It’s Not Raining in Sumbawa and More on a Personal View of Migrant Labor

It’s an overcast day, but there hasn’t been any rain after almost continual downpours for the past three days. It’s that time in the rainy season where all the rain begins to get depressing. We do look forward to the rain after the extended dry season in Sumbawa, but we’ve already reached the enough is enough period.

I was planning on taking a walk outside the gate today to buy some supplies at the local shop that carries just about everything, but after my nightly phone call with the family back in Bali, I’ve put off buying anything but absolute essentials for a while as I need to re-evaluate what my plan is for the near future.

There’s a possibility that I could extend my contract here for another six or twelve months, but the situation has changed from a sure thing to a maybe thing. After a lot of soul-searching, I decided to let my boss know that I was amenable to extending the contract, then the situation changed to maybe the company would extend it.

My children are opposed to me extending the contract even for a few months. They’ve become used to me living with them after the four long years that I was gone while I was working in Pakistan. They weren’t particularly happy that I was moving back to Sumbawa even for six months, but they understood the economics of the situation (well the older ones did). My wife is the poster woman of practicality and said if we needed the money, then moving back would be ok. She’s even put her intense Indonesian jealousy on hold and doesn’t pester me with questions about whether I’m involved with someone here in Sumbawa.

But, last night, all the kids asked when I was coming home and even my Penelope asked how long before I came home. When I mentioned that I was re-evaluating my decision to stay here, she said that she was good with that decision. No questions about how much money we’ve lost in the worldwide economic collapse or if we have enough to put all the kids through college. She just said, if you want to come home, I support that; I miss you and the kids really want you home.

life was once easy

life was once easy

So, I’ve been number crunching today, looking at the various scenarios that might play out over the coming years. Of course, everything could collapse but then a few dollars more wouldn’t be much help one way or another. And, I’m one of those guys who has always made a point of saying that being with the family is more important than how much money you have. There are many expats on a variety of forums who write about their new Mercedes and how much their wife will like that or how their architect is designing a new villa in Bali, all while their kids and wives are living a life without a father and a husband. Is this the way that we should be living our lives?


~ by drbrucepk on February 7, 2009.

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