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Staying strong and united

My name is Raquel, and I am an international student from Brazil. In the last couple of weeks, I started working with NSCC International as an International Student Ambassadors Coordinator. Ever since March 13thI’ve been following all recommendations from WHO (World Health organization), especially to stay at home, what I thought would be easy, since I always considered myself a person who could see the silver linings in every situation. 

In the first weeks, I was very excited because (finally!) I would have time to work on that personal project that I had in mind for so many months or to do that special recipe that I saw on Facebook and never tried before. But one thing that I didn’t prepare for is the side-effects of isolation.

As an immigrant, I experienced a lot of mixed feelings during this pandemic. It has been a rollercoaster to be true. I feel incredibly grateful and happy to see the continuous efforts of Nova Scotians to fight the coronavirus. People take care of every single tiny detail to ensure the overall safety, and I have never seen a community so united before. The bluenosers taught me an incredible lesson: to stay strong and united during all times.  At the same time, I look at my South-American fellows, and I see the number of cases increasing everyday day faster than the day before, so I must admit that this has been on my mind for quite a while. Somehow, I was feeling “guilty” for being safe. 

Now I have a different view of the whole scenario. Now I understand that this is the time not only for me to do my favourite recipes but also to valorize things I took for granted before. We can make things so much better with small gestures, such as calling a friend and ask them about their day; showing how much you care about them; show that we are all in the same boat, and things will get better soon. 

It is not because we are not in the same place that we are not connected, so let’s spread love and happiness! Soon this all will be over and we will be together again, stronger than before!

Finally, I want to say “thank you” to all Nova Scotians, that even when I am 7,796 km away from my family, they make me feel like home. Thank you for teaching me so much! 

Raquel Pires

Industrial Engineering Technology Student

Ivany Campus

Brazil

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