Last Day Of Work? Check!

Whenever Ricardo and I discussed moving to Canada, one of the top things on his list that made him feel sad to go was quitting his job.  He has worked at Canto Del Sol for 4 1/2 years now and although the pay isn’t good, he loves his job.  He is most sad about leaving his customers.  There are people that visit the resort every year that always expect to see him there.  He has such great relationships with them (and a good memory) that he still remembers what they like to drink and all of their special requests.  What a guy!

Tonight was his last night working.   I felt a bit stressed for him the last few days and tried not to mention his last day because I remember how my last day felt working at Rogers.  I was so sad to step out into the unknown and I genuinely liked my job that it was very hard to put it behind me.  I know he felt the same way, based on previous conversations we had.

Ricardo called just 20 minutes ago as he always does when he finishes his shift.  (He’s so sweet and always asks if I need him to buy anything from the store on his way home.) I asked him how he felt and very excitedly he replied, “I AM SO HAPPY!!!” I was a bit taken back because of how sad he’s been about it so I started laughing and asked him why (thinking he got a really sweet tip or something.) to which he replied, “Because I’m moving to Canada!!!” 

Thank You Lord that I have the most adaptable, easy going, sweet guy to do this thing called Life with.  I am so relieved that he is excited for our move to Canada and I have all the faith in the world that his adjustment to life in Canada will be a smooth one.

Cheers to a new adventure! 

The Scorpion and Me

One thing I will NOT miss about living in Mexico is finding scorpions in the house!  I can deal with the ants, the centipedes, june bugs, and  even sometimes the flying termites… but scorpions scare me!   Thankfully I have only found 5 in the last 2 years.

Last night I went upstairs with the laundry basket and started folding and packing the clothes we are bringing to Canada.  It came down to the very last item in the basket, a pair of Maria Jose’s boy shorts.  That’s when I noticed him.  I took a closer look and it was curled up and looking very dry.  I picked up the shorts and shook them, he wasn’t coming off.  I knew it was dead but I didn’t want to touch it because they creep me out so I just put it back in the basket and continued packing.  I spent the next 20 minutes looking over my shoulder just to make sure hew as still there.  He of course didn’t move but it was giving me the heebie jeebies that this dead scorpion was next to me.  After turning around to check about 5 times I decided enough was enough and I put the basket on the floor so it was further away from me.

About 20 minutes later after everything was folded and put away I walked by the basket and noticed he had moved! OH.MY.GOSH! I can’t believe I sat on my bed for 20 minutes with a live scorpion next to me who I thought was dead!

I grabbed a piece of cardboard and pinned him to the basket and ran downstairs and had Maria Jose grab me the scorpion spray and that was the end of that.

Apparently scorpions play dead.  I did not know that.

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My Climb, My Bubble: This is How I Feel Today.

Today marks 1 week until the big moving day.  I love the idea of moving.  Moving for me, has always been a time to go through everything and decide if it’s still needed.  A time to donate, recycle, throw away.  I love that feeling.

Moving from one country to another though, even the second time around – doesn’t have the same sense of excitement.

Don’t get me wrong – this move for us is very exciting.  We’ve been working towards this move for almost 3 years now and I really feel in my heart that it’s the right step for us.  But because we are leaving behind half of our family, our home, our cats, for Ricardo – his job… We both feel like there is a little black cloud hanging above the “bubble” that we find ourselves in.

I’ve always referred to living in Mexico as living in a bubble.  For the last 2 years I have worked part time for my sister’s company which I am beyond grateful for.  I have made my own working hours, my own days off and worked as little or as much as I have wanted to.  I have little responsibilities in Mexico and have really embraced the slow paced lifestyle.  Mexico to me, has been simply incredible.  The bubble that I have been living in is about to pop.  I’ve been dreading it, I’ve been scared of it, and I’ve been trying to ignore the fact that it’s just a week away.  “Life” starts again in 1 week.  I will go back to working full time, paying rent, bills, car insurance, gas and all the other expenses that come up.  I wish the bubble could last forever…

As I was working last week a song came on that couldn’t have summed up the last 2 years better for me.  Where I was back then, and where I feel I am today.  The lyrics of this song are so powerful.

Living in Mexico hasn’t been all roses.  I have had several moments where I felt discouraged that Ricardo wasn’t able to travel back with me to Canada.  During our immigration process I felt at many times my faith was being tested, and although I was determined, the thought of giving up wasn’t very far from my mind.

This song says “Ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side – it’s the climb”  and “I may not know it, but these are the moments I’m gonna remember most, just gotta keep going…”  This is so true and it didn’t take long for me to realize that the immigration time lines or the start of our Canadian adventures didn’t matter – it was everything in between that was important.
I think the very hardest part of moving back to Canada is the fact that I already know that in 6 months, 1 year, 10 years – I will look back on life in Mexico and think “That was the best time of my life!”  Mexico is where, for the first time I saw my dad’s “other side” – the side that is genuinely happy.  (He loves Mexico just as much as I do and has lived/visited here for more than 8 months since I’ve been here.)  It has been really special getting to know this side of him and I’m so thankful for the times that we had here.  On the beaches of Puerto Vallarta I watched my Mom and Ricardo face their fears and go parasailing, a proud moment for me.  From the Mayan Palace to Hotel Sheraton I had the opportunity to introduce Ricardo to my family and show them a bit of the Mexican Culture.  Most importantly here is where I met the three most precious girls in my life, who I am so unbelievably proud of and who I will miss more than I can even put into words. Mis chicas, TKM!

It’s hard to close that door, it’s hard to walk away from the best time of my life.  But, it needs to be done – so I’m putting one foot in front of the other and trying my best to move forward.

I don’t know what Canada has in store for us but what I do know is that Mexico and the experiences that I have had here, will always hold a very special place in my heart.

Meet Mitch….

A few days after Gallo passed away I looked out from our balcony and spotted a dog curled up in my next door neighbors yard sleeping.  I didn’t think much of it and went about my day.  The next day though, I found it in the same spot.  I wasn’t sure if the dog had left during the night or what happened while I wasn’t looking so I took some left over Christmas dinner and threw it over the fence.  It got the dog’s attention, but it didn’t get up to eat it.  Maybe it wasn’t hungry?  I went back inside..  Later on that night I knew what it was!  This was a female dog, and she was about to have pups hence why she hasn’t moved and sleeps all day.  She was in pretty good shape and wasn’t overly skinny like some of the dogs I had seen on the street.

When I went back later on to check on the pup, it STILL hadn’t moved and now I was getting really worried.  I grabbed a pack of crackers, went out to the corner of our yard and started throwing crackers one by one close to where it was sleeping.  It was then that I realized this poor dog was not pregnant at all, it simply couldn’t walk!  The crackers that landed a few feet away, he dragged himself towards with his front legs to eat them.  Heartbroken, I headed back inside.

I knew Ricardo had no energy to deal with my animal stress after caring for Gallo all week and I had no idea what I was going to do.  This poor dog couldn’t walk to search for food and water and he was just going to die here in my neighbors yard.  I was sad enough watching gallo die, my heart couldn’t take watching this sweet dog do the same.

After being denied help by the SPCA, I contacted MexPup a nonprofit rescue organization in Puerto Vallarta.  With a few emails back and forth we set a time the following day to meet.  They drove the 45 minutes out to Las Palmas to rescue him since we didn’t have access to a car.  They had never met me, they had no idea who this dog was – but they knew there was a need and they were happy to help out.

I am pleased to introduce you to Mitch:

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Michelle gave Mitch some leftover turkey from Christmas dinner.  They became fast friends.

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Some much needed water…

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Mona, Michelle and Brian coming up with a plan of how to transport Mitch to the crate without hurting his leg.

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Getting Mitch on the blanket was a success!  He is the most relaxed dog and knew everybody was there to help him.

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Success!!!

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Brian and Michelle carrying Mitch to the Pet Ambulance, A.K.A The SUV.

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Mitch is on his way to the Veterinarian!

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Mitch’s first smile on the way to Puerto Vallarta!  What a sweet pup

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I didn’t go with the MexPup team to the vet appointment but they updated us with a photo!

The area around Mitch’s back legs were red and inflamed but the xrays showed there were no fractures.  We aren’t sure yet what might be the problem.   We are just hoping it isn’t bone cancer.  Mitch also has Ehrlichia and is being treated for heartworm but overall his test results came back really well.

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I was relieved to get the next update that Mitch was up and walking again!

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Big Smiles from Mitch, he has a second chance!!

I am soooo very thankful for the quick responses from MexPup to get Mitch the help he really needed.   Mona, Brian, and Michelle were a great rescue team and Mitch is now in a foster home getting help while he recovers.

If you are interested in giving a pup a second chance there are many ways you can help.  Check out Mex Pup’s facebook page for updates on Mitch and to see the pups that need homes!

2013 – Bring On Another New Journey!

Let me first recap the journey we have been on since last year for those of you who aren’t up to date🙂.

On May.9th, 2012 Ricardo and I anxiously sent our Immigration application to Canada.  The Immigration website stated there was a 90 day wait to receive confirmation that I was approved to sponsor Ricardo.  I whipped out my Iphone and entered in “August.7th,2012” as the day we would receive our email, knowing full well this was just an estimated time frame.

I woke up the morning of August.7th,2012 and with my phone clearly displaying today was the day, I checked my email.  Nothing.  We went about our day, visiting with friends in Vallarta and at 3:41PM while on the bus back home to Las Palmas I received the email, I was approved to sponsor!  Thank You Canada, you did not disappoint.

The next step was waiting to hear from Mexico City that they had received our application from Canada.  Unfortunately this wait time was  not advertised anywhere so I had no definite expectations.  After waiting 2 months without word I emailed Mexico City for an update.  They responded a few days later on October.10th, 2012 with the request I had been waiting for.  They had our package, but they wanted additional proof.

I spent the next couple of weeks emailing them back and forth trying to determine what it was that they wanted.  After they realized I couldn’t provide the specific documents they were looking for, on October.26th, 2012 they emailed us requesting an interview.

On November.20th, 2012 Ricardo and I found ourselves at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico for an Immigration Interview.  The interview that was going to change our future.  Whether good news, or bad news.  Thankfully, that interview went smoothly and they had approved our relationship as being genuine.  The next step was to finish up a few police checks and wait for the next request.

My Birthday, December.13th, 2012 Ricardo went to Mexico City to collect our last document we needed for our application and on December.14th, 2012 we sent all remaining documents to Mexico City.

Finally, on January.3rd, 2013 we received the last and final request from Immigration Canada.   They requested for us to send Ricardo’s passport so they could complete the Permanent Residence application.   The same day – a few hours later the passport was in the hands of DHL and on it’s way to Mexico City.

Mexico City advised that it could take 1-2 weeks to complete and send back the passport.  With a condo already rented for Feb.1st in Canada, I was on edge watching flight tickets raise in price so yesterday, January.10th, 2013 I “let go and let God” and purchased our tickets with Westjet trusting God would work it out and we would receive the passport in time.  Not even an hour after purchasing the tickets, our passport was with DHL en route to us.

My friends, today, January.11th, 2013 marks the end of our Permanent Resident Immigration Journey!  DHL called at 1:25PM after getting lost and we met them near our town’s Plaza.  At 1:35pm Ricardo had his envelope in hand and it was OFFICIAL.  Of course I did not miss an opportunity to document everything on camera so here are some photos from this afternoon!

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Ricardo heading to the DHL Car to sign for his envelope.

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Signing…

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Handing over his future.

1DHL Tracking Site, such great timing!

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Walking back in disbelief.

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Here it is!!!

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 Ricardo’s dad was at the store when we went to get the package so we stopped to show him.

Ricardo’s dad has been the most excited out of his family during this process and has been there to support him through each application we’ve submitted, always asking to hear the latest updates.  It will be a very difficult transition for the entire family when we move but we are going to try to focus on putting one foot in front of the other, trusting everything will work itself out.

Moving to Canada is something we both want to do.  But it’s very bittersweet for the both of us.  I’ve lived here now for almost 2 years and have really grown to love the culture and it will be especially hard for me to leave the girls.  We are both trying to focus our attention on the new opportunities that await in Canada for the both of us, but also for them.  It’s very hard to try to think about the long term results though when your heart doesn’t want to accept what’s just around the corner.

Our new Condo is ready for us to move in.  Tickets have been booked. Passport has been received.  The ride from the airport has been arranged, and on January.26th, 2013 Ricardo and I will start another chapter of (re)adjusting to life in Canada.

We can’t wait to see you all, and again, thank you for being part of our journey.

Top 10 Highlights of 2012

2012 was a great year.  It was full of many *firsts* for Ricardo and I and allowed me to grow in ways I thought were impossible.  Here are   my top 10 highlights from 2012:

1)  The day Ricardo and I opened his envelope from Immigration and saw that he was approved to visit Canada.  (This will be a day that will be very hard to beat.)

2)  After 2 years together, being able to show Ricardo where I come from.  Our trip to Canada was incredible and it made our relationship so much better after he experienced a bit of my history.

3)  My Mom and Sister coming to PV for a visit.  It was great to show them a bit of the country that I have fallen in love with.  It was also the first time after 2 years, that they met Ricardo in person.

4)  Flying back to Canada randomly after being home for 10 days from our Canada trip, for a 5 week work trip.

5)  Deciding I was going to learn Spanish, taking the first step to make that happen and all the hours spent practicing.

6)  The visit in November from my my sister and her husband.

7)  When Ricardo came out of the interview room at the Canadian Embassy telling me that they approved him to move to Canada.

8)  The first time I found myself being able to partake in a Spanish conversation.

9)  Spending crazy amounts of time with my dad in Puerto Vallarta

10) Making my first Christmas Dinner (with my dad’s help of course).  It was so delicious!

*Just a side note*

Before posting this blog I asked Ricardo what his top 10 highlights were, and his were exactly the same as mine (minus my trip to Canada for work as he didn’t come, he chose ATV’ing and Parasailing instead).  Very cool, another moment where I’m reminded that we make such a great team.
Here is to a Fantastic 2013, we are in for a LOT of changes but we are going to embrace them!

The Story of Gallo

For those that haven’t been around since the beginning of this blog…  The thing Ricardo and I have fought most about in our almost 3 year relationship is none other than….. Animals!  Yep, forget about the normal problems of a regular couple… Those are pretty simple for us.

I remember calling my mom in horror one evening after watching Ricardo kick a cat outside of our home.  The cat was hungry and it was looking for food.  It was also very sick and infected some of our cats so he wasn’t too impressed when it was at our back door.  I understood where he was coming from, I felt the same…. But you don’t just kick a cat.  (Now that it’s over, it wasn’t like he kicked it like a soccer ball, sending it flying across the yard… but at the time it sure felt like it.)

My mom assured me that soon enough after Ricardo visits Canada and sees how the majority of people treat animals, his mind will start to change.  She encouraged us to change our perspectives.  It wasn’t my fault.  It wasn’t his fault.  It was simply the way we were raised.  Sounds easy enough but it sure made things difficult.

When a mom and her 4 kittens ended up outside our back door I had no choice but to start feeding them.  Every time I would feed them though, if there was something else that I could have been doing, Ricardo would snap and say “I cared about animals more than humans” or “The cats are more important than me.”  These things of course weren’t true, I didn’t love them above anybody else – but I did care for their well being.

Another thing that was hilarious for Ricardo was the fact that I spoke to my cat Pooky.  I would say something like “Good night Pook” and he would answer back with his best cat impersonation, “Good night Mom” and remind me cats can’t talk.

Fast Forward a year… Ricardo has 2 years under his belt of watching me care for animals and a trip to Canada and things are MUCH different now.

Let me explain, and introduce you to “Gallo” (Spanish for Rooster).  Gallo is Ricardo’s mom’s rooster.  This guy drove me nuts.  He spent a lot of time beside my office window making the loudest noises he could and was up at all hours of the night cock-a-doodle-dooing.  I’m not a farm kind of gal, and many times I found myself chasing Gallo and his friends away from the window by running after them with a bucket of water…

DSC01370Gallo is in the front, this was his favorite spot to hang out with his 3  buddies, right in front of my kitchen window.

Gallo became very sick right after we got back from Canada.  He was having a very hard time balancing and couldn’t walk straight.  His condition only got worse.   I watched him daily and everyday my heart broke more for this little guy.   After 5 weeks of watching him deteriorate I had an emotional break down and asked Ricardo to please do something, poor Gallo couldn’t walk without falling flat on his face (literally.)  At 2am Ricardo assured me he would wake up early and visit our local vet.

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Ricardo was true to his promise and woke up early the next day and walked to the vet for some medicine.  After 3 days of giving Gallo medicine, he still wasn’t doing any better and got to a point where he couldn’t walk.  He plopped himself here in our yard, right outside my office window while Ricardo was at work one afternoon.  The next day when Ricardo went out to give him his daily medicine he went and grabbed an old chair and placed a shirt over it to block out the sun.  He felt so bad for this poor Rooster and didn’t want him baking in the sun all day.  The Ricardo I met 3 years ago my friends, would never have thought of doing this.  Heck, I’m the animal lover and I didn’t even think of this!

IMG_1688--2Mrs.Hen would visit her friend daily keeping him company…

Ricardo came home from work on Dec.23rd and checked Gallo, he wasn’t moving very much and was twitching.  We talked for a while inside and at 2am went back out to check on Gallo and found our friend had passed away.

He told his mom that it was my wish that Gallo would be buried instead of placed in the garbage like they normally do.  His family laughed at the idea but we picked up this box and myself, our youngest daughter Maria Jose and nephew Luis colored the box.

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Luis drawing a picture of all the roosters human family members… So cute!

IMG_1698-1Pooky checking out the scene.

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The girls watching their dad dig a hole…

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Ricardo digging a hole in Gallo’s favorite spot in our yard.

IMG_1722-3Maria Jose helping out and Nena watching🙂

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The shovel sucked and the ground was SO hard.  Now I know why they don’t bury animals…

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This was SUCH an awesome experience for me watching Ricardo play Doctor with this rooster he never would have thought twice about a few years ago.  He genuinely felt so sad watching him suffer and wouldn’t even consider “putting Gallo out of his misery” even when it probably would have been in his best interest.  This really is proof that people can change.  It’s such a small thing, but something that always weighed so heavy on our relationship.  I’m so thankful we “get” each other now.

With a whole lot of patience, after 2 years of living together I now have Ricardo burying roosters, rescuing animals, and talking to my cat!  He is the best🙂.

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A Tour of Our Living Room

I still remember the first day I saw Ricardo’s house.  Back then the idea of living in Mexico wasn’t even thought of.  We had no idea what we were doing, we just new we would be together for a week and then I’d have to return back to Canada to work my butt off for another vacation. (Thankful those days are long over!)

The night before seeing the house for the first time Ricardo and I were walking downtown.  I picked out (what I thought was) a very run down looking house and jokingly asked him, does your house look similar to this one?  His reply, “yeah, it’s similar!”  (For the record, our house is much nicer than that one, but I must admit I was shocked.)  Like most tourists coming to Mexico for a vacation, I had never been out of the tourist area.  I had no idea what to expect, and to say I had no idea about Mexican culture is an understatement.

We caught the bus up to Las Palmas the next day and I had my first taste of the “rancho.”  Upon stepping off the bus I became an overnight celebrity.  People on the streets looked me up and down wondering what in the heck I was doing there and as we started walking down the road to Ricardo’s house, I wondered that myself.

The first thing I noticed about Ricardo’s lovely house is it was almost completely empty.  What little furniture he did have, was covered in dust, the beds had no blankets, the stove and fridge didn’t work and I questioned if it was actually livable.

This day was the start of a journey of changing my perspective.   In Canada… with the exception of my last suite I lived in, when someone new would come visit, I always had to point out every flaw in my house to avoid being embarrassed if they noticed first. (Stupid, I know.)  When we walked into the house that day, instead of dwelling on all the things “wrong” with his house, Ricardo showed me everything he absolutely loved about it.  I couldn’t agree with him then, but I sure do now.  This house has become my *home* and I will sure miss the simplicity of Mexico when we move back to Canada.

As mentioned previously, our house was pretty much empty when I moved in.  The first things we purchased were an air conditioner, washing machine, and a stove.  Next on the list was 3 buckets of paint to repaint all of our walls, they were filthy and beyond the possibility of cleaning.  The next thing on our list was a new couch for our living room.  We sat on the tile floor for a while, then graduated to this chair you see below that’s made of some sort of tape.  It even reclines!

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Our living room furniture… A chair from our kitchen table, our tape chair and Ricardo’s exercise bike that’s probably older than your grandmother. (When he rides this bike, it smells like something is burning and makes a terrible noise. LOL)

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The other corner of the living room is this TV Stand.  Ricardo loves LOUD music hence all the speakers.

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Up close and personal…

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Craigslist isn’t very popular here and that has always been my go-to place to find new furniture.  I still visited the site regularly to see if we could hunt down a good couch.  The fact that it took us 19 months to find a couch was not from a lack of effort.  We went to see a couch on craiglist, we called people about their ads in the newspaper… We spent a few afternoons walking up and down streets and visiting furniture stores.  We could never find one that was not ridiculously overpriced or made of fake leather.

Just about 3 weeks ago, my dad (who lives in Puerto Vallarta right now) was not feeling very well.  I stopped into his condo after school to make him some lunch and clean the house.  I had planned to be there for an hour.  Shortly after arriving someone knocked on the door asking if my dad might want to buy his couch off of him.  I explained the situation that my dad was sick and he was just renting the place.  The guy asked if I wanted to see it anyway so I walked with him up to his condo.  “This is it!” he said pointing to the sectional. “I want 1500 pesos for it.”   I was ecstatic, $125 dollars for a new couch.  It didn’t take me longer than a few seconds to tell him it was sold.
When Ricardo got home and heard about our new couch, all he could do was laugh that I spent 19 months searching for a couch and the couch found me!

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L.O.V.E

Immigration Update: An Interview In Mexico City

Things on the Immigration front were going well… I received my Sponsorship Approval email on the exact date I predicted I would, and the waiting period felt much easier than the gathering of information.  However in October I still hadn’t heard from Mexico City that they had received our application from Canada yet.  I sent them a quick email kindly asking if they could confirm that they had our package.

A few days later, on October.10th Mexico City responded with the Acknowledgement of Receipt letter I had been waiting to receive for 64 days.  In this letter it asked us to provide proof of our common law relationship along with a few other things.  I went from being completely relieved they had our application to terrified they only received half of it.  How could they want more proof?  We provided them with hundreds of pages of proof… There is no possible way I was going to be able to come up with one more additional document.  They had everything!

The first thing I did was email the Embassy to see what exactly they wanted from us.   They responded with the same request, proof of us living together.  I emailed again asking if they received our original proof or if they wanted something extra.  They replied with a generalized answer.  I emailed them yet again and in a very direct way with underlined and bolded points, if they had received our original proof.  I was not going to spend time putting together the same evidence if what they wanted, was something different.  They responded with a call to Ricardo telling him they did receive our proof but that we needed to submit additional information.  When Ricardo told me about this phone call though, he failed to mention they DID have our original application… So, without thinking this through… I went straight back to my computer and yet again told them they did not answer my question and to please answer my question.

This my friends, is how you make a visa officer angry.

Warning to future applicants: Do not email the Visa Officer unless you absolutely must.

They responded to my message, with a request for an interview.

GREAT!  Exactly what I had been trying to avoid from the very beginning.  They asked for me to email them back to confirm the appointment.  This time, I emailed them back and was as sweet as pie.  For the rest of that day I felt sick, I couldn’t eat and I regretted sending them 5 too many emails.  Ricardo walked in the door from work hours later and after telling him about his upcoming interview he had a huge smile on his face and with excitement exclaimed that he was SO HAPPY!  Ok…. opposites attract, I get it now.

We had 3 weeks to prepare for the interview.  I planned to teach him everything there was to know about our application, the process, and important dates in our relationship.  Instead, we did the usual things like school and work, and had an amazing vacation with my sister and Clayton… In short, we did everything BUT prepare.

We headed to Mexico City by bus at 9pm.  We arrived at 8:30am the following day and headed straight for our hotel.  After having a quick nap, we went to Office Depot for another printing and copying session for all of our new documents.  I was thankful that I was able to come up with over 200 more pages of evidence when I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to send one more thing.  It took about 4 hours later that night to organize, highlight, and paper clip everything together.  Once finished we studied the application for 2 hours.

We went to bed at 1am and I still wasn’t sure if we had everything perfected.

My office for the evening… Our hotel room.

Rica!

I’ve stayed in several hotels but I’m not sure I’ve ever received a toothbrush and toothpaste before.

The next morning we headed to the Canadian Embassy at 8am.  We arrived 30 minutes early and were the only ones in the waiting room.  We waited for a good 45 minutes before they called his name.  I was still trying to remind him of all the facts and coached him on what he needed to say.  At about 9:15am they called his name over the PA system to come to interview room 15.  He blew me a kiss and walked down the hall.  The feeling I had was indescribable, it felt like all of my organs simply shriveled down to size and made their way to my pinky toe.  I sat there in the waiting room chair shaking my leg uncontrollably all the while praying he would remember everything.  I must admit I also asked God to help me have patience when he comes out telling me he forgot to mention one of my several points I told him not to forget.  Oh ye, of little faith.

At the Embassy!

About 5 minutes after disappearing into the interview room, Ricardo walked out with the proof I sent him in there with.  WHAT? It was finished already?  This can’t be good…  He came up to me and asked me if I had my Mexican Visa.  I showed him where to find it in the proof we gave, and went out to our locker to get the original ID.  I had the opportunity to ask him how it was going, he said everything was fine and he didn’t seem nervous at all.  He gave me a quick kiss and was off again.  With a sigh of relief I sat back in my chair feeling more relaxed.

1 minute later he ran back out, “They want to see your passport, do you have it?”

I went from being semi-relaxed to being in complete panic-mode.  I went outside again to our bags digging for my passport.  All the while contemplating if I should give it to them.  Would they say I went to Canada too many times in the last year and a half?  What if they think my trips were too long?  Maybe I should tell them I don’t have it?  I could tell them we could send it by DHL, couldn’t I?  Maybe then they would forget about the passport.
The night before I prayed that God would do whatever He could to intervene for us.  We had no control over the mood of our interviewer so I prayed he would put him or her into a really happy one.  Within these 45 seconds of searching for my passport I was reminded of this prayer.  Suddenly I was okay with handing it over… I asked God to help intervene the night before now I needed to give this over to him and allow him to do the work.  And with that, my passport was in the hands of Ricardo who was on his way back to the interview room.

The locker we put all of our stuff in.  Lucky #22!  They don’t allow anything past security so we had to leave it outside.

After giving Ricardo my passport, my mind was going a mile a minute.  I was shaking my leg uncontrollably and after another 2 minutes Ricardo came out again.  He called me over, close to the interview room door and told me they were looking over my passport and asked him to wait outside.  I was terrified.  This was it, we were going to be stuck in Mexico forever.  Again, O ye of little faith.

They called him back into the room and after a quick minute he returned again with a huge smile on his face.  He came over and said something in Spanish that I didn’t quite understand but I knew it was good news.  Without even thinking, I burst into tears.  He explained that the visa officer said that he satisfied their concerns and he was approved to move to Canada!  (With the exception of a few more police checks that we need to obtain.)

We waited outside in the waiting room for another few minutes while the visa officer prepared a document for us to obtain 2 police checks.  As we were waiting Ricardo handed me an envelope with all of our original documents we sent, photos, facebook history, messages etc.  It was really neat to see that package again, but I was still confused.  Why are they giving us back our application?  Do they not want to see the 200-300 extra documents I managed to put together?  What about the statutory declarations I paid almost 200 dollars for?

When the visa officer came to the window I asked her if she wanted to see our additional evidence.  She was quick to respond with a smile and told me this part of the process was over.  She would not be needing anymore proof from us and Ricardo was approved, pending police checks.  I said the first thing that came to mind, “Are you SURE you don’t want to see our proof? I have so much!!”  She laughed and said it was not needed.  (She could have humored me and had a look at all my hard work lol but I was glad it was over.)

I can’t even believe that on April.30th, 2011 I moved to Mexico on a mission to move back to Canada and we are finally at the end of this long process!  It will still be another few months before we are cleared to move to Canada but the hard part is over!

Thanks again to everyone who offered us your prayers and support.  We know this journey wouldn’t have been possible without you!

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For those going through the Canadian Immigration process, the questions that were asked at the interview were very basic.

Questions Ricardo was asked:

-Why did it take so long to get divorced? (He had been separated for 3 years before the divorce was final.)
-Why don’t you have water and electricity in both names? (My name couldn’t be on our property papers because I’m not Mexican and can’t own outside of the city limits, and therefore couldn’t be on those bills.)
-How many times did Shelly visit before she moved to Mexico, where did she stay, and who did she come with?
-What date did Shelly move to Mexico?
-How many times has Shelly gone back to Canada since she moved here?

That was it, very simple!  The interview took a total of 10-15 minutes including the 2 times I had to run outside.  I would recommend if your sponsor can attend the interview with you, this would be a good idea.  They won’t be able to go into the interview with you but in our case it really paid off that I was there.

~*~Goodluck! Buena Suerte!~*~

Vancouver Roadtrip!

Ricardo and I hopped in our car and we were off for another adventure, this time to Vancouver. Before moving to Mexico I lived in Surrey which is about 45 minutes from Van. I LOVED living in Surrey. I had the best suite, a great job, and fantastic friends and family. I was really looking forward to going back and seeing everyone again.

Since moving to Mexico, I always felt I “left my heart” in Surrey and wanted to go back and pick up the missing pieces. This trip did that for me. It was great to reflect on my life 2 years ago versus where I am today. Let me tell you, there’s a LOT less traffic in my life now!

In the Car <;3

Another favorite moment for Ricardo was taking the ferry. It's about an hour and 30 minutes away by boat to Vancouver from Vancouver Island. Ricardo had never experienced driving onto a boat to get to where you needed to be before. I remember we found ourselves a seat at the front of the boat to enjoy the view. After a few seconds of silence he let out a big sigh. "I cannot believe it. This is amazing, the best vacation of my life. I feel rich…" as he continued to explain how amazing the "cruise ship" was. I just laughed. A real eye opener for us that use the ferry often who end up feeling more annoyed then blessed by it. We often get frustrated at the long wait times or the high prices.. It was nice to see "taking the ferry" through Ricardo's eyes that day. Canada is such a beautiful country.

Ricardo at the front of the boat

This was my favorite part of our ride to the mainland. I think Ricardo was trying to prove a point this entire trip, that a Mexican can survive the cold weather of Canada. Keep in mind, we went in August. There was barely an hour of rain the entire time we were there, and it was definitely far from snowing. There were a few chilly nights though that my family and I were all in pants and sweatshirts. Ricardo on the other hand would still be out in his shorts and a T-Shirt saying “it’s not cold.” Well, everyone knows going to the front of the ferry is COLD, the wind is blowing like crazy and even on a hot and sunny day it’s chilly. So there we stood, our T Shirts flapping in the wind and Ricardo, still trying to convince me it wasn’t cold, meanwhile he was shivering. What a trooper, I can’t wait until he experiences winter!

This is the Patullo Bridge. It’s an old bridge near Surrey that is in serious need of a renovation. Ricardo was yet again amazed as he stared up at it. He turned to me and said, “This looks like the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco!” LOL

My Cousin Michelle

After a quick shopping trip we headed to my Cousin’s house to have a visit and dinner. It was great to catch up.

Cousin’s pups!

Michelle’s 2 daughters, my cousins, Victoria and Danielle making cotton candy.

After our visit we headed on over to spend the night with my friends Jeff and Kristen.

Jeffy <;3

We spent the rest of the night playing Wii Games and losing at Monopoly. It was just like old times only Ricardo was playing with us instead of talking to me on the phone.🙂