Monday, October 24, 2016

Back For More

First it was a year, then 2, then 5, then 10, then a few more. It was never my intention to leave Canada for so long, but nearly 15 years and more than 40 countries later I finally returned home in late 2013. After a brief hiatus from the world of Communications, writing, and the glorious pontification of life’s philosophical undertows, the start of 2014 produced a return to the fold.

My turn back to a blue collar life during my short, but rewarding working vacation in construction was very much needed however. I had not done physical labour for more than twenty years and grinding it out with the boys at the job site once again grounded me to my humble beginnings. It also reminded me of why people from around the world line up outside the gates of Canada for the chance at living out the human experience amongst us Canucks. While awaiting for my position to begin, I busted my hump, worked 10 hour days, until I was stiff and sore, and at the end of my first month I had enough to pay my mortgage, pay the bills, put gas in the car and put food on the table. It was good, honest and decent hard work and provides anyone willing to put in the time, with the ability to put a roof over their heads and take care of their families. This is no doubt why Canada is easily one of the best places on the planet in which to live out this thing called the human experience.

That's something us Canadians take very much for granted as many are ignorant to the fact that most of the world's population lives either in or at near poverty levels. That’s right - of the 7 billion human beings out there in our great wide world, the vast majority will never experience the simple satisfactions that come with Canadian life. On top of a simple willingness to work hard, one also gets treated with respect, has equal rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, free education and healthcare, and can live life, for the most part, as he or she sees fit, without fear of repercussion , and with pride and hope for the future. Most of our fellow brethren simply will never know these things. We don't think about that here in Canada much, but it's the cold hard truth of life here on our planet.

Yes, indeed... grinding it out with the boys from D&B Lumber for a few weeks and seeing the yield of my labour was good for the soul.

After first having joined Calgary's Bow Valley College and their Centre of Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement,  the end of 2014 saw me the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society. Two years later I now find myself beginning my latest chapter upon my return home working right here at the Centre For Newcomers.   Looking back at my life that was, it seems a befitting position. At the same time, I don't exactly know how I got here.

I started out in small town Alberta, on a farm out on the prairies. And then things changed. I spent nearly a decade working in the cosmopolitan melting pot of Dubai, the previous three years plus to that in Tokyo, with a short stint in Dublin mixed ic network of their slowly recognisable daily life. By profound extension, newcomers are greatly influenced by what the Canadian workplace and our learning environments both allow and embolden.
Clients can often look to us, not only for examples of what is right and wrong, but also for support, acceptance and care at a time in their lives when they are in the midst a grandiose odyssey towards purpos, place and self; and in today’s fast-paced, mechanically organic, gig-a-minute world the challenge to do so is greater than ever.

And therein lies our responsibility. I surely hope I can help them, in some small way, through their journey, these so called newcomers, into the culture that has been my own for ever so long. They are indeed worthy of my assistance. In the end, they've chosen my home to call their own and for that alone, they are deserving of both our help and hospitality. n as well, and somehow managed to pass through nearly 50 countries along the way. I have worked and or studied in North American, Asian, European and Middle Eastern Circles of Education and it was on this quest for soul and purpose that I discovered I truly love working with people to help them reach their maximum potential - and it is this that takes us back to the present.

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