Relocation tasks

Tomorrow will be spent putting up the two flyers I've been preparing this week on notice boards around town.

Expat Moving Sale

Please visit on 4 April 2009 :: 10am to 5pm :: Luthuli Ave, Plot 86 (no. 2), Bugolobi

  • 3-piece wicker sofa set shs30,000
  • 2 wicker end tables shs5,000 each
  • 3-piece local wooden sofa set shs80,000
  • 1 light wood medium sized simple table/desk shs20,000
  • 2-story bedframe from dark wood shs80,000
  • 2 dark wood bookshelves (1.5m x 1.5m) shs35,000 each
  • 1 wicker shelf unit (.75m x 1.25m) shs10,000
  • 1 light wood standing coat rack shs10,000

  • 4.5 KW Generator shs750,000
  • Clothes washing machine (<1> shs350,000
  • Clothes dryer shs100,000
  • Kitchen Blender shs15,000

  • Large European baby crib with mattress shs80,000
  • Collapsible playpen shs40,000
  • Large hard plastic kiddie’s swimming pool shs10,000
  • Toddler size push stroller shs40,000
  • Toddler size car seat shs25,000
  • Car seat for 3-5 yr olds shs20,000

Also available on 4 April:
  • Houseplants
  • plates & dishes
  • pots & pans
  • toys & books
  • misc household items

By the way, the list was much longer, but I invited my neighbors, household staff and a friend or two to reserve some of the things they wanted before I advertise the rest. I've already got $400 in deposits in hand. What we make on the sale of our big stuff is our budget for the extra unaccompanied baggage we'll be flying with... and hopefully for some of the stuff we'll need to buy upon arrival.

I have promised Ben we'll get a new slide - he was not happy when the neighbors bought our 10 year old slide for toddlers that he doesn't even use any more and moved it right away to the yard next door. I'm pretty sure we'll also need some beds, and I'm not taking most of my kitchen stuff. Apart from that, we've still got a whole house full of furniture in storage in Belgium, from when we lived there 10 years ago. The first house we lived in here in Uganda was furnished. Truthfully, I've only a vague idea what we're going to find when we unpack all that stuff from a decade ago.

Certainly, we will not find another Margaret in Brussels. Developing the habit of cleaning up after ourselves and sharing the daily tasks like dishes and laundry are something the boys are ahving to prepare ourselves for. For many years, we had Zarina, who moved on to another job as I was gearing up to leave for a while to the USA. Filling the gap she left was a rocky process, with many trials and many errors. Finding the right person to work in your home in a way that works smoothly is a real challenge. When I then didn't go to the US after all, Margaret was about the 4th person we tried. I hope that posting her recommendation letter around town for the next few weeks will mean she doesn't face a long gap in her employment.

Luthuli Ave., Plot 86/2
Bugolobi – Kampala, Uganda

18 March 2009

To whom it may concern:

Ref: Recommendation of Akello Margaret as a wonderful househelper

Akello Margaret is a very efficient, honest, good-tempered and mature-minded 26 year old woman from Northern Uganda who has provided excellent cleaning, childcare and basic cooking services to my American/Ugandan family for the past 1 year.

She learns fast, communicates well in English, and (unlike so many other Ugandan helpers) she is not afraid to ask questions when she does not clearly understand what is expected of her. She is warm, friendly and considerate with all members of our household, and my children feel safe and comfortable with her. Her humble wisdom, her openness to trying new ideas, and her honest ability to take responsibility for her own actions have made Margaret a delightful employee to work with.

While in our employ in 2008-09, her compensation package included a monthly cash salary of shs200,000, full room and board, assistance with school fees (shs30,000 each term) for a child in Gulu, 3+ weeks paid leave and an additional cash holiday bonus. She worked 6 days/week with every afternoon off from 2-5pm, and she ended her day at 7:30pm after serving dinner around 7pm. She operates household appliances with minimal guidance, and can be relied upon to account for expenses after shopping at local markets.

We never experienced any challenges working with Margaret that were not quickly overcome. After more than 10 years living in Uganda, my sole regret about employing Margaret is that we did not find her and hire her a bit earlier. I would highly recommend her services to any expatriate or blended family in need of mature and reliable household management help.

Margaret will be available to undertake new employment from 15 April 2009, following the departure of our family to Brussels, Belgium.

She can be reached directly to arrange potential employment interviews on 0774 28 35 79

To contact me at any time now or in the future for further inquiry about Margaret’s abilities, background or character, please refer to the contact details below. I will always wish her well.

Most Sincerely,

Christina Jordan