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Then and Now

Time 0:02:51


Going for a visit to Iceland I go home, and coming back to Canada I come home. Few years ago my son said “mother make up your mind, where is home?”

When my husband and I told our families and friends that our plan was to move to Canada, only for 2-3 years, just to learn the English Language they could not understand why we wanted to move to America. After all we have the USA army uphill from my home town and we could not forgive them for fencing in our best berry land.

I grew up in a small fishing town in Iceland, where I started working at the age of 10, gutting the cod, salting the herring. We even got days off from school if the boats came in loaded. No one in our families had ever left.

We started our adventure the day before Iceland Independent day, leaving our Country, family and friends.

We travelled with bags on every finger and our daughter carried her favourite big doll named Ella. Not many people travelled with overnight carry-on bags in those days.

Standing in line for passport inspection in New York Ella had problem with her feet falling off. Standing behind my daughter was a big very dark skinned black man.

He would simply reach over my daughter and snap Ella’s feet back in place. My daughter would smile at him and say “takk’. My daughter say to me “Er thessi madur ekki godur altaf ad laga Ella min”

I on the other hand used every opportunity to turn around and peek at this man. I had never seen a black person before, only in movies.

Making our home in Winnipeg we spent many days at the International Centre meeting and making friends from all over the world.

Last 23 years on my own, I have at many times wanted to move back home. To be with my sisters and my brother and they did encourage me to do so. I even made an offer on a small apartment. But things were not to be so. Instead I go home for a visit as often as I can.

When I first moved to Winnipeg, my first question when I was introduced to someone was “where are you from?” Still today I will ask “where are you from” and if you say ”I am Canadian” I will ask “but what is your back ground?”

Manitoba is a Mosaic, and as I am, we are all from somewhere. It has taken me 43 years to find out where my home is. Thanks to the freedom I have and came from, I am fortunate now to have citizenship in 2 Countries.

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