Posted by Leticia Hughes on March 6, 2008 at 10:46 PM
Humbled. That is how I feel right now, this very second. Over the last month I have been forced to do some serious soul searching and along the way, I have learnt some valuable lessons and met some of the most amazing people who have honestly changed my life.
Kristen, Bruce, Joanne, Jo, Candace, Amy, Annelise, Dirk, Nancy, Anna, Henry, Elizabeth, Jacqui and Jen. These will just sound like names to you, but to me, these are just some of the people who have shown me kindness and generosity like I have never experienced before. Without these people I would not have survived the last month in Canada and I hope that one day I can return their good will. They have all offered me so much, in fact the list is endless with the little gestures they do. It appears that Vancouver Island is full of people willing to help each other and there is a true sense of community that just isn't found in big cities. Ask yourself, when was the last time you did something for someone else without expecting anything in return, just because you can?
Life on the cider farm continues for me and I have never been happier in a job. One day I can be bottling cider, the next running pH tests and tasting, the next cleaning toilets, the next helping to run the business. Sea Cider has helped me to realise that job satisfaction has very little to do with the money and more to do with feeling like you are making a valuable contribution and that your efforts are appreciated. These days I also have a weekend job for a local family where I do gardening, cleaning and cooking � I love it (although I do worry the kids won�t eat what I cook!!!). It takes me an hour to cycle each way along the magnificent Lochside track (an old railway line) to this weekend job so I am forced to get some great exercise at the same time. The cash work now means I have enough money to buy some very cheap wine in a cardboard box : ))
On the paid work front, BC Hydro has offered me a Business Operations Manager position in Vernon and I will also go through their Manager In Training induction programme. They are currently writing the business case for the Federal Government and completing my background checks to make sure I have not killed anyone or sold drugs to teenagers. I am loathed to celebrate until I have my work permit and residency visa in hand but things are looking positive so far. Vernon will be an amazing place to be as it is one BIG playground, however, in saying this, I will be very sad to leave Vancouver Island.
Marc is currently back in the UK for a few months as he unfortunately had to return to deal with a family crisis. We had some fantastic time together in Vernon and Mayne Island before he left. He was also wwoofing at the cidery for a week. Needless to say, it was very hard saying goodbye when he left. Good news is, he is hoping to be back in Canada before my birthday in June : )))
Spring is just around the corner and the local fields are overflowing with daffodils that are ready to burst into magnificent yellow blooms. The temperature is hitting the double figures during the day now on Vancouver Island and I have even removed one blanket from my bed, which was an extremely monumental moment!!! I am out running or cycling most days and my snot is not freezing so that is a good sign the temperature is above minus 1.
I am also a constant sense of amusement for the locals � riding my bike on the wrong side of the road without realising, wearing copious layers of clothing when they are just wearing a light jacket, trying to balance my bags of groceries on my handle bars, spilling icing sugar all over the road while cycling and of course the language barrier. Sometimes I think I am speaking another language when they look at me blankly. In fact the other week I had to play charades with the nice chap in the supermarket trying to buy smoked chicken� Honestly some people just don�t understand my kiwi drawl!!! Do I really sound that bad!?!?
So overall the spring has been added back to my step over the last month in so many ways. One of my biggest lessons for month is that I will never take money or work for granted again and after all the kindness I have had bestowed upon me recently, I feel like I have a whole lot of giving back I need to do. Canadians really do rock � or as they love to say over here �RIGHT ON�!!!
Kia kaha. Never give up on your dreams because if you try hard enough they will come true.