"Well I met my husband in Switzerland, he's Canadian. So when we got married I knew that we were going to move to Canada. He was telling me all about it and the plan was to move to Ontario or Toronto so I could fly to Europe easily. Because I am originally from Poland, I wanted to be able to fly home if I got homesick.
Then during the process of getting my permanent residency, he said, 'you know what Alberta is booming let's move to Alberta.' I wanted to get ahead with my career, I’d just finished university when I lived in Switzerland and I hadn't really done too much career-wise. I said, 'okay if Alberta is booming then I’ll get my head start.' So, we moved to Edmonton at the end of January in 2005. A month and a half later he got a 3-month temporary job offer in Fort McMurray. When we moved here, I was devastated. I was like 'oh my god where are we?'
In general, most people I knew were complaining about Fort McMurray that there is nothing here, that there is not enough services, not enough houses etc. Back then you had to have a connection to buy a house. We thought the prices were crazy but they were nothing compared to what came later.
I got pregnant and we knew we had to start a life somewhere. The 3 months were almost up and my husbands boss gave him a really good offer to stay. He tried really hard to convince me to stay in Fort McMurray and was showing me all the great things about the city.
One day I walked into his office and said 'I think I’m good, I think I can stay here I found a hairdresser that I like.' He just laughed at me and we decided to stay and we were able to buy my husband's sister's house as they were retiring and moving out of the city.
My perspective of Fort McMurray started to slowly change and I started getting upset when people started complaining about the city because it had become my home. I find that the longer I stay the more things I appreciate about the city. There is so much to do in the city and as a community, we treat one another like family. The city of Fort McMurray has truly become my home and I am happy that our family has grown in such a wonderful place."
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