Hi, my name is Laila Onalik and I am from Kimmirut, Nunavut.
I am placed in Glencoe, Ontario. I work at a daycare centre called the ELM Children Centre. This work placement is so much fun. To be honest I didn’t want to work with children, but I’m glad I was placed here, working with children. They enjoy me working here, I love them and the children and workers love having me here. I enjoy throat singing and singing for the children in Inuktitut although they don’t know what I’m saying. It’s fun. My co-workers are very heart warming and welcoming, we all have built a great relationship together.
My host family is very welcoming and comforting. I have 2 host siblings, Danielle who is 11 and Michael who is 10. They enjoy that I am staying with them. My host parents are awesome and fun, they treat me like their own. They have hosted students from Europe and France before, to learn English, and this is their first year hosting for NYA. They are very generous and amazingly kind!
Things here in Glencoe are very different from my home town. The price of food is lower, the weather is overwhelming – the humidity, the rain and thunderstorms. Glencoe is a small community. It’s quiet and the people all know each other, but the population is way different than home. There is about 2000 people in Glencoe.
I have done so many things so far. The week I arrived here my friend picked me up for shopping and we went to London, Ontario. I loved it! About 2 weeks ago we all went to the Toronto Zoo for the day! I had so much fun, I got to see some animals I have never seen before. My favourite animal there were the Pandas!! After the zoo we picked up a student in Toronto. Her name is Marie, she is here in Canada to learn English.
At my workplace I made some bannock for the staff and children. They all loved it, only because I made it like my aunt does (lol). It was their first time and they enjoyed every bite of the it; made me feel great!
We did a road trip too, to Niagara Falls! It was amazing to see one of the world wonders, I love it there. Those falls are a must see, it’s so beautiful and overwhelming. I had so much fun. We also went to this place called ‘Ripley’s believe it or not’ it had odd things but it was fun. We ate at a rainforest café, it was cool, felt like a real rainforest! I also went to the best place for chicken wings in St. Catherine’s, the wings were amazing!
My time down south has been a roller coaster, an amazing opportunity and life experience. This program opened my eyes, I can say I have stepped out of my comfort zone. I made it this far and I’m not giving up! I hope to be joining the NYA next program, next year. I encourage other Nunavummiut to apply – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Thank you for taking your time to read!