Kids' first day of school

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Alex and Kate starting school

Today was the kids' first day of school. Alex and Kate are attending Holy Family Elementary School, where Charlee and Adam were going. We visited the school the other day and arranged their attendance, although the principal was unavailable at the time so we had to delay their start until she could ok it. We did a tour of the school and it looks great, very friendly and small, only 300+ kids there, so it has a very welcoming feel to it. We got a tour by Mr Dietrich, who is actually Alex's teacher, and Kate got to hang out with a bunch of girls who she has been corresponding with via email for the last couple of months.

The school rang the other day to say that they could start on Monday, so this morning we all put on our gloves, hats, coats and boots and walked up to the school for a meeting with Mrs Flanagan the principal. After a short chat, they were off to class for their first day at a Canadian school.

During the day, Donna and I had a bunch of things to do, so we went to the post office (the Handy Mart) to post a package back to Thomas and Nicholas, then we went to the bank to open a local bank account. It was so easy! Not like back at home where you have to fill out forms and wait for things to be sent out in the mail. We were welcomed at the local branch of TD Canada Trust and a very nice fellow invited us into his office, listened to what we wanted, then simply and easily made it happen. We opened the account, were issued with cards on the spot, changed our PIN numbers, were shown how to log onto the Internet banking (which was active immediately) and that was that! We were all done in less than half an hour. Australian banks could learn a lot from these guys!

Donna had an interview at the Sylvan Learning Centre at 2:00pm so we drove down there (the long way). On the way we stopped at the local Chevrolet dealer so we could sort out the lease transfer on the car we are interested in. The lady there was also very helpful, and will get in contact with us with the required papers to sign so we can take over the lease on the car we found, a 2003 Chev Venture minivan. Also an easy process, so far anyway, but stay tuned until we actually own the car!

Donna got to her interview while I went to the MTO to sort out a licence. As you may have gathered from my previous posts, the whole licencing, car rego and insurance situation here in Canada is a bit of a dog's breakfast for non-Canadians... I will write more about it once I finally get it sorted, but trying to get an accurate and correct answer from people is like pulling teeth. Suffice to say that it is still unresolved at this stage. I have to get to the bottom of it soon though, as we are returning the rental car on Thursday and I want to have it worked out by the time we get back from Quebec on the weekend.

As for Donna's interview, she went well and was offered the job of course, but was a bit floored when they told her the rate of pay on offer... They would be getting a four year trained teacher with 25 years of experience, and they are offering a paltry $12/hour! On top of that, she would need to do training (for no pay) for three weeks before she could start, and even then there was no guarantee of how much work she would actually get. A bit of a joke really. Why would you get dressed up, drive across town, spend an hour teaching, then drive back again, for $12? Pay peanuts and get monkeys, I think. Trouble is, getting approved to teach in the school board here is proving pretty darn difficult... Perhaps the school board has inherited all the red tape that the banks got rid of!

Anyway, we picked the kids up after school, and they said they had a great day. Kate loved it and told us all about it. Alex needed a cattle prod in order to get any info at all but I think he did actually quite enjoy the day.

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