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SUMMER2014 Multicultural Association of
Wood Buffalo
Multicultural Stories

the fear of the unknown, the emotional the angle of perspective with which we look
outbursts, the fear of death, but also the at something, plays a crucial role in how we
deep seated clarity that this was exactly experience a situation.
what I was supposed to do. Being used to great biodiversity in the
After the worst was over and with a good environment, both in Greece and Europe as
prognosis for the future, that summer we a whole, to a different culture, architecture,
travelled to the Rockies and canoed in to a great array of colours in nature,
Moraine Lake. The magnificence of that millions of flowers and the presence of
place left me speechless! That experience mountains all around me and the turquoise
and my visit to see family in gorgeous, sea at close proximity, I must confess that
colourful Victoria BC, opened my eyes to the the uniform flat land with boreal forests
beauty of Canada. and muddy brown rivers and lakes do not
However the time came for me to leave exactly appeal to me and fills my heart with
and I went back to Greece for about 15 sadness and even dread at times, however
months. Our relationship survived the the amazing lush greenery in the summer
distance and we made plans for a future lifts my spirits up.
together. So there I was on Valentine’s Furthermore, as far as the built
Day this year – yes I did pick the day on environment is concerned, what strikes
purpose- landing in Fort McMurray again, me as awkward and difficult to get used
this time coming to stay. to; the lack of neighbourhoods with focal
For some reason that made a huge points such as squares, with small shops all
difference to me. The finality of it was a around, cafes, restaurants, so prevalent in
bit scary at first. Knowing that now I was Europe and Greece.
officially a permanent resident took a while At first I couldn’t figure out how people
to sink in. Leaving a life of 53 years behind interact with one another, where they meet,
was no small feat for me. Moving to a totally what they do, except from working 10-12
different environment, different landscape, hour days. It seemed to me that this town is
and different lifestyle –even though I had here for one reason only: make money and
experienced it as a tourist for a year- was get out.
quite disconcerting for a while and still is So I surfed for Facebook groups, Meet up
sometimes. groups, associations etc and only then did I
Being an Environmental Psychologist I realize that there is a whole social network
understand how much and in what ways the waiting to be discovered. That people here
environment can influence the psyche of a interact in different ways, most of them
person. Being a Life Coach, I also know that being more structured and a bit confined by

It seemed to me

that this town is
here for one reason
only: make money
and get out.

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