We finally are in our home and (somewhat) settled. You would think that only having 11 suitcases full of stuff would make unpacking easy, but as I sit here 11 days into it, I will admit to you there is a dark corner of my closet that is piled high with random things. Unpacking was pretty interesting. The kids were very pleased to find their toys and it was as if everything was new again.
We gave Hayden the important job of choosing between 2 rooms to pick out his room first (since he is the oldest). He was very excited to select the room where he could see the pool from his window and gave Natalie the street view. 🙂
As I previously mentioned, we left the hotel on September 27th and brought all of our suitcases into the house. We worked at the house most of the day and then left to stay at our friends house over the weekend. The Sunday night, we returned to the house and slept on air-mattresses while we waited for our furniture to arrive on October 1. We didn’t get to pick our furniture, we just got to send some pictures of the types of things we liked. I am actually very happy with what they delivered. It is a little sparse, but that was more of me being miserly and not wanting to blow the budget on decorative accessories. I have to keep reminding myself that this project is only temporary and the more I buy, the more I have to get rid of, since we cannot take everything back to the United States when this is all said and done. That being said, there are a few things we are interested in purchasing, such as patio furniture and a TV stand.
One of the joys of being a corporate expat is that the company usually pays your rent. 🙂 We are very luck to have such a generous housing allowance, which affords us to live in a gated security estate. We rented our house in Silver Lakes Golf Estate. It is very close to the schools we selected for Hayden and Natalie, plus it has a great reputation for being safe. An added bonus is that many of the other American families also live in this neighborhood.
Our house has lots of trees in front, so it makes it kind of hard to see, but I will show it to you anyway:
Front View: Back View:
Yes, the pool has a rugby ball (instead of a football) floating in it and yes, it is very dirty from a crazy rainstorm last night. It is also too cold for me to swim in, but Brant and Hayden have been in a few times. The weather is getting warmer and the rains have started to come. Another interesting note, every single house Brant and I have ever lived in had a 2 car garage that only one car would fit into- except this one! We can finally both park indoors.
The only interior room I am going to show you right now is the braai room. In South Africa, when you cookout or barbeque, you call it a braai. A braai is basically a grill, and most houses have braais built into their outdoor walls or they have an indoor patio room called a braai room. Our braai is indoors and my friend Mary could not wrap her head around an indoor grill set up, so these pictures are dedicated to her. 🙂
Obviously, you wouldn’t leave the bag of charcoal on the grate when it is in use, but you get the idea. When you braai, you open all the sliding doors and windows (many houses have accordion style doors that open completely to the outdoors) to ventilate.
So that is the house in a nutshell, I may just make you have to come and see it in person if you want more details 🙂
As an aside, earlier this week I had to resign my job in the United States. It became a big mess when the hospital found out I was here in South Africa even though my boss was fine with it. My boss and I tried to come up with a way I could work sometimes, but the solution ended up being to risky for him and I just could not do that to him considering all that he has done for me throughout the years. It feels VERY strange being unemployed for the first time in a long time. I have been feeling a little lost and a little empty. Someone asked me in a store just yesterday if I was a housewife and it felt so odd to respond with “yes.” The question was not meant negatively, it is just that one of the first things people always ask you is “What do you do?” and now my answer is different, and it feels different. I’ve always enjoyed working and there are so many new options on how I can fill my time.
One of the things I am doing is taking a photography class (although I started taking it right before the job thing and during this move- so if I am good at anything, it is overextending myself). Maybe it is the loss of focus or direction but I am not enjoying taking pictures as much as I thought I would (it could also be that a friend convinced me I could take the advanced class without taking the basic class and I am over-thinking- haha). I understand everything they are teaching, but I need to do a self study course with the books once it is over. Brant and I are starting an Afrikaans class on Monday. A tutor is going to come to our house once per week and teach us the language. Most people speak English also, but enough people try and talk to me in Afrikaans that I want to understand it. In 2 weeks I am taking an organic vegetable gardening workshop. I am excited about that too. Of course, there is always this blog and my challenge list. So I am certain to find something.
My other big announcement is that Miss Natalie has completed her potty training bootcamp and is no longer in diapers!
The has a little bump under her nose from falling out of the bed. In the second picture she was saying “I can potty!” 🙂
That is all for now! Love from South Africa!!!