So, what’s different in Canada that I couldn’t get in Thailand? Snow; lots – and lots – of snow. I’ll admit, I was used to the sun setting earlier in the tropics, but 4 o’clock in the afternoon is ridiculous. I presume this winter will be difficult for me to handle after the course of this three month venture, and not simply because the temperature differential will be over 60 degrees.
In Thailand, I remarked that the greatest failure we could achieve whilst at home was to ignore the things we learnt in the process of re-assimilating. Whether it’s a good thing or not, my first thought as I saw snow-covered Ontarian soil was ‘how do the poor live in this weather?’ Now, the poor of Canada are likely perceived differently than those of Thailand, Malaya, Luzon or Myanmar, but the fact remains that they live in comparable inequity from us.
Of course, that doesn’t need to be as depressing as it sounds – a reminder of a sad thing is most disappointing when it is acknowledged and then ignored; I intend to act on this reminder, as there is a fairly large bloc of homeless in my home city. And whether we see it or not, from BC to NFLD, there are people in our communities who could use assistance.
The snow was instant visual catalyst to remind myself I was in a different place than where I just was. For me, the next five months are about Canada. I hope you can find your own catalyst to remind yourself that you have the choice to be an innate part of your community, or a live one.