O Canada! Happy Canada Day!
Canada is my home, period. It’s perhaps something that my friends back in Mexico don’t seem to appreciate. They feel that I betray Mexico by saying that Canada is my home. But that’s the way I feel. Whenever I travel to international academic meetings, or even to go visit my parents in Mexico, and I walk through Canadian Customs, I always feel that I’ve arrived home.
And the way in which the customs and immigration officers welcome me always leaves me teary-eyed “welcome home, Mr. Pacheco”. I took some time to read some of my previous posts for Canada Day. I think you can tell how proud I am of living in Canada.
In 2010 I wrote
For all practical purposes, I am Canadian. I say “eh” at the end of my sentences. I write “colour”, not color. I am addicted to maple syrup, and some of the people I love the most in this world are Canadian. I have found incredible success not only in the academic world but also in the online realm. I completed my graduate degrees here (Masters and Doctorate), I teach at the university level here, I educate Canadians, I am part of the Canadian academic community. But more importantly, this is my home. This is my life. Canada is the country that I chose to live in, not forgetting my roots, but building my future. As I have written before, I fell in love with Canada. I fell in love with a Canadian. And I am in love with the idea of being a Canadian myself.
In 2009 I wrote
It was in Canada when I first fell madly, utterly, completely and head-over-heels in love. I fell in love with a Canadian. I have enjoyed every single minute of my life in Canada, despite the challenges and the rough times. I have taught at one of Canada’s most prestigious universities. I have educated Canadians, and I have been educated in the Canadian public university system (my PhD is from a Canadian, top-tier university). Thank you Canada, for all the opportunities, the challenges and more than anything, the friendships you’ve allowed me to create.
In 2008 I wrote
I moved to Canada nearly a decade ago, not knowing what was going to happen and uncertain about my future, funding for my degrees, and the life over here. All I knew is that I was leaving behind an incredibly annoying boss, a job that while I liked, was just extracting the life out of me, and a really strong social networks of friends, as well as my family. I now have family all over North America, have lived in Europe and moved back to Canada, and every morning I wake up feeling free, happy and fulfilled. I have a LOT of Canadian friends, both born-Canadian and immigrants. I am enthralled by what Canada has offered me, and while I am keenly aware of my roots and my origins, I am also very happy to be living in Canada. On your anniversary, thank you Canada for giving me so many opportunities for growth, for love, and for happiness. Happy Canada Day, everyone!
I think the most important thing I can tell Canada on your birthday is – thank you. Thank you for providing me with amazing people who love me, with the privilege to call you home, with amazing natural beauty that I continue to explore and visit in my travels, with professional opportunities both in the consulting and academic realms, with amazingly brilliant students whom I’m proud to build into successful Canadians.
Happy Canada Day!