It is now end-September and past time that we bring you news of the Othman family and their first summer in Canada.   They were quite surprised by how hot and humid the summers are here, such a contrast from when they first arrived in the cold of February, and also quite different from their much drier Syrian summers. 
With the heat and humidity they enthusiastically enjoyed the pleasures of Ottawa’s beaches and swimming in the rivers and lakes of the area.  As it was the children’s first time ever to swim, Mohamad and Shoq enrolled them in swimming lessons at the local pool.
Thanks to the Presbyterian Church of Canada, Mohamad and the boys spent a June weekend at a camp in Quebec, and summarized their experience by saying "Canada is heaven".  They also went swimming and canoeing at Fitzroy Harbour Provincial Park.  The entire family also visited the Valleyview Little Animal Farm and braved the crowds to spend their first Canada Day at the celebrations on Parliament Hill. 
Enabled by the very generous donation of a piano, Shoq and the girls have all started taking piano or music lessons.  Mohamad continues to play his oud, an instrument similar to a guitar. 
While Mohamad and Shoq continued with their English as a Second Language summer classes, the children went to local home daycare providers.  Now the 3 eldest children are back at the local elementary school, their youngest is continuing with daycare, and Mohamad and Shoq are still hard at work on improving their English, which has improved exponentially since their arrival.