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79 Days to go: Dreaming of Halifax

For many years until late into my 20s, I would experience the most bizarre and yet vivid dreams. Some of them included strange occurrences like floating over my town, not really flying like superman or flapping my wings, but, more just floating, arms to the side, face down. It was the most common mode of travel for me in my dreams and even when I was awake I was aware that I had the ability to ‘fly’ and knew what I needed to do to ‘take flight’. The other recurring dream was my entire family getting gunned down, I had this dream several times even up to the age where I was older that I am in the dream but that didn’t make it feel less real. Sometimes in my awake moments I would go through the feelings in that dream and just break down remember my baby brother J dying so viciously.  It was around that time that I acquired Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams. Hoping to understand why my brain was bringing up these twisted stories. What I learnt from the first few chapters was that dreams were remnants of the day. That we are in fact incapable of seeing a face in our dreams that we have not already seen, perhaps its in our subconscious, but it is there. I don’t believe that to be true and I am digressing.

This week I dreamt that I was in Halifax, I had somehow ended up sharing the lodging with my brother and his flatmates who are all students at SMU and we were in the throes of planning his surprise birthday party.

This is not a strange dream, and I didn’t do any flying in that dream, in fact it has been a long time since I have. But!, I was really really excited that this dream happened, the more I read about Nova scotia and Halifax in particular, the more excited I get about the future.  J, can not wait to be done with school so he can move to Toronto, I have no interest in big cities and I intend to make the best of Halifax.

My dreaming of Halifax reminded me of a journal entry by Julia Kaye of UpandOutComic from about a year ago when she had her first dream in the right body. Julia is trans. I know its not the same thing but still, it feels really good to know that my dream brain is finally catching up with what is happening.

Now, granted I have spent several hours each day looking at images of Halifax, reading stories from people there, looking at google street images of different places, noting bus routes for some of the places I intend to visit in my first week, but still… super cool. 🙂

I should finish that Freud book.

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Airbnb booked: 92 days to go

I have looked at several airbnbs in the Halifax / Dartmouth area. I had a whole selection of homes saved under ‘Halifax, new beginnings’ and as the days get closer I started noticing that a lot of the places were being taken up.. My two favourite place, one that was a full apartment and hosted by David in Downtown Halifax seems very popular and the other one is near Clayton Park and hosted by Tasmiah..

I have settled to book with Tasmiah for the first four days, and if I like it there, I will extend my stay or perhaps something will happen to cause me to want to book some where else..

My plan is arrive in Halifax, use it as a station to restart my career and then either move on to Vancouver, Toronto or maybe stay.. there are pros and cons to whichever place I look at, in the end I think it will have to be the place that is best suited for my personal development.

closer still.

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Pre-Canada Prep

95 Days to Go :)

soonI got back to work from the holidays on Monday the 8th, I didn’t know then that it was an important date. Today though, I was stuck in  3 hour meeting and my mind drifted back to something that has been on my mind.

I need to pick a date.

You see everyday when things get stressful at the office or someone says something unexpectedly annoying or provoking, the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that this is only temporarily, that I can do this, that I can hang on a little longer. So I stay calm, I switch back to my aloof setting and I ride the wave.

I need to pick a date

Today though, I needed an extra boost. Some days I read stories of other newcomers, there experiences so far, their struggles, their hopes and I think… soon. Other days, I go on indeed or on linkedin and do a visualization exercise.. me, there, doing that, being that. Other days though, that is not enough and I need to dig deeper, I need a deeper injection of hope.

“2 months to go”

That was a messsage that popped up on my screen from my brother Julius, right in the middle of the meeting. I thought… ‘It can’t be.. there are still at least three months’

Then I realised, this is what I have been telling myself for days, there is still time, and finding excuses to not do the things I need to do to close that gap… it is almost like I am self sabotaging.

I NEED TO PICK A DATE.

That is what it has come to. Pick a date, start a countdown and fit everything else you need to do in that time… So how, do you pick a date, how do you decide on the day that you put an end to what has been 7 really great years if I’m to be honest.

You see, thats the thing, I don’t hate this place, and yes, I make a little noise now and then, but I actually find my job relatively fulfilling. So the only way I leave if by deciding to do it and actively working towards that end.

So.. how do you pick a date?

Option 1. 17/06/18 My birthday in June.. sentimental, I can say, at the start of my 34th year, I started a whole new chapter… but June… that is so far away, by then I could have lost the nerve and opted to stay and die here

Option 2. 01/04/18 That’s April Fool’s, it would be clean at the end of Q3, and at the start of Memorial Month. things would have slowed down at the office. but.. not enough time to handover (what is ‘enough’ time?)

Option 3. 30/04/18 End of Month, that’s plenty of time for the office to find a replacement, but also seems far away.

Option 4. 16/04/18 it would be mid month and I would land on the 17th, Exactly 2 months to my birthday, Two months to have found my footing. and sufficient time to handover if I start mid March. Why wait for mid March.. I am starting my Below the Line handover now. Also… Julius turns 25 on the 19th, 25!! I would like to be there for that.

So there. A date has been selected. 16th April 2018. That is it. I feel elated, my heart is beating in my chest (maybe it is the sugar cookies I just had) but this is really wild. Its happening.THIS IS HAPPENING.

whoopie!

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Pre-Canada Prep

It’s here, everything is here :)

This post comes a little later than it should have and yet the emotions have not faded. Knowing that my date of moving is getting closer makes fills me with such a mix of emotion. Joy, relief, hope, doubt, courage and more recently. Peace. Everytime I put things in perspective, I realize that most things don’t matter in the grand scheme of things and this allows me to refocus my energies on the things that do.

On 3rd October 2017, I got the update in myCIC account, it said many things, but what stood out were two sentences A final decision has been made. Your application has been approved. 

The following day, I received an update from VFS in Dares salaam. My passport was on its way back. The day it arrived – 8th October, I was in the middle of a management training session. I remember knowing that I couldn’t wait until the end of the day to look at it. So I got up, left the meeting and drove to the office where the fedex envelope sat waiting.

Exactly a month after I had laid my eyes on her, my passport was back! none the the worse for the trip but filled with news of our next big adventure. The fabled CoPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence) was in my hands.

Now I know this is not the end of the story and I know that there are more hurdles ahead, No, it’s not going to be easy, yes, I ‘m going to be pushed far out of my comfort zone but still … I will persist and find answers to my ‘what if’

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Pre-Canada Prep

PPR Received :)

It happened, on the morning of 7th September, I woke up to an email letting me know that there was an update in my CIC account. It is what they call the golden email on most of the Moving to Canada forums. It is what applicants wait months to receive. I had seen petitions from people that had been in waiting for more than 6 months.

It had taken a total of 77 days for me from AOR to receiving the PPR (Passport Request)

When I first saw the email, I was confused … Passport Request is supposed to come to your inbox. So my first thought was perhaps Ive been rejected.
Still half asleep, I logged in on my phone
It was the official PPR… Finally PPR!! I was elated.
The PPR is an almost 98% indicator that you will be confirmed unless something really unexpected happens, or if an applicant was insincere in their application or had falsely represented themselves.
This was on Thursday last week. The statistics on myimmitracker.com show that most PPRs are sent out on Wednesdays or Fridays End of Day Ottawa… which would mean Thursday or Saturday if you are in my part of the world.
So many thoughts are running through my mind.
The next few months will be crucial
I need to get fit, I know, I know… I always say that.
Continue learning French but put in time daily.. I learnt some plurals and adverbs today.
Work hard on the legacy I am leaving behind at my current work place.
Learn something new about Canada especially Vancouver and Halifax every other day and keep a log of it.
08/09/2017
I submitted my passport, there is no VFS office in the current country of residence, so I had to visit the nearest Fedex to ship it off. Definitely nervous but apparently people do that all the time.
Passport has been shipped off to Dar-es-salaam. Included Passport, 2 photos, a consent form,  and a proof of payment for the processing fees and the courier fees  – 159,300 TZS apx $71
Processing time is estimated at 2 weeks.
I signed up for a pre arrival class for Vancouver, though I am still thinking strongly about Halifax, It might be time to reach out to Dar.
It is impossible to put in words how exciting this all really is. Still doesn’t feel real. I have so many questions. So many unknowns, quite a few fears, but I am certain about one thing. There will be no turning back.
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Pre-Canada Prep

PR Application – Canada – my process

At some point in October 2016, I decided that I needed a change, in November 2016, I decided that that change would not be a new job, a new relationship, a new position but rather a change of environment, my home country which I left 7 years ago was not an option. I don’t care for corruption, rampant lawlessness and discrimination. I do however love my family and miss them dearly. But I am not a tadpole anymore.

In December 2016, my mind was set, I would move to Canada, and start over. I would leave my family behind, my new adopted country, my 3 friends, and I would move 6000 miles to Vancouver Canada.

I went on the IRCC site and looked at the requirements… As someone whose intention was to immigrate as a Skilled Worker, I would need to fulfill some key Requirements

  • Language Ability in French, English or Both. .. my dad says my first sentence was ‘no onions’ I was not concerned about this. I took the IELTS. The minimum accepted by IRCC is 6 avg, with no less than 6 (out of 9) in either Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. In 2010 when I last took this test, I had an avg of 8. I hoped this would not be an issue.
  • Police Clearance from any country I had resided in for more than 6 months since age 18. For me that was 3 countries.
  • Education Equivalence – ECA Education Credentials Assessment for any academic qualifications above high school received outside Canada. The higher the degree, the better the ranking. I have an MA from the UK
  • Medical Clearance. Canada is famous for the their health care system. You can’t fault the country for not allowing people with communicable diseases in. I took the test.
  • Age – this was an interesting one. The sweet spot is 18-35, 12 points, any younger you do not get a point, any older, you lose a point for each year.

So in December I started the process.

Things I didn’t Expect / Mistakes 1/2

I will focus on the main one for now, more will be in a later post

Not Doing everything at once.

First I signed up for the next English test – it only happens once a month, the next one was scheduled for January 20th. So I registered for that and waited. After taking the test, I then requested for my Education Assessment – from requesting my university for the documents to submitting them to WES to a complete evaluation this would take almost 3months to be completed and then my Police Clearance from the UK- Even with the option of expedited processing, the physical documents had to be mailed. Another month. Finding an appointment with the only certified doctor the could do the test- another 2 weeks.

If I had to do it over again, I would  request everything at once so all processes were running alongside each other.

In the end, it took 3 months before I was able to submit my application, once submitted, I entered the Express Entry Pool and waited for my ITA. I had over 450 points. In the very next selection, I got the ITA.

Waited some more for the missing documents and on June 21, I was finally able to submit.  The cost at that time to me was

  • $200 – Medical
  • £ 45 + £80 – UK Police clearance expedited and shipping
  • $350 Trip for birth country Police Clearance
  • $100 Birth country Police clearance – expedited
  • $950 – Canada Application and Right of PR Fee

So on June 21, I received my AOR – When you receive this, you are told the standard processing time is 6 months.

The waiting had officially began.

 

Acronyms

Uncategorized

It begins 14/08/2017

Hmmm…. that title is completely misleading, this whole thing starting in late 2016, out of a need to recreate, to restart, to redefine myself. I know, it sounds cliche, but hear me out. If we are supposed to stay on this planet for 80 some years, then it would behoove us to refuse to accept the same thing we’ve always done as the status quo.

This is what it comes down to, I am in my mid 30s (actually 33) I work for a company that I don’t hate and they seem to not mind my guts either. I’ve been here 4 years and now report to the most senior person in the company, I’ve done what I came to do, there is nothing left for me to do here.

So, I simply have to move on or risk staying the same and slowly becoming obsolete. So I will be moving to Vancouver Canada, that is the goal atleast, I submitted my application on the 21st of June, and my security background checks are now ongoing. Canada is making an assessment of whether I belong. I don’t, not yet anyway, but soon, very soon, this Alien will be moving to Canada.

I’ll keep you posted.

Wish me luck,

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