We were hoping to avoid an extra international journey by leaving straight from Amsterdam for Papua New Guinea, but alas it isn’t to be.
We’re still missing the crucial entry permit and my time in the Netherlands is up because, since Brexit, I’m only allowed 90 days in Europe every 180 days.
We’re very ready to get back to Kovol now. We left the bush in December 2020! Our Kovol friends haven’t seen us in over a year! We needed extra time to adjust to life with twins, but this home assignment is becoming much too long!
There is a spark of progress with the entry permit though, and we’re thinking that perhaps middle/late March is our new timeframe for heading to PNG.
Thankfully travel is getting a little easier with the UK deciding that covid tests are no longer required to enter England from Feb 11th; so we’ll be heading back on Feb 11th. Having packed up our rental flat we were at a bit of a loose end for accommodation, but NTM’s training centre in North Cotes will be able to squeeze us in.
It means we’ll be living out of a single guest room for the 5 of us for a month, but a massive benefit is that we have friends we’re looking forward to seeing there – and there are children Oscar’s age. These 2 months in the Netherlands have been a little lonely for him and having other 3-year-olds for him to run around with is (potentially) so worth cramped living conditions 🙂
Oscar’s excited that he’s going to be able to ride all night on a boat over the English channel, but we don’t yet know how disappointed he’s going to be once he figures out that he won’t be seeing his nursery friends from Bracknell. England to him means our little flat and life there.
We’re also trying out sending luggage in the post with a door-to-door luggage delivery service. All our bags for it are packed – but again because of Brexit there are customs requirements and I’ve had to meticulously list and price every item we’re sending. Customs really needed to know the value of underpants I’ve had for a few years… I’ve valued them at 10p each. Perhaps I’ll be having a conversation with customs in the near future where they question the stated value of said pants. You never know!
With only a week and a half to go here in the Netherlands, our visiting is slowing down. The suitcases are mostly packed already and I long ago reached the limit of useful work I could be doing on the Kovol language remotely.
So I’ve been hanging out with Oscar and writing code.
After learning web development with Python I decided that I really needed my own little website where I could write from scratch and maintain. Since I didn’t have any better ideas I made a portfolio site to catalogue the different projects I’ve done:
I’ve got my own little VPS server now so I’m enjoying playing around with that.
I’ve also started in the world of dart and flutter. Python is a superb programming language that can do a tonne, but making mobile apps isn’t one of them. I personally much prefer working on a computer, but that’s not the norm: today mobile is the way to go.
The promise of flutter is that you can write one bit of code and it’ll work on Android, Windows, ios, Mac, Linux, and the web. It’s quite a promise!
So I had a go and made a basic Kovol quiz app… and it works. It’s on my phone, on my laptop and embedded in a webpage ; it’s magic!
It’s a work in progress. I need a lot more practice but flutter is looking promising and it has the potential to work very nicely with Python by communicating via an API.
So we’re not so much reaching Kovol as waiting to get to Kovol now, but at least I’m finding things to keep me busy in the meantime. Who knows maybe one day I’ll create something useful?