We made it! We arrived safe and sound after a 23 hour flight; we are in high spirits and excited for the next chapter.
We were met at the airport by Ahmed’s sisters, niece and cousin (I soon came to find out from Ahmed that their mums are friends and in his culture, this makes them cousins, indecently his name is also Ahmed.)
Within the first day, I started to get a cold and felt the effects a lot, coupled with the jetlag… Man, I was rough. But by day four, I was feeling a lot better and nearly back to top form (watch out Australia). The children have coped really well with the jetlag, our son stayed awake the day of arrival until we go back to the house, where he slept for around 4 hours, our daughter managed to stay awake for around 6 hours and Ahmed and I stayed up until 8pm, this is probably why we have not suffered too much with the jetlag. Ahmed even managed to stay up and watch the Man Utd V’s Southampton match. Man Utd won 3-2, whoop whoop.
Day 1 (17 February): The first day consisted of us coming back to his mum and dads house, unpacking, the kids taking a nap, sitting in the workshop, watching Ahmed’s dad sew some clothes for a wedding and having a good old catch up. Ahmed and I went for a walk to help us stay awake. We also hit the ground running and went to open our bank account, the whole process was so simple and straight forward and were informed that we would receive our cards in the post in the next 5-7 days. The account appeared straight away on our online banking along side our savings account which we’ve had for around 4 years and we also found out that you can choose your own PIN via the app once the card arrives.
Day 2 (28 February): we went to see Ahmed’s mum and dad’s church on their land; we had the opportunity to meet some of the community and say our first set of hellos. Something that stood out to me on this day is how happy everyone is and how much they all do for one another. There is a really family and community feeling; which reinforced again that we had made the right decision. We also went to get Australian phones, I was blown away when the guy in the shop informed me that I could ‘choose my phone number’… WHAT? If I wanted 11 (my lucky number) in my phone number I could?!? wow, ok…. lets do this.
Day 3 (01 March): we went to get our Medicare cards (NHS numbers), which was a pretty straight forward process; fill in an application form, take it to a Centre Link (I would liken this to a job centre, with the same type of set up and clientele; if you get my drift), show your ID and voilà (I think that’s how you spell it) we have a paper copy and the card will be with us shortly. A Medicare card is a plastic card issued to individuals or families who are eligible to receive a rebate of medical expenses under Australia’s Medicare system, when they are treated privately by a doctor with a provider number. The card is usually green in colour, although interim cards are light blue and cards for Reciprocal Health Care Agreement visitors are light yellow.
We also found a JP (Justice of the Peace) to countersign some of Ahmed’s certificates, this is the first stage towards his teacher registration. He literally went to his house, which was around the corner and he countersigned the documents and wished us the best of luck. I also completed my application for my working with vulnerable peoples card which I will need for employment with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults. I also applied for 12 jobs online.
Day 4 (2 March): We decided to take the children Ice skating, because – why not! It was a lot of fun and we laughed all day at some of the things we experienced through out the day. People falling over, people learning how to skate, things they say differently here… It was a fun filled day that’s for sure!
Day 5 (03 March)
Today is Sunday, so we decided to make it a relaxing one. Our daughter decided she wanted to get her nails done, so we dropped her to the shop and we went to do a little shopping to pick up some bits and bobs… toiletries and T-shirts. We also went and brought some fruit, sat, did some blogging and looked for jobs and houses.
Day 6 (04 March): We decided to have another fun day, so we decided to take the kids to SKY ZONE – a trampolining and climbing centre, where we spent hours jumping, climbing and sweating. Everyone faced their fear of heights.
Day 7 (05 March): on our one week anniversary, we decided to go and see the guy that helped make this possible, our agent George. We wanted to go and introduce our children and to say a massive thank you for all the help and support he has given us.
Achievements from week 1:
- Enrolled in Medicare
- Have a bank account for general day to day use
- Ruth has applied for jobs and has an interview next week
- Ahmed has completed his Teacher registration paperwork, posted it off and applied for a job teaching
- We both have our police checks
- Ahmed has his working with vulnerable people card
- Ruth has applied for her working with vulnerable people card
- We have a car (thanks Jalloh Family)
- We have notified the settlement team in Canberra and will be meeting them in April
- We went to say thank you to our agent who helped us make our new life possible
- Ahmed went the wrong way round a round-a-bout…. wish us luck as we are moving to Canberra which is known for its many round-a-bouts
- We got over our jet lag, had FUN and in all of that; we found time to blog!
Thank you for keeping up with the Jallohs in Oz, we really appreciate everyone’s support.
Thank you for your generous and thoughtful gift of time. You could be anywhere else at this moment but you chose to be here reading our blog and for that we thank you.
The Jalloh family