Thursday, June 30, 2016

Just Checking In...

Just checking in with you all!  It's the last day of the month and 47 days until I touch down in Abu Dhabi.  Yesterday, I received my official welcome letter from my new principal and I'm excited because it included all of the new staff names and addresses.  My plan is to write an introduction email to everyone so that I can begin getting to know everyone.  I'm still waiting on my flight itinerary and housing information.  We were told we would receive this information within a week of confirming but we still haven't.  I'm not going to stress about it because I know it's coming, I just would like to have it in my hand.  

About two days ago, teachers who are going to teach in the public schools, begin receiving their flight details. Some teachers will arrive in Abu Dhabi as early as July 21st. Although I have a little more time than these teachers, I still freak out when I realize how much time I have left.  I still have yet to begin packing, I honestly don't even know where to begin.  I guess I can start by removing my suitcases from the closet.  Hey that's a start right?

Until next time...

Monday, June 27, 2016

End of a Chapter

The Security Team and Facilities Manager gave the staff the "red carpet" treatment.

Well the 2015-2016 school year came to a close on Friday, June 24th.  With the end of the school year, came the end of a chapter with my job.  I've worked at my school for 9 years, and although I'm sad to leave, I'm also excited to start a new chapter.  My first five years I was an Instructional Assistant for kindergarten and the last four years, I taught third grade.  I'm truly going to miss my VCS Family!  I hope and pray my next school family will be just as awesome.

By the way, we're still awaiting confirmation for our flights and living arrangements.  Hopefully, we'll hear something soon.

Until next time!

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Long Awaited Email

It finally came!  The email that I've waited for since April 12th has finally arrived.  I was awakened from my sleep at around 5:00 am, and since I had nothing better to do, I decided to check my email.  Lol!  Well I checked my email and there it was, the subject read Flight Booking - details to be confirmed to xxxxxxxx by Wednesday 15 June 12 noon Abu Dhabi time.  I had to reread the email to make sure I was reading correctly.  I just wrote a blog post last evening about awaiting flight details and just a few hours later I received the news.  Things are really getting real!  My school is planning flights for Wednesday, August 17th!  I've decided not to stress about the departure city and direct flights versus connecting flights.  They've already informed us that there aren't any guarantees that we'll have a direct flight.  I'm just grateful that it's a flight that I don't have to pay for.

The email also informed us that our accommodations are in the final stages; we will receive information as soon as everything is confirmed.  So it looks like everything is falling into place.  I just have to wait for my visa to be processed and then I'm officially headed to Abu Dhabi!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

One-Track Mind

School isn't finished, but this teacher (Me) is done!

Many school districts across the country are officially on summer break.  As for me and the lovely school districts in NJ, school is still in session.  I have 10 school days left, before the year is officially over.  School isn't finished, however I'm so done!  I can't seem to concentrate on anything but my plans of moving to Abu Dhabi.  I can't seem to get enough of all things UAE.  Lol!  I'm constantly on the Facebook groups, refreshing the browser every so often for new updates.  If I'm not on Facebook then I searching for teacher blogs on UAE and even videos on YouTube.  I can't get enough!  I'm so excited, I really don't know what do with myself!

I still haven't begun selling or packing things up.  I did go shopping last week for clothing, just purchased maxi style dresses, slacks, and tops; all things that I could wear to work.  We don't have to wear traditional Islamic clothing to school.  The dress code is conservative and professional with absolutely no denim.  It's really not much different than what I'm use to wearing.  I can't seem to pack anything until I get confirmation of my departure date.  I don't want to part with my car, I love my Kia Soul!  I've thought of shipping it over but it's just too costly.  My dad has mentioned that he wanted to purchase a newer car for my mother so I think he may just take over the payments or pay off the balance.  Hopefully, I'll come to a conclusion soon, it'll be one less thing I need to do.

I'm hoping to receive an email from the HR Department of my new school.  I was told that I would receive an email to begin planning my departure towards the end of the school term.  Their term ends on the 23rd, a day before my school.  I'm hoping to get a direct a flight to Abu Dhabi.  My closest airport is in Philadelphia and I know that they do not have direct flights.  If I leave from Philly, I'm guessing I will fly to Qatar, then Abu Dhabi. Another scenario would be to fly from Philly to Boston to Abu Dhabi or Philly to Chicago to Abu Dhabi.  But if I request to leave from JFK in NY, I can have a direct flight.  You see what I mean when I say I can't concentrate on anything else.  Lol!  No one told me these things, I just figured this would be the scenario after searching for airlines with a direct flight to Abu Dhabi.  You're dealing with a person who has a one track mind!  

You've heard me say this before, but I'm so ready to begin this journey.  In my research of finding out when people received their golden tickets (airline ticket) last year, many people received word immediately after the conclusion of Ramadan.  I believe the earliest date that I saw was July 9th.  This year Ramadan ends on July 5th, I hoping to receive my ticket that same week.

Well that's it for now, until next time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

There Aren't Any Guarantees

So there I was minding my own business, when I saw a post come up in my Facebook news feed.  One post in particular stated that all offers were rescinded for August starts.  Of course this post sent off alarms for everyone, including people like myself who were hired to work in private schools.  Everyone wants to know what's going on and exactly who is being affected and why?  Well it seems as if there were a surplus of teachers hired, than what was actually needed.  Many of the people affected were teachers of English who will teach middle and high school students.  As a result of the large number of hires, many contracts were rescinded leaving people without a job for the next school year.  Keep in mind, many people have already sold their homes and resigned from their current jobs.   There are also numerous teachers who were hired to start in January but pushed back to begin in August, now there is a possibility that they may not go at all.  This is very unfortunate because the process to teach abroad can be costly.  I'm single and going over by myself, I've spent about $700 (including passport) with authenticating my documents and postage fees.  People with families have spent much more than me, so you can imagine what is going through their minds right about now.

All of this reminds me that even though I signed a contract and was promised a job, there are no guarantees.  This is the number one reason why I haven't told many people about my big move.  But that didn't stop my family from telling others.  Every week I'm getting asked about my pending departure date, to which I have no definitive answer.  I won't know anything until my visa is processed, until then my departure date is around August 17th.  My school stated that licensing will begin soon to begin processing visas, once my visa is processed then I will be in the clear to move and work in Abu Dhabi.  Until I receive this confirmation, there aren't any guarantees.