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fam5

Engeland na Calgary

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fam5

Hello almal daar in Calgary

Ons (ma, pa & 3 kindertjies van 4,2 en 1jr) bly tans in Engeland. Ons het in Aug 07 hier aansoek gedoen vir ons PR en het op n ander forum gelees dat hulle het al begin om van Aug 07 se 120 day letters te stuur. So ons hoop om enige oomblik ons s'n te kry. Ons grootste worry is om ons police clearance vir SA van hier af te probeer kry. Kan julle dit glo dat dit ons £68 per persoon kos vir fingerprints.

Anyway, ons het oorspronklik beplan om Toronto se area toe te trek want ons het n nefie wat daar bly. Maar hy bly se ons moet Calgary toe gaan. Ons het n bietjie begin kyk op die internet hoe lyk dit daar in Calgary en is nou defnitief oortuig dit is waarnatoe ons wil kom. Ek soek asseblief n bietjie inligting oor family friendly neighborhoods. Met 3 kindertjies wil ons hopelik n speelarea loopafstand he en elementary skool in die omgewing. My oudste begin reception hier in september.

Hoe is die rental market op die oomblik en watter websites kan julle aanbeveel om huise te huur te soek. Hoeveel kan ons verwag om te betaal vir n 3 slaapkamer huis. Een ding het ek so ver opgelet dat die back yards is maar klein so waar speel die kinders dan of moet n mens hulle maar altyd na n parkie of iets vat.

My man is n embedded software developer. Kan enige iemand dalk n bietjie raad ge oor waar hy moet begin kyk vir n moontlike werk. Weet julle dalk van enige company wat IT mense soek op die oomblik. Ons het al so baie gehoor van die bester manier om werk te kry in Kanada is deau networking. So hoe begin n mens die networking as jy nog nie in die land is nie?

Verder sal dit lekker wees om net te hoor van ander saffers wat in Calgary bly. Geniet julle dit nog daar of wens julle het n ander stad gekies om in te bly. Ons is nou al so opgewonde kan nie wag oor te trek nie.

Groete uit warem Engeland.

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Guest Barbara

Sorry my afrikaans is terrible and I don't understand you whole post. But I think you are asking if we are happy in Calgary.

We have been here for 5 years and love it. We are very glad we moved here, we love being close to the mountains. We have not lived in any other Canadian city though. So have nothing to compare it to.

Good luck.

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fam5

Sorry man :-)

Basicly I am just looking for any sort of info on neighborhoods in Calgary. As our kids are so young we would are looking for a family friendly neighborhood with a plapark and school close by.

And yes the one thing that is very appealing to us about Calgary is being so close to the mountains. My husband is quite good with the skiing and cant wait for him to teach the kids too.

What do you do with small kids for entetainment in the long winter months?

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Guest Barbara

We have a lake near our house where they have ice skating and tobogganing in the winter.

We live right across the street from a park, soccer fields and a school. There have been a lot of posts about what area to live in Calgary, each person likes the area they live in. We live in the SE, way south but the SW or NW are also good. Take care with some areas in the NE and SE.

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Dedré

Heidi,

Congratulations on making it this far and holding out this long. I can see from your post you are excited and we wish you guys all the best with the next few months. You guys have been through the moving process, and I am sure the experience of the first move to the UK have taught you so much that this move will be easier.

We are happy here in Calgary. We just returned from a holiday and we just fell in love with our city again.

My thoughts on Calgary are: (Barbara, please correct me where I am painting the picture wrong)...

Calgary is a city, but almost still not. Its called Cowtown by some. Travelling might be shorter compared to other places. We have friends in Newmarket (Toronto, Ontario) whose son travels an hour and a half to University one way. That leaves him with three hours a day on trains and buses. It's frustrating when you have to think of your 16 hour day being cut into short with that much. We live on the outskirts of Calgary. We have one bus here (have recently been upgraded to leaving every half hour) and still my husband travels 1 hour to the city centre and another back. So depending on where you live, there is never more than an hour waiting for you there somewhere. The SE have buses and no trains. The Park and Ride (where people park their cars to get on the trains) have recently started to ask a fee for parking. We are still outraged! But what can you say, eh? Wish they would change their minds and decide that was just one bad idea! This means you most probably will HAVE to take the bus to the train even if you live a 5 minute drive from it. Unfair, but true! The north of the NW are also not serviced by the C-train. Their buses are plenty though.

Calgary have unfortunately not got as many forests as Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Our trees are way less than what they have. It is amazing how safe (i.t.o. crime) those forests are (except for the odd bear here and there), and how those cities are built around it. It's beautiful. You can almost move to those cities for just that reason. The mosquitoes are small, but bloodthirsty as if they were as big as birds there! They will even attack your food if you sit outside. I kid you not. Like Barbara said though, we have the Rockies close by and lots of wonderful parks and other great places. Our mosquitoes are not here for the whole summer and our wildlife does not include the variety that we saw in Toronto. The gophers are cute at first but soon drive you nuts! We don't have chipmunks around our house nor will you see a bear close by. We did see a coyote though the other day chasing birds close by just after winter. We have lots of rabbits... grey in summer, white in winter. We have birds... (mostly seagulls... don't know what they are called here really) and then we have lots of magpies. The smaller ones come much later in summer and leave early again. When you start feeding them, you can NOT stay ahead. They will eat your budget out from right under you. They will break your bank, be careful! We see mostly black squirrels.

BUT unlike Ontario's weather, we don't have the extreme humidity in Summer, nor do we have the constant rain of Vancouver. Our winters are longer, and some trees have not even had leaves this year... yet winter is on it's way already. We greeted again this morning at church and all that the people complained about was the weather. The comments were quirky and extremely sharp. Its so much fun to listen to. But unfortunately it is true. Summer is so short... you hardly have time to plan it. Even the radio adds comment on the short summers here. Winter is long, beautiful and way less frustrating than the other great cities'. Our snow is mostly dry and last winter wasn't even sticky. Building snowmen was out of the question. I was really sad about that... oh well, maybe this winter... They say we also have a Chinook wind (which means "Snow Eater"). Apparently its a warm mountain wind which blows from the mountain's side in winter and overnight can melt the snow. I have not seen it (no pun intended) yet. But maybe... just maybe this winter. Another thing about our weather is that snow may even fall during stampede time (which is almost middle summer) which apparently also happened here one year. They say June is monsoon time. It is nothing compared to the water that pours in Vancouver during this time. Still not really Cape Town rainfall either. But close. Calgary have been classified as the city with the most sunshine days in a year.

People here mostly have decided to come and live in Calgary. You will rarely speak to someone who was born here. The up side about that is that Canadians are so much more easy to befriend here in Calgary than the other two bigger cities. The great thing about this is that you can make the effort and it is actually welcomed.

Calgary is a good choice to land at first for another reason. Work. You are more likely to be given a first chance here than in the other cities where Canadian experience hampers job seekers. Calgary is home to an uncountable number of different nationalities. I sometimes think the born and bread Canadians are the minority here. It makes it easier to find a job. If you want to work, you will find something. It might not always be your first great ideal job, but it will be a great steppingstone to the next. Networking is a huge part of looking for a job. Unfortunately I have no contacts for you there. But it is not the end of the world either. A lot of jobs are advertised. You can use the Internet with great success.

Calgary can appear to look like Johannesburg in winter. This town bursts with activity though and you soon will have too much to do and too little time to do it. If you look closely underneath you find the cowboy inside and it is awesome. Some children here learn from the time they learnt to walk, to ride a horse. We were amazed to see at the stampede what we have overlooked in Calgary during the winter here. It fills you with a warmth and a sense of belonging. This town is a diamond. If you can find it, you will love it here.

Finding a house is easy. House prices are "low" still but they are climbing again. They say we are out of the recession, although in the job market that will only show next year. Renting a house can cost the same as renting an apartment. Ridiculous, but true. So yes, rather rent a house. Try to find something close to the C-train line. That leaves the SE out (although we live here and are happy; you could cut your travel time with 20 minutes). As Barbara said try not to choose the NE. Although in the east of the NE they have got some great new developments. But I don't think they have transport in those areas yet. In the NE you will find more of all the nationalities. The houses are old and small. In the south you will find more Canadians and in the NW you will find more eastern nationalities. The NW is cheaper and two degrees or so warmer in winter. The South is more expensive and slightly colder in winter. The SW have Fish Creek National park running through it. It is awesome and you will find lots of wildlife anytime of the year around there. Houses close to it are very expensive though. Like Barbara, we have also bought a house in a lake community. The City of Calgary set out a new neighbourhood, the developers build a lake and then they create a lake community. The lakes have beach sand around them and have all sorts of activities and facilities that are lots of fun to utilize. The fee is steep when it is a new community but gets cheaper when more houses are built. We love it and can also recommend it.

If you plan to be here within the next year or so, you will want to start researching the schools. Unfortunately I can not help with advice there. We don't have children yet. For day care you can be on waiting lists as long as 5 years. So people who get pregnant start the process of planning already. Schools are full and you would want to start that process too. Lots of parents home school though. A very common and acceptable practise here in Canada.

Calgary have a lot to offer and those who are willing to look for all the treasures patiently, are rewarded with a lot of happiness. We have no regrets (for a moment the huge amount of forests and trees grabbed our attention in Toronto). But after our return to Calgary we fell in love again. It is home sweet home and not even a year later (since we landed) we feel as if we have found a place that we can call home. Yes, we can't do everything that we would want to do due to money being tight. BUT even that can not keep us from enjoying Calgary for what it has got to offer. This place is home. The love you have for it will creep up and catch you by surprise. Imagine how you will love this small little patch on earth after more than 5 years and beyond.

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fam5

Hi Dedre

Thank you very much for the lovely long response. After reading your and Barbara's post we cant wait to get to Clagary. Just wish that police clearance from SA will get sorted otherwise we have all the documents ready for the next stage.

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