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Although I have lived in this awesome country, Canada, for some years, it was through observation yesterday that I again came to an interesting, indisputable conclusion about Canadians. I have interacted with people of different cultures in many countries where I have worked. When I was teaching at the University of Botswana, I thought the people in Gaborone were the nicest, most laid back people it had been my good fortune to meet (and they are). That was until wanderlust(travel bug) had its way and I got moving again. This time, I became a developmental English instructor on  a beautiful South Pacific island. To my happy surprise, on that picturesque island lived the most friendly and laid back people I had met - besides, of course, the people of Botswana. Before I relocated to Canada, I already knew what to expect: Canadians are universally known for being friendly and polite. However, it is a notch better than you would think. The quality of patience in Canadians transcends the usual meaning of the word. I would like to think of it as long suffering, a virtue.

How did I arrive at this conclusion? It is by personal experience and observation. Generally speaking, it is absolutely true that in Canada people are really friendly and polite. The way the public reacts to challenges or difficulties is admirable. Yesterday, I was taking the Greyhound bus from Nanaimo to Victoria. It was my first time at the Nanaimo Ferry Terminal. It was a bit challenging finding my way around; so, I had to take a cab. I got there with sufficient time on my hands. I spent it standing by the rail, enjoying the ocean breeze, and watching speed boats go by. A few minutes before the bus was to leave, I reluctantly walked to the bus stop. There were many people waiting to take the greyhound bus and many of them either just got off the ferry from Vancouver or off another greyhound bus from Kelowna, Prince George, Kamloops, and Hope. They were exhausted. To cut to the chase: bus arrived nearly an hour behind schedule. Standing in the blistering heat and sun, no one complained. Some people sat on the floor. The few comments I heard were good natured. And because no one was complaining, the wait didn't seem so bad. When the bus finally arrived, no one complained or said anything disparaging to the driver. You would think he arrived on schedule. The driver apologized before the journey to Victoria began.

Time and time again, I have noticed how patient people are at bus stops, malls, clinics, etc. Yesterday was an eye opener as to how patient and polite Canadians really are. I could say the same of the people of Botswana, and the Marshalese; even though I never had these experiences in those places.

So, I have been privileged to live among beautiful, friendly, loving, and patient people in different continents: from Africa to the South Pacific to North America. It's indeed a blessing! I am still an island girl and happily so! :)

What nice discoveries have you made through observing people, the environment, etc?

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