Whoops (x2)!

I think the only thing that might be more embarrassing than saying "Whoops!" is having to say "Whoops!" twice about the same thing.

So...an update: As many people know, I made the decision to leave Spain and move back to Ottawa, Canada, where I'm from. There are a number of reasons for this decision (most of them are too long and involved to get into here, and not all of them have to do with the economic situations over there.) But let me just say that, if you're going to try to move halfway around the world (and do it with three weeks of preparation), it's a good idea a) to drink lots of water; b) not to panic; and, c) write all your blog posts before you leave.

This is not to forget that, if you DO move halfway around the world, it's a good idea to give yourself more than three weeks to do it. But that's another blog post entirely.

Anyway...it's good to be back in Canada. It's good to be back in an English-speaking environment - I think that I'll probably speak much better English than I did before.

The most interesting thing to witness is that even though Canada is, officially, a bilingual country, there are a lot of immigrants here who are not having a good time with learning English. (I don't know much about the situation learning French, but I suspect that there may be a lot of similar issues happening.) To give you an example: My mother now has a cleaning lady who comes in, twice a month. Our cleaning lady is from Peru, and she and her family have been in Canada for thirteen years: they came to Canada at about the time I went to Prague to teach English.

After thirteen years here, however, our cleaning lady doesn't feel confident enough with her English to be able to get a job besides being a cleaning lady. This surprises me, because, in Canada, there's a program called Language Instruction for New Canadians (LINC) which (I understood) was meant to give immigrants enough English instruction to avoid that problem. I haven't had a chance to sit down and talk to her about her individual circumstances, but...I wonder. I wonder about a lot of things like this. I wonder about communication skills; I wonder how much language you need to feel integrated into your new homeland. I wonder what it means to be a good communicator, as opposed to speaking good English (because the two don't mean the same thing.)

At any rate...it's good to be back. More soon.

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