The joy of two-day weekends

Since arriving in the Sudan, I have been working six days a week, teaching for the company that secured our visa here. I work seven hours a day for this particular company and so, get the calculators out, end up working a 42 hour week. Jacque Chirac and Lional Jospin would have something to say about that! (These 42 hours, of course, do not include the journalism work I do – which is probably another 20 to 30 hours on top of that, depending).

Just before Christmas, we found out that, as from January 26, folk in Sudan would be entitled, by law, to the Saturday off. If they were required to work on the Saturday, then the company would have to pay overtime.

I was heartened by this news, but dismayed last week when I was told, by my students, that this law would only apply to government employees.

I still don’t know if this extra nugget of information is true – I think it’s one of those typical Sudanese things that no one actually really knows what the law means, and the journalists that should be telling people what is going on are doing their usual bit to add to the confusion – but all that matters to me right now is that our company has agreed to give us Saturday off. And, because of the way that our contract is worded (7 hours a day, rather than 42 hours a week) this means that we should now be working, calculators out once again, 35 hours a week. Which was even less than I worked when I was in England.

Oh the joy of two-day weekends. This is our first. It is Friday evening. And I have done bugger all today. But it doesn’t really matter, because I have tomorrow to do something productive. If I can get up before mid-day, that is. And I feel relaxed. For the first time in ages, I have a weekend where I feel really relaxed. And I am sure that I will go into work on Sunday with much more gusto and energy. It is just crazy to have one day off a week.

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