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Special Introductory Edition                                                                January 2010

                                                                                              Photo by Vyara Ruskova

It’s my pleasure to introduce the   past few months. Students like       services and events which may
new ISS ELSA newsletter to          you will share stories about their   be useful to you. We hope to let
you, the students of ISS ELSA.      experiences, both of their new       you know about the various cul-
Like the New Year, this new         lives in Canada, and of their        tural and sporting events, mar-
project comes with some new         previous lives, sharing their cul-   kets and celebrations that occur
hopes and goals. One goal is to     ture and values. Students this       in your community.
bring you an opportunity to         month share with us their holi-
                                                                         Our hope this New Year is that
share your work. Another goal is    day traditions, and stories of
                                                                         these pages will help to bring us
to bring you closer to the ser-     what they did this past holiday
                                                                         closer together. Look for the first
vices at ISS of BC and to events    season. Other students share
                                                                         official edition in late February.
happening in your community.        their feelings about winter.
                                                                         You and your classmates may
In the newsletter, which will       The newsletter will also try to      be asked to write a story for it,
come out every 2nd month, we        introduce you to some of the         so continue to look for your work
will show some of the work that     resources in your community.         in it. It will be your newsletter.
students have done over the         We’ll hopefully inform you of                       Kurt Munari, Editor
          Ss work - Vancouver

M       y husband and I had a good holiday.
         On December 24th I went to the supermarket
                                                              D      ecember 24th was my holiday. My family went
                                                                     shopping for Christmas presents. My daughter
                                                              was very, very happy shopping for toys. After shopping
and I bought a turkey and I cooked dinner at home. My
                                                              we returned to my house. I made dinner for Christmas.
family called me from Spain, Columbia, Argentina and
                                                              My husband’s friends came to my house for dinner. My
California. After dinner we opened the presents.
                                                              husband cooked turkey and spaghetti. He cooked a
On Christmas morning my husband prepared breakfast.           very delicious dinner. December 25th my daughter was
On Boxing Day we went to buy headphones at Future             very happy about Christmas presents in the morning. I
Shop. New Year’s Day we bought supper that was al-            was happy about seeing my family on the Internet. De-
ready prepared.                                               cember26th, Boxing Day, I relaxed, no shopping, only
                                                              walking in the mall.
It was delicious and we enjoyed it very much. After that
we saw a movie.                                               Other days I watched movies and cartoons for my
                                                              daughter only in English.
                                                              My daughter and husband are similar to my teacher
                                                              Scott. Only English for me. It is very important.


M       y holiday was good because I had plenty of time
        and I could do many things.                           O     n Christmas Day I woke up at 10:00am. Then I
                                                                    brushed my teeth. My son watched the Snow Fort
After the school closed at first I didn’t have any plan but   and Diego on TV while I wrapped presents for my
after three days I made a program for myself. In the          cousin’s children. My sister called me and invited me to
morning I studied English for two hours. It was very          go to a restaurant in Richmond for lunch. Later we went
good for me to improve my English.                            shopping at the Crystal Mall. When I got home I
                                                              cleaned my house and then it was time for the Christ-
In the afternoon I went to the park with my wife for a
                                                              mas party. My sister and I went to my uncle’s house.
walk and visited some big stores tobuy some things I
                                                              When I arrived I saw that he made a lot of food. My
needed for my house and visited some of my friends.
                                                              cousins were there too. The food was delicious. It was
We had a very good time together.
                                                              also my cousin’s birthday. I was surprised that it was
One day I went to Stanley Park. It was very beautiful.        my cousin’s birthday. I was very happy. We ate mango
When I asked a person about lights he told me there are       pudding cake and chocolate cake. Then my cousin
two million lights hanging on the tree.                       played “Jingle Bells” and “Happy Birthday To You” on
                                                              the piano. Later my uncle pretended to be Santa Claus
There was a big crowd especially of foreign people.
                                                              and gave presents to my son, my niece and my cousin’s
Also I visited a church and I understand much better the
                                                              children. Finally it was time for us to go home.
different customs. It was a very good holiday.

THE ISS  ELSA Newsletter  January 2010                                                                           2
         Ss work - Richmond

                                           Making Crafts
                                           Glenys Ucchedu
                                             Dec . 09, 2009

                                      01. We chose some Christmas
                                      02. We cut the paper
                                      03. We used the glue gun
                                      04. We wrapped our presents
                                      05. We held up beautiful bows
                                      06. We smiled for the camera
                                      07. We cleaned up the garbage
                                      08. We threw away the garbage
                                      09. We recycled something
                                      10. We wrapped paper around
                                          our Christmas decorations
                                      11. We glued ribbon
                                      12. We tied a beautiful bow
                                      13. We folded paper.

                                                   (Literacy & Level 1)

THE ISS  ELSA Newsletter  January 2010                                  3
         Ss work - New Westminster

              I love winter because of Boxing Day. Boxing Day is a shopping holiday on
           Dec. 26. When I arrived in Canada, many people told me, if you want to buy
           merchandise, don’t hurry, please wait until Boxing Day. It’s a time when shops
           have sales, often have a surprised price decrease. I still remember last Box-
           ing Day’s scene. Shoppers looked like bees. They moved fast shoulder-to-
           shoulder to save their time to get more goods. I doubted of “Where did they
           come from?”
             Boxing Day is coming, if you want to enjoy a small price to pay for value re-
           ceived, why don’t you join it? Perhaps, Boxing Day will become your favorite
              My family and I have planned our list for this year. Therefore, I love winter
           in Canada.
                                                                               Doris (Level 3)

                             I love winter in China, but I don’t love winter in Vancouver.
                             I lived in Nanjing, China. The winter isn’t cold and it is sunny there. I
                             walked in parts and played outside. We had the longest holidays in
                             this year. We ate good foods, took long rests and visited relatives
                             and friends. I felt very well everyday.
                             Winter lasts for too long in Vancouver. It is cloudy, windy, rainy,
                  snowy and cold often. I can’t go to parks and sit on benches. Vegetables and
                  fruits are more expensive. When I stand at a bus station to wait the bus in the
                  frost morning, I feel especially awful.
                     I live in Vancouver now. I will be accustomed to life here and I just have to
                  learn to like the weather in Vancouver.
                                                                                   Jie Ding (Level 3)

THE ISS  ELSA Newsletter  January 2010                                                                 4
          Ss work - Coquitlam
     How I celebrate the                 Year” for wishing a prosperous new                Five Reasons to
      Holiday season                     year. Sometimes I will try my luck              Celebrate Christmas
    In the western countries, the        at gambling; if losing, I would be
holiday season focuses on the pe-        careful about my wealth just in case           The Christmas spirit is already
riod of the middle of December to        of finance problems. But that is not       in the air. The cities and streets are
the early days of the following year,    always true.                               already decorated. The only thing
while in my country (Taiwan), we             One thing I will not forget, that is   left is for everyone to decorate their
follow the traditional Chinese cus-      planning. The old saying tells me “a       homes to get the Christmas mood
tom. We celebrate the lunar New          good start is half the success”. I do      which exciting and fun. Some peo-
Year, which is from the end of the       not want myself to fail in the begin-      ple wonder, “Why do we have to
lunar Dec. to the 15th Jan. I am a       ning. And at the same time I will          celebrate it even when we don’t
traditional Chinese woman and            make a secret wish for myself, to          want to?” I can give you five rea-
there are lots of customs to be fol-     make me happy the whole year!              sons to do it.
lowed for the whole family to have                     Amber Teng (EFW 5)               The first reason is for your chil-
a happy new year ( I am usually                                                     dren. I think it’s nice to see how
lazy, but in the New year period I                                                  their eyes begin to shine at the
am not because I am selfish for a             Christmas in Canada                   thought of Christmas!
good year for my whole family and            Christmas is coming soon. This             The second reason is for the
me).                                     is our third Christmas since my            person next to you. Maybe you are
    Usually I start every year lunar     family came to Canada. I could rec-        not excited about the Christmas
Dec. 28 (year 28) with general           ognize the holiday by watching the         holidays, but the person you love
cleaning for getting rid of the bad      decorations which are on the street.       can’t wait to celebrate it.
things and preparing to greet the        In my country, Korea, we regard                The third reason is that your
“new” following year.                    Christmas as one of the western            family will enjoy the nice moments
    On Dec.30 (year 30), New             culture. We think Christmas is a           together.
Year’s Eve, I cook lots of lucky         religious event and is just for chil-          The fourth reason is –believe it
dishes to serve as the family gath-      dren. Children wait for presents           or not, every Christian should visit
ers to count down and end this           from Santa Claus and usually               the church where they are having a
year. As the dinner serves to            dream of a white Christmas. Some           Christmas liturgy .Christmas is one
“open” the New Year, everyone            families decorate Christmas trees          of the biggest Christian holidays in
must have something connected            and prepare gifts for their family.        the year.
with good luck. After dinner, I              People in Canada have different            The fifth (last but not least) rea-
“must” prepare red packages (kind        meaning of Christmas from Kore-            son to celebrate Christmas is for
of small gift, usually money) for        ans. They get together and eat             yourself. Try to ignore every prob-
children to “help getting over a         meals. And they exchange gifts.            lem from the past year and enjoy
shock”. ( I heard from my father the     From the beginning of December             the holiday! Don’t forget that some-
old story: There was a beast called      people decorate their houses with          times miracles happen at Christ-
“the year”, which contained the          colourful bulbs and place some             mas!
whole year and only on New Year’s        pretty sculptures like Santa Claus,                     Vyara Ruskova (EFW 5)
eve would come out to eat and in-        Rudolph and snowmen outside
jure the humans and animals, es-         their houses.
pecially the weakest, for example             This holiday means a very spe-
children. The children were fright-      cial thing to my family. My husband
ened and adults tried to comfort         lives in Korea to earn money. He
them with food and burned the            used to visit twice a year. He has a
bamboo making huge sound to              plan to visit us before Christmas.
chase the beast away). Till now I        We can share the happiness of
think children would prefer the          Christmas. My daughter, who is 10
money more than food, that is why I      years old, eagerly wants to deco-
put the money inside the red enve-       rate a Christmas tree, so I made up
lope as a gift and both sides are        my mind to buy a Christmas tree
happy about the decision.                and decorate it. My family will have
    During the lunar New Year pe-        a party and exchange gifts as peo-
riod, particularly on 1st and 2nd Jan.   ple usually do on Christmas. I
I and my family need to bring along      would like to make unforgettable
the gift (usually food) to greet sen-    memory for my family. I am looking
ior people. When people meet to-         forward to it.
gether, we will say “Happy New                              Julia Oh (EFW 5)                              Photo by Vyara Ruskova

THE ISS  ELSA Newsletter  January 2010                                                                                    5
         ISS Resource Centre

                                                              Multilingual Case Management – an individual job
                                                              and employment counselling service offered in multi-
                                                              ple languages.

                                                              Career Axis - Career planning assistance through
                                                              interactive workshops and individual coaching led by
                                                              experienced employment counselors.

                                                              ISSofBC Mentoring Connections - Mentoring Connec-
                                                              tions brings together skilled immigrants (mentees)
                                                              and established professionals (mentors) in the
                                                              Greater Vancouver area.
ISSofBC provides a full range of employment services
that assist immigrant jobseekers with a wide variety of       ISSofBC Skills Connect For Immigrants – a program
needs and enhance their ability to build a meaningful         that helps Immigrants reach their goals by connecting
and successful work life in Canada.                           them skills, language, and cross cultural training and
                                                              mentoring opportunities.
These services are provided in multiple languages and
at various locations in Greater Vancouver. Some of the      Visit our website at to get more information on
programs offered by Career Services include:                these and other Career Services programs.

ISSofBC provides a range of specialized services and           Family & Youth Services: ISSofBC supports new-
programs to help newly arrived immigrants, government          comer families using various approaches including
-assisted refugees and refugee claimants meet their            peer support methodology, leadership training oppor-
initial adaptation and settlement needs in Canada.             tunities, as well as social, recreational and academic
These services and programs are offered both at our            programming.
main facility in downtown Vancouver and at various off-
site locations throughout the Metro Vancouver area.            Youth Connexion:
Some of the programs offered by Settlement Services            In   partnership
include:                                                       with Family Ser-
                                                               vices of Greater
   Multilingual Counselling: a service where staff as-
                                                               Vancouver, Youth
   sess the settlement needs of newcomer clients and
                                                               Connexion is a program for immigrant and refugee
   work with the client to identify an appropriate course
   of action. ISSofBC’s team of settlement practitioners
   offer services in 40 languages.                             Welcome House: ISSofBC through the Welcome
                                                               House facility provides temporary accommodation to
   Refugee Services: a service that offers a number of
                                                               primarily government-assisted refugees destined to
   unique programs including Resettlement Assistance
                                                               British Columbia.
   support, Pre-settlement support, Primary health care
   screening and treatment, Settlement enhancement          Visit our website at to get more information on
   support and Trauma - Information and Support Services.   these and other Settlement Services programs.

                                                                     Editor: Kurt Munari      Design Editor: Tatiana Sturari

THE ISS  ELSA Newsletter  January 2010                                                                                            6

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