Saturday, November 27, 2010

The situation with Nanny V is just getting worse

Some background for MandyH and my other US blog friends....

Because of the political/ economic situation in Zimbabwe, we have TONS (about 4 million - I have the research at work) of Zimbabweans here in South Africa. V is one of them.

It's far better for them to work here and send money home than to try eke out a paltry existence in Zimbabwe. As far as I can tell, it's only the very very rich who are okay in Zim at the moment.

Before, they needed to go to our Home Affairs (government dept) to apply for asylum status every 6 months. That has been happening and was a process that worked, if a bit inconvenient.

The government recently decided to let these Zimbabweans apply for a proper work permit if they had a proper job, etc, etc. So THIS is what V's busy doing.

This process, once the application is in, takes about a month, so she needs to give this whole thing a month to be processed.

bottom line - if any Zimbabwean is caught without the correct papers and is in the country on 1 Jan, they will be deported.

As it is, I have NO faith in our very inefficient government processes (except for my local dept of transport where I renew my car's licence annually - fantastic service) so I'm not even convinced this will happen in time.

We all know I can't do without V so we have to suck it up and take leave from work to look after the babies.

And now... V phoned us about an hour ago to say......... they've been told to come back again on Monday. Monday will be day 3 of being there from 4 am, queuing in the hot sun and being at the mercy of authority, all for a lousy piece of paper.

This is such rubbish and I'm going crazy.

I'm going to have to suck it up tomorrow and phone Wonderful Boss for a nice chat because I'll have to take yet another half day on Monday.

I already told D we can't possibly take the entire day off on Tuesday as planned and then, if this TV interview pans out (a producer phoned me on Thursday to make a date for this Thursday to interview me as a time management expert for a lifestyle programme), I'm not in on Thursday too, possibly the worse day to have this interview as I'm now triple booked with normal meeting and a workshop I really want to attend and have tentatively accepted (this means I was going to run in an out for an hour here and there).

I have a rule though - when the media calls, just say yes. You never know. I had to suck it up and get photographed last year when the babies were 4 weeks old and I still had the big preggy belly.

Gosh, I just want V back at work so we can go work.

It's ridiculous, I know, but I feel cross with her. Somehow, irrationally I suppose, I feel like she's not trying hard enough. And yet who in their right minds would WANT to spend 3 days in a government building?!

If you're still reading, thank you for listening.

Oh, in other news, I "decorated" for Christmas. I write "decorated" in inverted commas because it's all very minimal, Marcia-style. I should take pics but I'm too lazy. I'm going to try and get book number 7 in for this month since I have 3 whole days.

This morning I was super motivated and ran 4 errands in an hour - bought my Secret Santa gift for work, bought new nose pads for my specs, returned some things, printed a few photos and I also asked a man to make me a wicker set of drawers to organise our CDs and DVDs because I'd just had enough of the mess and the kids getting into everything.

That felt really good!

And now to cheer me up, here's some pics of my gorgeous kids.

What are you up to this weekend?


  1. Not sure if you saw carte blanche a few weeks ago? It takes some of them up to 5 days just to get a FORM. If I were you I would go there with her and see what is happening, I really dont think this will be sorted any time soon. I would prepare to find a fill-in whilst V is getting her stuff together...

  2. I think that is all I can muster. I would accompany her one day as suggested. Governments are sooo ridiculous. Forms, stamps, signatures-bleck! Does SA not offer something along the lines of a work visa? Is this what the work permit is? Couldn't she seek some sort of permanent asylum and get citizenship? And will they actually deport her, because deportation here is more of an empty threat.

    I feel so ignorant, but it's nice toknow that the rest of the worlds suffers with incompetent government! Here we have an ever growing Hispanic population, a large number of which are here illegally but are able to work and live. This is a big issue here right now as they are able to apply for licenses and receive government benefits. Everyone complains, yet many take manual labor jobs that us 'lazy' Americans don't want.

    I really hope this sorts it self out. I'd gladly watch the kids for you if you were just an ocean closer! ;)

  3. Are you both taking the days off or just you? We have run into illness/fertility issues with our nanny and it usually falls to me since I can be more flexible. It isn't our nanny's fault when these things happen but I feel your frustration. I hope she gets her papers! Imagine how scared she must be...

  4. I know it must be very frustrating to have your nanny take so many days off. This is the time to tap into your faith and be patient with the process.
    Think of what she has gone through in her own country. The things she has given up, the family she has (probably) left behind all because of a heartless dictator in her homeland would rather let his people starve. At least in SA, she stands a chance, although it's too bad the process is so brutal.
    She loves your children. I don't think she's doing anything intentional at all, but I'm sure the process is overwhelming to her, as well.

    My BIL was transferred to Paris and it took WEEKS and WEEKS to get his proper papers. So, it's not just SA and it's not just laborers.

  5. I can only imagine how frustrating - and nerve-wracking! - the situation with your nanny must be. I hope for everyone's sake it is resolved quickly.

    I read this post yesterday, but I didn't take time to comment. How did I not scroll all the way down to see those beautiful pictures??? Glad I zipped back down this evening. Those are precious. :)

  6. So sorry to hear about the issues with V trying to get the work permits. I can't believe they are making her go through all this.

    This weekend, since you asked, I've gotten serious about really budgeting and watching where we are spending money. Just in time for Christmas holidays, I'm clamping down on the budget. I think this is a good thing.

  7. And I forgot to say you have a gorgeous family! Love the pics!

  8. That really stinks that things have to be so difficult for those who WANT to work. I hope it all gets sorted out soon.

    A college friend of mine is from Zimbabwe. He got to stay here after graduating, but his parents are still there. I remember when he would go home for the summers, his hands would be raw from handling the currency in his parents' store...he would explain that it would take a shoebox full of money just to buy a few vegetables at the store. His parents are well off, but my heart just breaks for all of those people who are unsafe in their own countries.

    On another note, I am loving all the gorgeous pictures of your sweet family! We had ours made Monday and I can't wait to see them.


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