Jamaican in Hamilton, Ontario – AW Update

What’s up guys? It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on whats going on.  I have been asked several times about the blog and why no updates. I have no excuse except that I have way less time than I had before. I have yet to put out a Ainzlee’s World Youtube video this year and my other projects are moving at a slow pace. In doing this update right now, I have limited time so I promise that I won’t be long. Time seems to be flying along and soon it will be two years since I’ve been in Ontario. I finished school almost a year ago and started working within two weeks of getting my work permit. I’ve been on many adventures but not half as much as I want to be. I’m still trying to adjust to the fact that six months out of the year is extremely cold and all you want to do is hibernate like the animals. The six months good for outdoors doesn’t seem like enough time to do what needs to be done.  This has been a challenge and I’m slowly but surely finding ways to make use of the indoors. For those who know me I’ve always been goal oriented and even though I’ve been making slow progress and I am a bit behind because of unforeseen circumstances I’m not giving up and plan to complete them all before the year ends. I now live in Hamilton which is the fifth largest city in Ontario.  Its referred to as the armpit of Ontario and I’m still trying to figure out why.  All I know is its way cheaper than Toronto and I love the mix of old and new architectural buildings not to mention the ridiculous amount of trails and waterfalls of which I have only been to two.  I plan to extend my work permit as there is so much more to explore and I’ve just started digging in. I also plan on
running in at least two 5k races this year and find time to get to Montreal as well.  Seems easy doesn’t it? It’s not seeing that I work 6 days a week but you only live once so I will make time for it.
Not much more to say at this point so I’ll let the pictures do the rest.

Remember I’m on Twitter and Facebook… let’s chat! Please leave comments as well. Any feedback is welcome.

Until next time, peace….

image

Closest park to my apartment

image

At work during one of the worst snow storms in years

image

Escarpment Rail Trail – One of the many trails in Hamilton

image

Further down the Escarpment Rail Trail (Autumn Pic)

image

Bay Front Park – The Lake makes it a breathtaking experience

image

CorkTown Tavern – One of the many historic buildings found in Hamilton, Ontario. This one is over three hundred years old

image

One of the places you will have to use if you live in an apartment and want clean clothes…LOL

image

One burger I know that no Jamaican will ever eat…..LOL

…………

Q & A on Canadian Immigration – School and Life

Since I made the trek north side I have been asked by many people not only from Jamaica but other countries about the processes I went through and what they need to go as far as coming to Canada and trying to get permanent residence. Now this sentence is my disclaimer because I am no expert and all that I will put in this blog is what I’ve found out since I’ve been here. Some can be considered hearsay while others fact. The laws here change often so the best source is the Canadian Immigration site, http://www.cic.gc.ca/ … This will be an ongoing blog which I will update as much as I can with questions asked and random tips or facts that may come to me that may make the transition to Canada easier. I’ll be taking questions from the comments, Twitter and Facebook and adding them to this blog. The questions will be added randomly so they will not be in any order other than chronological.  Let the questions begin….

Q:  Why did you decide to move to Canada?

A. After trying unsuccessfully to follow through with my plans in Jamaica because of theft of property, extortion, bureaucratic red tape, just to name a few, I decided to try overseas. The decision to leave was hard but was made a bit easier one of my best friends almost died defending a business interest of mine. To cut a long story short, I shortlisted Japan, The United States of America and Canada and after Northern Caribbean University (NCU) failed to deliver my transcript to me on time to be a part of the Japanese English Teacher (JET) Programme, I decided to go with Canada and further my education.

Q. What is the best time to come to Canada?

A. I’m Jamaican and being in a country that was four seasons I’ve learnt to appreciate the sun’s warmth.  If you are coming for vacation and you have never experienced snow, then try coming around the end or beginning of the year.  If you don’t care for snow then come in the Spring or Summer.

Q. What school did I attend?

A. I attended Centennial College.  It was the school that what was recommended when I did a consultation with a Education Lawyer before coming to Canada. I was accepted for a 18 month Project Management.

Q. Where do I live?

A. I currently live in Hamilton, Ontario. While I was in school I lived in Scarborough.

Q. How do you get school and work permits?

A. If you want to enter Canada as a student you have to g through the process of getting qualified. All information on this process will be provided after being accepted to the school of your choice. If you want the information beforehand the CIC website mentioned above will help. For work permits, the school will help you acquire this during the period of your study. Depending on how long you’re studying for the process will be different. For shorter than two year study you will get a work permit when you’re finished studying that will be the equivalent of your time at school. If you study for more than two you may be granted the permit on entering the country and it may be a little longer than the time of study.
Q. Where is the best place to come and settle in Canada?

A. There is no hard and fast answer to this question as every province has its pros and cons but the short answer is Saskatchewan. The province has jobs and tax breaks and will actually accept you in many jobs without Canadian education or experience.
Visit saskjobs.ca for jobs and more info.

Q. Is it true that there are provinces where a friend can file for a friend?

A. I’ve only recently heard of this but yes, it’s true. I don’t have much details but that seems to be the case in some areas of Alberta.

Q. What’s minimum wage in Canada?

A. Effective June 1, 2014, the minimum wage will be $11.

Q. What is the biggest benefit you have seen while being in Canada for its residents?

A. I’ll give you three. One is free health care and two, everybody is entitled to educational loans. The third is the mix of cultures is an interesting one and reminds me of Jamaica but even more so. With restaurants and hangouts everywhere you can explore culture from across the world all in one country.

Q. Can I have two jobs?

A. You can have as many jobs as you want but you have to make sure that you have the right work permit.

Q. Can I pay my bills outside of the country while I’m there in Canada?

A. Yes, but there will be fees involved for processing as well as other minimal fees.  Usually using banks that can be found in your country make the process a little easier.

Q. Would I have to stay with someone?

A. No. You’re responsible to find somewhere to stay. I used rental sites (Kijiji among others) and found a place where I spent my college time. Staying with a family usually works out a lot cheaper.

NOTE : ALL QUESTIONS MAY BE EDITED TO PROVIDE THE BEST POSSIBLE ANSWERS.  FOR THIS REASON CHECK BACK EVERY NOW AND THEN FOR UPDATES AS WELL AS NEW QUESTIONS ASKED THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA.

Battle of the Smartphones : Apple iPhone vs. Samsung Galaxy S3

I’m in the market for a smartphone. I’ve been without a smartphone for over a year and even though I am over the whole withdrawal period, I still crave the power of being mobile and connected to the rest of the known universe. Yes, it has been hard but in anticipation of getting a job after finishing my course of study, my first real purchase will be a new smartphone. I am a blackberry fan because I love buttons. Nothing like the feel of them but with the announcement of them also going fully touch screen I’ve decided to go with what seems like more advanced options as Blackberry seem to be a little behind in the tech race too..

Now if I was to talk about all the points look for in a phone I’d be here all day so let me cut it down and point out a few that are very important to me.  Those two are productivity and integration. Now I do use my smartphone for media including music and games but that is not my primary reason for ever buying a phone. My reasoning is usually how much work can I get done on this device without actually having to be around a desktop or laptop.  Can I track my progress at the gym? Are my finances balancing?  Do i have access to a decent word processor and email access as well? Having these features and them being available with ease of use usually make the choice easy.  Integration is also very important. Not having to transfer files of whatever kind from device to device when I’m ready to work at home or work instead of on the go is key. The time saved if these are all readily accessible is indeed invaluable.

Click link here for comparisons of both phones. 

So here it comes. I have identified two phones that meet these needs and some. They are the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Apple iPhone (I’d wait on the 5 to come out). But another set of requirements that i did not think about came up. When I was in Jamaica even though both phone services had equal strengths i went with the one that most people were on because of the cheaper rates and other benefits that if I had joined LIME instead of Digicel may have had me switching sooner or later.

The same thing has come up again. My girlfriend, brother and numerous friends have iPhones and communication between these devices are brilliant (Thanks to Steve. Rest In Peace Mr. Jobs). It would allow me to sync and share and be a part of an already established network and a part of the bright future Apple has created.  Sounds great huh? My problem with Apple though is why I love the Samsung. My problem is lack of freedom.  I am basically stuck in a system with Apple and not able to explore the many different paths as I would be able to with a Galaxy S3. Yeah, I know. Apple is a safe choice as their system allows them control and the ability to weed out bad experiences which may not be possible on any other device out there.

Before this turns ugly let me stop and say that even with all the apps available on the iPhone, I love certain features on the Galaxy S3 in terms of hardware. So right now its hardware vs. software and integrated “closed but brilliant” experience over freedom to explore.  I guess when the time comes and I have cash in hand it will come down to eenie meenie minie mo.  What are your thoughts?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Changing Seasons

It is spring in Canada but the seasons aren’t the only thing changing.  After going through a year of post graduate studies I am also looking for a change. One that will bring me to a new chance in life.  I haven’t had anything go easy for me but that is not a complaint. It is an acknowledgement that giving up before I get to where I need to be would be borderline crazy.

I’ll be looking for a new lease on life as far as getting a job, and actually setting up some form of foundation up here in the North. I’m actually waiting on my school to clear me for graduation and so I can get the papers I need to get on the fast track.  My graduation doesn’t even matter that much. It is more of a bump in the long road I have decided to take.

My new lease also extends to love. A love I hold close and pray will grow in every aspect possible.  It’s always good to find a partner who is supportive.  Having been through a couple of relationships i find this one very refreshing. Can i exhale? I think I can.

My goals for a new start are also being worked on. The year I started detailed planning my life changed. I find myself on my long walks thinking that I need to start over with the same passion i did back then. It was called Project Hostile Takeover at the time and was a five-year plan.  It worked.  Now after changing certain things including my attitude I have tried other projects based on different approaches. They don’t work. So starting on May 8 (which was my birthday) I have created a new plan with 13 goals called Hostile Takeover 2.

Now that I have certain things off my mental plate I can start piling things I really want to back on.  The more relaxed I am, the more I will get done.  Someone very important said that to me and it turns out I already see and feel the difference.

This is more of a “soft” rant that anything else but the one thing I have learnt is you have to endure no matter what. Remember that as you read this and let it burn into your consciousness. Endure. No matter what it is. Endure. If you give up what you really want and sit there what do you really gain? Think about it.

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

40 years Together : My Parents Answer Some Burning Questions

My parents Donald and Carmen celebrated their fortieth anniversary on December 18, 2011.  Even though this is a feat in a world where 3 month marriages are the rage, the fact that they are still in love with each other makes it an inspiring story. You may say I’m biased  but the stories i have to tell not even Hollywood can top it. I can say that I have seen love expressed in my home since I was a kid till the day I left the shores of Jamaica.  In their house laughter is melody that rings through the windows and playing, walks just for walking sake and kisses for no particular reason are commonplace.

My Dad is a pastor and my mom is a retired teacher and both met in college where they fell in love, got engaged and married in 1971. From that union two boys, Ainsley (that’s me..haha) and Camroy were produced.  I’ve seen my parents upset but have never heard a voice raised or a door slammed from anybody being upset.  My mom would not make decisions without my Dad and vice versa.  i told them once that if I have find hall the love they have I’m on easy street. They always without fail credit their relationship with Jesus as the reason.

I thought I would share a bit of what I experienced growing up in their home so i threw out the idea for the blog on my Facebook page and what is written below are the questions that were raised for me to ask. My parents don’t read blogs at all but I must say before I get into  these questions (which by the way were answered concisely as they both are ones to get to the point) that they have set a standard for me to live by but I know it is well worth the journey to love in the way they do. Hope you guys like it and please leave comments to let me know what you think.

Q. What things did you see in this person that made you want to marry him?

A. Humility was the main thing which i admired but in addition the caring and loving attitude were also good attributes.

Q. How would you describe your spiritual life as a couple?

A. Growing and maturing.

Q. Describe how you and your husband arrive at decisions.

A. We discuss andcome to a common understanding then we make a decision.

Q. Describe how you as a couple resolve conflicts.

A. We allow each other to express how one feels about the grouse and decide on the resolution.

Q. What do you think you need to do as a couple to get from where you are to where you need to be?

A. Set goals and objectives and prioritise as we work towards realizing them.

Q. What have the tough times taught them about one another?

A. We have learned to be satisfied and make the best of every given situation.

Q. Describe how your marriage has changed over the years.

A. Technically our marriage has not changed over the yeaars. It has only grown stronger and with greater appreciation.

Q. How do you communicate dissatisfaction to your spouse? When you are hurt or angry with your spouse, what do you do?

A. Keep silent. Allow for the appropriate time to speak as it is never wise to speak when one is angry.

Q. Do you think living together before marriage works on any level?  Explain.

A. From a christian point of view,it is no. This has often led to mistrust and disrespect.

Q. What is the one thing you both want to do together that you haven’t already done?

A. We want to go on a cruise.

Q. What advice do youhave for people in long distance relationships?

A.  Long distance relationships are never generally prefered because (1) there is a lack of face to face interaction (2) lack of trust can be created. (3) it does not reveal the full character of the person. (4) it does not give the opportunity to learn family background of each person’s family. Even though its hard it can work through the will and determination of both people involved. They have to be mature and know what to expect from their situation.  If they can communicate well then they’ll make it but it should never be a prolonged situation if it can be prevented.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

FINAL NOTE : I told myself I’d be the one to send them on that cruise.  That’s a goal for me as well.  Don’t hesitate to hit the like button, comment or subscribe and if you really like it SHARE.  Thanks for reading.

New Year! What now?

Happy New Year everyone! It’s 2012 and everybody as always happens is excited at the prospects of the days and months to come. In this year of the dragon what will we being doing differently to make this year successful? You’re going to make resolutions? Good for you? But what does that mean? Does it mean you make a list, get all worked up and weeks later go back to life as usual?

Year after year I try to set goals that will enhance my life even in small ways. This year is no different with a 13 goal spread (plus a few left from last year). This obsession started in 2006 when I set a list of 153 goals to do by the end of the year which I did accomplish. The excitement of that and the inspiration from reading Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People pushed me to make it a yearly ritual.

After doing it for some time I started to hone in on things that were really important to me and breaking those down into sub goals. Things like spiritual growth, health, career, and travel after a couple of years of building goal lists were separated and then broken down into accomplishable tasks.  I stayed as realistic as possible with my goals  as they were all based on bigger goals based on a five year plan.

This year starts the beginning of a new five years and I’m excited.  Even though my last five years were mixed because of unforeseen problems (like business endeavours getting robbed or extorted and world economy going to crap) I still am impressed by what was accomplished and I’m definitely looking to do it bigger this time.

As I mentioned before I have thirteen goals this year. I’ll share a few with you as I close this blog. One of my fitness goals is to run a 5K marathon in the summer or fall of this year. This means training starts now. Another goal in terms of my career is to get a job in Canada which utilizes all of the experience and skill I garnered while in Jamaica.  One of my spiritual goals is to spend time in the New Testament covering the letters to the churches and how it applies to me.

I”m excited and hope all those who have set resolutions or goals may move toward them with excitement and fervour.  I also did get a life goal done this year. On my bucket list I had to go to a hockey game and was given that chance this past week. Yes!

Looking forward to your feedback. Stay strong and focused!

Ainzlee

Note : Check out my trip to the Hockey Game 😉