Our Syrian family awoke today to discover 25cm of snow on the ground! This was the first time little 'M' had ever seen snow (aside from a couple frozen piles of grey snow in a parking lot). He was ecstatic and, almost by instinct knew to throw snowballs at parked cars, and of course his dad's legs!
The family and I then ventured to Dundas Square for the first time, where they took pictures, and marveled at all the signs, and the nearby Ryerson University.
We then walked over to College Park, and spent majority of the day at Service Canada, filling out necessary paperwork while little 'M' watched 'Tom and Jerry' on my iPad. I'm excited to say that we succeeded to get through all hurdles, and the family now officially have OHIP (free health care)! I'm so proud of the Canadian government for being able to 'go with the flow' and help these newly landed families get what they need.
We finished the afternoon at Paramount, a lebanese restaurant, and quickly went to Staples to photocopy their documents before dropping them off at home. Here are a couple special moments...
- The parents experiencing a revolving door for the first time to which dad accidentally slammed the door in mom's face and they were both howling with laughter.
- Little 'M' experiencing an automatic hand dryer for the first time and LOVING it! He would run underneath it until he felt the wind hitting his face, and then laugh hysterically. We literally had to drag him out of the washroom!
- Dad asking what on earth street cars (trams) were. He said that they looked like buses, but had weird wires coming out the top of them.
- Upon leaving a parking lot and paying with my credit card, Dad looked confused and asked if there were secret cameras watching us. He didn't understand how a computer would remember my credit card and know how to appropriately charge us!
- Over lunch the parents mentioned that a couple canned food items in the cupboard confused them, and they asked if we could look at the photos and explain what they were. They showed us cranberry sauce (which they said was too sweet), and then showed us 'pea soup' which they said tasted weird and smelt like urine! We laughed and told them that they didn't have to eat anything they didn't like, but explained what we 'Canadians' used them for!
Were experiencing so many special moments with the family and are so excited to see just how eager they are to learn and integrate. It has been less than a week and little 'M' can already say, 'hello' 'goodbye' 'my name is' 'dog' '1, 2, 3' and more! The parents are actually able to read in english (although they still dont know what everything means). They carry around a translation book and will say things like, 'Thank you for lunch. That was delicious! I want one more bite!'
They have taught us so much in only five days, and this process is as much of a gift for us as it is for them!