Elizabeth Esin, who’s been living in Timmins for almost three years, says she would love to stay in the community.
Esin, 38, works as a settlement worker at the Timmins and District Multicultural Centre.
Her husband got a job at Ontario Power Generation in 2018 and moved here from Toronto in January 2019. Esin joined him later that year, in April, relocating straight from Nigeria.
They have been married for six years and have two children aged five and 19 months.
“I would love to stay in Timmins. I hope nothing takes me away soon but I’d love to stay in Timmins because I feel the atmosphere is great for raising my children,” Esin says adding, she’s not the kind of person who is used to big city life. “I don’t like busy towns. For me, it’s cool and quiet and nice for the kids and myself.”
Since moving to Timmins, she’s volunteered in a Kidopolis summer program at First Baptist Church, at food banks and helped paint a peace pole at the new park in Schumacher.
To newcomers, she advises not to rush and give themselves time to get adjusted and meet new people.
“You will find the place loving and you appreciate the community. You come to like it. Don’t be in a rush,” she says. “If it’s difficult, it takes time to get involved, but give yourself time.”
Esin was born and raised in the Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
There’s a tradition in Nigeria to prepare a special meal on Sunday, so Esin does the same here in Timmins trying to cook something new.
“We just pick something different or something new, and we try it on Sunday. Back home, Sunday meals are different than any other day of the year,” she says.
She started working as a settlement worker last November. As Esin loves serving people, she found the position to be a good fit and she enjoys doing it.
"It's fun to serve, making people happy and settled in. It's fulfilling," she says.
The role is new to her because her background is different from what she’s doing now.
Before moving to Canada, Esin was a marine engineer and a sailor working on ships in the water. The ships were about 2,000-3,000 miles away from the shore.
What drove her to study marine engineering was watching the Titanic movie when she was little, she says laughing.
“I wanted to be in a place like that,” she says.
The ships she worked on were more like supply vessels that could accommodate 50 people on board. Esin worked as a third engineer as there was a hierarchy of each department on the vessels.
Some of the responsibilities included maintaining vessels, ensuring other jobs were carried out swiftly and there were no mechanical or electrical breakdowns that could be life-threatening, she says.
“You have a lot of things that are fighting against you while you’re at sea. You have the current, you have waves, you have to maintain stability to carry on those jobs,” she says adding she enjoyed her job because it was rotational.
She also recalls doing sea patrols from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.
“It just changed the whole circadian clock for me. It was crazy. Outside of that, I enjoyed most of it,” she says.
Before becoming a marine engineer, Esin was a cadet and did her certification.
In the future, Esin would like to own a business. She describes herself as adventurous who isn’t afraid to try things.
“Compared to the water, I don’t think there’s anything that scares me on land,” she says.