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Scootering Adventures, Scenic Views, and Sweet Mulberries: A Day in Hamilton

Navigating the IME: A Step for Foreign Health Workers

Those of you who have been following the trip from the beginning have heard my experience with the Immigration Medical Examination (IME). For foreign health workers, the IME is a crucial step to ensure that incoming professionals do not carry infectious diseases and are in good health to work in Canada. I had 30 days to get it sorted, so today was the day I hadplanned for my chest X-ray. Understandably, it wouldn’t be good to walk around with something contagious in my lungs.

Setting Out on an Adventure

My plan was to take the bus to the drop-in X-ray clinic, but when I looked at the map, I saw that it wasn’t far from us. Just up the Escarpment (the step cliff that runs through Hamilton). I asked Luna if she wanted to stay home or come with me, and she said she wanted to go for an adventure. I love how she is always up for new things. With that said, I packed a little picnic bag, filled up our water bottles, and grabbed her new hand-driven fan/water spray pig that she got the day before from Byram. And off we went on our scooter.

The Best View of Hamilton

After climbing 498 steps (Wentworth stairs) on what turned out to be another warm day, we reached what we would consider the best view of Hamilton. Looking at the lower part from above confirmed it—there are trees everywhere. Big and old ones -comfortable in their surroundings. Hamilton is an industrial city, known for its steel production, but more than anything, it feels green, which has been a pleasant surprise.

Efficient and Friendly X-Ray Clinic Visit

I brought my book to the X-ray clinic, thinking we would have to sit there all day, but we were literally in and out in 10 minutes — they were efficient, friendly, and professional. Needless to say, I didn’t get to read a page, and Luna hardly got to start a YouTube clip on my phone. Back out on the street, we decided to take the scooter back to downtown since we had tailwind and downhill. I ended up hardly having to kick, and instead, we were cruising back to the escarpment with one foot on the brake.

Thrift Store Treasure and a Scenic Trail

We found a big thrift store where we went in, and I found a lovely thin sweaters to add to my traveling wardrobe. It is nice traveling during the summer since less is needed. On the road again we found an amazing little trail that took us through some woods and then along a really nice road with great views. (Check out our instagram for reels on out scooter @mylunaadventure). Luna waved to the bus driver on the way down, and some women sitting outside their apartment cheered us on when we swooped by, saying, "The only way is down!" Love these small interactions with life.

Visiting McMaster's Campus and Mulberry Feasting

We jumped on bus number 5 that took us to the Children’s Hospital and McMaster’s campus. I went to show my police records and had a chat with Joanna, the international coordinator, about how we are settling in. I asked her about nursing in Canada and what I need to do to be able to come and work here. I got to meet two more amazing ladies who gave me a world of information. I will write a blog about that later on when I have done some more research on the subject.

We then skipped lunch and spent a good half an hour eating mulberries from the many trees that grow on campus. They are plentiful, and both Luna and I devour the berries. We got tips from locals about which trees have the most magical tasting berries. I can’t help but think about what Robin Wall Kimmerer, the author of "Braiding Sweetgrass," has to say about the gift of nature and the reciprocity in foraging.

Cooling Down and Exploring Trails

As the temperatures were still soaring (30°C), we went to get a vegan yogurt ice cream, took a look at the map, and found some hiking trails close to the university. We headed off with our scooter and found a shorter forest loop. Although very different from home, it still gave us a swift of Sweden. After the hike, we scootered off with starving tummies to Democracy on Loche, where we found some lovely cauliflower wings that even Luna loved. Once back home, Google told us we had scootered around Hamilton for more than 20 kilometers today!

Tip of the Day:

  • Longing after adventures? With or without 20km on a scooter, make every day into an adventure. Turn left instead of right and see where you end up and explore. Make the journey the adventure.

  • Dive into the wisdom of nature by reading "Braiding Sweetgrass" by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It's a beautiful blend of indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teachings of plants.

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