3 States, 2 Jallohs in 1 Day
Ahmed got up quickly and went outside. I didn’t think much of it; I just thought he was on his way to get something from the car. Then I noticed he had stopped walking, as I looked up to check out his butt (yeah I’m that type of wife!) He was standing just outside the door.
As I looked out the window and observed him a little further, I could see from his mannerisms that he had his “posh voice” on, which was usually reserved for professionals and aunties. He had an interview and as he gave the curtsy dip and said thank you; I was so excited for him. He came in and explained that he had an interview on Monday in CANBERRA!!! In CANBERRA!!! That was 4 days away and we had quite a bit to do before we left. The most important thing was talking to the children about it and planning the logistics around them and not trying to impact them too much; along side spending as little money as possible.
That night, we decided to have date night and use it as uninterrupted time to figure out the logistics. He also needed some interview clothes, so we paid a quick visit to H&M.
We had a few options;
- To fly all the way and do the trip in 2 days
- To drive without the kids, but this was likely to take 5 days (2 days there, 1 day interview and 2 days back)
- To drive with the kids, which again, would take around 5 days, with double the cost of option 2 as well as double the stress!
After a family conference with our daughter (our son could not care less as long as he was with his Aunty, cousin and grandma then he was cool), we decided to start planning. Tired from the events of the day, we began to get quotes here, cut and paste links there. Eventually, we lost the fight to our great advisory, sleep! Ahmed said let’s sleep on it and make a decision tomorrow!
In the morning, we were speaking to my sister in law when she had a great idea! How about you fly to Sydney and then drive from Sydney to Canberra. Genius! The flights were so much cheaper from Brisbane to Sydney, so we researched car companies and found a cheap one just outside the airport. We then looked at accommodation options and found a decent hotel for a reasonable price.
So we booked!
About 5 years ago, we wrote down a few things we wanted to achieve in the next 5 years. I wrote down that I wanted to travel more but WOW! This is not what I had in mind. Talk about exceeding our goals.
First State, QLD!
We drove to Brisbane airport, check in and the flights were both smooth. I noted that our passports were not checked on the way there or on the way back.
Then came the bump in the road… we arrived at Sydney airport, went outside as the car rental instructions said, but we didn’t see the car company we had booked with. So we decided to give them a call. “Our offices are closed,” said the voice at the end of the line. As we looked at each other and frowned, we thought this can’t be right so we dialled again. This time we were transferred to Bendigo bank! What the heck is going on? We hung up as we were sure they were not going to be able to help us. We dialled one more time and this time, we got through to the car company. The voice at the end of the phone told us to make our way to collection point 8-11 and someone would be there to collect us soon; We complied and headed to the collection point. Within 5 minutes the shuttle bus was there to pick us up. Collection of the car from this point on was smooth… We knew when we were told to head to collection points 8-11 that things would be smooth from this point as 11 is our luckily number.
Second state, Sydney!
We collected the car from East Coast Car Rentals in Sydney; We handed $1,000 deposit (nice surprise) and hit the open road.
Ahmed drove as he usually does on long journeys. I asked him some competency based questions to help him get ready for the interview and kept him entertained with the jams coming on the radio. As we settled into our journey and the excitement wore off, we realised that we had not eaten, so we kept an eye out for somewhere that was cheap and vegan friendly. Just then, as if sent by the gods (which ever one you believe in), we saw a bright neon sign for fresh juicy mangos. Then we saw, lovely fresh berries. Then bananas… then peaches, then mangos again and so on… it gave us about a 5 mile (no joke) lead in time that this spot was coming up and we still nearly missed it!
So, at 5pm, we finally had “breakfast”… two mangos and two bananas each and a peach to share. Yum! They were amazing and all for $35. This will last us a few days, or so we thought.
Back on the road we did some more preparation for Ahmed’s interview. We also saw a few dead kangaroos and koalas on the road side. Oh yeah, lets not forget the snake warning outside the toilets.
Third state, Canberra!
We finally arrived in Canberra, at our hotel; we dropped our bags, told family we had arrived safely and the did a recki of the school. We went to see where it was ahead of the interview. We also stopped off for some dinner in a lovely local restaurant. We used this opportunity to speak with the restaurateur about her experience of living in Canberra. She had only good things to say as we explained that Ahmed had an interview in the morning and that we were hoping to move into the neighbourhood.
Following dinner, we headed back to the hotel for an early night.
The day was here… Interview day, Ahmed was nervous I could tell. He always feels like a number 2! HA I tried to be as supportive as possible and remind him of our moto that ‘What is for us, is for us’. So if this job is meant for us, we will get it. If it is not for us then something else will be round the corner.
(AJ) Please stop exposing me to our friends and family!
We set out for the interview, with knowledge of where we were going and how to get there. I tried to make the conversation in the car as light as possible. But I knew as soon as they met Ahmed, heard about his experience, knowledge and passion for teaching, he would be offered the job. I didn’t tell him this as I didn’t want to put any more pressure on him.
(AJ) You’re making me blush! I’m glad you’re on my side with all that belief and confidence!
We left the hotel with plenty of time to spare and arrived at the school at least 30 minutes early. As his interview was at 08.50am this gave us the opportunity to have a short walk around the area and observe the normal morning routines for those living within the community. we saw people driving to work in the morning sun (no real traffic), children cycling to school; people were on the bus going to work; the crossing lady was helping children across the road; retired people were nipping out for their morning paper and it clicked. This is where we are supposed to be, this is home… new home! People were so friendly and there was a real calm over the area.
Whilst Ahmed was in the interview, I decided to take a walk around the local community to get a better feel for its flavour. I took a walk down to the nearest shops and spoke to the local people to really get a good feel for things. I went to the local pharmacy, gym and community centre to get a real good feel for the community.
As I was walking back up to the school, I was taking pictures on route. I received a face-time call. From who I hear you ask? Only Mr Jalloh himself asking me where I was. I was about 2 minutes away from the school and we started to walk towards one another.
He said that he was not sure how it went and we spent the next 10 minutes recapping on the questions they asked him and the response he gave. I had a good feeling about it, he is a great teacher, great man, great role model and would be a true asset to the school.
(AJ) Now, I know what you’re thinking; How much is he paying her to give him all those complements? And the answer… $50 per complement! She’s only cheap when trying to save money on spendings. The interview felt really similar to my previous role and I had the same feeling I had, where you feel like you’ve got it but you don’t let yourself get carried away but your brain decides to tell you all the things you did wrong.
(RJ) As we were only in Canberra for a short time, we decided to make the most of our time and checked a few things off our to do list;
- I needed to complete my working with Vulnerable People Card application, so we went to the access centre
- We also went to look around the areas we thought we would like to live to see if it was similar to what we thought it was through our research
- We went and had lunch
- Had an walk around and impromptu photoshoot near lake Ginninderra
- Went to estate agents to talk about the properties that were available; the lady also gave us some useful tips on how to pronounce specific words/areas of Canberra
- Drove around looking at some of the other schools Ahmed had applied to
- Lost the ticket to the car park and after a mini panic think we would have to pay the $69 day rate, Ahmed spoke to the man in the car park and we only had to pay $9 as they had cameras that saw what time we had entered and we were charged accordingly
(AJ) On our way back to the hotel, Ruth insisted we did some visualisation. She’s become very holistic that way.
“Babe, when do you think we you will get the call about getting the job?” She began. “Let’s do some visualisation!”
I side eyed her, wondering if she was serious and her look said as serious as a heart attack.
“Errrm, I don’t know if they will call babe!” I responded solemnly.
“Come on, if you had to guess if you got it, what would you say?!” Ruth encouraged.
Oh wow! It just dawned on me! She has just used some NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) on me! She dipped into her youth work bag.
“Well, it felt like my last interview at … Primary School. I’m getting the same vibe but who knows!” I reluctantly replied.
“Well, I think they are going to call you whilst you’re on the plane and you will get the message when you land in Brisbane!”
“Hmmm, no, I think we will be in the car heading back to my parent’s house before they call!”
She had pulled me in! We were now deep in visualisation when one of our phones rang. We have the same ring tone. We. Both. Checked. For. Our Phone!
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