Feature Story: All’s well that ends well

External Relations, University of Regina
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External Relations, University of Regina

As she thought about it on Monday, October 12, Patience Umereweneza had plenty to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day. For one thing, she was less than a week away from graduating from the University of Regina with a Bachelor’s degree in health sciences. But what really made her Thanksgiving memorable was that it marked her father’s first visit to Canada since Patience arrived in Regina as a refugee in 2008. Long after turkey leftovers had been stored away in most Regina refrigerators, Samuel Umereweneza’s flight arrived from Thailand and father and daughter were reunited. “I feel like I won the lottery,” says Patience of her father’s unlikely arrival. “I was contemplating not going to Convocation. It would have been a very bittersweet moment to be on the stage without my father there. I wasn’t expecting that he would be able to come.” Only a few weeks ago, Patience could never have dreamed that her father would be in the Convocation audience, because his bid for a visitor’s visa was denied by Canadian embassy officials in Bangkok.

Patience Umereweneza, Samuel Umereweneza, Vianne Timmons, Group for Refugees, Fall Convocation