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Australian family experiences winter in Truro: Video


TRURO, N.S. —

The feel of snow, the size of a beaver and the quiet of Boxing Day were some of the things that surprised Caroline Centa during her visit to Canada.
Research and a DNA test led the Australian woman to finding her father, Paul Menhennett, who now lives in Truro. After he visited her in 2018, she decided it would be nice for them to spend their first Christmas together in Canada. She, her husband Shaun, and their children, Raistlin, 12, and Katala, 10, arrived in Nova Scotia at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Paul met them at the airport with winter clothes.
“It was a long trip, and everyone was pretty tired,” said Caroline. “Christmas morning Shaun and the kids were sleeping, and we were wondering if we should wake them so we could open our presents.”
During their two weeks here they visited Sugar Moon farm, Victoria Park, the Maritime Museum, the Discovery Centre, and Shubenacadie Wildlife Park.
“I didn’t know beavers were so big; I thought they were only about this big,” said Caroline, holding her hands about 30 centimetres (12 inches) apart. “It was really interesting to see them.
“We saw a moose at the park, but it was in the distance.”
Hearing about the deer around Truro, she thought she’d see one, but the only deer that made an appearance were at the park.
The wildlife park was a highlight of the trip for Katala.
“The wolves are my favourite,” she said. “I liked the grey ones best. They’re really pretty.”
Caroline was also surprised by how hard snow could feel once it became a little crusty.
“It’s pretty to look at but I don’t like walking in it,” she said. “I don’t mind the cold, but I don’t like snow.
“We were excited about the first snowfall though, and we went out and threw it around.”
She puts up an artificial tree at home, but this year Paul had a real tree ready for them to decorate. Unfortunately, she appeared to be allergic to it and was stuffed up while it was in the house.
She was surprised to find almost everything closed on Boxing Day; in Australia businesses are open part of the day.
The family missed being able to swim on Christmas Day but got out to the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre on New Year’s Eve for a swim and to try out the climbing wall.
Some days were spent mainly at home, as Caroline, Katala and Paul were sick for part of the visit.
“It’s been really good to have them here and spend time getting to know everyone better,” said Paul. “And they got to experience some new things.”
Because they’re now on their summer holidays, the Centas are spending time in Hawaii and Hong Kong on their way home.
“People are friendly in Canada and it was great to see family here,” said Centa. “I plan to come back – but not in winter.”

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