Thursday, July 29, 2010

Are you kidding me? Just 1 week until departure.

Believe it or not, the chaotic looking mess in the photo is about half of our stuff packed (or almost packed) for the trip. We have the kid's duffels and back packs stowed elsewhere and they are pretty much ready to go. Tamara has checklist after checklist we go over almost daily marking one thing after another off. We're getting close to being least on this side of the planet.

Our antipodean employer and licensing agencies, on the other hand, seem to have a bit too much blood rushing to their head due to their inverted position. And that's going to be the most polite way I can think to word it. If you've been following the blog you're aware that the application process for my Australian medical license as well as the process for getting my work Visa has been onerous, to say the least. But I persevered, dotted all the "i's" and crossed all the "t's", got everything in almost 2 months ago....and then I waited. Only in the past week or two have I finally heard from my hospital to learn that they have not done anything in the past 2 months...not one darn get the applications completed, and everything left for the AMC license and Visa is totally in their hands.

And then, on top of their neglect of those items, I got an email Sunday night/Monday morning with 45 PAGES of NEW material for a totally different licensing board that I must complete--an, oh....they need it right away!! I was working all week, and sleeping days...thank goodness for Tamara, she bird dogged all the paperwork, filled everything out, became a master scanner operator, and got all materials submitted within 48 hours---she's my hero, it was no small task.

Then, I hear from the US doctor who arrived in Sydney this week with whom I'm supposed to be working with for a couple of months in Port Macquarie...he has it even worse than I do, apparently. He showed up and the paperwork I got on Sunday he'd never gotten. Also, he apparently had to do an interview with the licensing board in Sydney--a mere formality he thought....not so fast, turns out that NOW he has to go to Melbourne to do yet another formal, face to face, interview with the specialty board! He's already contemplating turning around and coming home. He couldn't get a work visa either and is on a tourist visa with his family...and he's frustrated and pissed off--and rightly so.

I can't seem to get an email returned from the doctor in charge, I can't get solid information about what else there is to do to complete registration, whether I, too, will need to do an interview. Needless to say this is incredibly frustrating, particularly since I have gone out of my way to try to light a fire under the personnel responsible for getting this stuff done and have been ignored for 2 months.

But....we're looking at the bright side, we're still excited about the trip, and are already working on a "Plan B"...and maybe a "Plan C". Plan B is to spend the first few weeks traveling around Australia, on a tourist Visa, while the rest of the licensing process gets itself worked out. We'd planned to do that at the end of my 6 months of work, but we can do it at the front end instead...a change of plans, but not one we can't work with.

Plan C--if necessary--is that we'll contact one of the many Australia/New Zealand head hunter groups and let them help find us placement somewhere else that actually knows how to get the process done. We're bringing all my licensing materials along with us so we can reapply as there's a small chance we'll end up somewhere else other than Port Macquarie.

However, if things work out (and I really hope and expect they will), we will stay in Port Macquarie. They've actually reserved a house for us at 9 Scarborough Close, Port Macquarie, New South Wales, 2444, Australia

We're close to the hospital (about 2 miles), close to the beach (about a mile), and have canal access to the river. Even the airport is basically walking distance. The house has, we think, 4 bedrooms and a garage in the back, so there should be decent room for guests to stay if we snuggle up. For those who aren't into snuggling, there are 2 hotels that are essentially in our back yard.

Ok, I'll quick bitching and try to wrap up. We're close...I've got to finish packing my duffel today, we're going down to finish winterizing the lake house this afternoon and it'll be locked up tight for the next 10 months. We've got to shut down our cable, change our Dish subscription to basic, change our phone to basic. We're preparing the house for our house sitters and closing off the areas that won't be used to save heating/cooling cost. And by "We", I mean 90% of this is Tamara--since she stopped working a week ago she's been keeping amazingly busy taking care of all these tiny, but very important tasks. We've moved all of our mail notice to electronic, and that's no small thing.

The kids are super excited, but amazingly calm and ready for the trip. We've hardly had time to think about what most people would consider a major trip--our stop in Hawaii--right now it's basically a rest stop for us, but I think we'll enjoy the break, enjoy a little sight seeing, and a lot of time on the beach. My next major blog entry will either be the day we leave, or after we arrive in Hawaii.

Wish us luck....this is exciting, scary, fun, challenging...the whole constellation of stressors and thrills. 4 years coming to fruition in the next week...a bit surreal.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Evan, what a journey and the vacation hasn't even begun! Lots of luck.

    Tamara, you are my hero! :-)

    Can't wait for the next blog entry as you begin your adventure. Exciting stuff!