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When I was young, whenever I got the chance, I would always tag along with my mom. She works for Unicef and always went away on small trips to rural areas or villages. I liked packing, getting ready to go, eating quickly, and jumping into the uncief car. I liked looking out the window of the traveling car and seeing all the beautiful lands, farms and lakes. She loved helping others, she loved her job.

I lived with my mom back home, my dad lived in another house, and he came to Canada when I was eight. I have a big family from my mom’s side; we were always together, on normal days. On holidays, we would have big celebrations all day- breakfast would be at grandma’s, lunch at grandpas and dinner at my aunts, uncles or my mom’s house.

Before I moved, I tried to learn about Canada, I remember taking books out of the library, watching a lot of foreign movies, and my dad would send me photos and stickers. It was late night when I got to Guelph, I just finished eating dinner and my dad called me. I looked out the window and saw snow, the white fluffy thing that I only watched through movies. That night before I went to sleep, I thought I would wake up in Ethiopia in my room. That didn’t happen.

I knew I wasn’t going to have the Friday family gatherings. I wasn’t going to see my friends anymore. I missed eating breakfast with my mom and gardening with her. I missed, the soil, the rain, the food, everything. I can’t bring it with me; I can’t get it package and get it shipped to me. Canada has become from there to permanently here.

After living for four years here; I flew back home last summer. For two months, I spent time with the close family that I have missed since I was away from them.

One day, my mom helped me volunteer in a school for a week. I didn’t do this all by myself, my sister was also volunteering next door. I remember when I was in elementary school when we had some one that’s foreign come, we would always follow them around and ask them all these questions. Even though I am the same blood as them, they were happy to see us when they heard we were from Canada. Our last day came, we didn’t want to say goodbye, we gave them new books, pencils, pens. They were overjoyed. They followed us out of the school building till we got in to our taxi and they were still waving goodbye till we couldn’t see them anymore. I was doing what I used to do with my mom- this time all on my own. Just like those visits to the villages, just like how she used to teach me, just like how she left a smile behind.

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