My First Month in Canada


David Njuguna is a volunteer with Nature Canada. He hails from Kenya and is participating in Canada World Youth’s Youth Leaders in Action program. David will be completing a two-month work placement with Nature Canada, starting in early October and ending in November.

My name is David Njuguna and I am a volunteer with Canada World Youth from Kenya. It has been now one month since I arrived in Canada. For the past few weeks, I have been volunteering with Nature Canada. While I’m here, I will be helping them with various communications and conservations projects.

So far, I’ve found that Canadians are nice people, welcoming and also very busy with their things. Most of them like pets especially dogs, which they keep indoors unlike in my country. I like the house designs in the residential areas which look similar to each other with some trees outside every house. The trees bring very beautiful scenery.

The environment in Canada is well preserved, right from the grassroots level where every citizen has planted a number of trees in their homesteads.  Waste is also well managed; the biodegradable and non-biodegradable are put out separately for disposal. I am sure this makes it easier for the recycling companies to carry out their jobs effectively. I also like how the garbage is collected outside houses on some days of the week.

Ottawa has very good public transportation; the buses operate very well around Ottawa. In Kenya, we mostly use some 14-seater vehicles called matatus which play very loud music. There are lots of them, especially in towns. This  causes huge traffic congestion and pollution too. The buses here carry a lot of people thus reducing congestion compared to matatus in Kenya.

Sometimes the buses can be confusing if you are a visitor and you can end up getting lost. I used to get lost, especially during the first two weeks. I remember there was one time when I was taking my friends to my home and unfortunately we took the wrong bus i.e. instead of taking bus 71, we took bus 77. After realizing that we were lost, we got off the bus and we had to walk quite a distance to pick another bus to get home.

Most of the roads in Ottawa are also in very good condition compared to those my country, Kenya. Road accidents are not so common in Ottawa, although I have heard of two accidents in the one month that I’ve been here. In Kenya, accidents are very common such that you can hear of an accident every day. This is mostly caused by poor infrastructure and impaired drivers. Canadians are also good in obeying rules especially when it comes to the traffic. In Kenya, some drivers tend to ignore the traffic lights e.g. if it’s red and there are vehicles from other directions, some just cross the road. I guess Kenyans are very impatient. I am looking forward to enjoying the rest of my time here in Canada.

Traffic congestion in Nairobi

Traffic congestion in Nairobi