out with the old, in with the new (part 3)

No, we didn’t buy something this time, but we did have to shell out a lot of money (and still have to because the entire process hasn’t been completed yet). After I gave birth last September, Ate Marycel told us that she wasn’t going to renew her contract anymore and she would only be with us until her contract ended. When we asked why, she simply said that her sons and husband were asking her to go back to the Philippines. For that reason, we didn’t ask her to stay simply because family is always the first priority; they need her more than we need her.

Since her contract would expire on the 10th of January, and we knew how hard is was to get a replacement, we started searching right away. We asked relatives, friends and colleagues if they knew anyone. There were 2 possible prospects who seemed interested at first, but when we tried calling them to arrange a meeting, they didn’t answer our calls. Then there was the maid of our friends who were going to migrate to Australia, but that didn’t work out. Then there was one we were about to get (we hadn’t met her yet but my colleague strongly recommended her), but one day before the meet-up, she landed a job (high-paying and based in an office).

Finally in December, another colleague told me that he knew someone who knew someone who was looking for a job as a nanny/maid. She wasn’t married and didn’t have any children so that was good. After several calls, we both came to an agreement. She already had a passport, so all we had to do was bring her here. Of course, easier said than done. We didn’t have any problems with her, though. The problem was just that: bringing her here. Originally, Hubby and I were thinking of having her enter the UAE on a Tourist Visa like what we did with Ate Cel, but it seemed too risky and might cost us more in the long run. So we decided to get her the legal, albeit expensive, way: through an agency. The entire process took 7 weeks, from the time we sent the agency a copy of her passport, to the time she arrived here in Dubai. It should have taken 6 weeks, but the Christmas and New Year holidays happened.

Fortunately, even though it took 1 week longer than necessary, the timing was perfect. When we cancelled Ate Cel’s visa on the 9th of January, the cancellation paper stated that she had to leave the country before the 7th of February. On the 31st of January, the agency gave us the go signal to book the new nanny on a flight from the 6th of February, which, of course, I immediately did, along with the flight to the Philippines for Ate Cel.

We had already informed Caila weeks before that Yaya ‘Te (Ate Cel) would be going back to her family soon and a new yaya would be taking her place. But despite the early notice, our little girl couldn’t stop her tears from falling when she saw Ate Cel standing on queue to check-in when we saw her off at the Departure Area of Terminal 1. They had been together for almost 3 years, so naturally, she was sad.
Bye-bye, Yaya!
The sad little girl she left behind
We were just standing there waiting for Ate Cel to enter Check-in, so after I had enough of watching our daughter weeping (nakakaawa talaga), I decided that it was time for all of us to go down to the Arrival Area to wait for our new kasambahay.

Since she’s from the province and it was her first time to go on a plane, Hubby and I arranged for Marhaba Meet-and-Greet to assist her with the entire procedures when she arrived. It cost us Dhs95, but at least we were confident that she wouldn’t get confused, overwhelmed or lost, and it wouldn’t take her long to come out because she would be given priority in all the queues. Her flight arrived at 9:42pm and in less than 45 minutes, the Marhaba staff handed her over to us. Thus, began Juliet’s life in Dubai.
Hello, Yaya Juliet!

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