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I moved in to Halifax just six months ago… To get the worked visa in Chile it was not so hard. There I had documents, papers, experience and language that supported me. I had a history. But when arrived in Canada, I realized that here nobody knew me and I had no past. Here my papers were empty, my life history was a blank page that needed to be re-written, to be filled… I had to find people willing to collaborate in that process of re-writing, willing to trust someone that they don’t know, a person who don’t have references and even so accept rent you a place where to live or give you a job.

My life in Chile was safe, comfortable. It was an academic life. I worked in a publishing house, creating, writing and editing history text books for secondary students. I loved writing, the importance of language and making complex ideas easy to understand. My family is very close. I have friends, they are close too.

In the areas I wanted to develop professionally, you need English. In my family, some speak English, and I don’t know what they are saying when they practice. I listen to music in English, and I don’t understand. After many years trying to learn it, I thought that the only way to reach that goal was through a total immersion. I decided to come to a country where it was the spoken language. The idea was to learn English while using it.

Now I work at a restaurant. Cleaning and washing dishes is a lonely job. I can’t practice my English as I would like. But it has been an opportunity to have a history here. Maybe I have lost my background or at least is suspended for now… Sometimes, I would like to recover my life as historian, researcher and History teacher. Sometimes, I would like to be close to my people… but at the same time, I have gained the experience living abroad, to know different cultures living together, to be learning a language other than mine and to recognize a new city as my own.

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