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A month after

Confessions of a unrealistic pollyanna

Well it has just been a month and two days since I left Australia. So much has changed in those few days. We had a bit of relaxation in Hawaii and Vancouver with friends. Since arriving in Alberta we have bought a car, found a place to live, Brian has found supply work, we have bought some furniture.

People have asked us what we have missed since we have been away. One I guess is the accents. People talk like I do here. Two is the longer summer nights. Twilight is still after 8pm here (once winter comes daylight hours are short). There is a certain barbecue crisp here that can't be matched anywhere else. Three is friends. Oh and I guess there is a Canadian slant to the news that is refreshing. Not every newscast needs to spend 20 minutes on sports. These are some of the things I have missed.

There are some things I miss about Australia. One is the easy going lifestyle. Second is the overt friendliness of so many. Three is friends. Four would be the weather. It just seemed so easy to fit in. I will miss that joie de vivre that I found there.

In reality though I did find little that separated me from Australians. We were all concerned about caring for our families and friends, helping do our bit to make our neighbourhoods a better place to live in. We are concerned about our children and grandchildren. We want to leave them the opportunities we had. In so many ways, there were few, if any differences between me and other Australians other than I spoke funny and was born somewhere else.

That's why it seemed strange to leave Australia. Fate meant that because we were born somewhere else, too long ago in someone's eyes, we were not able to stay. Despite the good connections, kindred spirits, and common values, we were told we did not fit in the government's box and we would have to leave. Although we complied, it did seem a bit arbitrary.

And this is what bothers me about so many countries closing their borders, raising their walls, and lowering immigration targets. I am sure that each refugee/immigrant has something positive to contribute to society. Yes people born overseas might have to adjust a few cultural understandings, but for the most part they too are concerned for the well-being of their families, their neighbourhoods, and we want to make the world a better place for our children. They want to contribute to their new country. In closing the door to others, we are preventing growth in ourselves. In building walls, we prevent seeing connections and we become a people of us versus them. Let us welcome the refugee rather than lock them away. Blessings

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