My name is Sylvie Field. I have been in Vancouver with my husband for a little over a year. We have residency and this is our home now. We are lucky enough to live very close to family and this was our objective. Our little grandson ensures that we are well occupied and we are lucky to have a roof garden to look after and enjoy. That said, it’s been a difficult transition in some ways and of course, we left behind all our friends and the rest of our family. We are both in our mid-seventies so not exactly spring chickens!

I have always enjoyed having various creative outlets and it was this that led me to go to a mural festival last year. Totally by chance, I met up with Clemencia whilst I was wandering around and she and her friends invited me along when they went for a meal. Details were exchanged and eventually, I came along to a session of 411 Coffee and Conversation Gathering at Kingsgate Mall. I had no idea what to expect but right from the start, I felt welcome. Eventually, I got to know other seniors and have looked forward to all the different activities we do.

One of the biggest surprises was how many different nationalities there were. I love that because it’s a way to appreciate all the different backgrounds and histories we have. But of course, many of us face the same problems, the same doubts, and the same fears and I guess one of the main functions of 411 is to address some of those. Meanwhile, we are having fun! I can’t remember laughing so much when I was in a large group of people. I am actually quite a shy person, but I think I have learned to trust enough to be able to speak my mind and to relax in whatever the activities are that day.

 Often when you get older there are fewer and fewer opportunities to do things like dance and sing so I have really enjoyed that and appreciate those for whom a sense of rhythm comes naturally. Some stereotypes are true! I also like sharing my own creative instincts in various small projects like making the mosaic and I look forward to many others.

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