I am going to tell you about an adventure that started 9 years ago and culminated on the 1st Dec 2011 with me going to Kelowna. Where I sung the Canadian National Anthem and pledged my allegiance to Canada and officially became a Citizen of CANADA.
It all began with a trip to Canada to attend our friend’s wedding in Canmore in 2003. We couldn't come all this way without making a trip to Red Mountain. I wanted to come to Red to test my mettle after making a somewhat amazing recovery my from my back injury in 1998. Now I’m not claiming it to be amazing but after I was told walking again wouldn’t happen; the fact that I do walk and numerous other activities including snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking all to a fairly adequate standard it gets classed as amazing. I just kinda have the attitude that, that! would have not been acceptable, so i Do Things.
Whilst at Red enjoying ourselves in the snow Tash (my now wife) made enquiries as to whether any lodge work was available in Rossland and we came across the Red Shutter Inn looking for lodge managers. Being the occupation we had taken on in New Zealand we were eager to come and try and be able to go back to back winters. So we headed back to NZ to winter at Mount Ruapehu and then back to Red (oct03) for more winter madness. This is when we decided to stay for a while.
I am very lucky that Tash is a Canadian citizen and agreed to sponsor me to become Canadian, she was also sick of being the only one that was legally allowed to work whilst I worked on my mountain bike technique (jealous, she may have been).
This allowed us to stay in Canada, both work and gave us the ability to buy the toys we needed, (basic economics, wants and needs) buy a house and adventure in the beautiful country we have decided to live. I became a permanent resident in May 2005, waited until I had been here for the correct amount of time and then applied to become a citizen.
So when the 1st of December came I was in Kelowna to attend my citizenship ceremony, it was a fun event with 48 other fellow immigrants. We said our oath, sang the anthem and ate cake. For me one of the highlights was having Tasha’s granddad Gordon (92) there to help welcome me as a citizen.
Below is a short list of my accomplishments since arriving:
2004 First mountain bike, 2005 Permanent Residency, 2006 Brought our first house, 2007 Married my beautiful wife Natasha at the top of the mountain on an epic powder day.
I have also made an entry into the world of competitive snowboarding in the adaptive league. This is where people with physical disabilities adapt how they perform at a sport, to perform at a level that makes most people unable to see or comprehend the disability. I have tried to push the sport and my abilities to new levels; which I think myself and fellow competitors have done very well. I have achieved many cool feats like winning the US championships, podium spots at several world cups and competing at the X Games in Aspen last year. All of this whilst wearing the colors and flag of Canada and the Canadian National Team proudly.
Now I am just awaiting the arrival of my first Canadian passport.
So happy, So proud. I'm now a citizen of the Two best places on earth!
Below is one of my favourite recipes of the moment.
"Thom Kha Gai"
Coconut, Chili, Chicken Soup
Piece of Galangal (siamese ginger) about 4cm long sliced thinly
2-3 4cm long pieces of Lemon Grass
6 Red Thai Chilies or something else similar (put in as much as you desire)
1 can coconut milk
500ml chicken broth
200g+ chicken breast sliced into desired size pieces
1tbsp Fish sauce
1/8cup brown sugar or 2 tbsp Agarvae nectar
what you do!
Put the galangal, broth, coconut milk, lemon grass in a saucepan. bring to boil and simmer for 8mins.
Put in chicken and bring back to boil putting in chili’s, simmer low for two mins.
now add the fish sauce and brown sugar stir and serve while HOT!!!