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A New Start

Time 0:03:59

Transcript:

At this stage, the story of my life can be divided into four chapters:

Chapter 1: Born in Cameroon in a family of more than 40 children and 8 different mothers.

Chapter 2: I get married to a Canadian engineer. My husband, through his work in international development, helped me discover several countries, including my immigration to Canada.

Chapter 3: Divorce. Too good to be true. After 12 years of marriage and two kids, the marriage is over.

Chapter 4: After the birth of my third daughter, I felt the need to pack up and explore new horizons.

I was part of an English immersion program in Lennoxville. During my stay there I met Daphnée, an extraordinary individual, and we quickly became close friends. During one of our conversations, I told her about my plan to drive across Canada. An idea that she, just like others around me, thought was absurd for an African. Because she was worried about me being alone on the Trans-Canada Highway, Daphnée decided to accompany me in my adventure. I was thrilled because deep down I was scared.

We loaded an SUV and trailer with all my personal belongings and on August 9, 2010 at 8 a.m., in the company of Daphnée, I began the biggest challenge of my life: driving across Canada towards the unknown. New home, new culture. We left Quebec with a GPS unit we nicknamed Émilie.

We planned to always spend the night in a known city and act like tourists before departing. When we first set off, Émilie made us go around in circles for three hours in Montreal. Then followed all our adventures on the Trans-Canada Highway and our extreme terror at the thought of crossing the Rockies. We finally arrived in Victoria, British Columbia on August 15, 2010 at approximately 3 p.m.

The five days on the road helped me shape my plan. Being accompanied by Daphnée, who was totally new in my life at the time and to whom I had to explain my decision to travel the country, also helped me shape my plans and make my stay in this unknown land easier.

Our drive, although slow, was safe up until the moment the car started acting up right before crossing the Rockies. Panic and fear swelled up in me when the mechanic told us the trailer was too heavy and that we’d never be able to drive through the Rockies. I had to find another way to get my personal belongings to Victoria. We spent an additional day in that location. We unloaded the trailer’s contents at a carrier, returned it to U-Haul, carried out the last verifications on the car, got a good meal and a good night’s sleep, and undertook the last step of our adventure.

I’m proud to say that my accomplishments in four years in Victoria greatly outnumber what I accomplished during 20 years in Quebec.

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