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skattie

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Everything posted by skattie

  1. Good luck with your search. I agree that it is worth investing some more time and/or money in your resume. if you do not want to pay someone to do it for you (ranges to about $250) then go along to your nearest Barnes and NOble and look at the resume books available. You will most likely even find some that have resumes geared towards your type of work. be prepared to spend a couple of hours there paging through the resume books in order to see which ones are most suitable to you and the type of position. There is also a wonderful book out there called "perfect phrases for resumes" which will give you an excellent idea of what types of wording you need in your resume. Believe me I have first hand experience in what a difference it can make to revamp your resume. If you need to spend a week on your resume and $100 on resume books it will be worth your while! There are a lot of "buzz words"and key terms floating around in resumes today and it pays to have used some of them in your resume. Something else that I would consider doing, though not everyone would agree, and there is no obligation to do it - in your cover letter, assure the interviewer that you are a lawful permanent resident with full authorization to work in this country. They may not be able to ask you this straight out, so if it is not clear they may discard your resume in the early stages because they don't want to be in the situation down the road of having to deal with potential discrimination suits or visa paperwork. If you are up front with your legal status, it removes this question from their minds...once again, good luck.
  2. I think it was Izi who posted the recipe for Prawn Pies? I made them yesterday and they were delicious! It was a lot of work and at first I thought the dough was ruined but it seemed to be okay once I rolled it out :ilikeit: They were almost the same as I remember them - I seem to think there was "something" missing, but maybe I just need to play around with the amount of peri peri powder and such. I was also not sure what to do with the lemon juice, it was on the ingredients list, but I did not see that the recipe specified when to use it. In any event, thank you so much for sharing this recipe. What a treat and wonderful "blast from the past" to eat these, and the good thing is we are having them again tonight cos there are leftovers I am having a party on the weekend and I am going to make these for the guests...
  3. trying to be objective here...one thing that I have seen happen is that people in SA are told that we are wanted elsewhere, that our standards are excellent, that our skills and experience are in demand...I have seen it many times. While this may or may not be true the sad fact is that for someone who is considering emigration this can be a false sense of security for them and the move here expecting to find a job easily, or expecting their qualifications to be easily accepted when in reality this is not the case. Most professional and trade jobs require recertification. These are not easily passed if one has not studied and prepared for it. Even if you are competent, there are laws, terminology, code issues and such that differ from country to country and even state to state. Some prospective immigrants from SA (that I have met) come here expecting that it will be easier than it is, and then they are dumbfounded and disappointed when no-one calls them back after their resume is sent out, or it takes 4 or 6 months to get a job. This is the reality in many cases. I think this idea that SA people are highly in demand should be put to rest. Maybe once you are working someone will consider your work ethic and say "aah, Johannes works hard, maybe all SAs are like that". But until then, you are on an equal footing (or sometimes less so) than anyone else. Americans are cautious in some of their ways...I have worked in construction in an indirect way, and many times I have seen a general contractor who is afraid to try a foreign tradesman because he is just a little uncomfortable with how up to standard his skills may be. This does not apply as much to trades like tiling, but I have seen it in electric and plumbing as well as framing. This does not mean that you can't get a job here, or pass the certifications. Just don't come here thinking it will be easy just because the SA standards here so high..many times the US standards are higher because of liability issues and because everything is regulated by state or federal boards. Recruiters are not out there searching their resume piles in the hopes of finding a SA resume and saying, "oh this one is better than the others because SA standards are so high".In fact they may think the opposite and then it is up to us to prove them wrong. As a SA person myself, who has done hiring, I will consider and SA person for a job, but once he gets to the interview, he has to show me that he is just as competent as any other candidate. Good luck to whoever is trying to get into the US and find a job here, it has been done and can be done, as most of here can show. But it is not easy (unless you are very lucky) and you will be at a disadvantage not an advantage. But if this is what you want to do, don't be scared off, but do your homework carefully (not only in the SA crowd, get US opinions as well, the internet is a great resource, join chat boards of people in your line of work and ask their opinions as well). Once again, good luck.
  4. thanks, I think it is similar to the one that Capetonian posted, but it always amazes me when you start looking for an "old" recipe how many variations there are of it. Especially when you thought it was something your mom "made up"
  5. Congratulations! We also had to wait about 4 years before we could buy our first home and it is so wonderful to be a home owner again after renting. You truly appreciate it. Enjoy making it yours and putting your own personal stamp on it :ilikeit:
  6. I am looking for a recipe that I *think* I used to have somewhere but maybe I just made that memory up It is kind of like a dessert tart / with a biscut crumb base and then some creamy sticky stuff on top with pineapple and gooey marshmallows. It almost reminds me of American Ambrosia salad but I am sure we had a SA version of this that mom used to make for our birthday parties as a kid. Anyone know what I am talking about? thanks
  7. Thanks for the Prawn Pie recipe - I used to LOVE these, we would get them from La Rochelle Bakery. YUM. I am going to try the recipe even though it seems like alot of work I am a bit nervous about the dough How long will they keep after you've made them? How many pies will this recipe make? thanks
  8. I was about 30 when we moved from SA. We arrived with about $4000 and no jobs. We did not have a great life in SA - we had just bought a "nice" house but had a huge mortgage, and had 2 company cars. Lived well enough but nothing to get too excited about. The first few (5-6)years were a struggle, working long hours and trying to get established and make a decent living, saving for a home etc. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that 10 years later I would have the kind of life I have now and the standard of living I have now. I do not want to go into details because there are always people who feel that you are bragging, but only in America can you go from $4000 to having what I have now, and I feel very blessed. It has been a hard road but if you stick out the tough times and are realistic in knowing that it takes time to build a new life, you can be happy and successful, and along the way you learn that there are so many ways to define your success and happiness and the material wealth/good lifestyle is just the icing on the cake. To Cathyn, I know what you mean about people commenting on your home - we just see things differently now - congrats for having your home almost paid for.
  9. skattie

    Expensive

    Some people also work for companies that have offices/business interests in the US and so they approach it from that end, sometimes having a bit of a foot in the door already. if you would like to move to the US also try the lottery system , there are a lot of people who have success with that route. Good luck
  10. I am not clear on what exactly is the question you are asking. I am also not clear about the references to Mexico and people not speaking English. A lot of immigrants, including some SAs that I meet, cannot speak English fluently. In the first part of your message, I am not sure if you want to GET advice from someone who can't speak English, or if, as a SA, you want to GIVE advice to someone who can't speak English. Spanish is definitely a secondary "unofficial" language in this country and many banks and voice mail systems have the option for communication in English and Spanish. With regards to your daughter I am sorry that she seems that she does not want to stay with you and that her visa is in any event expiring. I am not sure what you mean by "going to a camp" but maybe there is someone else who can help you with the sponsoring question. Good luck, you sound really stressed, but it seems as if your GC will be through soon (April 20th? ) and then you can put it all behind you.
  11. My understanding is that you need to use the TAX ID number (if you don't have a SS number) for anything that may have tax implications - e.g. if you open a bank account they will need to report the interest earned at the end of the year and they will need your tax ID number on the forms. So any of these types of financial transactions would require you to use the number. When you get the "forms" at the end of the year, for e.g. say a 1040 (made up) that reports interest earned, they will have to have your TAX id number pre-printed on it, and usually they will also have sent a copy to the IRS as well.
  12. I am not sure why you have not been able to open a bank account without a social security number. I opened a bank account here before I actually moved here. Non-residents are allowed to have bank accounts in the US. One problem is that when someone asks for your SS number and you say you don;t have one, they are mortified, as the average AMerican assumes that everyone in the world must have one, and they have probably never encountered this before. Usually someone with more experience/seniority will know what to do. I also obtained my mortgage without a SS number, at that time I had a Taxpayer Identification number which I used for certain things in place of the SS number. When I got my SS number, I just updated it at the banks and on my next tax return and there were no problems at all. On another note, a LOT of people ask you for your SS number - people who actually don;t need it. For example, in my opinion, my dentist does not need my SS number. He has my medical insurance info, my insurance ID#, so he does not need my SS as well. I have kept the habit of saying "I don;t have one" whenever I think the person/company does not need it. They look at you a bit funny but they fill the space with zeros or ones as they actually DON'T need it after all. Others on the site are correct about the SS number, the fewer people who know yours, the better. I am also careful about giving out my date of birth as there is a lot of info you can get about someone by knowing their name, DOB and if you know which state they are in you can find a ton of info out about someone. Good luck with getting your life organized. Call the office for the number in a few days and it will probably be ready even though you don;t have the card yet. That will get you going...
  13. Don't forget FICA and also Medicare which we all have to pay as a payroll tax. I think Medicare is 1% of gross income (taxed monthly as payroll) and FICA is a bit more but there is maximum per annum that you can be taxed on FICA. They deduct the percentage monthly until you reach the max and then your montly take home income wonderfully increases for the remainder of the year.
  14. Condolences to you. My sister's husband passed away tragically a couple of months after we arrived here. He was only in his thirties. We also did not have money to go back for the funeral - in some ways this is one of the hardest things because you don't have the closure of the funeral and also you feel that you are letting your family down because you are not there. But believe me, they understand...and you can be a support to them from here, and remember all the precious times with him. When something like this happens so soon after you arrive, it also really brings home to you how huge the decision to move has been and the reality of how far you are. Good luck as you deal with this new phase of the process.
  15. skattie

    Going back

    [My husband think this is the biggest mistake that he ever made. Well, my attitude is like that .... we did it, and if it's not working out - pack up your things and go back. Don't be too proud to admit you made the mistake - and carry on with your lives. Never look back - I saw the time here anyway as for the experience and not a mistake - and NOBODY CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU. What we experience here enriched your life - there is not many that get this chance.] Tomasmilk - how long have you been here? I agree that if you have been here for several years and do not think that it is a good fit then you owe it to yourself to reconsider. Whatever you do, it will have been an experience that you keep forever. BUT - I think almost all immigrants at some point in the process think that it is the biggest mistake you ever made. I remember thinking "WHAT HAVE I DONE" - and wishing I could turn the clock back. But at the same time I was enjoying some aspects of my new life so that gave me hope to carry on. Going back was also not an option for me because I did not even have enough money for a plane ticket and guess what - by the time I had the money for ticket I was not in such a hurry to go back. Also, remember that once you have tasted another kind of life you will keep that forever and even if you go back to SA there will be some disatisfaction. There will be things at your husband's new job in SA that will drive him NUTS the same as there are things here in the US corporation than bug him. My husband really really really hated his first job. But then he got the second job and he has been with them now for 10 years. Just as in SA, you have to find the right fit, it might just take a bit longer while you put in your dues. You really have to give it a chance, there is nothing else to do and unfortunately this means that you have suffer for a while. Only you in your own heart (each one of us) can know if you have truly given it a fair chance before you decide to reconsider your decision. I don't mean to direct my comments at any one person,I am talking in a general sense. When we came here we made a decision that we would not make any decisions about our decision for a minimum of 3 years. We also decided that under no cicumstances would we return to SA for a holiday/visit until those 3 years were up. For us that was the time frame that we had agreed would be for us to commit 100% to the move and then evaluate our lives. At the end of those 3 years we felt optimistic that we could be one day be happy here. We did not feel that we WERE completely happy yet, but we felt hopeful. Before you do anything rash, look at your life and your reasons for going or staying and then decide what you can live with. We humans can do anything if we think that it is for a limited time only. It's like running - it is easier for me to say, I will just run to that tree over there, or that red car over there, and then before I know it I have run for 3 miles but if I just immediately said, I am going to run for 3 miles I would find that daunting. I hope this makes some sense and someone can find something useful for themselves in it.
  16. skattie

    Going back

    I don't post very much but something about this caught my attention - I know it has been said before but I really do want to say that it all does get better with time. If you can make it through to the other side you will never look back. I remember thinking in my first year of immigration that I had made a dreadful mistake in marrying my husband and I could not figure out what I was doing with this person. We fought constantly for 6 months. We shared a car to get to work and we fought on the way there and on the way home in the evening. All I can say to anyone who thinks they are having marital problems in the beginning is not to do anything rash. It is a strain on your marriage, any marriage, a lot of immigrants do end up getting divorced, but at least wait until you have had time to adjust before you do anything drastic. The adjustment to the work place is enormous but you do adjust and become more comfortable in doing things the American way and in the broadest sense work is work and sometimes it is about putting in your time and then moving on. I was mildly unhappy with my first job(stayed for 3 years), I absolutely hated my second job (18 months) and then I loved the third job and thought I had found my place, and thought it was remarkably similar to my old SA company. I really think the minimum time to make any decisions is 3 years. Longer to feel completely at home, but it does happen. With regards to children, you never have any guarantee that they will end up staying in SA anyway. We live in such a global world, young people are moving abroad very easily. It is worth considering the idea that by staying in the US a parent will ultimately make it easier for their child to have access into the country as well as show them by example that you can take risks, and that it takes sacrifice and determination to make a life for yourself. Your kids will admire you for this decision in the long run and they will start to wonder if they also should take these types of opportunities. As they get older they start to think more long term, perhaps about long term financial success and settling down with a family etc. and then they will start looking at the opportunities abroad. At a younger age, your friends are important as is your social life and its frame of reference. As you get older (just by a few years) and your friends get married, move on, change, you start to feel that you are not as tied to them, that is when you are prepared to look at new opportunities and if you have parents in the US that is something you will consider. I always feel sad to hear about anyone's unhappiness here or the struggle to adjust. It is such a difficult process and it takes a long time to feel at peace. Good luck to everyone who is having these conflicting feelings.
  17. okay I am definteily going to try this one! Sounds easy and delicious! thanks
  18. if you follow the advice given above and do a search for Myprodol, you will see that the ingredients are ibuprofen, acitominophen and caffeine. There are a lot of drugs such as Advil, Excedrin, Midol (PMS symptoms)etc. that have this combination. Some of the myprodol formulas also have a mild diuretic for PMS symptoms, you can get these combos here too (midol is one of them; women's tylenol) The thing to do is go to the drug store and read the box lables to find the combination you want. eg Excedrin - you get excedrin with ibuprofen and you also get excedrin migraine with asprin, acitominophen and caffeine. Go the the websites of the big names (advil, tylenol, excedrin etc. )and check out the available combinations.
  19. this is really good. I am SO tempted to send it to everyone who is always sending me these stupid things but then they maybe wouldn't "get it" Is it just me or does anyone else find that they get all this cr*p from friends in SA who never send a normal message they just forward all these silly jokes and chain letters to everyone in their address book. Just hit the forward button
  20. Good idea. Another thing to do, which I have done, is to do an internet/google search for the medicine by name. This will let you know what the generic drug/ingrediants are and then you do a search for those drugs using the generic name and you will pull up the US equivalents. Long winded but reliable. I think this web site that you have found might be a more direct way of doing the search.
  21. Just thought I would give an update on some new info I found out about migraine treatments. I recently went to one of the neuros here who has headed up several migraine and headache centres in the country. She is one of the best in her field, does a lot of lecturing and research etc. as well. She is also involved in some clinical trials, one of which is botox treatment for migraines. I must say she was AMAZING, what a wonderful doctor. I believe that she suffers migraines herself, and it is not that common to find a neurologist who actually focusses primarily on headaches. ANyway, she suggested: 1. In addition to the Vitamin B2 and Magnesium supplements, also take Butterbur and feverfew and Co Enzyme Q10 as daily supplements. Remember that taking these supplements you need to give it about 3 months to see best results - should lessen the number of headaches and severity of them. I will definitely add these to my regimen and I have had great success with B2 and Magnesium. There are some formulations you can get that are made for migraines and have all these ingredients in one tablet. She said you should expect to pay about $20 a month for something like this. 2. She gave me samples of Gelstat - you can get it from the health store. A combination of ginger and feverfew, you have to empty the vial under your tongue (not very pleasant as you have only sour taste buds under your tongue, but not too bad) and hold it there for 60 seconds and then wait five minutes and take another vial. I tried this medication yesterday and it really worked, although my headache did return about 5 hours later, before bed, but was not severe enough to need any other meds, and when I woke up this morning I was pain free. :ilikeit: 3. Samples of MIGRANAL which we spoke about in this thread. Both migranal and gelstat are great for people who get nausea as well as they are absorbed very quickly and bypass the digestive system. Migranal is supposed to be a very effective medication especially for people who have not had success with triptans like Immitrix etc. I will let you know when I try it (will only try it when I have one of my full-blown migraines coming on) 4. MRI scheduled - folks this is the scary part. There is a lot of reasearh coming out now to show that migraine sufferers are more vulnerable to stroke and also that having a migraine can cause changes to the brain. Therefore, she discussed with me the importance of trying to find medication that prevents or puts a stop to the migraine activity rather than taking pain killers (e.g. advil, excedrin) which numb the nervous system in a way to just cover the pain. I thought this was very important because we as migraine sufferers take whatever gets rid of the pain, Syndol ,coedine, etc. but in fact the harmful migraine brain activity is still there. Food for thought. just thought I would share this. If anyone tries any of the things I have mentioned above, please keep us posted here about your results.
  22. Not sure if there is anyone on the board from this area? I wanted to know what it is like to visit in July? I know it is hot and humid but also want to know how much and what type of rainfall? I've heard that July can be rainy there, but not sure if this would spoil a 4 day trip? thanks in advance
  23. skattie

    Emoticons

    just a note about the jumping emoticons - judging by a recent thread about migraines there are quite a fe wof us here who suffer from these bad headaches. I have found that one of the migraine triggers for me is movement such as flickering in the background and any kind of animated graphics on a page. I now know that I need to shut down a page that has this kind activity, or scroll to get it over the top of the screen. I wonder if this type of animation would affect anyone else with regard to migraines.
  24. I believe that the US equivalent of Migril is Migranal - available by prescription in a nasal spray version, it acts as a seratonin re-uptake inhibitor, (binds itself to receptors in the brain and limits the release of seretonin. Many doctors believe that the chemical seretonin causes migraines. This is partly why drugs such as cartain anti-depressants can be successful in preventing migraines. To find the exact US brand for a drug such as Migril, you can go along to most pharmacies - usually the pharmacist has a huge encylopedia type book that freferences medicines from other parts of the world, and gives the generic forms. It would also help if you looked on the SA box of migril for the 2 main ingredients ( I believe the 3rd ingredient is caffeine) and then your doc or pharmacist would be able to tell you what the US brand is. I don't believe there are many drugs out there that would not be available around the world, just the name would be different and also the availability of the drug with or without prescription. Pharmaceutical companies are out to make as much money as possible. If they have developed Migril and it is available in SA (and in the UK) you can bet your bottom dollar that they have tapped into the lucrative US market as well Remember that Migral is also one of those drugs that can cause arterial constriction/tightning of the chest symptoms etc. and can feel very frightening the first time you have the side effects (feels like you are having a heart attack Actually sudden heart failure even in otherwise healthy people is one of the rare side effects of the triptan -type medications Makes me think I would rather have the headache
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