Akam Bulte; Or good morning to those who are not yet familiar with Oromo. Actually, this will be of no use to me at all at the moment as we are currently in Addis Ababa, where they speak Amharic. I am, however, trying to get back into the habit of learning a few words of Oromo a day. I think this has been triggered by the fact that I haven't a clue what anyone is talking about here.
We arrived yesterday morning to the familiar sights of Addis; congested roads, with hundreds of cars edging in from all directions- each contributing to the enormous grey cloud of smoke above us. After checking in to the Lions Den hotel, we went to register at the British Embassy, only to find that they were closed Fridays, weekends and Mondays and even then, only opened o Tuesdays from 1.30-4.
So the next thing to do was to get our work permits sorted. Having submitted various apostled, legalised and embassy approved documents already, I thought it would be a simple matter of picking up the permit. Oh, if only that were true. There are incredibly tight processes set up here that you simply have to go through if you want to get the right documentation to allow you to work. And that's exactly what we did. At the ministry of labour and social affairs, we handed in 4 copies of our work permit application form, along with copies of our visas, passports, education certificates, professional certificates, letter of job offer, NGO certificate, health certificate and 4 passport photos. This all gets carefully read and any minor errors are corrected (a missing stamp, address, phone number etc). Then these documents get handed to someone who writes a ticket out for payment, it then gets taken to another office to pay the fee of 600 Birr (£24). Then the documents get taken to another office for stamping - here 4 different stamps are made on the documents in around 20 places. Then we take these stamped documents to the filing office, where some more checks are made before finally stamping things again and leaving one set of documents with the person there and being given the other to keep so that a copy can be given to the police, the immigration office and the hospital. At the end, though, you get presented with a small green book, with various stamps on and your photo stapled in it. This is the much treasured work permit.
Being an application for a medical position, Jeremy's work permit has another stage to go through and so we took his documents to the ministry for health, where they will be considered by a panel of experts (presumably some will be doctors) on Wednesday.
The next thing on our list is to get an internet dongle (USB stick). This was achieved easily enough after visits to various shops to find one that had the type we needed but now we have to take this to the Communications Office on Monday to allow us access to the internet. Another 2 photos and passport copies and we should be there.
Thank goodness for Mosisa, the project manager for Maternity Worldwide - he spent the day with us to help with the various stages.