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...