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After a difficult year fleeing the invasion of Ukraine, the Bohachuk family has found some peace and stability in Quebec.

And they just celebrated their first holiday season in the province.

“It was a very hard year for us but now it’s OK,” said father Pavlo Bohachuk. “We have an apartment here.”

CityNews first spoke to the Bohachuks and their host José Aumais from Lorraine, Que., in July.

The family of five has since moved into their own apartment in Mirabel. They say they’re forever grateful for what their host did for them.

“I miss José because she’s like my family too,” said Bohachuk. “First time, it was a very important time for us and we are very happy when we lived with José. And now we have many friends now because of living with José, she’s very amazing woman.”

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The Bohachuk family from Odessa, Ukraine now lives in Lorraine, Quebec with José Aumais. (Credit: José Aumais / handout)

The Bohachuks were so grateful that they decided to become a host family as well, hosting their friends from Ukraine who also fled the conflict. It made for a Christmastime that felt a little more like home – despite all the struggles abroad.

“Many people helped our family the first time and now we can help somebody,” said Bohachuk. “It’s very nice for us.”

Leaving her home behind was a difficult adjustment for the family’s eldest daughter.

“I miss my friends and my family that are still in Ukraine and Poland, but I like Canada,” said Sofiia Bohachuk. “I make many new friends and people here are really kind.”

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The family members spend their days working and going to school. And part of being in Canada means learning new languages.

“When I come back from school my mom always speaks with me in French,” said Sofiia. “And I have French lessons in school but I can’t really understand now, and my mom is always talking to me in French. I say ‘mom please can you say it in Ukrainian’

“Before going to school English was very hard. I couldn’t even say anything, just small sentences. And now when I go to school I practise and all day I speak with other students and so now my English is better, but not so good.”

The family is looking forward to building on this new life and a brighter 2023.

“First what I want is my house here in Canada,” said Pavlo Bohachuk. “I really want my house and become a permanent resident. It’s very important for us.”

The post From learning French to first Canadian Christmas: Ukrainian family reflects on new life appeared first on CityNews Montreal.

From learning French to first Canadian Christmas: Ukrainian family reflects on new life

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