This post is part of a three part series. I started writing and arrived at 500 words, then 1000 then 2000. So grab your beverage of choice, find a comfy chair and let me tell you about the last few months. To read Chapter One, click here, to read Chapter Two, click here
Once we had our visas in hand it was a flurry of action. I hadn’t sold our car yet as it was our biggest asset and to sell it, without confirmation that this move was actually happening was too much for me to fathom. That only problem was that I needed the proceeds from the sale of our car to fund the shipment of our belongings. I did have a back up buyer, a dealership rep, whom I arranged to sell the car to on Friday morning. The transaction took place whilst the movers were loading our belongings. From there, it was packing and cleaning. Taking endless trips to the thrift store and trying to sell what we could so that we would have at least a little bit of money to start over with.
Byron, probably caused the most complication as I had to get a health certificate from the vet and have it endorsed by the Canadian Food inspection agency. He had to have a particular inoculation between 120 and 24 hours before arrival, which had to be included with the paper work. While his appointment was on Friday evening, I wasn’t able to get into the CFIA until Monday. There, they pointed out everything that was wrong with the form so then it was back to the vet and then back to the CFIA for the final stamp of approval.
Finally, on Tuesday morning we loaded up our rental van with 10 suitcases, backpacks and Byron and headed to Calgary where we could board a direct flight to London. My mom met us at the Calgary airport and flew with the kids and myself to London, whilst Ben hopped on a flight to St. John’s Newfoundland for a Singing Symposium and the Canadian Choral Conference.
I have now been here for almost one month. Ben arrived one week after the kids and I and went straight to work. Everyday has been busy with trying to get paperwork sorted out. For example, registering for healthcare, picking up residency cards, getting a bank account and cell phone, applying for a transfer of residence so that I don’t have to pay duty on all of my belongings if and when they arrive, etc. You get the picture. I have also been trying to set up our house and make it a home. We sold most of our belongings except for a few books, some artwork, memorabilia and a couple of large pieces of furniture that we have a special attachment to, such as our dining room table. Other than that, we needed to buy all new furniture for the kids and make sure we had a few key pieces of temporary furniture, which would enable us to continue to function until our shipment arrived. We also needed to buy a car. We hadn’t anticipated needing a vehicle right away but because of the way Chalfont St. Peter is situated, it proved rather necessary.
This whole process has given me a new appreciation for immigrants and refugees who literally come with nothing. Nothing is easy and everything takes a long time. For example, Ben still can’t get a bank account! He needs proof of residence but his residency card and National Insurance Number are not enough. He needs, for example, a tenancy agreement but because the church pays our rent (it’s part of the compensation), he isn’t on the tenancy agreement. That being said you need a bank account to do anything: get a police check, a cell phone, broadband (wi-fi) or buy a car and all that that entails (insurance, registration and tax). I am quite confident that it was only by the nudging of the Holy Spirit that I didn’t close the previously mentioned bank account. As a result, we were able to do all the above-mentioned but if I hadn’t we would be up a creek without a paddle.
But I suppose the real question is the same as the one people here have been asking me on a daily basis: how are you settling in?
Like really?…What is life like? How is living in Britain different than living in Canada? Do we feel at home? And another big one that people have been asking me: so what do you have lined up Krista?
Well that sounds like four more blog posts right there.
But until I have a chance to write them, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who read our updates, prayed for us, and helped us along the way. We are truly grateful. I know things may not be easy. I know that there will be bumps along the way and I know that there will be times of doubt but I know steadfast love will hold me. I truly believe that this blog, “One Beautiful Life”, in all the 10 years that I have been writing it, has given testimony to God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
About the photos: in trying to sort out life here in Britain, I found myself in a little town called Marlow with a lot of time to kill. These photos are from that trip.