Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quick Free State Roadtrip: a Photo review


Sharing a few photos for you to see how lovely this part of my country is and for me to recognize just how amazingly fortunate I was to go there.

It's no secret how much we love road-trips, mountains, meat, wine, South Africa and being together.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Home now, a quick hi

Sitting at the gate, waiting to board the first of three flights back to Spokane, I overhear what I knew was most likely my last Afrikaans conversation. The ladies spoke about the Oscar Pistorius trail. I board, delighted to find an empty seat next to me. Basically a lottery win on long haul flights. I watch movies and TV shows I've already seen, I pretend like I'll be on planes in this upright position for days, I play tetris with my meals- how can I make everything fit onto the tray table?. Isn't traveling across the globe kind of extraordinary? 

I'm back in our apartment now, already unpacked, marveling at the little green buds on the big trees outside my window, locals in shorts and sleeveless shirts ( it's 12 C!), and just how normal this space feels to me. I like that, I like this general exciting expectation I have about the next few months, I like that I can see daffodils and that Ben will be home in less than two hours.  I also like that I have this little corner of the internet to show up like this and share these random moments.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Dikhololo. For the love of giraffes and other wild things

 Dikhololo (yes! it's as fun to say out loud as you think, do it) is a Game Reserve just outside Brits, I'd say no more than a two hour drive from Jo'burg. It's kind of resort-y, kind of wild, kind of all things to most people. If you want a place with under roof heated pools, mini golf and Afrikaans music performances it's a good place for you. If you need to see a giraffe and the Kruger National Park is too far to drive, it's a good place for you too. If you used to live in South Africa and like an idiot did not realize how amazing giraffes are and now miss them like crazy, well then, this is a good place for you too. 

Sharing some more photos with you that didn't make it into yesterday's post. (The one where I use 'duel' when I mean 'dual' *face in palm* yes that one)
But no seriously, how cool are giraffes, hey?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dual emotions, that's a thing right?

So, as I'm typing this I'm supposed to be a few hours away from landing in Spokane, where I was supposed to get of my third plane after +35 hours off traveling to be swept up in my super hot husband's arms...

but, I'm still here, on a mild Jo'burg early Fall evening in my parents guest bed room, thinking way too much and feeling all over the place. 

I'm so thankful that I get to be here, that I get to spend lazy late afternoons drinking wine on the stoep with my parents, dressing up barbies with my childhood friend's daughter, eating more braaivleis than I have in the past 17 months combined. 

I'm missing Ben like crazy, it's being apart like this that helps me see more clearly that "home" really is where we are together. It was a cheesy thing I'd say before we got married, but now it's more true than ever. What a gift it is to feel like that about someone. 

I'm furious and stressed out by travel arrangements gone wild with a certain German airline strike. 

Mostly trying to find some kind of golden and perfect way to fully appreciate being here, because I know once I go home I'll miss these times and I'll have to find another golden and perfect way to not get too down about not being here and fully be appreciative of other things. Does that even make sense? 

Isn't it strange, to be so happy and so sad at the same time. Please forgive the melancholy tone here, but it's something I face a lot. I'm not looking forward to having to say good bye to amazing family and friends here, but I can't wait to get off that plane to be home with Ben and the new life I'm building for myself in the US. 

It's because of this reality as an 'expat/ immigrant/ foreign bride...' that I try my human best to drink in every moment of those truly spectacular times. You know those? They're not hard to miss. My birthday a few weeks ago was such a day. A weekend away with my family, all the favorites, Ben, parents, little sister there. A game farm, a ridiculously slow and spontaneous 10km road race, wild animals and wild kittens. Coming back to spend a short time with friends I've not seen in long months, but make me feel like it was just the other day that we had our last glass of wine/cup cake/walk in the botanical gardens together. 

Here are a few (still) unedited photos of that weekend.

“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.”

― Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I'm still here, hanging out in South Africa

Thunderstorm (love)
My hot wedding date

I know you've been thinking "Lanette were you eaten by a lion or something, why haven't you blogged your little African longing heart out since getting back to the homeland?!?"

I have no good excuses, besides, I always think it's a little strange when bloggers apologize for not blogging for a while, but that's just me being a weirdo.

So I've been here in happy South Africa for about three weeks now, and I can't get over how fast these three weeks have flown by, although we adults should really know by now that time flies when you're an immigrant visiting your roots. When will I learn?

It's been so good to spend this time with my family and friends. They're simply irreplaceable and I like them all more than ever. A strange heaviness has started creeping into heart, the one that knows I'll have to do the whole farewell thing again in less than a week, but dwelling on that right now will only take away from these precious few days I have left here. 

Just wanted to share a few photos from the first days back in Jo'burg (only about 6% of the meat consumed shown here), I'll be back with more stories of our travel adventures. A heads up, if you don't like wild animals don't come back here for a while, because there's a lot of animals coming up... 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New camera: On being an idiot

Yesterday my fancy camera arrived. This is how the afternoon went down...

Takes stalk-y picture with phone of UPS man walking up to the building, sends picture to everybody.

Gets package


Attacks box with scissors, delicately


Boxes within boxes, bubble wrap, plastic wraps, more little boxes within little boxes

Breaths, takes in moment.

Lifts camera out of box

Shrieks some more

Needs to charge battery for two hours,


Get strangely productive...

Stares lovingly at long desired fancy camera

(Fancy= DSLR)


Lens attach... stress

First picture

(Oh the beauty of for reals shutter sound)

More pictures


More pictures

Dreams of getting more lenses

More pictures

More frustration...

At this point I suddenly realized what was going on, it took less than two hours from taking in the joy of finally getting something I've been praying for years to wanting so much more. I want the knowledge, I want the lenses, I want Photoshop to make more sense... WHAT'S GOING ON HERE!?

Then it struck me what a victory this moment was, what was I doing getting all sulky about it, like a spoiled child. Oh the utter importance of cultivating a heart of gratitude and how against my human self this goes.

I decided to stop stressing out, put my camera in 'point and shoot' mode and rush to the park for the last of 'golden hour'. Every sound of the shutter filled my heart with thanksgiving, what a joy this little material thing brought me.

What an idiot I was for almost missing out on celebrating this occasion.

Here are some 'point and shoot', no edits, straight from the memory card shots. They're titled "Yay and thank you, I have fancy camera" 

I look forward to learning!