I was born in a tiny third world country in South America where some basic human necessities were a luxury. Electricity being one of them. Yes, we had no electricity. Our only source of light was a kerosene wick lamp.
At a tender age (and I speak on behalf of most children from my community), our parents did not hesitate to let us know that " To Read is to know and once you learn to read, you will forever be free" Powerful words that resonated throughout my childhood.
We had no toys, and books were scarce. Every moment of our waking hours was spent in school, doing chores or reading. We read huddled up under trees from the soaring heat and at nights with our kerosene wick lamps as a unit and as a community.
The love and eagerness to read created an everlasting bond among the children and their books.
I recalled we had no babysitters when our parents were at work instead most of us spent time together taking turns reading out loud and helping one another along.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain kept us company repeatedly as my eldest sister was in charge and a versatile reader. She commanded us with her theatrics and was quick to pound us if we mispronounced our words.
We were diligent and serious about our love of books and reading. We never disrespected a book.
We grew up with our individual dreams and endeavours but one thing will undoubtedly unite us no matter the distance, is our love of reading!
"Literacy is indeed a bridge from misery to hope" (Unknown)
As immigrants to Canada, we are testament to this.