Canada – Taking Jamaica’s motto “Out of many, One People” to the next level

I know after reading the topic you may be asking yourself what kind of madness is this? Well, after being here for three years I can say that one thing Jamaica and Canada have in common is diversity. Canada though, because of the influx of immigrants may have the biggest mix of cultures than anywhere else in the world and yes that includes the US. In the city of Hamilton where I live it’s incredible the mix I have had the privilege to meet.

Below is a list of all the people I have met from different countries since I’ve been here. It’s for personal reference but decided to share what I think is awesome. I’ll update every time I meet someone from a new culture.

1. Syria

2. Turkey

3. Nigeria

4. Ghana

5. Belarus

6. Colombia

7. Guatemala

8. Costa Rica

9. India

10. Thailand

11. Vietnam

12. China

13. Philippines

14. Jamaica

15. Cuba

16. United States of America

17. North Sudan

18. South Sudan

19. Haiti

20. Italy

21. Sri Lanka

22. Iraq

23. Congo

24. St. Vincent

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….

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Closest park to my apartment

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At work during one of the worst snow storms in years

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Escarpment Rail Trail – One of the many trails in Hamilton

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Further down the Escarpment Rail Trail (Autumn Pic)

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Bay Front Park – The Lake makes it a breathtaking experience

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

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

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

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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.

Who is the Bigger H of the Car World? Honda vs. Hyundai

It was 2001 and a new movie series was about to hit the scene that would become my favorite as well as fuel a car craze in my home country of Jamaica, the likes have not happened before it and hasn’t been matched since. It was Fast and the Furious and even though you may think that I must be joking it helped to start Honda off as a brand people just couldn’t get enough of. I can still remember all the revving engines and screeching tyres after that and every Fast and the Furious to follow. Even if you don’t think they are the greatest auto action movies ever you have to admit that they left you energized.

Even though Honda had a following before this movie hit, the brand grew exponentially especially in Mandeville where every other car was a Honda. What? you think I’m lying? People will testify that Mandeville became known as Honda Town. Half of them were souped up running on NOS or bigger engine and if you were part of that crew don’t ever say you had a non-VTEC engine.

I also got caught up in the hype to the point where I have never owned a car unless it was a Honda. But 5 Hondas later another H is catching my eye in a way I never thought possible.  For the Fast and the Furious fans I know you remember Tokyo Drift when Han said, “What? You thought I was going to let you drive around in a Hyundai?” Six years after making that statement a lot of people who laughed are actually giving Hyundai a second look.

I’m not sure exactly when it started to go wrong but it happened in a blink of an eye.  More cars in my hometown were Toyota and Nissans and there would be rare sightings of  an old school civic. The Honda Civic and Accord 2005 came out and there seemed to be hope but somewhere after that Hyundai also seemed to change their game plan.  It changed so drasticaly that jaws dropped at some of the designs to come.

What did Honda do? Nothing as far as I am concerned. The year is 2012 and the new designs for their lines don’t impress me much. At this point in time, I’d buy a Hyundai over any of the new offerings Honda has. Yes, I was a die hard fan of the brand. And yes, if they came with something not just new but impressive I would by Honda once more but for now I’m disillusioned and looking for a new brand. Those Subarus look nice too.

Anyway, this was a rant more than a comparison and I’m interested in knowing your views on the matter.  Is Honda washed up in your opinion? Would you buy Hyundai?

Disclaimer : I don’t own all pictures shown.. Some were obtained from the web while the others are my personal pics…..

Peace

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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 😉

School’s Out!!!

After a grueling semester of Post Grad Project Management, It’s time for a well needed rest.  By rest I mean do things I need to do so I can have some peace of mind and at least know I’m still on a track to my goals.  My grades will be out in a day or two but I’m sure I passed everything. I have three weeks of vacation and have decided to use it to  things I love. I want to spend the weeks before school in January reading, going on some adventure and getting myself ready for next year. Should be fun.

Below are videos and pics I’ve collected since I’ve been here and hopefully if I get to do these thirty things I have I’ll be able to, I’ll do a blog before year end.

Random Question : Are you strong enough to do what you need to do no matter what the distraction?

Pics and vid Below….. v

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Avalanche?

It’s been a while since I last blogged. It may be the longest since I started blogging again. I want to say that in my mind I’ve written a thousand blogs but never got a chance to put it on my internet blog. So much to tell you all but so little time.

I’ve been so busy with school that the only time I do remember about writing is on the bus to class. It will improve I promise. I have exams and tests and group assignments this week so I’ll call this entry a filler. i do want to say before i post a video and some pics of my beautiful country that the experience so far has been wonderful.  The opportunities glisten in front of your eyes but right now I’m staying focused on getting my PMP (Project Management Certification) and see what happens after that God willing.

So until next week…

Peace

Side Note ; While writing this I heard one of the most forward thinking persons of this generation died. Rest in Peace Steve Jobs till that day!  Your legacy will continue.