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Canada Makes it Possible

by Giga Patney, about 3 years ago

S. Giga Patney

I came to Canada to teach - two years at a university and then ten years at a community college teaching part-time. Teaching English to new Canadians, making it possible for them to make it possible in Canada.

After fifteen years, a comfortable pension and superb medical care, I retired on an acre of land in the Okanagan in British Columbia to grow flowers and vegetables, to paint a little, and to finish the stories that had been humming in my mental hard drive for years. I had been published in the academic world while in the academe in the United Kingdom (I write under a pen name now).

But now in Canada, in the pine and sagebrush country, close to the Okanagan Grasslands and the banks of the Similkameen, I do my creative writing, drawing and painting. The local libraries are good but the internet has made it possible to do research from home (yes, I did indeed, go to the Reading Room of the British Museum in my days in London).

One of the short stories is about my mother, who was born in Zanzibar, went to the mainland Tanzania when she got married and in the early Nineteen Seventies, came to Canada with my father. They are both buried in Vancouver. In the story, the last paragraph describes her last few days in the palliative care unit of Lion's Gate Hospital in North Vancouver where, swaddled in loving care and floating in the comfort of a drip, a smile flickering on her lips, she dreams of her time in Zanzibar when she went to play with a little boy called Issa - that's the Swahili name for Jesus.

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