For everything else there's visa


I never really understood what a visa was. I rang Helen Gregory today at the IEU to try and make some progress on the visas we need to get into Canada. David reminded me recently that the Canadian consulate can be a bit slow in getting the visas processed, and not to dilly-dally about getting the applications submitted. Unfortunately before we can submit the visa applications, we had to get passports, and you may have read one of the other blog entries about the multiple attempts we had at getting that right. And of course before we could get the passport applications in, we had to had to have the kids birth certificates and what not. Obviously we aren't that organised, because we had no idea where these might be, so we had to reapply for new copies of them. As it stands now, we should have all our passports in the next couple of days, and the visa applications are sitting here on the table ready to submit as soon as we have those details.

Oh, by the way, the visa applications from the Canadian consulate don't actually mention the word visa. The are called a Work Permit application. You fill them out so you can get a work permit in Canada. Apparently a work permit and a visa are the same thing, but I find it confusing that they get called two different things.

Anyway, the official documentation arrived from Canada today, saying that the exchange is now official from their end too.
It's all good mate.

Most people I know...


...think that I'm crazy... or so the song goes.

Actually most people I know are really excited for us as we embark on this exchange. People at work are really excited and positive. A few have some reservations about worse case scenarios that might occur if I'm not there. What happens if the network falls over? What happens if the reporting software crashes? What happens if the student database needs updating? and so on. But by and large, people seem to be pretty pleased for us. Our friends keep saying that they wish they were going too, or that they'd always thought about doing something like it too.

The phrase "opportunity of a lifetime" keeps getting mentioned, but I don't particularly like the term myself. It implies that this is something that can happen only once, or that it will be some experience that can never be matched. As much as I'm looking forward to the exchange, I'm not keen to see any event as "the peak" of my life. So I think I'd prefer to think of the exchange as "a great opportunity" rather than an "opportunity of a lifetime".

I'm not sure my mum is so keen on the idea. I suspect she thinks we are being a bit crazy, and that we will find Canada too cold, or too lonely, or too big, or too... something. I think she worries about how much money it will cost, or how much it might set us back financially. She probably worries about our levels of debt, or our health, or our safety, or a million other things that could go wrong. I guess it's only natural that she feels these things, cause after all she is my mum, and mums never really stop worrying about such things.

We'll be ok mum. Honest.

Black Ink Please!


My passport finally arrived today. Not that it took very long. Two weeks in fact, from the day I lodged it, so that was good. But it took a few attempts to get it right. After filling in the forms and getting Anthony to sign them, we discovered that part of the form had been completed in blue ink, not black ink. Fixed that, went back to the post office only to find that there was a missing signature for Donna. Got Anthony to sign all the new forms, but got to the post office again, only to find we missed a signature.

This went on for a while but eventually we got it right, and I submitted the forms for myself and the kids. Donna was away at the time, so she had to take hers up on her own. Guess what? The form had been "updated" a few days ago, so now she had to fill it out all over again (plus more new signatures from Anthony.)
Can't wait to do the Visas!

Skype: betchaboy

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