Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fears revisited, Wild Animals and a Give Away

I thought it might be fun to give you some feedback from those wild fears I had about going back to South Africa. Remember: Going back to South Africa and I'm terrified ? There were 12 things that gave me nightmares in anticipation to our trip.

I also thought it would be fun to share a few of my Kruger National Park captures while we're chatting.

ALSO: there's a give away at the end of this post. yay! 

So. First up:

1.How time will fly by faster than you can say 'gimmie-another-helping-of-potjiekos'
Man oh man, was this true! Even though I got to spend that extra week I'm recovering from the shock that it's all over. Just like that, where did March even go? So this fear was totally legit. 
The great aspect of having such a legitimate fear is that I could fully throw myself into the incredible thankfulness that I had for being there. I rarely felt like I was taking time with amazing people for granted and I ensured that my camera was charged at all times. So overall, thanks fear Number one! 
2) Weight gain.

Yup, yup, yup... that happened. Thankfully there is talk around our apartment of a half marathon coming up soon. So I don't even regret one koeksister, extra savannah dry or braaivleis for breakfast. Nope! 
3) Sunshine overload.
Jo'burg had a surprising amount of rain for that time of year, so our white as freaking snow selves could ease back into the land of sunshine. Kind of a boring fear to have had.

4) Moving back will seem like such a good idea.
You know what? Moving back is SUCH a good idea you guys!

...  dammit!
5) Buying more items from Woolworths than my luggage limit allows
I'd like to take a moment here and thank this bizarre two piece concept rule that allows travelers two suitcases in stead of one. If you didn't know, this is, for the most part, only applicable if you traveling from or to the US or Canada.. the rest of the world (for the most part!) only get's to travel with one suitcase as sad little economy passengers. So thank you second suitcase and thank you Woolworths for still being wonderful!
6) Getting teased about my Americanized accent.
Yeah, so that totally happened. I did however loose apparent American accent towards the end there. I was also surprised at how fast I got into the habit of saying 'hey' at the end of every sentence hey. 

7) Driving on the left side again.
I can gladly report back that nothing disastrous happened. Stupid fears... I actually loved driving in Jo'burg again with a stick shift. I remember coming home after living in Hanoi for a year and a half and loving how calm driving in Jo'burg is. I felt the complete opposite after living in medium sized, gracious drivers Spokane for a year and a half. I can't say that I really missed the taxis though!  
8) Forgetting the do's and dont's of going on Safari.
Funny I would say that because we had a near Elephant storming our car incident, however not because of our stupidity but that of the drivers around us thinking that the elephant was just joking around. Not my favorite moment of the trip I must say. Doesn't anybody pay attention to YouTube anymore?!  (No seriously, YouTube a few 'Kruger National Park Elephant attacks for fun and you'll see)
9) Buying all the things because of the exchange rate.
Eh, not so much.
10) Instagramming overload.
Yeah, so I lost a few followers along the way and that's okay. Not following me on Instragram? Catch up here, it's fun I promise!

11) Remembering how much I love my country and being around my people.
It's true! I do really love all of the country and all of my people. It's not been as easy to get back into the swing of American living as I thought, but I'll get there. It was great being around people that remembered that one time in 8th grade, or could understand when I mix English and Afrikaans. Overall I'm just so very grateful that I was able to go and go for enough time to make things feel normal-ish.  
12) Getting on that return flight come April 2.
Well this fear never materialized seeing as my flight was cancelled and I had to book a whole new ticket... a ticket I booked for a week later. Still... those moments right before I say good bye to my family, as my dad prays over me and my mom holds onto me are some of the hardest moments to face. They suck, I'll never get used to it.
On the other hand, and I've mentioned this a lot, that moment when I get off the plane and race through to the gates and see my Ben standing there waiting for me are some the best and easiest moments ever.

GIVE AWAY! Well kind of...

I'll send a copy of one of these photos in the post to the first three people that comment. 

Just tell me which photo you'd like and send me your email address in the comment section (so that I can get your postal address) 

Fun! Go:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Don't feel sorry for me, I went to Clarens

So, yesterday I made homemade Mayo, like I've made before, and it totally failed. Boo. I've been diving into the job market and the most enticing  offer was "best dolphin impersonation gets the job". Friday and Monday are not public holidays like they are in South Africa this week. Aaaand it's raining.

However, you can't really feel sorry for me when I spent a whole day walking around Clarens in the Free State just the other day. Hand in hand with my favorite, looking at art, shopping for home made jam, spending a good part of the afternoon at the local craft brewery, smelling this tiny town after the rain. I just can't complain about many things with memories like these still fresh in my mind. 

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?