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My heart belongs to Canada. Don't publish this to my parents.

My name is Roseli Melo. I'm the Client Services Coordinator for CASE, and also for the Simulated Participant programs. I've been working here for almost four years. I'm from Brazil. Sao Paulo, actually.

Roseli Melo
Roseli Melo is the Client Services Coordinator for the Centre for the Advancement of Simulation and Education (CASE) at The Michener Institute of Education at UHN (Photo: UHN)

I would compare Sao Paulo to Toronto, or New York, but I would say it’s more similar to Toronto because of the multicultural ethnicities from everywhere.

When I was in Brazil I was in the advertising field and I was overwhelmed working so many hours. That time, it was just my daughter and myself, and we decided to come to Canada. Especially I would say more for her, because it was my dream to provide an international education to her.

I felt that I had a lot of responsibility because when I was 25 years old, I got widowed and I raised my daughter by myself. So everything was just me and her. I was the lead of the home, so for her I was the figure of mother and father and she was stressing me for this new challenge, and so I felt like…wow, I have to accomplish this no matter what.

Roseli and her father
Roseli and her father in Brazil before coming to Canada. (Photo: Roseli Melo)

We came like, OK lets try six months first. If things didn't go well here we'd go back, and I was proving to myself and to her every single day, no, we can do it. We can do it. Let's do it. But, you know, now she lives in Brazil. She decided to go back and get some experience there, but she's always planning to come to Canada. It was a challenge for both of us. Leaving everything behind and come, and overcome our fears, I would say.

Sometimes it is hard, but luckily we have technology, so I speak with them almost every week, or almost every day. I would say that my mom, my sister. We have Skype, we have WhatsApp, we have Facebook. So, I try to go back there every two years and in between they come here to visit me.

Working at Michener, it's a learning experience every single day. This journey to Canada it's still kind of, I've been here for almost 9 years, but you know, I still feel that I need to, I have so many things to explore and learn and working with Michener is the same feeling.

This is my home. Sometimes it's hard to say this in front of my parents, because home for them is Brazil, of course, but I feel like here is my home.

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