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High School student Pacifique Nahayo is experiencing his first Winnipeg winter.
September, Nahayo, a Grade 12 student, arrived in Winnipeg to study at Gordon
Bell. He is a privately sponsored immigrant from Burundi, Africa.
the African Great Lakes region, Burundi is bordered by Rwanda to the north,
Tanzania to the east and south and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the
is here and he told me how Canada is, about the coldness and the snow,” Nahayo
said. “It’s my first time to see snow. I was surprised.”
On Dec. 10,
Nahayo sported a winter parka on an icy, but mild day where the high
temperature was approximately -1 C, well above the average high of -8.5 C.
Manitobans, -1 C is practically shorts weather, but keep in mind that the high
in Burundi on Dec. 10 was a humid 28 C.
“For me, it’s
too cold,” Nahayo said.
Pacifique Nahayo stands outside Gordon Bell on Dec. 14. After a weekend of snowfall, Winnipeg woke up to -20 C, with a windchill that made it feel more like -27 C.
Nahayo said he is excited to see more snow and the colder temperatures that the
rest of winter will surely bring. In addition to his parka, he has gloves, a
toque and winter boots he can break out when the mercury truly dips.
up for trying out some winter activities like skating or snowshoeing.
“I think I
can try. If I get somebody to do it with me, I can try,” Nahayo said.
Stefanyshyn, an English as an Additional Language teacher, said Nahayo is adjusting
well to life in Canada.
some great friends and he’s always at school,” Stefanyshyn said. “He never
misses class. He’s really taking a liking to learning and the school life we
provide for him here.”
to 2019-2020 WSD school year data, over 40 per cent of Gordon Bell students are
immigrants or refugees. Many of those students come from tropical regions.
said Gordon Bell staff are always on the lookout for students who don’t own the
proper clothes for winter.
some coats from Koats for Kids that we can provide if we see that they are
coming to school with some needs,” she said. “We can also open up community
opportunities for them if there are other facilities that are able to help them
information on how to donate to United Way Winnipeg’s Koats For Kids program,
go to www.unitedwaywinnipeg.ca/koatsforkids