Let me introduce you to my good friend and coach on Canadian life, Jody. She has since our first meeting extended her hand not only in friendship but herself as a source of information. I am so blessed to have this fabulous pharmacist turned stay at home mom in my life! She is warm, funny, practical and is a endless store of knowledge. She is showing me the ropes and I would be lost without her.
Most people have a question and do a web search....I just Ask Jody. Forget Google, it can't tell you which doctors are good and taking new patients, where to have your kid's birthday party, what you actually need to survive winter here or where to buy corn muffin mix. The list of questions I have asked is long and I see no end in sight. When I set her phone ringing it is always answered warmly and with a willingness to help.
There are times I am sure that I have made her crazy with the endless questions, some of which may be trivial, but there has never been a time when she hasn't tried to answer them on her own and if she doesn't have the answer, she asks around to help me find it. She still answers my calls, even though she knows the questions are never going to end. You would think after all these months I would be out of questions and that all of the preparation prior to moving would have eliminated the need to have a Jody. Not even close! Every day I find something or something finds me that has me running for the phone.
Jody is not only my source on all things Canadian, she is the person who makes me feel not quite so lonely and out of place. We enjoy each other, we laugh, we talk...that is the other key to surviving this life, connection. Friends make all the difference in this experience. My good friend and fellow expat, Joanne gave me wise advice; keep a bottle of wine, tea and baked goods on hand and invite everyone you meet into your home and life, because you will need friends if you are to be a successful expat. She was so very right.
Of the many ways to answer a question, solve a problem or to gain a better understanding, without a doubt, the most fun and efficient way for me is to Ask Jody! Chris, too, is finding the simplest of answers to my Canadian survival questions, is to respond "Ask Jody!" I am so glad to have a Jody to ask!