It is hard to believe we have been living in South Africa for one year now.
It really has been one entire year since we sold most of our belongings and packed everything we owned into 12 suitcases and flew across the world to start living somewhere neither of us had ever even visited before.
The first two months spent living in a hotel searching for housing was pretty tough, as was having to resign my job, but after the initial shocks wore off, I can say that everything has worked out perfectly. We have been able to settle in nicely here and we really enjoy our house.
Both kids talk about family all the time. We look at pictures often and talk about everybody. Hayden talks mostly about Nana and Link. Natalie still carries her blankie and cheetah around. In fact, for awhile Natalie wanted to be called Edith, her middle name, after Nana. She talks about showing Memaw her flips on the computer.
When asked about their favorite trip in South Africa, both kids agreed that going to the beach was their favorite. They are both enjoying school and like all of their extra curricular activities. We have enjoyed being able to travel and show the kids another part of the world and their culture.
To celebrate our one-year-expat anniversary on this blog, Brant and I will share some answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions we get from friends and family back home (his answers were not very detailed, but I tried to make up for it):
1) What have been some of your favorite experiences in South Africa this year?
Jennifer: My elephant kiss: ,
Having the privilege to see Nelson Mandela at his public wake: ,
the safari in Klaserie with Willa and Elizabeth (the elephant charge was probably the most memorable!):
2) What are some things you miss the most about home?
Brant: Mexican food and Newcastle, Biscuits
Jennifer: Easy access to friends and family, Thursday night dinner at Nanas, USTA league tennis, the US postal system and having an actual mailbox at my house (where mail is placed daily and not just scattered randomly about my driveway), Efficiency.
3) What has been difficult to get used to here?
Brant: Lack of efficiency and everything closes early
Jennifer: Pedestrians do not have the right of way here and people don’t let you cross. Real winners will try to run you over in parking lots (even if you are carrying your 2-year old daughter in one arm and a bag of groceries in the other).
4) What is something that has surprised you about South Africa?
Brant: That it’s almost impossible to get import beer here.
Jennifer: Traffic is always so crazy. People are so used to dealing with inefficiency, something that would create a major traffic jam in America does not even cause people to bat an eyelash here. They just drive in the grass and move on (or whatever the scenario requires).
5) Where is your favorite place to eat in Pretoria?
Brant: Taal the Indian place at silver oaks
Jennifer: Tin Roof, Koi, or any girly tea garden.
6) Where would you want to eat if you could teleport home right now?
Brant: Biscuits and gravy 🙂
Jennifer: Nana’s House
7) Anything you want to tell friends/ family back home?
Jennifer: Come visit us!
Time truly does fly. Love From South Africa! xoxoxoxo