Advanced search

Please, not again, not now, this time South America

(18 Posts)
gordonpym Mon 15-Jun-09 14:18:14

We have been here in Spain only 5 months and (not so Dear today) DH says we might move to South America quite soon!!
I can't. I don't want to do it. again. DS1 just turned 6 and has lived in 4 countries/cities so far, 4 schools, 3 languages.
Last year, I didn't want to move to Mexico, so we came here, but I guess, my DH's company has kept that option open.
I don't have anything here, not even a single friend, but it was so hard for DC, and now they are quite happy with school , have some friends, I can't face it again. I am already so lonely now, and to have a bloody ocean between my family and friends makes it so difficult to visit, in terms of time and money. I am not excited anymore, so far I have moved 12 times, and it gets harder every time. Harder to make friends, to find a job, to start everything again.

I didn't want to move to Mexico because I was a lttle bit scared about safety. two of DH's clients have had a family member kidnapped and killed (even after paying ransom)and they had bodyguads. It's crazy, it's a movie!
So if anybody is living in Latin America, talk to me. Countries are: Mexico, Brazil and Panama. How is life, school, safety
I am so sad, so so sad

Hassled Mon 15-Jun-09 14:21:23

Do you not get any say in the matter? Is this really the only job your DH could do? Does he realise quite how strongly you feel about it?

I had an expat early childhood - on my 5th country by the age of 5, and it was wonderful, but I often think about how hard it must have been for my mother. So you have all my sympathies - I'm damn sure I couldn't do it.

Geocentric Mon 15-Jun-09 14:22:54

I'm in Brazil (Sao Paulo)... Have lived here most of my life so can give in-depth info (schools, health etc) if needed.

I can see how difficult it must be for you - any chance you can settle for a good-ish while at the next place? Its so hard to settle in if you have to keep moving. sad

Honestly, from people I know who have lived around South America, I would not move to Mexico. It would be Brazil (Sao Paulo, preferably) or Argentina (B.A.) only, imo.

runawayquickly Mon 15-Jun-09 14:25:47

Oh gordonpym, what a a nightmare for you. It makes me feel exhausted just thinking about your situation.
Sounds like things have not been great in Spain, so could you possibly think about this as an opportunity to start again? I know it must be so hard when children have to start again too...
Clutching at straws - I have nothing much constructive to say but really feel for you. No experience of the places you have mentioned. The Mexico option sounds scary though - I have read there is a real kidnapping problem.
Hope someone comes along with good advice for you. <<hugs>>

Fimbo Mon 15-Jun-09 14:31:08

My old next door neighbours had the same kind of moving around, it eventually got to much for the wife, who refused to move anymore. She stayed at home in their home with the dc and only saw her dh once every couple of months or so. Would that be an option to consider?

gordonpym Mon 15-Jun-09 14:35:16

It is not the best time to look for a new job right now, so DH can’t really object (not too strongly). I don’t know why I didn’t connect this time. Spain is lovely and if I wanted I would have plenty to do and discover during the day, but I just can’t shake myself, so yes if I were to move, I have nothing I would regret, but the children,… especially DS1. couple of months ago, he was still crying every day and saying “ please,I will be a good boy, can we go back home, please I won’t fight with DS2, can we go back home, please I will tidy my room every day and even DS2’s toy, can we go back, … it was so heartbreaking, as if he was feeling it as a punishment.
Now they are happy.
Have to go and pick them up at school. Will be back later, thanks to all of you

pooka Mon 15-Jun-09 14:45:04

Sounds awful.

If I were in your position I think I would be tempted to settle at home, and treat it as if your husband were working on rigs or in the forces - away on a tour of duty, coming home whenever possible.

gordonpym Mon 15-Jun-09 18:02:13

Ooops, terrible typing, sorry.

I can’t consider the option of staying at home (and where is home???) and having DH in another continent. I love him and he is a fantastic Dad, and the kids miss him so much whenever he is away, more or less 150 days/year. I would be even more lonely.

Buda Mon 15-Jun-09 18:07:14

I sympathise - we are on our 4th country. However once we got here (Budapest) I pretty much said I was staying put and didn't want to move anymore. I am very lucky in that DH went along with it and was in a position to be able to stay here. Career-wise it has been a bit limiting but not too bad.

FWIW I have a friend in Panama and can put you in touch with her if you would like? Email me on buda mn at gmail dot com.

belgo Mon 15-Jun-09 18:10:49

Gordonpym - this is very unfair on you and your children. If you really don't want to carry on moving around, you and your dh need to come to an agreement that you are going to settle somewhere at some point, sooner or later.

madwomanintheattic Mon 15-Jun-09 18:17:53

i know nothing about south america, but as a forces family who are also in the school years, i just wanted to offer my sympathy.
mostly forces families have at least a couple of others in a similar boat to lean on wherever in the world they end up - are you able to meet up with other families from dh's work or not?

hopefully you can agree with the company that you are stable for a few years, to give you time to find your feet and build your own support system - i was discussing this with a friend only recently, we expend so much effort ensuring that our children cope with a move, easing them into school, play, life in a new country, and dh gets consumed by new job, and then we realise, too late, that we have successfully enabled everyone else, and find ourselves at rock bottom.

we have packed our house and are moving to canada this time, so no language issues to deal with, and a readymade community to invade, but i am determined to make sure i have a little bit of energy left over for me this time.

be kind to yourself, and sit down with dh and discuss how exhausting it is with schoolchildren - babies are much more portable - even without the added stress of a difficult or dangerous environment.

dd1 is 9 and will be starting her 5th school in august. i have promised myself this is our last temporary move and the next one will be permanent, mostly for her education as we aren't really a boarding family... but it's worth spending an hour or two wallowing in the bath and mulling over how you intend to deal with that sort of thing in the future - it might help crystallise a few thoughts as to how to handle your current situation. would it be more bearable with a time limit?

golly, that was a bit of an essay. and probably not much help at all lol, just wanted to sympathise. x

Geocentric Mon 15-Jun-09 19:07:37

Madwoman has some good points there.

Do give me a shout if it turns out to be Brazil... I always lurk check the living overseas forum.

I realised I didn't say much above, just wanted to say that my city is a great place, really. Very international, several international schools, v. decent health system if you are on private (and you will be - all companies pay for private). You just have to get used to doing everything by car (and dealing with traffic). Not too bad safety-wise, you just have to get used to the "do's and dont's" but I have always felt pretty safe here. There are other great places in Brazil, too, but Sao Paulo really is the center of it all. Direct flights to the UK, too.

gordonpym Mon 15-Jun-09 23:46:13

Thanks for your support. After putting the boys to bed, we talked- a bit – about it. Well, it is not decided yet, of course, DH will fly to headquarter the first week of July, and listen to their offer and to the alternative. His company has been pushing for South America for quite a long time. We even spent a month in Brazil 2 years ago, in Rio de Janeiro, and it was of course a lovely holiday, but Rio is so big, so different . I don’t know Sao Paolo, DH was always so against it, I have to investigate further why. By the time the project shifted to Guadalajara, Mexico, I wasn’t keen about going so far. Both my sisters were pregnant, and I wanted to stay close to my family, and when the 14 year daughter of one of DH’s client was killed, and DH started talking about guarded houses, driver-bodyguard, I said forget it. And so it became Spain.

And here we are again. Yes, I want to settle and No, I don’t want to divide the family. Typical dilemma, and typical uncertainty, which is the worse phase when you don’t know what will happen. It takes time to find a new job, especially now, and what if DH can’t find one, what if we have to move anyway , if, if, if …. And so many questions/doubts like the ones you all have raised.

What I am writing doesn’t make really sense, I am so confused, I’d better go to bed. Goodnight, and thank you again for being there for me

scaryteacher Tue 16-Jun-09 07:08:40

Madwoman, you lucky bugger - where in Canada, and how? There's only ever been 1 person I've known who got an exchange there. We live in hope but Brussels is nice in the interim!

Gordonpym - we've done it the other way round from you. Dh went away to sea, or off to work and lots of times didn't get home due to the job, but it gave me and ds stability to stay in one place; ds for school, me for my job. I moved for the first time in 2006, and whilst I am enjoying it, moving isn't something I could contemplate too often.

As madwoman says, the Forces families cope with this; I did two years with dh in Brussels and me in Cornwall, six weeking, and it was doable. I know it's tough being away from your dh, but you also have to factor in what you need, or you could end up resenting his job. Eventually you will have to settle somewhere when the dcs get to secondary age or board them; so why not look at that (settling)now?

Litchick Tue 16-Jun-09 08:54:57

Hi everyone.
Just thought I'd add my thoughts. We are currently in the UK and DH in the middle east. He comes home every third weekend. It is vile. I hate it.
So although moving may be hard I can well understand how people would rather do that than be apart.

madwomanintheattic Tue 16-Jun-09 12:17:47

scaryteacher - just a standard-issue posting, not an exchange, so in terms of what gordonpym is about to experience, a small blip whilst we re-org.
southern alberta, with real tumbleweed and cowboys wink
tis going 'home' for us as ds1 was born there - the first time we've ever been 'back' to the same place... given that it was the place dh got blown up (lol - they tried to finish him off but failed - just) i have a few memories to sift through, but everyone is particulalry excited this time grin
i too will be excited once we get the final rubber stamp that allows dd2 to go with us. as an sn army brat she causes nowt but trouble. wink
apols for hijack, op. hope dh's trip goes well and he asks all the right questions (write him a list!)
out of interest, what are you thinking of doing when the dcs hit secondary? i do think it helps sometimes to take a longer view of things - the present isn't so overwhelming that way? it might help to put your current thoughts about splitting the family into context too. for lots of us it isn't a choice - it's take the separation or look for another job, so we are all in the same boat really... if you have some idea of whether you are ultimately looking to board the dcs, or wouldn't countenance it, then that might help you work out whether dh is going to be a carrer man in this field (and therefore 'take the rough with the smooth' or whether, longer term, he decides to take a career hit and not move, because you know that ultimately your priority (however difficult the finding work option is) is keeping the family together in a safe environment...
for us, as i said, this will be our last temporary move. that does mean a change of career for dh in these uncertain times, or it means he will go where the job is and i will stay in leafy blighty/ wherever... according to dh it depends where his next posting is - if he/ we don't fancy it, he gives his notice and we work out wtf to do next... smile

Chandon Fri 04-Sep-09 12:09:01

Are you still around?

I have lived Mexico City for 5 years, my children were born there. We were happy, and nothing bad happened. It all depends on how you choose to live (and a bit of luck!).

I loved the people, the food and the weather. Plus FAB weekend trips to be had.

I had to get used to the traffic, and always being prepared for crime (but like I said, nothing happened).

I think some foreigners make the mistake of living in a too swanky neighbourhood, with body guards etc and end up living in a golden cage.

Better to go a bit more low key and move to area like Polanco, Roma or Condesa and live in a flat or house there.

If you drive a not-new car, do not carry expensive accessories (get cheapest mobile phone, no flash watch, no jewelry at all, no camera etc.) you will prob be o.k.walking around.

We loved it, so if you want to know more let me know!

purplesal Sun 06-Sep-09 19:41:23

I lived in Mexico City for 3 years before children. I was a teacher at one of the British International schools and absolutely loved the place. Have always wanted to go bak and live there again. Went back this year for 6 weeks with the children - the traffic is horrendous, the pollution is still just as bad, but as Chandon says if you are sensible then you can avoid crime. Plus unless yor DH is super-high up then there will be alot of people alot wealthier than you, which is who tehy the bad guys are targetting. I know of 3 families that have had kidnap experiences but they are all Mexicans. But on balance Mexico is still my favourite country in the world. And Guadalajara would be a bit safer than Mexico City, not quite so big and manic in terms of traffic, but not as much fun as living in the City and easy access to getting to loads of great places at weekends. Oh, I could go on for ever.....

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now