Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My life in Canada (January 2007 - December 2007)...PART 1

January 2007 - December 2007...Part 1:

We had a great New Year and just celebrated it with my husband's parents which is always fun. They have a great view from their living room window from where we could enjoy the fireworks at midnight. Otherwise there is not too much more news to tell you about. I started that online course to get the highest education in nursing in Canada. This course takes about a year to a year and a half and I started with the first parts of the theory which I can do all online (exams included). I took up pharmacology (which I need to finish within 5 months) and general theory in nursing (which I need to finish within 7 months). It's quite some work, but therefore I started working part time. This way I have lots of time to study and a bit of time to relax as well when neeeded. This course will give me a better title, much more choices in jobs and a better pay. So far I have done 6 exams and I had good marks (all over 75%). I still have about 5 exams to do by the end of both courses. It is the beginning of May now and I will be doing my final exam of pharmacology pretty soon and then that part will be finished! I am also looking forward to the month of June. On June 6th my mom is coming to visit us in Canada again together with an Aunt and Uncle of mine. I look forward to that so will be so much fun. Hopefully we will have nice weather so we can show them around to many beautiful places. They will be here for almost 3 weeks, so I think we will be able to fill our time visiting some great places. For the rest I have been here and there to enjoy my new camera even more which I love so much. I have been going around to take some photos at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver (about 20 minutes driving from our place), Burnaby Mountain (10 min. from our place) and around our place. We had some more snow in January...about 30cm and on top of that we had another cold spell with temperatures below zero. It all disappeared again within 2 to 3 weeks. We are also planning a few things for this summer and will be going to Mara Lake again in July where we go on holidays every summer. We go together with Michael's parents and meet up with his aunts. It will be so much fun again. After Mara Lake we are also planning a trip to Olympic National Park in the USA which is about 3-4 hours driving. This park is located on the Olympic Peninsula and covers rainforests, mountains, beautiful beaches and more. We look forward to that and hope to see many lovely places in this area. I am in the middle of finding a nice place to stay, we hope to find a nice cabin in a quiet area.

A winter scene seen from our living room

A couple of photos taken in Vancouver

I am still in touch with my mother over the phone every week. I enjoy talking to her about all kinds of things, it makes the distance between us a bit easier. For the rest I don't hear much from the rest of my family in Belgium, which is a shame. Just from a few people now and then. I would like to be in touch with everybody once in awhile, but if I always have to be the one doing the efforts it is not so much fun anymore. And some people appear to be jealous that my Aunt and Uncle are coming along with my mother to Canada??? How silly is that, don't they have anything else to do than being jealous of others? I guess some people have no life? I would be happy for someone if they can go on a big trip like that, or if they can buy a nice car or enjoy other great things! After all, I am sure that most people work hard to buy the things they like to buy or to do the things they like to do. Everybody spends their money a different way and the people that don't spend lots of money on things are maybe people that rather like to save their money. That's each their own decision! I just find that jealousy is such an ugly thing, it's like a disease! Anyway, my Aunt and Uncle have supported my mother so much after my dad had his accident and when my dad passed away. They have done so much for my mother and I am very thankful for that, so they are welcome anytime and it is nice that my mother can come along as she is too afraid to come on her own. And really, there is nothing to be jealous of when someone has lost her husband and has to be alone all times, most people have forgotten about my dad and don't talk about it anymore. But my mom wakes up every morning without my dad and I am sure it doesn't get easier as time goes on. She needs to look after everything herself now and I have to say she' doing a pretty good job! I admire my mother that she can handle it! Oh, I also met a nice Belgian girl who is considering to move to Vancouver, Canada because her boyfriend is living here now. We met up for coffee and had a great time! She's planning on taking a year leave from her work by the end of this year so she can come and live with her boyfriend. This way she can find out how she actually likes living here and being here all the time. And this way she'll be with her boyfriend a lot more and it will test the relationship as well. I hope for her that it will all work out and she will be able move to Canada permanently and have a wonderful life here with her man. And since she will be coming to Vancouver, I hope I will get to hang out with her now and then as well!

We are already in April by now and I have heard that the weather is summer like in Belgium for almost the whole month, that must be wonderful! We have had quite normal spring weather for this time of the year with rain, sunshine and fairly mild temperatures. We haven't had too many real warm days yet, I am surprised. As we had some 25 C weather in April in the previous years. Hopefully there will be lots of that sunny and warmer weather coming our way in the next few months. I can't believe that my mom and my aunt and my uncle will be here in just about a month from now and a bit from now! I am getting so excited about it and really look forward to it. It will be a nice break for me and for Michael as well. He has been really busy at work lately, he deservers a nice break! First I will need to finish some more exams and study a bit more. I need to finish my pharmacology final exam by the 14the of May, so I am studying hard and lots now. I am hoping to get quite a bit done before my family comes and then I can relax for a while. I am doing quite well on my far I have been able to get 75% or more on my exams and I am really happy about that.Well, June has arrived and we are having such beautiful weather. It's been sunny and we had temperatures of 25 C to 30 C for the past week. Sadly enough by the time that my family comes (NEXT WEEK...WOOOHOOO), the weather is going to turn cooler and there are rain showers in the forecast as well. Oh well, we can't change the we will do our best to enjoy our time as much as we can anyway! I have been so busy with my studies, working and other things. I want to get as much done of my course before my family is coming over from Belgium. I finished pharmacology on May the 9th and had 78% on my final exam. In other news I can tell you that I have made my first $20 CAD from a photo that I took. I was contacted by e-mail a while back about a photo I took in the Canadian Rocky Mountains of a glacier. They wanted to use it for an educational book about glaciers and such. They told me to let them know a few things about the photo, my name (as it will be put by the photo in the book), my address and how much money I would ask to let them use this photo. Gee, this was the first time that somebody actually offered to pay for one of my photos, which is so cool. I knew someone who is a bit more experienced with selling photos and after contacting him, I had a better idea of what I should ask. So, I asked $20 CAD for that one photo and gave them permission to use it. I wasn't sure if I was actually going to get the money...but last week a cheque came in the mail for $20 CAD with my name on it! I am very happy with my first sale!!!Well, just a few more days and my family will be here (my mom and my aunt & uncle). We are looking forward to it so much. We will be able to enjoy so much time together and catch up on some things. There are many things to see and do, so we will take it day by day and see where we want to go and what we want to see. We'll have lots of time to do a bundle of fun stuff! Hopefully the weather will be ok as well. I will definitely post some news when my family is here and try to post some photos.

Crocus in the snow on March 1/07 at Burnaby Mountain

View of the mountains from the Skytrain station near our home

The most exciting time is over again and my family has left again. My family was on holidays in Vancouver with us from June 6 until June 22, 2007. My mom came to visit us together with an aunt and uncle of mine. I was so excited to see them and to have a great time with them. We mainly visited Vancouver and its surrounding area as it was a bit too far to go to the Canadian Rockies. It would have been too much of a rush to see things and they would have to miss some of the most beautiful areas as some areas in the Canadian Rockies are still closed in June. My mom has been to the Canadian Rockies with us 2 years ago and I think that my aunt and uncle might come back some day to visit the beautiful Canadian Rockies. During their stay we had a great time and enjoyed so many beautiful places. It was great to be a tourist again in my own area! We did a few day trips as well including a day to the USA and a day to Victoria with the ferry on Vancouver Island. My aunt and uncle were impressed with Vancouver and its surrounding area and they enjoyed it so much. They couldn't believe that one moment you could be in the busy city centre and 15 minutes later your one with mother nature. They thanked us many times for the good times they had and the things we did for them which was nice to hear. It was so sad to see them go, it was especially sad to see my mom go as I will really miss her again like crazy until I see her again! I always stay strong at the airport as I don’t want to start crying because that makes it even harder. We hugged and kissed goodbye and saw them walk towards the customs and that was that. They are gone and on their way back to Belgium! In the car on the way home I really burst out in tears because I missed my mom already. It was such a strange feeling, but I guess that was because I felt that I didn’t spend as much time with my mom alone compared to the other times she was here. We were out and about almost everyday with my family from the morning until the evening, which was fantastic, but my mom and I didn't have much alone time compared to other times she was here. Michael and I enjoyed it very much and my mom enjoyed every minute of it as well. But I guess that’s why I have a feeling that I didn’t spend that much time with my mom. My mom really seemed so relaxed and so happy during the whole time she was here with us. She also told me that this was her most relaxing and fun trip to Canada so far (since my dad has passed away). Every day when my mom and I were out and about with my aunt and uncle we had so many laughs and giggles…just like a bunch of teenagers. But it was just so much fun and so nice that we could have such a great time. And when Michael was with us, he puts even more fun stuff in the trip and we all had a fantastic time. On Sunday morning when we got up it was around 9:15am, I checked if the plane arrived safely in Amsterdam and I saw that it did. I couldn’t help but thinking of my mom, so I decided to give her a call around 9:30am (which is 6:30pm in Belgium) and see if she was home and awake. Oooooh, it was sooo good to hear my mother’s voice on the phone. They had a good trip back and they were all so tired. My mom had a bit of a hoarse voice and thought she might get a cold. She better take care of that before it gets worse. She was so tired and was going to go to bed after we phoned. I was so glad to hear her and that she is feeling ok. We will talk again on the phone soon!

Some photos of my family in Canada

Please see my next post "My life in Canada (January 2007 - December 2007)...Part 2 for the rest of the story!


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