Greater than 2 years into the pandemic, reunited with some distant household. Others face a tricky wait


CBC Radio Particular48:32identical boat

For folks in Canada with family members overseas, the pandemic means extended isolation and nice uncertainty about when they’ll be capable to embrace their household and pals once more.

Now that journey restrictions are lifted, many are reuniting with their family members. For others, ongoing restrictions and well being dangers are forcing them to attend a little bit longer.

CBC Radio Particular identical boat It explores how folks with shut ties in different nations have been linked to the pandemic for 2 years.

Final yr, producers Idil Moussa and Jennifer Chen talked to folks throughout the nation and heard about how they have been discovering artistic and pleasant methods to make their relationships stronger, even over an amazing distance.

This spring, he revisited a few of these tales to listen to about his progress.

Mom and son reunite in Halifax

In Could 2021, Yuanyuan Zhou was a younger mom dwelling in Ottawa, learning for her childhood schooling diploma at Algonquin School. She had a 10-month-old baby named Vincent, and her husband labored in a Chinese language restaurant.

The remainder of her household, together with her seven-year-old son, Yuntao Bai, have been in Shandong, China, 11,000 kilometers away. He had deliberate to go to her after she had a baby.

The pandemic made all this not possible. “Each plan was destroyed due to COVID-19,” Zhou stated.

At the moment, the absence of his eldest son vastly affected him. “We video chat twice a day. Day by day he asks us after we are coming again to maintain him,” she stated.

There have been some massive modifications in his life within the final one yr. She graduated from her program, and bought a full-time job at a daycare in Halifax.

For the final time, she secured a visa for her eldest son, and in December, Yuntao – whose English title is Demelo – bought on a airplane and made the lengthy journey to Nova Scotia.

Yuanyuan Zhou’s two sons, Yuntao and Vincent Bai, in Halifax. Yuntao, whose English title is Demelo, got here from Shandong, China, to be along with his household in December 2021. (Submitted by Yuanyuan Zhou)

“Once I first noticed him, I gave him a giant hug. I attempted to elevate him up, however I failed,” she stated. “He is getting taller and heavier than ever.”

She says her first phrases in particular person have been, “Are you chilly?” and “Do you miss Mama?” They went out that afternoon to purchase winter-worthy coats and footwear.

Zhou’s dad and mom reside in China, and he or she stated it was troublesome for them to reside other than Yuntao. “I’ll take my children again to China to go to their dad and mom. That is what I hope for subsequent yr.”

Drought and inflation in Somalia problem Alberta man’s household

The pandemic hasn’t been straightforward for Abdul Awad in Fort McMurray, who pursued a profession in Alberta’s oil and gasoline trade. He got here from Somalia 20 years in the past as a refugee and repeatedly sends cash to assist household and pals survive.

“Rising up in Somalia, I keep in mind there have been no … [or] Authorities businesses,” he stated. “Folks have been left alone to maintain themselves.”

“They’ve nowhere to go. That is why they name on us – pals, members of the family who’re right here or elsewhere, and migrants to assist.”

Abdul Awad left Somalia and got here to Canada as a refugee 20 years in the past. Now dwelling in Fort McMurray, he repeatedly sends a reimbursement house to assist family and friends. (Submitted by Abdul Awadh)

In 2021, their hours have been reduce they usually have been seeing fewer work alternatives – And he was not alone. “Many individuals misplaced their jobs. Too many firms [were] Not recruited.”

This yr, Awadh is getting extra common work, however it’s not the identical because it was pre-pandemic. They are saying that at occasions they need to depend on their bank cards to make remittance funds to their households and pals who rely on their monetary backing.

Not contributing just isn’t an choice, he says. Lots of their nomadic family members – and their herds – The Horn of Africa has been badly hit by the worst drought circumstances in a long time.

Regardless of challenges in Somalia in addition to rising price of dwelling and a slowdown in Alberta’s oil and gasoline trade, Oudh is trying ahead to higher occasions. “We’re nonetheless hoping that, you already know, costs will come down, new websites can be opened and constructed. I feel we’re all optimistic right here that issues will go based on work and folks will get work.”

preserve relationships in warfare and turmoil

Prior to now yr, we have now seen a number of upheaval other than the pandemic. The Taliban took management of Afghanistan and Canada promised to resettle 40,000 refugees.

Because the begin of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, Canada has accepted greater than 40,000 Ukrainians.

Nelly Dubova fled Odessa, Ukraine, on February 24, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, and now calls Winnipeg house. She is supporting kids who’ve lately arrived from Ukraine as they settle into their new lives. “I am so honored to be right here to assist the youngsters.”

Nelly Dubova got here to Winnipeg in April 2022 to flee the warfare in Ukraine. She helps Ukrainian kids settle within the province. (Submitted by Nelly Dubova)

She stated it was troublesome to attach together with her household when she first got here to Canada. Dubova has seven siblings, and a few of them selected to reside with their dad and mom in Ukraine. She says she felt responsible, like she “betrayed them,” though they determined to remain.

Dubova says Canadians have given her a heat welcome. “We really feel like household right here. This host household that hosted us makes us really feel like we’re at house.”

Eliza Konguwi returns house to Namibia in spring 2022 to go to her mom Mai on the household farm. (Submitted by Elijah Konguwi)

Then and Now: Extra Tales and Connections

Listed here are some updates from others and the tales featured in identical boat,

Then: In Edmonton, Eliza Konguwi was dreaming of the day she may take her three kids again to her household’s farm in Namibia.

Now he: Earlier this yr, Konguwi needed to go to his household’s house close to Gobabis, and convey all his younger kids (aged zero to 5, together with a brand new addition this spring). He says the little ones have gained a “sense of belonging” by spending time with their mom Mai, in addition to with the farm cattle, sheep, and greater than 1,000 chickens.

After the loss of life of two shut family members in 2020, Christine Ajok is now lastly in a position to see household and pals within the South Sudanese group in Saskatchewan to assist her by way of the loss. Right here he’s pictured, middle. Together with his daughter Procy, proper, and son Matthew, left. (Submitted by Christine Ajok)

Then: Through the pandemic, Saskatoon resident Christine Ajok misplaced a sister in South Sudan and a brother in the US, and the native South Sudanese group couldn’t collect to assist her grieve, leaving her lonely and remoted. Gone. She was not getting work, which made it troublesome for her to assist her daughter and son.

Now he: This spring, Ajok has discovered a brief job and is ready to join in particular person with household and pals in Saskatchewan. She says her two kids give her hope: “My children, day by day, preserve me going.”

Ben Clythero flew again to London in 2022 to introduce his son Silas to nephews Lucas, Jack, Jesse and Ben. (Submitted by Ben Clythero)

Then: How do you retain up with 9 yr outdated boys once you’re away from the ocean? Online game. Toronto resident Ben Clythero takes out his sport console to hang around along with his twin nephews in London, England.

Now he: Unfastened restrictions allowed Clythero to fly again to London and see his household in March – and for them to go to his toddler son. This time, his nephew was extra into the phrase sport wordley, and he took benefit of some in-person high quality time by enjoying a number of soccer.

Min Hui strikes to Ottawa together with her daughter, Chloe. Now practically two years outdated, Chloe is flourishing and Hui, a latest faculty graduate, is on the lookout for a job. (Submitted by Min Hui)

Then: As a world pupil in Ottawa, and a mom of a new child, Min Hui felt lonely, “anxious and upset” through the pandemic lockdown. She had utilized for a visa in order that her mom may come to assist for a yr in Shaanxi, China, however COVID-19 stored her remoted.

Now he: Hui’s mom bought the visa in April 2021 and got here final October. Though it hasn’t been a simple adjustment, he’s completely satisfied that his mom is right here. Hui stopped her research to look after child Chloe, however finally, after one other yr of on-line courses, she needed to obtain her diploma in particular person.



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