15 February 2015

Reconnecting with Mr. Lee

I listen to CBC’s The Current radio show as I drive to work in the morning.  A few months ago, there was a guest on the show who commented about how for so many immigrants who are skilled professionals, getting into the field they are trained in is very difficult because they have no Canadian experience, and they end up working as taxi drivers or in retail instead.  He said that these educated, trained immigrants just need to be given a chance.  When I heard that, I immediately thought of William Lee.  He offered me my first job in Canada back in the 90’s.  He gave me a chance.  My family had landed in Canada three months prior and I had been applying for IT jobs the moment we arrived.  I didn’t have much work experience and I definitely had no Canadian experience so I was feeling very anxious about my chances of finding a job in IT.  But somehow, William decided to offer me the position and that first step set up my work life here in Canada.  Without that first person taking a chance on me, who knows what work I would be doing today?  William definitely affected my life in a very positive way.

The funny story I will always remember from that time is how I addressed William as Mr. Lee.  Everyone else in the team called him William but being my boss, I couldn’t bring myself to call him that.  In the Philippines, addressing your boss by their first name is considered very disrespectful!  William let me call him Mr. Lee, and enjoyed that time immensely, until I felt “Canadian” enough to call him William. 

As I drove to work that morning, I felt that I should let William know of the impact he had on my life.  We had lost touch over the years and I took a mental note that I should add this to my to do list.  About a month ago, I finally got around to looking for him.  I didn’t know if the email I had still worked.  I decided to check LinkedIn and Facebook.  I found him on Facebook and sent him a message to say hi.  A couple of days later, I got a response and we made plans to meet up.  I also told him about why I went in search of him and officially thanked him for taking a chance on me.

Ed, Sophia, and I had dim sum with William a week ago.  It was so wonderful to see him again, to catch up on each other’s lives, and reminisce about the past, too.  The last time we spoke must have been 14 years ago but we just picked up where we left off.  He is still the same as I remember him, and I was very glad that Ed and Sophia got to meet him too.  I am so happy I made the effort to reach out and reconnect.  And I will make sure that it won't take another 14 years for us to get together again!

12 February 2015

Ten years old

My first ever post on this blog was on Feb 10, 2005...  Wow, happy ten years to my blog!

6 February 2015

Big White Ski Trip with DIDO Friends

I love our DIDO group.  We’ve all known each other for over 14 years.  Before the kids came along, it was about trying out new restaurants and doing fun stuff (like ski trips, hiking, and hanging out at the beach).  Then the kids started coming and we would get together at each other’s houses because it was much more comfortable feeding babies at home.  But slowly, as the kids get older, we started doing fun stuff again.  In fact, five out of the six kids even skied with us down the green run on our last day at Big White.  It’s hard to explain how amazing it felt to see the grown ups and the kids skiing down the hill together.  I thought my heart would burst; I was so proud and happy.  I was a little sad, too, because Sophia was the only child who still can’t go up on the chair lift and down a green run.  I really am hoping that she will be able to join the group next year.  I think that will make me cry!

Thanks to Yvette for being so proactive about organizing our ski trips.  She found a really nice 4-bedroom, 4-bath condo in Big White.  There was more than enough room for all of us and a nice big open area where we can all hang out together.  As the kids get older, they also need less minding so we grown-ups were able to have uninterrupted conversations throughout our stay.  We had three days of skiing and two travel days.  We signed up Sophia for three days of ski lessons but it was cancelled on the third day because the gondola that takes the kids down to the bunny hill had broken down.  So we spent the morning of our third ski day on the bunny hill with Sophia.  It had snowed quite a bit overnight and continued to snow through the day, that her skis wouldn’t slide at all on the bunny hill.  We basically had to run down the hill, pushing her along, and it was NOT fun.  After four times down the hill, we just took off her skis and just rolled around in the snow.  That part was quite fun.

The last time Ed and I skied together (that was not on the bunny hill) was before we had a kid.  On our first and second ski days, with Sophia in ski school, Ed and I enjoyed two hours of skiing together with our friends.  It was sunshine, blue sky, and groomed runs for two hours each day.  It was glorious!  

And I have to say that all those squats and dead lifts we do in CrossFit must be doing something good because our legs felt pretty strong.  Our legs felt tired at the end of the day but not too sore at all.  However, after the big snow dump on the third day, skiing on the powder made my legs burn.  That snow was hard work!  I would prefer a groomed run any day!

It was such a fun trip and I look forward to doing this with our friends every year.  Seeing the kids grow and able to do more and more things with us is so wonderful.  Being able to keep our friendships close and strong is also such a gift. Our kids are growing up together and we are growing old together.  In many ways, these friends are family, too.  

Here are pictures from the trip: