Daniel should have joined the Doulos on Sunday. However we have not heard anything from him since Saturday night, and the Doulos site has just posted some 'news' dated today (7th Feb) saying that the new recruits 'are coming'... does that mean they aren't there yet, we wonder, or was this written a few days ago but only just published? Emails sent to the address he should have on the Doulos are bouncing straight back. Tim and Richard have both sent text messages on their mobile phones, but have had no response.
I'm sure if anything had gone wrong, or he was ill or anything, we'd have been told; but it's still a bit odd and beginning to worry me a little.
Added to that, we don't know what's happening with the house we hope to buy, or how soon our house in the UK will be sold. On Friday our solicitor in the UK told us he was sending a contract to sign via FedEx. Great, we thought. At least that means the sale is going through. However when the package arrived, it became clear that contract exchange isn't going to happen at once; all SHOULD be all right, and the solicitor needed our signatures on both the contract and the deed transfer document, so that when the time comes he'll have them ready. But he doesn't know if it will be by the end of February.
As for the house here... it still seems ideal in many ways. But the estate agent phoned on Saturday trying to persuade us to pull out, and look at some other properties. Which got us wondering why. We wondered if perhaps she had now seen the house, and realised it's probably worth more than the asking price. Or whether someone else has offered to buy it, who is willing to move more quickly.
Yesterday we instructed the solictor here to do the searches, and let the estate agent know that we do want to go ahead, assuming no further problems crop up.
Today she rang again, and said that the vendor now wants to make the house officially into two properties, with two sets of title deeds, and that his architect says it's perfectly possible (perhaps he'll draw boundaries where they don't exist, as on the plans for the upstairs two storeys!). Then he apparently wants to sell them separately, so he can get more money. The agent says she's told him he has to go ahead with the sale price as agreed while we're still interested... but who knows what will happen. We know from experience that the law is often ignored completely, and that as foreigners there's nothing we can do about it. We are also aware that some Cypriots are convinced that foreigners are wealthy, so perhaps the vendor thinks we would be prepared to pay more if he got the house somehow legalised.
So that all creates yet more stress. Relationships are all-important here, and we really don't want to antagonise the family selling the house, or get a bad reputation with the neighbours. If any more problems crop up, we probably will pull out. We certainly won't pay more for this house than the asking price, even though it's very good value and we might have paid more had a slightly higher price been given in the first place.
I do believe God's in control and that if we're not supposed to have this house, then something as good - or better - will come up. It's been suggested that we buy a plot and have a house built to our own specifications, ensuring it's fully legal and compliant. So we may consider that option if this one falls through. But in the meantime, it's hard to get anything much done as the whole process is so stressful...