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Thread: Relocating a Dominican 101

  1. #11
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    You're doing a fine job Trina. I'm sure you're helping many people here. You describe it well, the problems with language, homesickness, wanting one's own food, desperate for any contact with home, and loneliness in a very very strange environment. Wish my husband had read this when he 'relocated' me to the US many years ago. I survived for eight months initially, went home for three and then made a more informed decision to give it a go again.

  2. #12
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    Default getting used to life as new immigrant

    If people has problem adjusting to Canada. there are programs for those people in some comunity services office also.

    there are a program call passages to Canada were talk about new immigrants in Canada. check the website.

    Anyways tonight after work I will post mine own experience.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris
    You're doing a fine job Trina. I'm sure you're helping many people here. You describe it well, the problems with language, homesickness, wanting one's own food, desperate for any contact with home, and loneliness in a very very strange environment. Wish my husband had read this when he 'relocated' me to the US many years ago. I survived for eight months initially, went home for three and then made a more informed decision to give it a go again.

    Thank you very much Chris. I sent you a PM, but I also wanted to raise this point here: so many people think that as soon as their spouse lands on your soil, they think all the problems and stress will disappear. And in many forms, this is true...there is no more distance, you can finally live together, the cost of living apart has vanished...however, in many different ways, the stress has just begun. If I had a dime for everytime Angel told me he was going to move back to the DR that first year, I'd be rich. I was heartbroken, because this wasn't what I'd imagined our life would be like at all. He was so homesick, and obviously unhappy that I thought maybe that may be the best thing for both of us. Finally, I just said, "Okay, if that's how you feel, GO. Abandon your children, go back, and we'll never have to see each other again." Guess what? That was the last time he ever talked about going home. I think at the time he was subconsciously using leaving as a means of getting his way. When I took that leverage away, it solved everything.

    I think you actually face greater stress when they arrive in your country, because now the pressure is on to beat the odds and make it work. To prove everyone wrong, and show everyone that you know what you are doing. Nobody wants to admit failure, and nobody wants to give anyone the opportunity to say, "I told you so." Under such stress, you don't think like a rational person....I guess all I can say is that I'm so glad those days are over. Not that we don't still have arguments, but you learn to "fight nice" over time. And when times are good, they are so so good...there are days that I could just look at Angel all day long, you just feel so connected and that much in love with each other...but when times are bad, they're also real bad...the challenge is in finding middle ground, because love isn't meant to be so hard.
    Last edited by trina; 07-28-2005 at 04:38 PM.

  4. #14
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    Default It should not be this hard.

    First, thank you Trina I fully understand everything you have said and I finally do not feel so alone.

    I am not married to a Dominican, and have no plans to relocate one. However, I am in a long distance relationship with one. I have all the ups and downs that go with it and wonder what would be the best thing to do.

    In Sept. it will be two years since we met. He was my tour guide for the day. We only spoke for about 15 minutes that day, but it is forever burned in my memory. At the end of the day we did exchange business cards and that was it.
    The next day was my return flight home. When I returned and was back to work I sent him an email, he replied and so the story continues. The emails turned into hours of chatting and of course a return trip a few months later.

    I was horrified at some of the stories I was reading on DR 1, but I had to go with my gut feeling and just see what happens. But by reading all the posts, it helped me know what I should be on the look out for. So much that I became known as a being difficult.

    He is a college graduate, has his own car, and is very hard working but gets paid very little. His family is VERY important to him, he loves his country and has no desire to move here. After going to work with him on my first visit, I knew then that he was where he belonged. I cannot see him living here with me, but I can see myself being there with him. But even that can't happen at this time. He has even told me that I would never survive there, and I do understand why he would say that.

    I really do not know what will come of this, but I know I am already a better person for having met him. I can't even think of not having him in my life in some way.

    Best regards....
    Tracy

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    Hi, everyone I saw this thread and i thought that it could be very helpful to hear my story.

    My name is magdalena. I am from DR. I came to USA in July 30 2004. I got a student visa. I will will be here for one year here with my boyfriend. At the begining for me it was very difficult to adopt my self to be far away from my family.
    I was feeling sad and sick because it was my first time alone so far and for such a long time away from my family. I am so proud of my boyfriend because he helped me to feel better everytime when i was feeling bad.
    Things that we did so that i wouldnt feel so homesick:


    To find a supermarket where i can buy dominican' food.

    -latin's club
    -he always has a bachata cd in his radio.
    -Dominican restaurants
    -and to find me a job, for me it was very difficult the first month here just sitting around like a big "lambona". for me to ask money or to see my boyfriend paying for my things it was something very difficult and embarrassing. Even when i was with my parent i always said to my dad that i like to work to get my things by my self.

    now, I am still with my boyfriend, and i hope that for a long time even when we have some problem but it is just small things.We are working as a team with everything that we do helping each other, loving each other and taking care of each other.
    The best part is that i dont feel more homesick. i am getting used to be in here.

    My advise for people who are thinking to come here:

    -first thing is try to find a job so that you can keep your mind busy and dont -feel homesick.
    -to find good friends could be very helpful.
    - learn how to use train and busses.
    -how to find addresses.
    -and of course before you come here learn how to speak english it is the- most important thing.
    -also find out where you can find the closer latin club.
    A nother to say to these dominican who are thinking that life here is easier you have a wrong view for this.
    here if you dont work you dont eat.
    For example, before i came i thought that i will come to study and to find a job in a restaurant for some hours.This was wrong i have been working so hard that even when i was working in DR, I dindnt need to kill my self so much. I worked 50 and more hours per week. but i like this because inside of me is growing a hard working woman with a lot of experience.

    I have more things to say but i dont have time


    peace and love magdalena
    Quote Originally Posted by trina
    Ideas on helping your spouse be more comfortable with the move:

    Learn to cook Dominican food. The best Dominican cooking website: www.dominicancooking.com ; run by none other than our famous Pib. Angelís cousin (and my best friend) Denny patiently spent hours with me, showing me little tricks on how to make great Dominican cuisine. Your spouse will have enough to adapt to; it wouldnít hurt for you to try some adaptation and learn a few dishes to help make it an easier time for them. Trust me, they will be pleasantly surprised...on the flipside, if you decide not to learn and try to serve them Minute Rice, they may flee the country.

    Check into your local Latino community to see if there are other Dominicans in town. If not, maybe making friends with Latinos from other countries in your area so your spouse has someone to talk to in his own language and relate to at times.

    What is your spouse interested in? If itís baseball or dominoes, help find him a team. Get him involved in something early so as not to let boredom set in.

    How good is your Spanish? Communication is hard enough between an English-speaking couple, let alone when faced with a language barrier. Try to learn at least some Spanish Ė it shows youíre making the effort. Be careful, though, that all your communication is not in Spanish, because they need to learn English in order to make a better life for themselves here. Speaking of which, how good is their English? Trust me, have them take English classes before they come. We learned the hard way. Angelís English still isnít good, and life is tough in Canada when you donít speak English. As Rosanie said, there are great resources available (I will revisit this topic later) for Immigrants who want to learn English. Keep in mind, though, that when they arrive in Canada, they are more-than-likely going to want to work so they can help support their families (here and in the DR).

    Visit the DR as a couple or family as often as possible, if financially able to do so. Theyíre probably going to be homesick, and staying in touch with their family is important. If travel is not possible (we try to go at least once/year), buy some calling cards, and at least for the first while, try not to get upset when he wants to call everyone heís ever met. Angel would call people that he hadnít talked to in years, just to hear a voice from home.

    Start a collection of Dominican music, itíll surely bring back fond memories.

    I think one of the keys to success in our relationship is the fact that I do love the culture, as well as the Dominican people. Angel is often told that he hit the jackpot when he married me (not to boast or anything), because Iím one of the few spouses that can speak Spanish, cook Dominican food, embrace the culture, and try to understand where they are coming from. All of his friends speak to me in Spanish (which to me, is out of respect) even though they may speak perfect English, and they know they can talk to me about anything Dominican-related (music, baseball, politics, religion, etc). I love it when we all get together to have a Dominican fiesta, but some of the other wives arenít so happy about it because they feel totally left out. To me, thatís their own fault for not making the effort. Some have been married over ten years and canít get speak more than a couple of words in Spanish. Your relationship is in your handsÖyou have the ability to choose its destiny.

    Sorry for the long posts, I guess there is a lot to say on this topic.

  6. #16
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    Are you ChrisNJ's Magdalena? If so, you are both very lucky people. It's nice to hear couples talk so nicely of each other. I wish you both the best.

  7. #17
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    Hi,trina yes he is my wonderful boyfriend. I think that i am very lucky.

    I was reading your message and I think it is very interesting.

    take care and thank you

    peace and love
    magdalena

  8. #18
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    Default At last

    These posts are very interesting, at last some success stories!

  9. #19
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    First at all I could be probably the last person to hear in here but I do my best to be clear about my experiences in Canada.

    When I met my wife in Santo Domingo. We used to go out to different places on the Island to get to know each other. Then she was going to the Dominican Rep. several times to visit every 3 or 2 month, we then decided to moved in together which we did and it was an amazing experience. We were having problems with each other but we had communication between us to solve our problems and we tried not to make a habit about fighting for stupid reasons. We lived together for and we went through a lot of things because believe me life is not perfect sometimes when you’re getting to know each other.

    Anyway we were living and working in Punta Cana. I always kept the relationship away from my family to make the relationship work because it’s a natural thing for Dominicans to move their wives with their family (NOT me). I’M do not agree with moving in with family.

    Coming to Canada was exciting for my wife and I. But the first week I got here I was sick, missing the food, family, friends and my people. I was so close to going back home but I kept thinking about what my father said to me, "Every beginning its hard" and I have to be smart and patient. My wife was so worried and asking me every day if I like Canada or Not and if I want to go back to DR. I tried little by little to get used to the country, which works for me. I know how to make friends but here it’s as difficult as trying to swim cross Niagara because people keep their privacy. It’s not like DR where you can talk to the person next door or at the bus and not have a problem.

    About Dominicans people here I honestly don't care about making friendship because when you needs them they are never there for you most are good just for get a drink and go out but you know what. I came to Canada to study get to know more of the country where my wife comes from and then trying to see how is thing living here. Anyway, I need to find a way to make my life here because every thing is for today in this country is not like in DR. Here there are a lot of responsibilities then I saw the way of life here which made me understand to follow the rules of Canadian life and keep my mind open to move on in life.

    It was difficult to find a job because every employer was saying "You don’t have Canadian experience" and "You just got here", or they don't even read my resume. Anyway these issues won’t make me go back. I recently got a Job in a place working as a night auditor for a hotel having 800 rooms its was not easy because it was 11pm to 7 am schedule, hey! I did it for a month because finally I got a job better $$ in a 5 stars hotel in Toronto I don’t work during the night.

    PS: "Canada is a country that you have to have your head in place and be responsible, that's it! It's cold get a jacket, it's hot get air conditioning."
    I search what I want. I'm friends with Dominicans in DR and I have 3 Dominicans
    friends in Toronto and they are very responsible persons.

    If you are Dominican thinking that the money will come to you so easy you are in the wrong place. You have to work for what you want here. I like and I love Canada. But all depends about what you want as a immigrant. You want to be successful? The work for it! If not go, then go home. If you don’t know the language hey, there are English and French classes for free in many places, community services and even trades classes. In a relationship both have to be happy and know what each other wants.

    If you have a Dominican wife or husband in Canada, let the person know about the opportunities and of being happy together here and how to do it be patient, don't forget the place you are coming from but try to make this place be your home.

    This is not about that I had bad experience is the way it is I know Dominicans are, and I know that not all are the same.
    Last edited by simpson Homer; 07-29-2005 at 10:20 AM.

  10. #20
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    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Homer (I feel so strange calling you Homer). You are probably more qualified than anyone to speak on this topic.

    I especially liked this part,
    It was difficult to find a job because every employer was saying "You donít have Canadian experience" and "You just got here", or they don't even read my resume. Anyway these issues wonít make me go back. I recently got a Job in a place working as a night auditor for a hotel having 800 rooms its was not easy because it was 11pm to 7 am schedule, hey! I did it for a month because finally I got a job better $$ in a 5 stars hotel in Toronto I donít work during the night.
    and would like to revisit this topic to say that now, after a few years being here, it's easy to find a job for Angel. Back when he first came, friends and family kept telling me that Angel needed to help me more. They don't realize the adversity we faced. It's not by any means that Angel doesn't or didn't want to work. When he came here, he'd had experience in construction, coaching, factories, janitorial, etc. But employers don't care. I relied on contacts to get him a job, and that's how he starting working, through employers I'd had in the past. Angel still works part-time maintenance and janitorial at one of my old jobs. People told us, "try the employment agencies"...well, that was basically all crap jobs that brought us more stress than it was worth. They send you to places to clean up construction sites...well, first you have to buy the steel-toed boots, then they send you to places that are not accessible by public transit. I was having to drive him there for 8:00 in the morning, but I started my regular job at 7:00. It was fine, I changed my hours to start at 8:30, but that meant working until 5:30, and with rush hour traffic, couldn't pick Angel up until about 6:15...meaning he had to wait at this "job" for about an hour and a half after being done. These jobs were only temporary, and sometimes in one week, you'd work at 4 different locations and have 4 different starting times, meaning that I had to change my schedule everytime he did. It was more stress than it was worth. We live in Calgary, which has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country; it's often said that if you don't have a job in Calgary, you're not looking. It's different if you're an immigrant without experience in Canada and speak little English.

    Now that we have children, and I make a decent salary, our situation is not perfect, but it works for us. I work, he cares for the children, makes meals, and does housework. I don't have to worry about some stranger watching my children (esp at the tender ages of 5 months and 3 years), I rarely cook, and rarely touch housework. What would be even better is if we could both work and bring his sister here as our nanny...but the Canadian government forbids it. Here's what I don't get: they are gracious enough to allow you to bring a nanny from another country to care for your children. But this nanny cannot be a relative! Who better to care for your children than someone like tia Luciana or prima Denny, who already loves them to death? It just doesn't make sense, because for all they know, you could be bringing a nanny over with bad intentions - why not let a qualified relative care for them?
    Last edited by trina; 07-29-2005 at 11:09 AM.

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