Pandemic Times. Finding home away from home.

Its been a year into the Covid-19 pandemic and I could have never imagined it going this way. I bet you didn’t either.

A full 365 days and more filled with covid-19 restrictions in so many parts of the world.

What has happened this past year makes you think of the many ways our lives have been upended. And yet, we are not done just yet.

But perhaps the most universal yet personal question most of us have asked is “where is home?” during a pandemic.

Is it in your apartment building, the city you live, where your parents are located? where you are studying or studied? where your best friend is? or just where the pandemic found you.

Like many — the pandemic found me somewhere unexpected but soon it felt so familiar, just like home. I baked a lot and loved sharing food.

I’ve thought about seeing my immediate family in Uganda so many times but that hasn’t happened yet. But luckily, home hasn’t been more closer to me.

The beauty of it all has been who we’ve been able to open our hearts to. As a result, I joined a group called “Immigration FC” — a group of young professionals, many of whom are former international students and some cool peeps.

Over the many months since last summer, we’ve become more like family — dining, hiking and enjoying each others presence. Its heartwarming to see many persons showing up for each other and being that family away from home.

Amidst zoom fatigue and Covid-19 stress, seeing human connection thrive is the pinnacle of the human spirit. Giving, loving and opening hearts and homes is what we all need. Not only today but every day.

Home is where the heart chooses to give and receive. Choosing to heal, to hope and see life as full of possibilities and opportunities. I hope you open your heart to make it home for you and others around.

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Ivan Okello

Ivan Okello

A Ugandan immigrant living in NB, Canada. Passionate about building inclusive culture and community among diverse people. I run a bi-weekly men's group .