This is something I’ve recently decided to do since I’m going to be staying here longer than I originally intended. But also, well, because in just a little over a month this has been one crazy ride!
Let me bring you up to speed…
My first week was one hell of a learning curve- screwed over by a ‘friend’ which basically cost me everything, trying to adapt to a new environment, getting overcharged for everything (by at least 3 times the normal price) and orientating myself to a lot of new surroundings since I was sleeping around place to place while trying to figure out how to maintain basic survival. It was pretty intense but I got through it, with a lot of help from complete strangers.
Week two I was at least working in a carwash (11hrs a day) for cash so I could eat and sometimes take public transport to save me walking around aimlessly in the 30degree heat, or alone at night, and still trying to find a proper job in the meantime. It was hard but still not a bad experience, I mean, at least I was meeting people- and it seemed strange to most that a white guy from the UK wanted to stay here when they all want to get out. Plus I finally got a regular place to live.
Week three I’d been accepted by a security company with an immediate start (to work 12+ hrs a day). I felt quite proud of myself to be honest when I found out I was going to be Security Officer in charge of Intensive Care and Major Surgery at the Public Hospital. It was a very active, high risk position- then found out they weren’t arranging a working permit for me meaning I was there illegally- and then almost detained and deported for it! I’d been to Immigration for the real information and been told I’d need to exit the country while my permit processes and then I could return on a working visa instead, and been to British High Commission (although they weren’t much help) who basically could only offer to put me in a shelter since they didn’t offer any financial aid- the only aid I’d need for my border hopping trip.
Week four I started frantically trying to find an employer that will arrange a work permit for me, quit the security job and went back to working cash jobs under the radar since I need finances to arrange the work permit, exit and re-enter the country, plus afford food and accommodation while I’m there and somehow still survive in the meantime. At least by now I’ve acclimatised (not that it makes 30+ degrees any easier to bare), I’m savvy to the local transport and the prices of things and know my way around the areas I need fairly well- plus I’m picking up on the creole so it’s been much easier to talk with the locals.
Everytime I seem to get one step forward, I’m taking two or three back again- and despite not having much (time, money, friends, internet) here, I still feel better in myself. I have a cleaner diet, more energy and motivation and for some reason… a better outlook on life.
The thought still occurrs at times to go home and start again; come back with more money and the correct paperwork but something inside won’t let me. If I go home I’m starting from scratch: find a job, work hard and save money while rebuilding a life there for possibly a year or more. Just to give it up to come back here and start from scratch again. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
I’ve been given some leads by a few different people I’ve met along my path for all kinds of work; mostly security stuff, some others that have live-in or offer acommodation like an apartment or house-share, but we’ll see.
If you want to find out you’ll need to stay tuned for more of my crazy antics and adventures 😉