She’s 7,000 kilometres from home, but that didn’t stop Tatiana Warkentin from wrapping herself in red and white to celebrate Canada Day in Switzerland.
The 29-year-old was one of three Canadian expats in Europe who were given a surprise Canada Day package from Canadian Tire in time for last weekend’s celebrations complete with flags, hockey pucks, T-shirts, Frisbees and more.
"They showed up at my door with a huge box of goodies," said Warkentin, 29, a former North Ender who moved with her husband to Bern two years ago.
"I got a little emotional. We live in a country where we see a different red and white flag."
Warkentin celebrated Canada Day with a barbecue alongside a handful of her husband’s colleagues who work for the Universal Postal Union, an agency of the United Nations. The package made for perfect party favours for the group, who hailed from France, Brazil, and Serbia among others.
"We’re basically trying our best to use everything Canadian Tire gave us, even the glow sticks," Warkentin said.
"We got hockey pucks to give as gifts. Our friends from Brazil really (wanted) one," she said.
"All of them (were) really excited to get Canadian flags."
Warkentin has been working as a travel writer and photographer, and was spotted by Canadian Tire through her blog, www.dubioushausfrau.com, where she has written for years about life in downtown Winnipeg, her involvement in the community, and, more recently, about her new life in Bern.
Warkentin said both Canada and Switzerland share an "enthusiastic patriotism" for their country.
"Canadians love being Canadian, they love celebrating everything that is Canada," she said.
"The Swiss are very much the same. It’s easier to find a Swiss-made product than an imported product. They are very into celebrating their own country," she said, adding the two countries share a passion for hockey.
Canadian Tire tasked ambassador Shana Cook to deliver the packages to Warkentin and two other Canadian expat families living in Jurbise, Belgium and Wolfenbüttel, Germany.
"Seeing the joy on the faces of each family when they opened their door to see their Canada Day surprise was priceless," Cook said in release.