Hello Kind Folk,

Apologies for the silence over the past week or two.

Okay, so Jax and I are here in Rotterdam safe and sound. We arrived
late Saturday afternoon. We immediately set out in search of food and
all things nourishing and were very successful in that venture, enough
to have sandwiches and a drink for dinner. We slept in rather late
(9:30am) on Sunday morning and went on more scouting expeditions in the
area that we are currently being "housed" in thanks to Micro Focus.
Monday was a holiday here. We took to the train to figure out where we
had to go for some government appointments scheduled for Wednesday
morning. Got our first "automatic" fine using the train. We had not
scanned in correctly at out departure station due to lack of local
knowledge so got whacked 4 euro + when leaving the station at our
destination - OUCH!

I started in the office on Tuesday to start getting settled in.
Wednesday was a string of government appointments to get legal here, not
totally successful I'm afraid to report, but a work in progress.
Thursday I was whisked off to Germany to attend a training session with
the GWAVA guys on VIBE and to meet Gert Lantinga. Today I spent just
trying to get my basic stuff installed. My server, which is on order,
has not arrived yet. I'm dying to get started with actually responding
to "calls".

I can't begin to describe to you what it's like to be living in a first
world country. I can walk out of my front door without fearing a gun to
my head! I'm not going to say that won't happen, it could happen
anywhere, it's just where I came from it was so common. In the last
week before we relocated there were two murders, three armed car
hijackings and several armed home invasions all within a three kilometer
radius from where we lived. A week before we left the lock on our car
door was "drilled" out in an attempt to steal the vehicle. The fourth
attempt in two years and that's with security guards in our housing
complex.

Initially I was alarmed at the "lack" of security on the
homes/apartments here. Gosh, there's even a pane of glass on our front
door and no security gate. I realised early hours of this morning that
I am sleeping better already as I'm not waking up every hour, terrified,
thinking there are intruders. I'm still "jumpy" at any loud noise but
that will take some time to wear off. We have walked quite a bit and
are amazed at being able to do so. The people here are very friendly
and willing to assist. You don't even need to ask for assistance...
just look lost and you are offered help in English - unheard of where I
come from. The distinct lack of aggression in the general population is
refreshing.

The atmosphere in the office is far more relaxed than what I am used to.
Where I come from we had a "Time & Billing" system in which you had to
account for all your time in each day broken down into 10 minute slices.
It took at least half an hour, non-billable time, a day to fill the
stupid thing in and you had to account for 8 hours a day - PTIA. The
folk in the office have all been exceptionally warm and welcoming.

At this point I'm not going to go into internet speeds, variety of
foods, etc. We are here. That's what counts

Many thanks to all of your for your support and encouragement along the
way.

Kim and I will work out the finer details of me officially leaving the
KP program and joining as a Micro Focus employee.

See you folk on the other side soon.

Cheers,


--
Laura Buckley

Views/comments expressed here are entirely my own.

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