Just recently, I found myself on a Saskatchewan highway, heading back to the tiny, rural village where both my parents grew up. It was my baba Naclia’s 90th birthday and I was making the 9-hour trip just to be there to celebrate with her and my extended family.
This little prairie village called Norquay was where I spent most of my childhood summers. I would run amuck in the large community garden behind my grandparent’s home in the town, listening as they spoke Ukrainian to their neighbours and marveling at how easy this exotic language rolled off their tongues.
Both sides of my family immigrated to Canada from the Ukraine. My dad’s theory is that a little impoverished village in the ‘old country’ simply picked itself up, got on a boat, and relocated to the prairies in Canada. This was my parent’s hometown.