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End @ the beginning or starting @ the end....


Neels

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Hmmm....Neels, how do you keep someone in suspense.......

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I'll tell you tomorrow!

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So I end up in Brisbane... (December = 90% plus humidity and 42 degrees - no commend)

I arrived just before lunch time, got my rental car, checked into my hotel, unpacked and left for my interview. Even though these people seemed okay, and very friendly and very keen to employ me, I felt a little unsettled - difficult to explain, maybe more uneasy, not the right gut feel - but they showed me around their 2 operations and introduced me to most of the staff etc etc. Afterward I told them that I had one more interview to attend the next day (a little red lie....) and that I will get back to them. They made me an offer a little less than the original job in Melbourne but very similar to the one I had on Friday.

Back at the hotel, it was early evening and the place was a buzz of activity. I was sitting down at the CBD pub (Cafe Bar Diner) on the ground floor of the hotel having a pint of 50 Lashes. It was HOT (not the beer) the temp and the people... The younger ladies walking around there seemed to be in competition on who wears the least clothing. I stayed at the Rydges Hotel in South Banks, Brisbane. If you have never been there or ever plan a trip to Brissie, go make a turn there even if you only have a drink at the Pool bar or CBD pub. Take a walk down Parklands and see the "beach" pools and endless eating and drinking places along the waterfront.

"Hey mate, what are you doing here." when someone touch my shoulder "Not healthy drinking alone mate", I look around to find Chris, the guy I had the interview with on Friday in Melbourne, couldn't believe it. He was also by himself so we end up having a couple of beers enjoying the scenery, while I tell him what I'm doing there. He is there on business, they are opening up a branch in Brisbane and he is tying up some loose ends with a lease agreement and doing interviews for staff and looking at tools and equipment for the new shop. We end up having dinner together and he invites me for a ride along the next day going to the new premises etc. Coincidence?? or Fate?? We have such an Amazing God people! I can't say that enough.

The following evening we were having dinner at the Plough Inn, on South Bank. Best ribs I have ever had!! When Chris told me that he would like it if I seriously consider their offer they made me in Melbourne and that I would be 100% suited for a National roll that they were looking at creating in the business with the new branch in Brissie in mind. I told him that I would like that very much, but that I would like to spend some time with the company.

So back in Melbourne I volunteered my services for a couple of days at the 2 branches in Melbourne. Meeting with all the other staff and learning some of their systems and "working" alongside them. I would have been stupid not to take the opportunity. I felt comfortable with them and they with me. So I ended up taking their offer, signing contract and spending some more time there. By that stage I could not work for them as they were not registered to sponsor somebody.

On Monday 5th January Chris and his company made use of the services of my Migration Agent and they applied for a Sponsorship Approval number. And on 28th January the Nomination Application was lodged. I returned home to South Africa on 30th of January awaiting news on the application. At that stage the past couple of weeks have put huge strain on my marriage, my finances and my health. Almost the only thing that didn't suffer was my business back home. There was a lot of sorting out and planning and hard work. I couldn't let my wife and kids remain here by themselves.

Praise God. Amen. On Saint Patricks day, 17th March 2015, our Nomination was approved by DIBP. Now it is just a matter of time to get our visas approved. We know everything is in place. Apparently it might still be a couple of weeks. But we are waiting patiently. All things happen as and when it should. Not before.

That brings me to here, today. I am so Thankful to God for hearing our prayers. Thankful for my wife and all she had to endure, and all that is still to come. My marriage is stronger than it was in many years, our kids are ready, our parents understand why we do this. So all is good. All things that might still be in the way of our visas being approved, don't stand a chance against my Lord! I am patient, we are patient. Waiting for the right time. We are not ready by a long shot for what is to come, but we are not afraid. We will take it as it comes. We are a team.

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Neels you went through a lot mate but it's all worth it. You are being rewarded for your resilience, patience and unfaltering faith. All the best with the visas and the ultimate move.

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In2mindsNoMore

Wow Neels, you have been through a lot!! So happy to hear things are working out for you. You made me wonder what was going on because your posts were done at SA times .

All the best for the final move. Keep us updated.

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I really enjoyed your post and your attitude! Well done! If I may add a few comments from your writing.

.... I look around to find Chris, the guy I had the interview with on Friday in Melbourne, couldn't believe it.

A small place and you never know who you may bump into. However if you weren't in Aus at that time it wouldn't have happened. Therefore at times we have to make our own luck!!!!

So back in Melbourne I volunteered my services for a couple of days at the 2 branches in Melbourne. Meeting with all the other staff and learning some of their systems and "working" alongside them. I would have been stupid not to take the opportunity.

What a great idea. Also a true reflection of your attitude and tenacity. You will make it far!!! Aus need more go-getters!!

I felt comfortable with them and they with me.

A mutual fit is so critical - a major gamble if you are still in South Africa and only have had a Skype interview. Never know what the true intent of your prospective employer is. Yes our instinct/gut feel goes a long way but again if you weren't here this would not have happened. To get "lucky" you have to "participate" in the first place.

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Today, on Sunday 29 March 2015, a couple of really good things happened. Now as you might see later, saying "Good" doesn't really mean good as in great. But good for the cause:

Firstly on this day 47 years ago my parents got married. And that is a LONG time!... I am blessed in that they are both still alive, even though my dad is not in very good shape any more. They are still alive, and we can spend time with them. I try to see them as often as I can before we depart, as I know I might not see them again after we leave. It is sad to think, but I am not going to bullshit myself into believing otherwise. So today, after church, we took them some lunch, and got to spend a little time with them as a family. For the first time after my dad's stroke last year, and after they had to amputate his left leg in December and after I returned from Melbourne, we had a chat about our plans. (Again. He can't remember much before the stroke.) And now I have peace in my heart because they both accept what we are doing is for the children's future. They are sad, and I know they will miss the kids dearly. But it is sorted.

On a lighter note. Our town where we live is riddled with potholes. And they are horrible. There is hardly any road that doesn't have them. And driving around town is like going on a off road safari. The way the people are driving to avoid the potholes are sometime more dangerous than the potholes themselves. So my boy asks me "Is there potholes in Australia dad?" So I say "Yes. But they normally fix them as soon as they appear." And he says "Wow, then we must move soon, then mommy won't swear so much."

But seriously, it has become so bad that business and home owners have began to fix the potholes by themselves. And the 'powers that be' knows this, so they do even less.

The current situation with regard to service delivery has also turned the minds of our kids around. Load shedding has become part of our daily lives. My 7 year old boy has taken it upon himself to make sure that all our re-charge lights are always fully charged, and he make sure that the generator has fuel etc. He just started doing it by himself. Although they are currently working our our water supply problem (upgrading the supply system) we are without running water most days, and sometimes it goes on for 2 to 3 days at a time. A few weeks ago we had 8 days without running water. Imagine that. Both the children and my wife are now looking forward to "when we are there" knowing that the end is in sight. And I wonder what my kids' lives will be like when they only have to worry about being kids, and not about all the other "stuff" that we are forced to endure... I can't wait to see the look on their faces when they first arrive in Australia.

My missus and I have also started to look more seriously at what goes and what stays. I gave her a pack of little red and green stickers. So for the past 2 weeks she has been putting green dots on the stuff that she feels must go in the container, and red dots on the stuff that stays. And the stuff with no dots are open for discussion.... The problem is that there are way more green dots than I had hoped, and a lot of stuff that I feel will be a waste of space. But at least we got started and now I have a better idea of what is important to the wife and kids - who am I?..

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Congrats Neels, so glad that it is all coming together for you at last... and yes I agree, God is Great!

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Wow- Neels. So proud of you for all you went through and still came through the storm standing. Yes, God is great and really shows himself a champion in your darkest hour. Congrats mate! Wish you all the best going forward.

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I am very fortunate and blessed in that I was able to do 3 LSD trips to Australia. Even though my last trip was supposed to be more than a discovery trip, it turned out to be the best discovery trip I could imagine.

After I got over the initial shock, disappointment and anger of being left out to dry by an employer as I mentioned above. I realized that my whole life up to that point, was preparing me for that moment in time. Now I know this sounds like a cliché, but it's true. If this happened to me, even just 6 months before, I would have handled it completely different. I was actually proud of myself for the way I handled the matter and the people involved... :boxing:

My wife and I have also had a couple of very long Skype conversations at that stage. We had to decide on a new 'strategy' as our plans at that stage were thrown to the wind. She was getting ready to pack the container, join me with the kids, who would have started school in Australia at the beginning of February. Now, nothing was as we planned. We always planned every detail of everything we did, but this time our planning didn't help us one bit. But it got us talking, and got us looking at our options differently.

One of the things we decided on, was that I would stay there for the time being or at least till the end of January. If by then I still didn’t find employment, I would return to RSA and continue searching from here. Lucky for us it didn’t take too long to work out. So after I returned to Melbourne from Brisbane, I spend a lot of time sightseeing and just taking in the new surroundings. I walked around in the city every opportunity I got.

Seeing that I volunteered with my employer, I didn’t have set working hours. But I commuted in and out of the city, like I would when I was working. Some days I went in to ‘work’ by car, but most of the time I took the train, tram and bus. It is so much different from what I’m used to. Everything is on time (most of the time), everything works, and you can see that Australians are proud of what they have.

The parks and public spaces where always clean, no hawkers and almost no street vendors. I saw some of the best firework shows in Brisbane the week before Christmas, and hand down the best fireworks display I ever saw on New Year’s Eve in Melbourne. I went to sporting events at the GABA in Brisbane, the MCG, Rod Laver Arena, AAMI stadium, Etihad stadium, not to mention Docklands. I can go on here for ever... It was awesome to experience and I cannot wait to share it all with my wife and children.

Where I stayed with my cousin and his family, there are a few other South African families in the surrounding area. Most live within about a 20min drive, and one or 2 of them a little further out. They are also all in the same church, they belong to the same 4x4 club, they make their own boerewors and biltong as a social event every now no then. My cousin and his wife make it an institution to have coffee with at least one of the families one evening per week. They all have Aussie friends and their own lives. They all still have their families and friends in RSA, whether they keep contact or not I don’t know. But they are each other’s family, each other’s friends, each other’s support system, shoulder to cry on, share some laughter with and a buddy to have a Barbie. And best of all, my family and I are already part of the group. They can’t wait for us to arrive. Even the people at church keep in contact to hear how things are going.

We hear and read a lot of negative stories of people struggling to find their feet, or even returning to RSA. And we know it will be difficult and hard, but at least we will have a little bit of a “soft landing” with a support base ready to take us in. And the fact that I already feel like a local, should be a huge advantage.

What am I saying with this post? I don’t know.. I hope it helps someone, I hope it inspires someone. What I do know is that this is what we look forward to become a part of...

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Very inspiring Neels especially for some of us who are getting closer to that one way flight. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks for your posts Neel- they're really inspirational. Good on you for sharing your story with us buddy.

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A tale of inspiration, perseverance and Faith. Thank you for sharing it Neels, and best wishes for the real deal exit !

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Thanks so much for keeping us updated Neels, it's so great to see your positive attitude in spite of the curveballs, can't wait to read your next instalment!

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I wish all a blessed and safe Easter weekend. And let us remember why we have this weekend and teach our children what it means. All praise is to our Living Son of God, who shed his Blood so that we can live!

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As human's we all have our faults and short comings. And I have quite a few... But my worst trait is my patience! Or rather lack thereof... I really have to work very hard at the work place, in the car, standing in line somewhere, and even at home. When things take a little longer than I think it should, I have to bite my lip.. But what gets me going, like in really off my rocker, is incompetence. I completely loose the little patience that I have, and sometimes in a very spectacular way. :blush-anim-cl: It's not very difficult to run into incompetent people here.

The one thing that this whole process so far has managed to change in me is exactly that - I am becoming more patient by the day. My wife noticed, the people at work noticed, even my best friend asked me what pills I'm taking :ilikeit::whome: . So that is a good thing? I hope it stays... After I returned from Melbourne at the end of January, I was also a lot less stressed and more relaxed than usual. So I really hope the combination will stick once we make the move. As I can already feel the stress build back up.. Sleeping with one eye open etc etc.

My wife and kids deserve a better me. With more patience and less stress. I know that will be the case.

This past long weekend, we didn't go anywhere. I stay off the roads this time of year and over Christmas and New Year's. It's just so much safer, and you know they won't break into your house... I was reading an article earlier tonight that mentioned the death toll on South African roads passing the 130 mark. (148 killed Easter 2014, and 201 the year before) That's terrible.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wonder how many people are also waking at 4:45 am or around that time, grab a phone or laptop and through sleepy eyes scan the inbox for that illusive Visa Grant Letter?.... My wife are beginning to think that I have an affair going on :whome::hug: ..... If I'm not reading this forum at night before bed, I'm checking my mail before I get up. Every morning when I wake up I say to myself "today will be our turn." And it is amazing what a positive impact that has on my entire day, even though that Grant Letter did not arrive....

The one good thing about reading this forum and journals etc is to realize that almost always patience is rewarded grandly. :king:

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Neels, congratulations on your ability to learn patience, it is a hard lesson, to say the least. I do hope that you will be able to shout soon, "Eureka, I've got it!"

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"Do not be in a hurry to get to the great things. Doing great things will not make you great, but becoming great will certainly lead you to the doing of great things." - Wallace Wattles

We have an important part of ourselves that we might call a valiant servant, or a fearful master. That personality is our ego!

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And finally this morning I got the mail from DIBP... I almost wet myself with excitement and anticipation. I could not open the mail on my mobile, but in the subject line was written the file number, application ID and my name.. I couldn't drop off the kids quick enough to get to my office and check the mail on my notepad. But alas...

"Request for more information..... Evidence than an applicant under the age of 18 years can be granted a visa - further evidence required."

??? :glare::closedeyes:

So it starts all over... And I can't get hold of our Migration Agent to explain what it is that they require. I feel hopeless.

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TimmysMom

Hi Neels,

I have just read this thread from beginning to end and find myself totally immersed in your journey! I actually felt your highs and shared your lows (even shed a little tear when your little boy asked why only you were going!) I too have a little boy and anything to do with children and their emotions gets me every time! :blush: We are in the beginning of our application process and I'm pretty sure we have a lot coming our way too but reading stories like yours and knowing that there are people out there going through similar things is very comforting and I wanted to tell you that. Keep your chin up! I'm pretty confident that your process is at the very end! Just one or two more little items to finalise but it's inevitable. Keep us updated and thank you for sharing your story!

God bless you and your family, we are thinking of you and holding thumbs, toes and everything else that can fold!

TimmysMom

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So, it was almost back to the beginning.. :sleep1: .. That dreaded Form 1229..

And getting a person to sign a paper that they were dead set against right from the word 'go'. And all that only because of a name change that we didn't even think about when we did the forms the first time. You see when we started our process, my step-daughter still had my wife's maiden name, and her passport is in that name etc etc. But during the beginning stages of the nomination application, the adoption papers came through and that meant we changed her surname to mine. So when we did the Form 1229 the first time, we filled in her name as it was, never thinking that the application was made using my wife's maiden name. Complicated... I know, but we were so over the moon when all her things came through that we never thought about it again.

Just the thought of getting involved with this person again makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up... :boxing:

Boy was I surprised!!!... I feel guilty about what I thought and how I assumed it will pan out. Just goes to show again how your own attitude can effect others, and in a big way what currently is happening in our politics and economy and how it can change a person's view. Me and my step-daughter's "father", has a bit of a history. Not a very good one, I have never liked the guy and the feeling was mutual. The way he handles people, what he does and says and how he gets away with it has always been a thorn in my eye.

When I called him on the phone last week, I already "knew" what he will say and how I will respond and then what he will say .... You get the picture?.. Been there done that. But this time I was so wrong. When he answered and I explained to him what happened, his response was "Sure Neels, I can be there after work. You get ready that needs to get done." It completely took the wind out of my sails. For a moment I thought I have the wrong number..

This guy had a complete change of mind, his whole attitude changed towards our immigration. He even apologised for being hard headed and causing our application to drag on so long. He agreed that with what is currently going on and where it might be headed, he has to look pass his own agenda. Yet another proof of the Power of Prayer and how a positive attitude can go a long way in changing small minds. Amen.

So I got the Form 1229 signed. Again! It was the only document on the list of "Request checklist and details" page of the "Request for more information..." I passed it on to our Migration Agent, who passed it on to Immigration who now will hopefully press the green button... :ilikeit:

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Eyebrow

Congratulations on getting the 1229 signed.

I had to amputate a limb and sacrifice it in order to get that one signed.

I will be paying for it one way or another for many years to come...

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