Saturday, 18 June 2011

Dear Diary - A Care Giver in England

18th June, 2011
One thing that has been a God-send to me is modern day communication.
What with mobile/cell phones, iPhones, the Blackberry, PC’s and so on, there is such a choice of ways to communicate with loved ones back home.
Without this life-line, I do not think I would be able to get though a three week Care Giving assignment with a designated Client, (even if the Client was the sweetest and easiest going little Golden-Oldie on the planet) one needs to touch base and sometimes have reassurance from afar.
Last night I was feeling terribly low and thought I may end up high tailing it down the lengthy drive away from this large, rambling home and Molly, but I was able to chat to Graham half a world away in Mozambique where he has just started his farming stint for a large International Agricultural company.
Life there is infested with malaria mosquitoes, basic living quarters and a daily 200 kilometre drive on a road that has deteriorated into a pot-holed bush-track to and from the derelict rice plantation he has been employed to resuscitate.
To top it all, the locals all speak Portuguese and he does not, which is a challenge in itself.
By the time we had both offloaded our woes on each others shoulders, we both saw the amusing side of our present situations and ended up inventing unspeakable scenarios to keep Molly quiet and out of my hair.
Also how he could tell the cook where he is staying that he required him to cook a meal without thinking the food he had given to the cook was for him to take home to his family to eat, leaving my poor husband starving after a day out in the field.
As so many people I know are travelling and working abroad, I’d like to share a tip on a very good company I found on the Internet when calling Africa and other places that you may use called Rebtel , which is a VOIP company, providing cheap international calling from mobile and landline phones. Rebtel's customers can use any phone in more than 50 countries to call anywhere in the world for just pennies per minute.
You can make direct phone calls; collect calls, PC to Phone calls, international SMS.
There are no monthly fees, or hidden costs to use Rebel, which is great as I have been caught out by some services and found myself paying hidden costs.
Here is the link to their website http://www.rebtel.com/ where you can learn how to dial Africa internationally and how easy and cheap it is to call to Africa from the US or UK.
Talking about communications, I forgot to write about how terribly lost I got the day I arrived here.
Brenda, (the Carer before me) met me at Basingstoke railway station and drove me back to the farm, where I was duly introduced to Molly and shown to the room where I’d be spending the next 21 days. We then had lunch and I drove Brenda back to catch her train.
She was full of the joys of spring and I was feeling somewhat envious knowing she was about to have a break and I was just starting out on my shift with Molly.
I was also slightly suspicious of Brenda’s extremely good mood and incessant chatting as I knew I was like that when I left my last post.
Although Brenda assured me Molly was OK, she sure was in a hurry to escape.
In fact, whilst I drove back on the highway and through a string of round-a-bouts I found myself wishing she’d stop waffling for a while so that I could concentrate on where I was going.
Getting to the station, Brenda already had her luggage ready and fast footed it out of the car, leaving me to find my way home.
Wishing I had remembered to bring the Sat-Nav that I had borrowed from my daughter, I drove out of the station and pointed myself in the vague direction of the route I had gone along before.
Heck, I found myself driving around a round-a-bout four times before I thought to look at the sign post which clearly indicated the A339 to Newbury. I did very well for about 15 miles, and then took an off-ramp that looked familiar and ended up in a quaint little village with Tudor buildings and narrow roads.
I felt as if I was in a time warp or deja-vue until I realised I had been in this village six years ago when Graham and I lived in the same area on a lovely country Estate belonging to a delightful South African family where Graham was employed as a manager.
Absolutely relieved, I headed home only to be reprimanded by Molly for being late for her tea and biscuit.
Now I understood why Brenda was in such a happy mood when I dropped her off!