Our basic plans at the beginning of our stay here were: Rhiannon would finish her primary and middle schooling here and be ready to join a good senior school when we moved back to the UK.
There was no way the employers would allow us do another back-to-back posting (after moving directly from Tokyo to Berlin), so this plan was pretty concrete.
Concrete crumbles under pressure…
Unfortunately, as reported yesterday, the schools here have not been at all good for Rhiannon (understatement!). She attended two schools in Berlin in less than two years and there is no way that she would be able to get into a school in the UK without a lot of extra tuition to get her up to speed with the British curriculum.
As well as all the issues mentioned in the last post (and more I've not detailed) one of the reasons for going the boarding school route was the worldwide economic climate. This has far-reaching tentacles and Tim’s job was in the balance for a while and we may have been moved back to the UK with no notice. The latter months of last year were very worrying and we felt we had to make a decision to secure our daughter’s healthy future.
Anyway, now she’s in a lovely British boarding school and is doing very well. And Tim's job is safe - for now.
Plans change again!
Amidst all the preparation for this dramatic change of family circumstances, a very unusual and unexpected job opportunity came up for my husband in February. It was unusual because you don’t leave a posting early except under exceptional circumstances.
It was suggested he apply for this job. He had nothing to lose by going for it and everything to gain: a promotion and a chance to escape from Berlin. It’s no secret that we don’t like it here.
But it was a very long shot. And as the weeks passed after the interviews, hope slowly disappeared.
Until Friday 8th March…
We are on the move again!
We are moving to Pretoria, South Africa! Normally we have a year’s notice but this time we’re moving in July! There’s an awful lot to do in a relatively short time.
It’s hard to make plans when life can turn on its head in a few moments. But I am tremendously pleased that we managed to get Rhiannon’s schooling sorted out before this happened. Stability for her is paramount.
Right now I’m not planning further ahead than July. But the days until then are absolutely jam-packed with ‘to do’ lists. It’s quite exhausting.
I may create a new personal blog for South Africa, I haven't decided yet. Currently, Expat Child keeps me more than fully occupied, but I do miss the freedom to write from a purely personal point of view. I do have a little area in the website, unimaginatively called Carole's Blog where I do update occasionally, but I tend to keep it fairly anodyne.
I'll let you know if another blog appears! Perhaps if I think of a spectacular name it will be a reality - what do you think? Any name suggestions for me? So far I've had Japanory and Berlinfusion... what's next?