22 August 2006

Long Term Placement in Canada

The time has flown way too quickly for me to handle. The last two months have been a blur. I'm sitting in an internet cafe in the capital of Ghana, Accra, with just hours left before my flight.

I'v just gotten the word from Louis. I have been accepted for a long-term placement in Windsor, ON, Canada. My partner organisation is Engineers Without Borders Canada and my goal for the placement: Make Canada the most pro-development nation on earth. Seems easy enough.

The biggest decision I have to make right now is what I will eat for lunch. Should I get banku or kenkey, easily available in the south, or should I seek out some TZ, which could take hours. It will be years before I get to enjoy my favourite foods again. There are rumours from others who have visited North America that a majority of the foods they consume are processed.

People have to buy food and goods from corporations who sell items in large warehouses called supermarkets. You can't walk down the street and buy a fresh pineapple or coconut. There are no street vendors or market stalls to buy fresh meat or vegetable any time of day. If I want an egg omelette, I have to go to a restaurant! There are no street vendors who sell them all day and night.

Also, I've heard that Canadians hardly greet each other. How then do they form relationships with their neighbors? What must their communities be like if they don't sit around the street drinking porridge or pito (maize beer)? How then do they communicate?

How do Canadians get their food? I met a Canadian once and he told me there were very few farmers in Canada. Do most people understand or know where their food comes from? Do they know which foods are imported, and which are prevented from being imported due to tarriffs and subidies? Do Canadians know how their country treats coffee or wheat or milk producers in other nations?

My Canadian friend also told me that any time they turn on the tap, it is always running. He also told me that electricity is in good supply and rarely cuts out. People don't have bucket showers, but rather hot showers right from the taps. Not very many people have to fetch water, and on average a Canadian uses over 150L of water a day!

I don't believe what these Canadians have told me, but I will see for myself tomorrow when I arrive in Toronto, the capital of Ontario. My placement will probably last quite some time, as the task I have been assigned is quite large. From the time of arrival, however, I will be counting down the days until my return to beautiful Ghana.

44 Comments:

Blogger Bryn Ferris said...

Quite possibly the best post ever.

22 August, 2006  
Anonymous Levi said...

Kyle,
That was beautiful. I love it. All about perspective.
See you soon.
levi

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