For the first few weeks of the winter semester, I worked with Neelam’s CLB 7 class on a special Creative Writing project. We had a blast! It was so much fun to tell our stories together and to find new ways to share our history through descriptive writing. We laughed, we cried, and we even got a little bit scared, thanks to some scary tales featuring crocodiles, spiders, leopards, and cockroaches! (Don’t worry, I will save those for Halloween!)
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some stories from my time with Neelam’s class on the YMCA blog. Today, I have two stories to share about the shock of Canadian winters. I think we can all relate to that! Happy reading and stay tuned for the next instalment of LINC Creative Writing.
My First Winter Experience in Canada – by Sabrina
I would like to share my first winter experience in Canada. I didn’t have any idea about how winter weather condition in Canada can quickly become dangerous, often with little or no warning. After my bitter situation, I came to know that Canadian winters are famous for being cold. Heavy snowfall and extreme cold can immobilize an entire city. It was the time of December 2012, my first year in Calgary. I was staying in Calgary alone with my two kids. Environment Canada forecast 30 c.m of snowfall expected during that day. A powerful winter storm hit Calgary & its surrounding areas. At first I was enjoying the weather. Suddenly I felt that I need to buy milk for my little one, who was only two months of age. I decided to go to my neighbouring shop to buy it and come back. I was driving through the locality near my house and my driving speed was 20/25 km/h and I was in the middle lane. Strong winds, extreme cold, heavy snow and ice knocked down some trees on the sides of the road. While driving I came to know that storm has created many hazards, including automobile accidents on icy roads, and that made me feel helpless. Unexpectedly my car skid & it kept skidding until I hit the left curb. I tried to pull my car back but I failed to do so. At the same time my little son started to cry and my big son got scared. After a while, one police car came and stopped behind my car. After hearing everything he helped me to move my car back to my house. That was a memorable day for me, how I was stuck up in the middle of the road. I have learned a lesson from this incident i.e when blizzard hits, stay indoors and wait it out unless it is emergency, and if I must go outside during cold weather I must wear layers of clothing with a wind resistant outer layer, warm socks, a hat and scarf and watch for wind-chill or extremely cold temperatures.
My First Month in Canada – by Torikun
My first month in Canada was chaotic. I came to Canada on January 18th in Montreal. In winter time, Montreal has lots of snow. That day, the outside temperature was -23 degrees.
I came to Canada alone and it was my first plane journey. I was very confused in Heathrow, the London Airport. The airport is very big and it was complicated for me. I could not find my airplane’s gate. When I saw someone, I asked them and they helped me to find my airplane’s gate. When I was on the plane from London to Montreal, I saw people put 3-4 pieces of ice in a glass of water and they were drinking. I was surprised. Because, the water was already cold but why they put ice? When my plane landed, it was already late. Then I was waiting at a different airplane’s luggage receiving place, because I did not know that different airplanes have a different luggage receiving place. When I did not find my luggage, then I asked a man and he said, “different airplane has a different place”. Then I looked another place and I found it.
My husband checked on the airplane’s website and it showed that the plane had landed almost 11/2 hours ago. But I did not come out from the airport. He thought that I missed my plane. After 2 hours, I came out from the airport. Then he picked me up. When we came out from the airport, snow was falling and I saw everything was white, trees had no leaves. He parked his car far away from the airport, because my plane was late and the airport parking ticket is expensive. So, we rode an airport bus. Then, the bus stopped in a metro station. In Montreal, the train station is underground and it was also a new experience. I did not have a heavy winter jacket. My husband brought a jacket for me. But I was still very cold. My husband parked his car on opposite site of the train station. He took one luggage and he rolled it from the station to our car, but I took another luggage and I could not roll it because the snow was falling and it was hard work for me. I saw everyone was driving on opposite side and drivers also sat on opposite side of the car. Everyone followed the traffic rules. When the snow was gone, everything was clean (especially the roads, sidewalks etc.). My first month I found the differences between Canada and my country. When people were talking or asked me questions, I could not understand most of them. That’s why I went outside with my husband. I felt shy.
Cutting vegetables with a knife was also challenging. My husband taught me. Now, I can cut very well with a knife. Also I did not know most of the cooking recipes. But I wanted to eat that. So I called my mother and she gave me the recipe. At that time, my husband worked as a radio frequency engineer. Sometimes, he lived 4-5 days in Halifax, 2-3 days in Newfoundland and 6-7 days in Toronto. So, I lived alone in my home. I felt bored. I didn’t know Canadian culture, rules etc.
At that time, I had some bad experiences, but I had some good experiences that made me really happy. That’s why, I said my first month in Canada was chaotic.
Why should we care about sun safety? When you are exposed to sunlight, you have the chance of getting a sunburn. There are lots of ways to take care of your skin to be sure it is healthy for your whole life.
Here’s a cool website that can help you learn lots more about staying safe in the sun!
Now that we have “sprung forward” and the weather is getting nicer, many of us like to take our workouts to the great outdoors.
Outdoor exercise has many great benefits: it adds variety and interest to your workout, it feels good to be in the sunshine, you just have to step out your door and begin – no travel time, and the changing terrain can add more of a challenge to your routine.
Here are also some precautions that will keep your workout safe:
- If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you can check the weather channel for pollens in the air and exercise at a time when the pollen count is low.
- Ensure you dress in layers – the weather in spring is very changeable – it’s easier to take layers off if you become too warm than it is to have too little clothing if you get cold.
- Watch out for that winter gravel – many a cyclist and runner has been injured by a fall due to slipping on gravel – take extra care until the street sweepers have done their job.
- The UV index is also available on the weather channel – it’s early in the year right now, but is still possible to sunburn if you’re out too long unprotected. Try to exercise when the UV index is low; if this isn’t possible, make sure you wear a hat, sunglasses and, of course, slather on that SPF 30 or higher!
Stay healthy and accident-free and enjoy your outdoor workout!
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