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Born in Antananarivo, Madagascar |

As Stephanie was growing up, one of the things her mom passed on to her was her passion for the English language. When she was a child they would always discuss her future, her studying hard to get excellent marks at school, applying for scholarships and graduating from a top University in France. They believed that it would help open doors and lead to a great career as a translator and interpreter. Sadly the opportunities she hoped for did not come to fruition so she attended the University of Antananarivo receiving a degree in English studies before pursuing a Master’s Degree in translation. Upon graduation Stephanie was fortunate to receive a job with the help of a former teacher and was able to work as a translator in Madagascar where she met her husband, a Poland-born Canadian. Four years later her husband’s overseas contract came to an end and they moved to Canada with their two and a half year old son. Stephanie says she is so proud that their new home was drawn, designed and built “from scratch” with her husband’s hands.

Toronto as Home

Stephanie sees her home in The Beaches as a place that has helped her keep a positive perspective as she encounters all of the challenges of being a new mom, while adapting to life here in Toronto. Four years ago, while still in Madagascar, she and her husband started planning to have a family, build a home, and become Torontonians. To see this home built and actually exist is for her amazing. From the balcony she can see the water, and the porch is one of her favourite places in the house. She is also proud of the fact that all of the furniture comes from Madagascar. Looking and touching the various pieces reminds her of where she came from and gives her a piece of Madagascar in this new place she calls home.

Connection with the Past

Before leaving Madagascar her mom gave Stephanie a jar of cloves, a spice which Madagascar is famous for and the largest producer of.  Her mother had those cloves in her kitchen for more than 35 years, and they have remained the same.  Whenever she opens that jar, the smell of the cloves takes her back instantly to the place where she grew up in Madagascar, to the kitchen where her mom used them to make amazing dishes. Stephanie has decided to keep them instead of using them for cooking. She wanted to take the picture with her son as he was born in Madagascar and she hopes one day she will be able to share those memories with him, just by smelling cloves in a jar.

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