Welcome Shuswap: A love story from the Ukraine

Immigrant Services Shuswap, located at 371 Hudson St., N.E., would like to introduce more of our recent immigrants to the people of Salmon Arm. We hope that you will join us in welcoming these new members of our community.

Olena Emmerzael is a lovely young woman from Ukraine who has another romantic story for us. Although it was only in December of last year she arrived in Salmon Arm, it was to join her husband of one year, Peter Emmerzael. While holidaying in the Phillipines, the couple met in a chance encounter while walking. Peter engaged Olena in conversation, reversing his direction of travel to walk with her. He asked her out to dinner and to this day she is not sure why she accepted.

Peter returned to Canada 10 days later. They corresponded via the Internet, Skype etc…and Peter proposed in September. He travelled to Ukraine in December for the wedding. Olena waited for her visa until this past December. She says she came to the coldest of countries and was enveloped in the warmest of families.

Olena has a degree in economics, with accounting, financial practice, banking, human resources and legal experience as chief accountant for a private corporation in Ukraine. She also has software and IT experience.

She is currently attending English as a second language courses with Shuswap Immigrant Services and will study English at the local university campus. She began learning English through her own efforts while in Ukraine with books, classes and the Internet. She enjoys learning, but also the social aspect of meeting new people engaged in learning. The calm, respectful attitude of many of her classmates here in Salmon Arm has impressed her. She may take additional courses at OUC such as accounting to learn Canadian practices and terminology.

Olena is a Scuba Dive Master and Peter, who works in construction, shares her love of diving. She enjoyed the variety of people of all ages she met through diving. She enjoys hiking, cycling, swimming and other sports and is looking forward to winter sports next year.

Olena’s English is already impressive. Although she studied English in school in Ukraine, her open, friendly attitude makes it easier to put into practice in her adopted country.

She also looks forward to employment in her field of expertise, which she will enjoy adapting to Canadian norms. Any prospective employer will be glad of her cheerful, outgoing enthusiasm.

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