Tag Archives: American in South Africa

New friends, old friends, fake friends

friends

It’s a strange aspect of having lived an international life. My oldest friends aren’t based in Joburg, which means that I don’t get to see them all that much. It’s mostly okay, though, because we stay in touch with all the usual digital means of our modern age, plus Dean and I have made some new friends. We’ve lived here long enough to have gone through the usual cycle of friendship in a new city – it always takes about three years to become settled in a new place, to build your network and made real friendships. Having lived in South Africa for eight years now, I’ve not only managed that, but there are even some awesome people in my life locally who are our old and wonderful friends.

This past weekend, though, we were visited by an old friend and it was hard for me to not feel nostalgic. Back in university, Dean and I belonged to a fraternity. I always hated the idea of sororities or fraternities, until I realized just how wonderful it was. Loki was the name of our grouping, and it was filled with a quirky and international mix of men and women. We would go out once a week for official drinks, but more often than not a bunch of us would go out several more times in the week. Considering that Dean and I were going out six nights a week at that stage, it’s no wonder we had a big group of friends. What is surprising is how those same people still fit who we are. Continue Reading

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It’s all about timing

timing

I’m feeling like I’m in a bit of flux at the moment. I’m not even sure flux is the right word. I guess I just don’t know whether I’m coming or going, and how things are proceeding, and how to plan my life. I know, I know, planning is pretty useless because things will always come up that I can’t plan for and will just have to deal with and whatnot. I know that all too well. But I also like to have an idea of a sequence of events, how I will strive to get from A to Z, and I’m feeling a little stuck at the moment due to too many things being up in the air.The “Z” at the moment is a couple things – I’d like for me and Dean to get to the States, for us to find gainful employment there, and for us to have a second child.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the timing of children and all that, and I really want Harley to be my baby for a long while. But I also know that I’m continuously getting older, and that I also sort of like the idea of sequencing when it comes to kids – by spawning relatively close together, mothers spend less time out of the work force, and also don’t have to deal with a decade of nappies/breastfeeding/horrible sleep. But the actual timing of it in our lives is getting me a bit crazy. Continue Reading

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Has motherhood made me an easier mark?

baby rental

Dean has always said that I have a soft heart. I have compassion for people, I just can’t help it. Part of it is that I have empathy, that I can feel for other human beings and imagine how hard it must be in their situation. I also am a writer, and I know that it wouldn’t be hard to write the scenario where Dean and I fall on hard times. It’s a common story for so many people – economies struggle, jobs are shed, people get hurt, the list goes on and on. I know that Dean and I work hard for our life, and that even our comfortable existence could be turned on its head.

Since Harley came along, I’ve become even more sensitive. I mourn for strangers as someone’s baby. I feel for other mothers, no matter the struggles they experience, and I want to do anything I can to make life better for other people. However, I have noticed that my sensitivity and empathy might also be making me an easier mark for con artists. Continue Reading

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6-7 ways I’ve changed in the past 7.5 months

Mandela Day

It’s Mandela Day here in South Africa, a day when we’re all encouraged to spend 67 minutes to help make South Africa and the world a better place. I will be striving to do that for the next 67 DAYS as a part of #CarseatFullstop, so while it would obviously be great to go volunteer my time somewhere, at least I sort of feel like I’m making a difference. So instead, for Mandela Day, I want to look at the 6 or 7 ways my life has changed since Harley came into this world. Continue Reading

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Mourning after the death of 49 babies

vigil

I’ve been trying to avoid thinking too much about the events in Orlando. Here in South Africa, I could be a world away, and yet it’s feeling deeply personal this time. I feel it on so many levels, and I wasn’t sure why this mass shooting felt so much harder than previous ones. But then I saw a post that made me realize why.

My Facebook is filled with outrage, support, memorials and other posts. But this one nearly brought me to tears this morning. In the early hours of the morning, the young man texted his mom to say he loved her. He was hurt, hiding in the bathroom and ultimately gunned down. And I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes, holding my little princess Harley, feeling like I can barely breathe. Continue Reading

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