Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Good News # 2: A Zamboni Driver from Zambia

Integrating into a new society is not easy, and it's always edifying to hear about immigrants who have done well. The Canwest papers have one such story today: Gift Marufu, a horticulturalist by day, has taken up making ice in his off hours at the University of Sasketchewan's hockey rink. Apparently he's very good at it, and delights in telling the folks back home about what it's like.

One of the things I've frequently taken with me in my travels is postcards of Montreal in the winter. In 2001 I remember a family in Tanzania shaking their heads in disbelief when I explained that those big white banks of what appeared to be stone were really piles of snow lining the streets. That kind of surprise may be less common now, with more access to the internet, but nevertheless the difference in climates is one of the immigrant's biggest challenges.

And while Saskatoon's Marufu obviously has taken to winter the way a polar bear does to ice floes, the newspaper story doesn't explain how he got the gig making ice. He apparently is "a divisional manager for an agriculture-based biotech company." One hopes that the Zamboni job is something he took as a student and has continued because he likes it, not because he's underemployed...

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