Mandy Eve-Barnett's Official Blog

Inspiration for Writers & Building A Community ©

Alternative Living -Moving to Another Country…

March 16, 2016
mandyevebarnett


Expat

As an expat myself, I know the trials and tribulations of moving to another country. I moved from the lush green of England, where I could easily travel to the sea in a mere forty minutes. Days of dull and grey weather were the norm and we were used to the rain! However, my family, the centuries old history, and the glorious countryside are what I miss the most.

I now live landlocked in Alberta, Canada, where the winters are long and extremely cold but the summers are hot and we have sunshine a large amount of the time year round. It was so unusual to wake up to sunshine seven days running that my body was in shock. Now when we experience a dull cloudy day, we refer to it as “English’ weather! To get to the ocean requires a flight or several days driving.Canada has enabled me to pursue a passion for writing; given my children an advantage in life and the people have warmly embraced us.

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Let’s look at the Pros and Cons:

Pros

A new country means new experiences for you and your family, such as different cultures, customs, laws, and often languages. You will taste unknown foods and get to experience day to day life that may be a polar opposite of what you are used to. Meeting new people from other backgrounds will broaden your horizons and give you an insight into their culture.

Language may initially be a barrier, although it is best to learn the language before moving. It will make the transition easier and lessen misunderstandings. It can also enable you to find work quicker and benefits your resume/CV when relocating.

Financial benefits can be an incentive to move as many countries have a lower cost of living enabling you to stretch your finances. Although initially there maybe a financial burden due to the extra costs of moving, monthly bills and required purchases, such as vehicles.

A common reason to move is to have a fresh start giving the feeling of freedom and possibilities. You can also form new friendships and interests, which benefit you socially and emotionally.

Cons

Actually uprooting yourself from all that is familiar and comfortable is a stressful endeavor. It is best to research, investigate and meticulously plan everything prior to moving. This will lessen the culture shock to some extent while you find housing, and work.

There is an element of risk that must be considered. A job may fall through or you have not had confirmation of a position. You will probably have to sell all your belongings or spend a considerable sum on transporting them. Your accommodation may not be as expected. Again with careful planning these risks can be minimized.

The largest toll on you will be the emotional one. Living far away from family is the hardest burden to bear. You will miss the simplest of moments, like popping round to a family members house for a quick chat or taking part in seasonal celebrations. There is technology available although it is not the same as being there.

It will take some time to get accustomed to the new country and you need to be patient with yourself. Accepting the ‘new’ and embracing it will help.

I will give you a couple of instances of things I encountered and had not realized prior to moving to Alberta. One the price shown on the item you purchase is not the price you pay! There is 5% GST (tax) added at the check out. Also unlike the English 2-3 week’s vacation per year for each employee, here you do not automatically get vacation until you have worked one year with a company. When you change jobs you start again!

Expat-Living

What has been your experience of moving to a new country?

Did you stay or did you return?

Alternative Living – Religious Communities…

March 16, 2016
mandyevebarnett


religion globe

There are numerous religious communities throughout the world, some based on traditional religion’s and others not, such as cults. In essence, these communities consist of people living together practicing under the rules of a particular religion and the belief system for it.

Some intermingle and live within a larger community, regardless of other people practicing a different religion to them. Such as the Jewish community of France or the Catholic community in Belfast. While others separate themselves and live within strict guidelines, such as the Amish, Mennonite, and Hutterite. There are also religious communities based on formal religious vows such as monks in a monastery or nuns in a convent.

In modern times, the strict rules governing these communities are being questioned not only by ‘outsiders’ but from within, particularly by the younger generation. We have all seen programmes such as Breaking Amish and so on. How true to life, these TV series are is a question many ask. Of course, given freedom to choose your way of life is seen as paramount nowadays and must alter how these communities will continue in the future.

Have you lived within a religious community?

What was your experience like?

 

Did you leave, and if so why?

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A learned scholar is not always an academic…

October 6, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Savant – a person of profound or extensive learning; a learned scholar

I was honored to meet and listen to Adrian LaChance, a Cree Facilitator/Story Teller and
Traditional Dancer last weekend. He told us that it has taken him many years to learn all the traditional laws, stories and dance routines. His life did not have a good start and he suffered many years of abuse, hardship and sunk into a dark underworld as he grew older. He was saved by the teachings of his elders, realizing there was another way to live his life and benefit others. Now Adrian travels the world to spread the word of his First Nation ancestors and delight his audiences with his humor, honesty and conviction.

He designed his magnificent traditional dress  himself and is decorated with eagle and bear motifs as well as real eagle feathers. Each bead and decoration are symbols of Adrian’s tribe, beliefs and craft. I’m sure you will agree with me it is superb. Not all learned scholars are academics after all.

For more information visit his site – http://www.adrianlachance.com

Adrian

Some of you may know that from early childhood, I have been fascinated in Native culture and wanted to be a squaw as a child. I won an art competition at 7 years old receiving a book – The Story of Hiawatha. Years later when I was regressed, one of my ‘lives’ was as a squaw but I dismissed it as wishful thinking. However, over two decades later, my cousin found out that one of our great great grandfather’s married a squaw from the Lumbee tribe! This excerpt is my transcript from my regression.

Native Squaw

I look down into the still glassy water and see an old face, deep down I know it to be my face. The deep lines creasing my eyes, cheeks and mouth are at the same time familiar and alien. Dark brown eyes and skin are in contrast to my hair, which was once a shiny ebony mantle but now streaked with silvery grey, hair now thin and wispy in one long plait down my back. Splashing my face with the icy cold water, I look up to see the teepee’s across the stream that feeds the lake and raise my old body upwards. I’m only good for collecting wood, minding the children and cooking, my days past slowly. Without a husband, I have to ingratiate myself to my daughter’s brave, be of help so I can have a place to sleep, tucked into the side flaps, under my buffalo bedding. Walking back the horror of that far day comes back, maybe it’s the similar setting, the crispness of the air but I ‘see’ the riders coming over the hill, the crack of the guns and the sudden screaming, startled me. The soldier’s were yelling and laughing as they rode through the camp, shooting my friends and family; everyone they see fleeing.  I was helpless to stop them, I’d screamed back but was too far away. Fear stops me running toward the murderers but my heart breaks as I watch the massacre. Crouching under a bush I’d covered my ears until long after the screaming and pounding hooves had ceased. Too scared to move I’d waited until nightfall before walking back to a blood soaked and burnt earth where my home had once been.

I hadn’t noticed I was walking as the horrors around me had numbed my body and mind. The land was silent and still as though shocked and sadden as was I. Whimpering coming from the far side of the camp leads me gradually in that direction. To my utmost joy I found my grand-daughter but my grief had sprung into my heart as I saw she was huddled underneath my own daughter’s body. Taking her up into my arms, other sounds around me come to my ears as one by one the women and children uncovered themselves and crawled out of their hiding places.

This past will never leave me and I wait for my time to come when I will be with the spirits and my husband, who had fought so bravely on that fateful day against an enemy so cowardly and strong. The firewood is weighing heavily now as I enter the camp and I smile at the last of the Lumbee tribe survivors.

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