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Waterfall Magic, the Bruce Trail, and Reflections on an Overpriced Immigration Medical Exam

A Slow Start and Waterfall Hunting

After a few days of early risings for hospital shifts, Luna asked if we could sleep in today. I was not hard to convince. Around 10ish, we were ready to make a move, and I had convinced Luna that today was a good day for waterfall hunting. When we mentioned this to Byram and Kendra, they immediately wanted to join and suggested we do our yoga by the waterfall.

Exploring Hamilton's Unique Landscape

Driving there, I realized it would have been quite an adventure getting there with our little scooter friend. Hamilton, known as the "City of Waterfalls," is uniquely built with an upper and lower city, divided by the Niagara Escarpment. This natural feature provides a stunning backdrop and is home to over 100 waterfalls, making it a hidden gem for nature lovers. The Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath, follows the edge of the escarpment and offers breathtaking views and access to many of these waterfalls.

Hamilton's city planning reflects its industrial roots and natural beauty. The lower city, closer to the waterfront, is more urbanized, while the upper city is more residential, with lots of green spaces and parks. This blend of nature and urbanization makes Hamilton a unique place to explore, especially for outdoor enthusiasts.

Albion Falls and Yoga by the Waterfall

Our destination today was Albion Falls, one of Hamilton's iconic waterfalls. What struck me was the inability to go down to the waterfall itself. The access to the base has been restricted for safety reasons, but it would have been an exciting and beautiful hike if it were allowed. Despite this, the view from the top was breathtaking, and we still had a wonderful time.

Before our yoga session, we decided to go for a little hike along the Bruce Trail. The trail offers diverse landscapes, from dense forests to open meadows, and is a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts. As we walked, we marveled at the beauty of the trail and the meticulous planning that allows such a natural escape to coexist with urban development. Interestingly, we didn't see anyone during our whole hike, which made it feel like our own private adventure.

After our hike, we set up our mats near the Albion Falls viewing point for our yoga session. The sound of the cascading water immediately brought a sense of calm and anticipation for our practice. Just as we started, quite a few groups arrived, drawn by the waterfall's beauty. It was wonderful to see others soaking up the natural splendor, and it added a communal feel to our session.

Reflections on the Immigration Medical Exam

Reflecting on my immigration medical exam (IME), I realized how surprisingly expensive it was. The border police required it for me to work with patients, something my hosting university hadn't heard of before, leaving us all puzzled. My reflections on the whole procedure are that it was ridiculously expensive for very little. I paid 250 Canadian dollars for some bloodwork, a doctor who palpated my belly and listened to my lungs and that doesn't even include the cost of the X-ray of my chest. The place I went to, one of three government-registered locations in Hamilton, had rude personnel at the front desk, no soap in the bathroom for the urine sample, and the lady measuring my height claimed I was 174 cm. I've never been over 169 cm, which it also says in my passport. She measured again and said, "I get it to 172 cm now!" I didn't know what to say. I told the nurse that my blood pressure was probably super high since I was kind of upset, but Luna helped me breathe, so I clocked in on a good number.

The whole thing felt like a perfect set up for people to make money on something that the government requires. I seriously questioned their ability to evaluate my health status while I wondered about the professionalism of their business practices. Today, I was in contact with the university health screening office, and they wanted me to come in and share my experience so that we all can get a little wiser.

Fun at Gage Park

After our waterfall experience, Luna and I went to Gage Park for some splash fun and playground time. We spent the afternoon there, making it back just in time before the rain started pouring down. The recent heatwave, with temperatures soaring to 40 degrees, is finally over, and more ' normal' comfortable temperatures are in the air.

Tip of the Day:

Trust your instincts and question what you've been told. Critical thinking isn't just about analyzing information; it's about challenging assumptions and exploring different perspectives. Embrace your curiosity and seek understanding beyond the surface. It's through questioning that we uncover deeper truths and make informed decisions.

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