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Monday, October 15, 2007

Coming to Canada - Part 1


Back in 1999, things weren't looking good for us. Gaby and her brothers were putting a lot of work in their pasta store, but everything was getting more and more difficult, mostly due to the corruption and the economic instability. In my case, I was still doing well, but I felt I was stuck. Both of us were working many hours, and we were barely seeing each other. Since Gaby worked on weekends, I would stay alone with the kids all Saturday and most of the Sunday. The family time was almost non-existent. Even though both of us were working, we were still renting an apartment, had a very small car shared with my mother in law, and had absolutely no savings. There was no way we could guarantee our kids' future. We needed a change...

One Sunday, Gaby found an ad from the Canadian Embassy on the "Clarín" newspaper, in which they were inviting IT professionals to attend an informative seminar. Gaby knew that it had been always my dream to get to know Canada, so she brought the ad home and asked me to apply. I did, reluctantly, and told Gaby that I thought it would be difficult for me to get accepted; I thought it would be difficult to qualify as a potential immigrant. To my surprise, the invitation came in the mail a few days later. Once again, and maybe for the only time, I was the cautious one, and I told Gaby "let's not get too excited here, just because they have invited me doesn't mean they have accepted me"... Little did I know that they had already determined that I qualified for immigration...

I came back home, my eyes this big, and told Gaby "we can go to Canada". Gaby thought about it and said "Let's do it". I got worried; even though I didn't have a lot of relatives in Buenos Aires, Gaby was very closely attached to hers. We went through all the questions you can ask yourself in those moments: Are we ready? Are we strong enough? Won't we miss our family and friends too much? Will it be hard for our kids? And what about us? Are we willing to give up on our careers and start all over again in the name of our kids' future?

(Continues here)

Allá por 1999, las cosas no estaban bien para nosotros. Gaby y sus hermanos trabajaban mucho en su negocio de pastas, pero las cosas se hacían cada vez más cuesta arriba debido a la corrupción reinante y la inestabilidad económica. Yo, por mi parte, estaba todavía bien en mi trabajo, pero algo estancado. Ambos trabajábamos muchas horas, y apenas si nos veíamos en casa. Como Gaby trabajaba los fines de semana, yo me quedaba solo con los chicos. El tiempo que pasábamos en familia era escasísimo. A pesar de que los dos trabajábamos, aún alquilábamos un departamento, teníamos un auto chiquito compartido con mi suegra, y no teníamos ni un solo peso ahorrado. No teníamos ninguna forma de garantizarle el futuro a nuestros chicos. Necesitábamos un cambio...

Un domingo, Gaby encontró un aviso de la Embajada de Canadá en el diario "Clarín" en el que invitaban a profesionales de sistemas para asistir a un seminario informativo. Gaby sabía que siempre había sido mi sueño conocer Canadá, así que lo recortó y lo trajo, incitándome a que aplicara. Yo lo hice sin mucha confianza, diciéndole a Gaby que pensaba que era difícil que me aceptaran, debería ser muy dificil inmigrar. Para mi sorpresa, a los pocos días me llegó la invitación para asistir al seminario. Nuevamente, y tal vez por única vez, me tocó a mí ser el cauto, y le dije a Gaby "no nos hagamos ilusiones, que me hayan invitado no debe querer decir nada"... Poco sabía yo que me habían invitado porque ya calificaba para emigrar...

Volví con los ojos grandes como el dos de oro, y le dije a Gaby "podemos irnos a Canadá". Gaby lo pensó y dijo "hagámoslo". Yo me quedé preocupado, porque si bien yo prácticamente no tenía familia en Buenos Aires, Gaby era muy cercana con la suya. Pasamos por todas las preguntas del caso: Estamos listos? Seremos lo suficientemente fuertes? No extrañaremos muchos? Será muy bravo el desarraigo para los chicos? Y para nosotros? Estamos dispuestos a hipotecar nuestras vidas en nombre del futuro de nuestros hijos?

(Continúa aquí)

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