Wednesday 14 January 2015

What happened to Pastoral Care?

When you’re an expat and your company relocate you, that’s just about all they do. No localization, no culture guidance and in the case of moving to south Africa, no safety training.
Yes there is a generous financial package, the assistance with finding housing and an allowance, the visa applications made, temporary accommodation, meals and laundry and a company car.

But when you’re the spouse this doesn’t include you, you get no support, no help, no guidance, yet you’re the one in the foreign country, miles from family and friends and on your own once your partner starts work. And there's no holiday rep in sight.

The spouse has no car, no phone, knows no one and has nothing to do for days on end other than sort out the issues in the country you’ve just left, has to work out the transport system on their own, find out how to obtain a SIM card, has limited funds when out and about and struggles to keep in touch with family and driends, whilst trying to make new friends and find out where to go to meet new people.

There are a couple of days on arrival in your new country for spouse and partner to settle in, but then the demands for work come along and the spouse is left on their own.

Accepting that a new job in a new country is challenging and will be difficult to adjust to, the partner has some familiarity, a support network, colleagues, a place to belong. But the spouse loses their identity, their freedom and everything they knew and has to start over from scratch again.

The spouse may be able to get a job in the new country, but in the case of dubai can do nothing until the partners visas are through before they can apply for their own, the spouse is the one that has to wait at the new house, empty of furniture while the landlord send people around to do repairs and clean. The spouse is the one who hs the spare time, but no longer the desire to sor tout the electricity, water, internet, phones and TV. The spouse is the one who has to wait in for the furniture to arrive and make the new house into a home.

By the time the spouse reaches this stage, they have had enough, they no longer want to find work, they’ve just finally settled into a routine, started to make a few friends, started to find their feet and started to reinvent their identity.

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