Preparations and Going to the UK

Part 1 - Position Available
Part 2 - The Year was 1999
Part 3 - Red Dirt or Green Grass

So continuing on with the story of our trip to Niger. In 1999 Michael was working at for an internet service provider in the city and I was a primary school secretary. We both had good jobs and enjoyed them very much. I was working at a Christian school and really loved the family atmosphere that was there. In order to go to Niger we had to do a very difficult thing and resign from our jobs. That resignation letter was one of the hardest I've had to write.

I'm one of those people that tends to be over prepared. I don't like any nasty surprises so for the whole of the rest of 1999 I spent a lot of time getting hold of anything to do with Niger. I joined online forums, got books out of the library, videos, talked to anyone who'd been there etc... We were well prepared for what this country would be like and could almost smell and picture it.

Not being teachers we also had to prepare for the subjects we had been allocated to teach at Sahel Academy. I got in touch with an Art teacher at a school up the road and she generously gave me all her lesson plans for all sorts of ages. Michael went through his stack of computer books and chose out the ones he thought would be helpful.

Other preparations included finding someone to rent out the house we lived in, finding someone to look after our dog, helping my brother with his plans (he was living with us at the time) and going over to Sydney for SIM orientation.

By the time Christmas came we were feeling prepared for Niger but were we prepared for the UK? Yes, the UK. I was eligible for a grandparent visa which meant that my grandfather was born in the UK therefore I and my spouse could live and work there for up to 4 years. What a great visa! We were'nt meant to be in Niger until mid 2000 and we felt the Lord's leading to go to the UK first for 6 months so we enquired about shipping some of our things to the UK. As it turns out, we learnt a lot of different unexpected lessons in the UK and thats what I'll share about next time.

Pics: Top - me dressed for my secretarial job at Dale Christian School in Armadale. Next - us in 1999 Bottom: Putting our things in storage.


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