Archive | December 2012

2012: A Much Needed Recap

Christmas Day may only have ended 48 hours ago, but it might as well be 48 years ago once you hit those ‘in-between’ days of December 27 – 29. No longer Christmas but not quite New Year; what else is there to do but ponder one’s resolutions from the past twelve months? My second year in Vancouver has been even busier than my first, and has succeeded in being one of the best and most challenging of my 25 to date. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked back over my nine goals for 2012, as I achieved much, much more than I’d remembered.

Resolutions I did achieve in 2012 (well, more than not)…

1. Keep a Diary. I will start off by admitting that my initial efforts did begin to tail off slightly half way through the year, but I definitely did keep a diary for at least 50% of the year. The beautiful Cath Kidston diary may have provided a little extra motivation when needed. I haven’t read it back so I can’t comment on the relevance or coherence of the entries, but I tried.

4. Ski/Snowboard more. I achieved this goal 100% by investing in my very own snowboard, boots, helmet, Grouse Mountain season pass and weekly lessons. I went from 4 days on the snow in early 2011 to 15+ in early 2012. I enjoyed my ladies only snowboarding lessons so much that I’ve registered again (this time for January AND February), and I’m feeling even more optimistic about continuing my goal in 2013 due to the number of fellow snowbirds I’ve gotten to know this year. The icing on this year’s cake would have been if I’d made it to Whistler (or at least any other mountain than Grouse) but there’s always time in 2013.

Testing the new board at Grouse Mountain

Testing the new board at Grouse Mountain

5. Have a targeted approach to work. My goal for 2012 was to be more strategic with the time I spend on particular projects to avoid running myself into the ground, and I’m proud to say I achieved this. 2012 was an interesting year when it came to work, and I learned much more through unexpected experiences and challenges than I ever thought I could in twelve months. Being aware of my goals helped me through some difficult periods, and I’m  (just about) looking forward to getting back to the office in 11 days time.

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Immigration Medical Uncovered

I previously blogged about my application for Canadian Permanent Residency through the BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and I’m excited be writing an update on my progress. Since applying to the PNP in February I have received my Certificate of Nomination (April), applied to the federal office for Permanent Residency (July), had my forms returned for missing a signature (August) and applied for a second time (September). My application was officially ‘received’ by Citizenship & Immigration Canada on September 13th (though I didn’t receive notification of this until mid-October) and I was expecting to wait another 4-6 months before hearing any further news. To my surprise, on November 9th an email arrived in my inbox with instructions for undergoing a medical examination. Progress!

I knew I had to go through a medical exam as part of the application process, but I had no idea what was involved. The email included a list of approved medical practitioners in BC, so I looked up the ones in Vancouver to get an idea of how much this was going to cost. I’d assumed it wasn’t going to be cheap, but my jaw dropped when I discovered that the total cost of the medical exam was $260 per person. Granted, this included all aspects of the exam plus all the paperwork and sending of the documents to Ottawa by express mail, but still…$260 each?! At this point I didn’t have a choice, so I took a deep breath and booked the first appointment available on the upcoming Friday afternoon.

All in the name of (one day) a Canadian passport. Only three-and-a-bit years to go!

All in the name of (one day) a Canadian passport. Only three-and-a-bit years to go!

The doctor I’d chosen had a nice looking website and was situated in one of the medical buildings in Downtown Vancouver. I arrived at the office with my passport, three passport photos and the medical form the CIC had sent me. After filing out a patient registration form I was sent straight downstairs to the X-Ray room with the first set of papers. There I paid $50 to change into a hospital robe for a front and back chest X-Ray (technically two X-Rays as the first one didn’t work, or something). I went back upstairs to the doctor’s office to report on my process, and went into the medical examination. After testing my vision and checking my height and weight I was ushered into the examination room and asked to undress and wrap myself in a weird, synthetic sheet. When I was ready the doctor came in and proceeded to literally poke and prod me for the next five minutes. The final test was a sharp tap right below my kneecaps which had me shrieking in hysterics, so unexpected was it. The doctor did not seem amused, and simply let me know that everything was fine.

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