This matter of relocation is definitely not for the fainthearted. I am already intimidated, and I am mostly doing this alone. The entity employing me only gives me phone numbers and contacts, and it is left to me to sift through the mountains of information out there, and verify them if possible on the internet.
I realize now that I haven’t actually spilled the beans yet on what or where this is about. I am going to be employed by an international organization based in New York as an Associate Arabic Translator. This is of course a wonderful opportunity for me and for Robert but there are many challenges involved, and I am trying to overcome them one at a time.
The biggest obstacle so far is finding a proper pre-school for Robert, somewhere where he will be happy and looked after. He is doing so well at his pre-school here in Cape Town, and I am only going to enroll him at a pre-school in New York that is on the same level or better.
A few days ago I was so happy that one particular Child Care center in Midtown Manhattan had space for him. I thought that I had this figured, until on closer examination it turned out that the pre-school was in a basement of an office building and the children had only limited access to natural light. I had the disturbing image of child-prisoners going out for fresh air once or twice a day. I cannot do this to my son after living in the sunshine of South Africa and having access to open air playgrounds during school hours. Of course South Africa has more sunny days than most places on earth but still, can you imagine having a child deprived of daylight ? The woman working at the centre said their working hours were from about seven in the morning until six in the evening, so it is conceivable that during winter some kids will arrive in the dark and leave in the dark, I cannot think of anything more depressing, even for an adult let alone a child.
My ex husband said that there are so many people competing on very little resources in Manhattan, so I am expanding now my search to residential areas with good transit access to town and wherever I find a good pre-school it will be where we will live. As this is my main focus now I haven’t even thought about shipping my few things, the logistics of moving my cat (if at all conceivable) and many other little problems that will surely present themselves as time moves on closer to the d-date. I haven’t committed myself yet to the employer but I already gave notice on my rental flat and I have to be out of here by April 1st, so I hope I will manage to solve my problems until then.
If all else fails, there is help from family. My mother generously offered to be with me for the initial relocation period in New York, and thanks to this lifesaving gesture my fear has not reached the point of panic (yet).
When I first applied and attended the exams required for the job, I desperately wanted to be based in New York. Now I am not so sure, it seems it is awfully crowded busy and noisy and I have always been a small town girl. Cape Town to me is just big enough, and I cannot imagine living in a city where I have to compete with millions. I have to dig deep and keep my faith that things always work out in the end.