Friday 14 June 2013

Why as an expat I'm permanently stressed. Education and evicting tenants.

My youngest child doesn't want me to blog about him anymore I don't mention the name of hubbies company as I don't want to jeopardise his employment, but I will blog about how the company and my son's upcoming adventures affect me as a wife and mother as well as an expat on a continual loop of trying to adapt to my new life.

Due to quite a few things not being put into place by the company, our move to South Africa has not gone well. Two and a half years later we are still sorting issues out. With hindsight, i.e. 'what I know now' things would've been done differently, but I didn't know then what I know now. I also didn't know what questions to ask as I didn't know what to expect......are you still with me?

I'm currently in the UK for a variety of reasons. One being to evict tenants from our property after they ignored their two month notice of eviction. It's taken me three weeks to get the court order papers drawn up and issued (well I was told they'd be issued either Tuesday or Wednesday, today is Thursday, by the solicitor who took £775 off me, but I'm none the wiser still) I don't know yet when I'll fly home as the tenants have two weeks from receiving the order to vacate the property or it's back to the courts for me to make an application to have the bailiffs sent round. I will then have to submit costs and receipts for damages through the small claim courts. No my agent can't sort it, he's just as much to blame in my book for not letting me know about the difficulties until February this year.

The second reason for being in the UK is to sort out the youngest (he who can't be named and talked about) and his education.
The company (they who can't be named either) informed the school, to secure a place, that we would only be in South Africa for two years and didn't pass on the Special Educational Needs reports. To be honest, like the house, I trusted the professionals for the first year while we found a home, made friends, adjusted to life away from family, our adult children, dealt with the guilt of leaving etc, etc.

Our eldest child who is 18 is due to Matriculate the end of this year. The degree system in South Africa is very different from the UK and basically does not suit his future career, so he will remain in education until December 2014 to convert his Matric to A levels. He will turn 20 the following month, in the January and won't be able to start UK university until October 2015. He will be nearly 21 when he starts. He will have spent two additional years in school.

We don't want the youngest child to be in the same situation, especially if we have to move. He is severely affected with dyslexia and dysgraphia, his education has been adversely affected and he needs to do GCSE's.

I'm now sitting and waiting for the company to decide if they will pay school fees, I can't work in South Africa and if I could, I wouldn't earn anywhere near what I earned in the UK and bare in mind we afforded private boarding education in the UK prior to becoming expats. I'm also waiting for the tenants to decide when and if they move out, relying on the courts and their timescale to assist me getting my house back and finding new, more suitable tenants. I have issues with the insurance company that do not mention in their literature that 'unless you have a personal reference it's a waste of time having insurance as they won't pay out'

In fact I have quite a few issues with other people, supposedly professionals that I wrongly assumed would act accordingly, letting me down, causing me stress, valuable time away from my family and considerable expense.

I'm angry, upset and very sad. Sad I will be sending my youngest back to the UK for boarding (dependent on others, if they say no, we're stuffed) I'm putting my emotions in my suitcase and zipped them away for the time being. I'll have to deal with them at some point in time, but with everything else going on 'how I feel about my son leaving home' will just have to wait.


  1. So much stress. I only hope things are worked out soon for you.

  2. So sorry to hear all that you're going through. Without doubt schooling is a huge issue for expat families. We had to move our son 3 times in the middle of school years and the availability of schooling was a primary (and limiting) factor when looking for jobs overseas. We breathed a huge sigh of relief once he was off to university. I do hope all works out with boarding school

  3. Hugs to you ... and some plates to throw and break. I'm sorry! You have every right to be pissed, angry, upset and sad (well, pissed in the American definition).

  4. That is surely a large burden to bear. I hope among the worry, disappointments, anger and stress you find a few moments of quiet to care for yourself. Easier said than done, but important nonetheless. I find myself muttering 'this, too, shall pass' over and over as I walk the dog, deal with the repercussions of ill family members and tackle that ever-growing to-do list. Rooting for you on all fronts