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I'm a volunteer!

I'm a volunteer!

Four years ago, my husband packed us up and we headed southwest, to California so he could pursue his dream job. I had only recently gone on a disability pension from the Canadian government. He got an H1B visa courtesy of Apple, while I got an H4 visa, better known as the 'kept woman'.

Leaving Canada was hard (leaving friends and family), and easy at the same time. At the time, I was still on the open-label portion of the Fingolimod trial. I found a neurologist that was at the same stage in the trial, in San Francisco UCSF . It was an hour's drive, but doable.

Since the drug trial ended, I changed care providers, and am with Stanford; much closer to home.

Since the H4 doesn't allow me to be 'gainfully employed', I volunteer. Places like the Santa Clara Seniors Center welcomed me, as well as the local food bank, where I did data entry and thank you phone calls. I was almost going to add Habitat for Humanity to my dossier, but common sense stopped me.

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Hi, what part of Canada are you from? Good for you doing all that volunteer work, I dont think I would have the stamina, blessings Jimeka 🦋 🍫

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My husband and i were born in Windsor, Ontario. We attended university there, then ended up in Ottawa, Ontario, where we lived for many years, and raised two sons.

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Windsor is a nice area unless you cross over into Detroit (so sad for the city and I hope i turns around). Ive done some work occasionally out in Combe & pembroke. 😎 love some good poutine! Or a butter tart!

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From what I've heard on the news, things are looking up for Detroit. A lot of revitalization going on. As teens, we would visit Detroit for concerts at Cobo Hall.

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What! No rhubarb? We used to dig the hills of rhubarb out of our backyard, but the darn things would come back anyway. We tried to grow it in California, and it said "NO WAY!" Rhubarb loves tons and tons of rain, which is why it is like a weed in Canada!

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Port Elgin, Sarnia, then eventually Sherwood Park, Alberta. I loved it in Sarnia, beautiful beaches on Lake Huron.

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Sarnia is a victim of air pollution these days! Lake Huron is one of the coldest great lakes, just behind Superior. Sherwood Park Alberta must be a beautiful spot!

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Have been back in the uk 30 years, don’t know where the time has gone. I did stay a short while in Fort Mcmurray but way too cold.

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I should say so! Brrrr... So where are you in the UK? My hubby used to manage a group there, remotely from Canada. I got to go over with him a couple of times...

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Not far from York.

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Jimeka,

I feel the same way.

Leslie

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Welcome LeannEHI to our group. Northern California is beautiful as I remember it. I am in the Los Angeles area down south. We used to go regularly to Berkley when my daughter was in college there. So great of you to be able to leave your home and start a busy life👏. You have found a great chat room. 😀❤️

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You’re a busy gal! Welcome! Great smile, by the way!

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I had to drop my work at the Food Bank after I had several bad falls/head injuries. It affected my memory in a really bad way!

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That is so awesome! After I retired (age, not disability), we relocated to Deep South Texas, to be nearer our only child, daughter-in-law, and grandchild. While I'm loving being here and being able to participate in my granddaughter's life, I find myself missing working - or at least the being useful and of service to others. I've often thought of volunteering - but one drawback - one needs to be bilingual. When I said Deep South Texas, I meant deeeep south - 5 miles from Mexico. We Anglos are by far the minority here. I can understand some Spanish, but not enough to be of service to others. So, I sit and read and crochet and try to stay out of the 100+ temps.

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In East Texas i think they have their very own special language. I had to watch 10 seasons of King of the Hill and learn what Boomhauer was saying to learn the language here. They dont make a Roseta Stone for Texans! Or Cajun! I still have a hard time understanding if they talk to fast. It takes a lot of brain power to focus on what they r saying!

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I hear ya! My daughter-in-law's parents speak limited English, which makes family get-togethers challenging. Her mother hardly speaks any English, and will start out speaking very slowly so I can follow what she's saying, then as the conversation goes along, she gets excited and starts talking faster and faster til I'm totally lost. Fortunately, my son is keeping an eye on us and will come to my rescue and translate for me.

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Wen i first met my fiancé’s mom - she was speaking english but i cud not understand a word! It sounded to me like the adults in a Charlie Brown show. I felt so stupid just sitting there nodding like a and idiot hoping i made the appropriate “ah” and “ok” responses! Now i understand her but the first few times was dicey! She called me “that b*tch from Dallas” for a long time. Now she loves me

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That's me! Nod and smile! Until my daughter-in-law told me not to do that, because it only makes her mom think I'm understanding her and encourages her to keep on going. She (my daughter-in-law) is trying to force her mom to learn English by speaking with me. Not sure that's fair to either of us, but it is what it is. 😝

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Thats funny! I never thot of it that way - that they think u understand by doing that!

Good luck being an English teacher! 😉

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My family is from New Brunswick! So many relatives still up there. We used to go up every year for the Salmon run. My dad made us eat fiddleheads and fish. But it was ok cuz then we got homemade bread and maple syrup 😁

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Fiddleheads! Wow, that brings back my days of camping and enjoying all the local treats, in the Maritimes! When our boys were young, we scrimped and bought a tent trailer, so we could show them the country, from sea to shining sea. First year we went east; two adults, two kids, and one large dog, in a minivan for three weeks. The next year, we went west, outbound through the northern states, then return route through Canada. By then, we had TWO large dogs, but off we went. Saskatoon berries in Saskatchewan...

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Saskatchewan sounds so familiar.... i will have to ask my dad. Most of my family lives by the Miramichi River

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LeannEHI,

You certainly should be very proud of yourself.

What you did requires a lot of strength and effort.

Leslie

I

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It was all in the fog like a dream sequence. Hubby was giddy with joy, while I was somewhere between scared and excited, terrified and disbelieving. We have been living down here for four years, and thoroughly enjoying exploring and learning everything we can about this lovely land that feels so like home.

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He asked me, can we do this? I said.....whither thou goest, I go as well.

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Welcome. It takes courage to leave your country to live in another. Even though languages are the same or at least close its still hard being an outsider. Just moving from one state to the other is hard. I grew up in Long Beach, CA and moved to Davis when I was 20 with a 21/2 year old daughter. My step sister was living there at the time. I ended up staying there for about ten years. We used to go to the city (SF) every weekend to eat and go shopping. I always loved to go there but never wanted to live there. Then moved back to Long Beach. I have also lived in Texas in Arlington, between Dallas and Fort Worth. Then moved to Arkansas. I am in a rural town in AR with about 5600 people and 2 hours from the big city, Fort Smith or Hot Springs. Believe it or not that's pretty large for most towns in AR. What a culture shock. We've been here now for about 20 years and if I ever go back to CA again it would be too soon! Don't miss it at all. Love the rural country and much prettier than northern CA.

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Nothing beats the ferns and redwood forest. I lived 265miles north of San Francisco, in Ferndale CA.

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Bless you and yours. Enjoy your volunteer job.

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U look absolutely lovely in ur pic and u sound like a busy lass.. ......very Impressed! I've always wanted to go to Canada and I keep dropping hints to the boyfriend lol 😁😁😁😁. He loves Australia which is an amazing place aswell but the heat OMG! 🙄🙄🙄🙄. Welcome to the group who are all lovely people very caring and knowledgeable xxx 😊😊😊😊

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Thanks Janetb1968, you are so sweet! Just as an FYI, both Australia and Canada are British colonies originally. You mention 'heat' when referring to Australia.... it really depends on the time of year! When it is summer here in the northern hemisphere, it is warm here! Canada is above the equator, so is Northern hemisphere, just like the USA . The reverse is true for the southern hemisphere, like Australia. SO, summer in the northern hemisphere means warmth/heat here, while the southern hemisphere at the same time, has winter weather.

We grew up in southern Ontario, which has a similar climate to northern California. Am I making sense, or just confusing things?

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You folks are so nice and compassionate! I am really enjoying this electronic support group.

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I feel the same way. What a blessing it is to have a support group!!

Leslie

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