Reflections of a Newcomer

Ledianis Sosa immigrated from Cuba in October 2009, armed with a bachelor's degree in English and three diplomas in Foreign Trade, Hotel Management & Communicaitons and Public Relations. She now lives in Ottawa with her husband. She knows firsthand what the immigrant experience is like, and currently works as Program Support at Career Access for Newcomers, CAN Project.

I come from a very warm country,
but I loved my first snow experience!

I wish I could eat more mangoes and guavas,
but I like apples and strawberries... a lot.

I loved going to Arte en La Rampa Event,
but now I have this incredible
ByWard Market!


Arte de la Rampa in Cuba

 Byward Market in Ottawa

I miss my neighbours’ shouts and screams all day long
but I’m really enjoying the silence around here.

I miss my morning walks near the ocean,
but I can walk near the highway – that’s exciting too!

I don’t have my coworkers’ jokes and stories anymore
but I’m sure I’ll listen to some jokes and stories here as well.

I miss the soooo busy office and the deadlines for “yesterday”,
but I can get used to a slower pace and attainable work objectives.

I loved having lunch at work without having to cook it myself,
but I’m getting used to my new lunch bag – never had one before –.

I miss the roast pork on the wooden stick on New Year’s Eve,
but I love the way I can cook a big piece on the oven.

I no longer say Buenos días in the morning
but I enjoy saying “Morning, how are you doing?”

I miss the National Baseball Series and all the fuss about them
but I can hardly believe how much I enjoyed the Winter Olympics!

I miss watching Brazilian soap-operas on TV,
but “Think you can dance Canada” is so entertaining!

I no longer kiss and hug at the workplace
but I believe a strong handshake can touch your heart too.

I miss the Carnivals in June
but I really enjoyed Halloween in October! -
By the way, I had always wanted to disguise myself and go out -.

I miss seeing the Palm Trees
but I so much like the colourful Maple Trees!

I only had summers and winters before coming to Canada
and now I'm so happy to also have Springs and Falls…
 Fall colours... the most extraordinary landscapes I’ve ever seen!

I miss singing the National Anthem on special occasions
but I will soon learn the Canadian anthem
before applying for citizenship.

I miss listening to Salsa Music all day on the radio,
but I think Michael Bublé is amazing.


Cuban Salsa

Michael Buble

I won’t miss hurricanes and
I wouldn’t mind not missing snow storms either.

I miss watching the latest movies on TV without having to pay
but I love to see the Oscars Ceremony on TV LIVE for free!

I miss the early TV News Program
but I’m getting used to waking up with “Canada AM” everyday.

I left my affections behind,
but they are as close as my skin anyway.

I quit my dream work to come here,
but now I can work on my dream everyday!!

Ledianis Rivero-Sosa
New Canadian Immigrant from Cuba
Seven months in Canada (Ottawa)
April 2010

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Editor's Note:
This is a sweet little piece by a new Canadian who is obviously falling in love with Canada.  As the home country experience becomes a memory, a new Canadian experience takes over.