We found this letter online and have posted it for hosts to read. It’s not meant to be a checklist, but rather to give one person’s view on some of the challenges you may encounter in your first few days as a host. Like all of us, our guests are people with individual likes and dislikes, fears and dreams.
This letter is not intended to belittle the kindness people are willing to put forth. I admire all doing what they can.
Transition into Canada isn’t mentally easy Its exhausting at the very least.
A perfect storm of emotions, even under the best of situations.
Things I learned over the 8 years (34 people) I opened my home to foreign workers with work permits… What they will be grateful for in my own experience:
* NO hoopla/fanfare @ airport. They are very humble, anxious & guarded right now A Welcomed hug is acceptable
* Google translate & WIFI as soon as possible to contact family
* Many will want a hot shower & relax for 2 days before you attempt anything, that includes meeting new people
* A comfort meal of substance is important.
* Many Ukrainian people prefer a broth soup of basa fillet(fish), whole chicken cut into big pieces, potatoes, celery, whole onion, cabbage & carrots.
* Many do not like cream soups like Canadians do.
* Sea salt, ground pepper & smoked paprika, vinegar, real mayo, mustard & fresh whole loaves of bread are main staples.
* I suggest getting a big pot
* Note that many won’t be used to safe tap water at home.
* Invite your guests to prepare with you
* Many prefer pork, chicken & fish. Beef is a treat!
* A shot of good quality vodka would be welcome, but is not necessary.
* Many Ukrainians love red rose teas, black teas, pure honey, whole milk & coke !
* Have toiletries ready; many prefer Colgate toothpaste
After a few days:
* Service Canada is always 1st stop: SIN#, Health card.
* provide them with a rental/room lease (if applicable)
* go get a bank account with new ID, and exchange any foreign currency
* take them food shopping. Please try to find a European market for foods that are normal for them. Do not just stock what you think they will like.
* enroll in ESL asap
* seek employment
* apply for vehicle license & insurance
* find a Church of their faith for support of their own language (if applicable)
* find local Ukrainian groups for friendship
I hope this helps some of you to get ready for this awesome experience you will share with them. This is life altering for everyone. I personally have cultivated many friendships that have turned into a international family
Good Luck to all of you.
– Darla Hill, Alberta, Canada
(Gently edited for clarity)