Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Quick update

Greetings all,

The Facebook groups are buzzing as the 1st posts of people receiving their golden tickets (plane ticket & visa) are showing up. All of the posts I've read so far have folks flying out of their respective locations on 21 July 2016 (I have to get used to writing the date like that).
I am not in that number, and im ok with that. It gives me time to put things in order. People who are with the recruiting agency, Footprints, received a notice saying group 1 would travel between 21-23 July and group 2 will travel between 4-6 August. Teachaway, my recruiter, didn't send such a notice but instead the teachers are receiving their golden tickets.
Now, I could very well leave in group 2 or not. Lol. Only time will tell. I'll keep you all posted.

Until next time...
Happy days!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Updates: What's happening now?

Greetings everyone,

As July/August grows nearer, I am receiving more questions about when I'm leaving this country (USA). It's so hilarious to watch people's reaction when I say, "I don't know. Sometime between mid-August to mid-September barring any visa delays." Most people are astounded that I don't have all my ducks in a row. One of the first things that you're told when you apply for this position is to have lots and lots and lots and lots of patience.

We, as Americans, are accustomed to things going  a certain way, and when things don't go that way, we complain, threaten someone's job, are extremely rude to people, etc. And this works in a lot of cases. Well, that isn't the way of the world. Everyone isn't living in a "give it to me now" society. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is such a place. People believe in letting things happen organically. So, basically, what that means is:

  • I don't know my departure date. I may only have 48 hour notice to board a plane. 
  • People are brought over in groups. Last year there were about 7 groups that were brought over between August and November. I don't know what group I'm in, and I won't know until I receive my plane ticket which could be anytime between August and November. 
  • Yes I will have quit my job without the real promise of another. Technically I haven't signed a contract yet. (UAE law requires a medical test taken upon arrival be passed before the job offer is official.)
  • I don't know which part of the emirate of Abu Dhabi I'll be living/working in yet. (won't know until I get there) The emirate of Abu Dhabi is divided into three regions: 1. Abu Dhabi City (think of downtown), 2. Al Ain (think of the suburbs), & 3. Al Gharbia, also known as the Western region (think of the country). For more detailed view, see the map below. 
  • I don't know what grade I'll be teaching or at what school I'll be placed. 
  • I have an opportunity for someone else to do the worrying/planning. I'll be sent my plane ticket, and all I have to do is get on the plane. The bill is paid. The legwork is done. I must trust, which can be hard for so many. I'm normally a planner, but can go with the flow kind of person. So, I'm taking this opportunity to just let things be what they will be. The saying "Que Sera, Sera (whatever will be, will be) will be held near and dear to my heart. I'm hoping this will lead to a reduced stress environment. :) 

Now here's the real kicker! Over the past two weeks, about 20 people (that I know of, but the actual number is much more) have had their offers revoked. Meaning, they no longer have job offers in Abu Dhabi. Almost all of these people were scheduled to teach Cycle 2 & 3 English (middle & high school). Most were devastated. They are now stuck trying to find other positions within the UAE through private schools or the other government schools in the 6 other emirates. Yes, this is as bad as it sounds. Some of these people had quit their jobs, sold their homes and cars, and are broke because this process began for them in January (remember those who were delayed). So yes, some people who have been jobless for 8 months have had their offers rescinded. Yikes!! Some of the people I know have found other positions in the UAE, but most haven't. This truly breaks my heart, but I'm relieved that it wasn't me! 

I know you must be thinking, how can you continue on this path with so many unknowns and the threat of the offer being revoked? Well, truthfully, I have put it all in God's hands. Whatever he has for me, will be mine. A famous phrase in the UAE is insha'allah, which means if it's God's will, it will be done. Though my religion is different, I find a commonality in it with this phrase. I must have faith that God's plan will be done.  I know that he hasn't failed me yet, and he never will. 

So with a great amount of faith, I'm leaving all things familiar behind to pursue a dream and a chance at a better quality of life! 

Stay tuned for my next steps in getting my life together for this move. 

Until next time...

Happy Days!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

More Preparation

The time has officially come and gone. Kevin and I turned in the required 60 day notice for our apartment.

Flashback to mid-May...

I went by the leasing office to find out what we would have to pay because we would be terminating our lease about a month early. Well, the leasing agent and assistant manager on duty told me the fee would be in my lease, but since I don't had a month and 3 days on my lease (after the date of my notice), I would probably only have to pay August rent and prorated rent for September. So I left the office to actually pen my 60-day notice.

I returned to the office a couple weeks later to actually turn in the 60-day notice and to get clarification on the early termination fee for my lease. You see, I had reviewed my copy of my lease and found an astronomical figure equal to two months rent. I had to be reading incorrectly! I don't even have 2 months left on my lease after my notice.

Lo and behold, the figure was correct. But God...

As long as I give a 60-day notice, I am exempt from the termination fee! I just have to pay July's rent as planned.

Cue holy dance!! I had to use some serious restraint to keep from shouting all over that ladies office. LOL.

Moral of the story:

  1. God is AWESOME!
  2. Read your lease carefully. I just missed the sentence about the 60 day notice. 

With this new information and a thankful spirit, Kevin and I will prepare to move into my grandmother's hotel. Opps, I mean house until I receive my Golden Ticket (precious plane ticket and entry visa). :-)

Until next time...

Happy Days! -Ashley