canada, and to welcome my son into his new home.

      When I arrived, I was extremely lucky to be welcomed and to stay with a Canadian family that I met in Venezuela.

      In 4 months, I was blessed with an amazing job, related to my area of expertise, and the purchase of our new home.

      Since the moment I arrived, our Canadian friends taught me the amazing Canadian way of life, and I'm not exaggerating... just listen to my story.

      When I decided to come to Canada, I knew that I was committing to a lifestyle very different to my way of life back home. To me such a commitment was and is like a marriage, I knew what I was getting into, in good or for freezing bad times!

      I learned about taxes, about recycling, renting and buying a house, and so many other things that people take for granted but that for an immigrant like me, is a whole new world. I also learned that here people have tons of allergies, I no longer eat peanuts on a bus, I don't send peanut products in my son's school bag, and I don't wear strong perfumes, so thank you for being tolerant and teaching me that!

      By participating in every possible activity and initiative that there is, we are learning so much about Canada, which is now our home. We participate in the St. Patrick's Parade by collecting funds for the Food Bank, my son runs the Ottawa Marathon and collects funds our Canadian Athletes through the Canadian  Athletes Now Fund, we celebrate Rivers' Day by canoeing from Victoria Island to Petrie Island, we honor our soldiers on Remembrance Day at the War Memorial, we enjoy French food and music at La Grande Descente canoeing from Wakefield to Chelsea, by going to a hockey game, by trying to skate on the Rideau   canal, and many other things ...  so thank you for being tolerant and teaching me that!

      My son and I watched every single day the Vancouver and London Games, we cheered, screamed, laughed and cried... for CANADA!. We were so obsessed with the games that after the closing ceremony we looked at each other and said "now what?! " thank you for being tolerant and teaching us what TEAM SPIRIT is all about!

      Please don't take me wrong, my son and I are extremely proud Venezuelans. When you enter my home it seems like you have been taken back to South America, or a taco-bell commercial. At home we only speak Spanish and we eat tons of Venezuelan food, and our deck was specially designed for my hammock! We participate in the South American activities like the Latin Parade and the International fair at the Tulip Festival, so thank you for being tolerant and embracing our cheerful spirit, loud voices, and everything that comes along with a Multicultural society!

      As an immigrant, we have the moral obligation to adapt to what Canada has so much defended and protect and to the many things that it has to offer. Immigrants need to have more connection with Canada, and not only for themselves, but also for the wellbeing of their future generations.

      Canada is giving me the chance to offer my son a happy childhood and for both of us a lifetime opportunity of unlimited possibilities (taxes willing).

      Also I have to add, that now we are no longer just two of us...there's also a husband, born and raised in Ottawa, and our new baby girl, Adriana.

      Could I have made a better decision?