This week flew by like a whirlwind for me.
We spent last Saturday in Madaum, in a well-known resort called Banana Beach (I’ll write about it sometime soon — I haven’t even written about my Maragusan trip more than a month ago boohoo). Sunday was a bit of shopping and ~some~ eating and a lot of KSA crash-coursing with Job.
Only very few people know this, but I’m sharing the news with you. Job is officially an OFW as of today. Well, he technically hasn’t started work yet, but he’s already there so. Anyway. He arrived in Riyadh last night, 10 pm our time/ 5 pm KSA time. I actually barraged Nilyn of Above Precious Rubies with questions last week lol as her husband works in Riyadh, too. Thanks Nilyn, super!
As of this morning, he was still staying in a hotel, but now he’s on the road. I don’t have any pictures of him there yet because he still hasn’t found a stable internet connection, whether wi-fi or mobile data.
We’re both half-excited and half-anxious but he’s been looking forward to this for months now so it’s more of excitement. He left his decent-paying job here to accept a job offer in Riyadh and makipagsapalaran; we pray that he will flourish there not only as a worker but also as a person. But it was a long and hard journey, especially for him.
If you remember, last month, I took a blogging hiatus because of a personal problem. That was related to this. You see, even if you already have a job offer, you are supposed to undergo a thorough medical examination. For gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, the medical exam is usually tougher.
Job has always been healthy and fit, no vices, so we were not nervous about it at all. But we didn’t know that his clinic was notorious for making up “sicknesses” to essentially wring more money from the applicants. We were so shocked when his medical results came out, saying he tested positive for hepatitis.
Not knowing about the clinic’s shady background, I believed he was sick. Job was positive (pun not intended) though that he did not have hepatitis so he sought second opinion from a big hospital. We prayed so hard while waiting for the results. God is good because they all came out negative.
He took those results to the aforementioned clinic, but for some reason, they refused to honour it. Instead, they made him take another blood test (and pay for it, of course). Unsurprisingly, it came out positive again.
It was then that we found out that some applicants were given fake positives (e.g. fake TB-positives) just so they will pay for re-tests from them over and over again.
We’ve had enough of that clinic so we transferred to another. I regret not thinking of that earlier — it could’ve saved us a lot of money and heartache! He repeated the entire medical examination and not just the blood test. After just a couple of days, the results came out. They were all negative. He was now fit to work.
The entire process actually took more than a month. It wasn’t as easy as how I’m explaining it now, and there was a lot of praying involved. It was a really trying time for us and, at some point, I even questioned God. But Job remained faithful and cheerful, which taught me a big lesson about life.
After his “fit to work” status was released, everything that was supposed to follow happened quickly. In less than a week, he attended the PDOS (a seminar for overseas workers), his flight was booked, and he flew to KSA safely. Praise God!
It’s actually my first time to have someone in the immediate family work abroad. So tips and pieces of advice are encouraged! Please share in the comments! It doesn’t matter what it’s about. Everything relevant to OFW-hood is welcome hehe.