Sunday, May 15, 2011

I left my heart in Africa...

Our time in Africa has come to an end, and although Arizona will always be home, it was very difficult to leave and a part of me will always remain there. It is difficult to feel sorry for myself as I know that I am blessed beyond measure to have had the opportunity to live in that beautiful country, nevertheless  I still felt there was so much I could do there and I HOPE that I have a chance to go back someday...

Now that we are home it's fun to be back in the familiar surrounded by our family and friends. As I compare my life here with my life in SA there are definitely things I miss as well as some things I don't! This probably isn't a complete list, here is what I have come up with so far. . .

Things I will MISS most about South Africa:
* The abundant amount of time I have had to focus on being a wife and mother.
* Our incredible new friends and the beautiful, friendly people we met on a daily basis!
* The amazing kids at Aurora Primary School! I will be praying daily that they receive the happiness and blessings they deserve  and I can't wait to witness (from afar) their success and achievements...
* Visiting some of the most beautiful places in the world, i.e. Capetown, The Garden Route, Kruger, Drakensburgs, Vic Falls, Zambezi and Chobe to name a few.
* Seeing lions, elephants, giraffes and zebras roaming outside of cages!
* Shopping malls on nearly every corner!
* Holding sweet, innocent, perfect babies! If they would let me adopt in this country they would all be coming back with me!
* Terrance, my arch nemesis who became my friend and who has forced me to get strong and fit, if I could get him a Visa he would be coming back with me too!
* Tea time with biscuits!
* The pancakes with strawberries and mascarpone at Home Bru, the salads and freezos at Tashas and the filet at Farenheit's!
* Receiving the whitest most perfect smiles I have ever seen!
* Watching children laugh and play without tv’s, videogames or store bought toys! It’s amazing how creative these children are...
* The incredible service I receive everywhere I go!
* Gas attendants...not nearly as painful to stop for gas when you just have to roll down your window!
* Pretty, my hard working friend and house cleaner! If I could get her a Visa she would be coming back with me too!
* Watching mother’s walk around with babies on their backs and women balancing things on their heads.
* My sewing machine…not because it’s fancy just because I have time to use it!
* The best lightening and thunder storms ever!
* Flowers so cheap, Trent brought them home to me weekly!
* Living in the largest man-made garden in the world! During the Spring and Summer it is sooooo GREEN here!
* Kid friendly and cheap fine dining! What a concept... fancy restaurants with play lands in the back...brilliant!
* Woolworth's!

Things I won’t miss about South Africa:
* The unequal human development.
* Really slow Internet!
* Seeing barbed wire and electric fencing around every single building and house.
* The terrible attempt at Mexican food
* Driving among the world's worst drivers
* Never finding what I need at the grocery store, and having a clerk look at me like I’m speaking Greek when I ask for something.
* No Target.
* Not having A/C or central heating
*Sketchy law providers
* Sales attempts at every stop light (except for the guys with the knock off Louis Vuittons on William Nicol Ave).
* Carrying groceries up three flights of stairs and the insanely high altitude that makes it nearly impossible not to hyperventilate by the time I get up them!
* The Pollution! (vehicle emission testing and recycling programs would be a great start Joburg!).
* The Afrikaans language...sorry but it's just not a pretty sounding language.
* Waking up at 5:30 a.m. everyday to the world's most annoying bird.

I know it will be a quick and easy transition back to our old life and while in some ways that is comforting it is also disconcerting! Living in SA was a life changing expeirence and we learned so much about life, blessings and happiness during our time there. While it is my intention to be forever changed by those lessons I am aware that memories and feelings tend to ebb and flow over time due to new experiences and surroundings. It will be a busy and interesting couple of years as we settle in to a new house, school and jobs. After I finally finish school, the sky's the limit and only Heaven knows where we will end up next...


  1. Oh this just brought tears to my eyes as well as a laugh, we were so blessed to have had these amazing experiences, our little Africa will always be our second home. Miss you guys

  2. oh those Ibis birds were horrible!!! lol funny really good recap Sarah!!
    You missed one though on the I WON't miss the power and water outages weekly!!

  3. WELCOME HOME!!! I am so happy that you all got to experience something so amazing. But I for ONE!!! am very glad to have all of you home again. OXOX!! Marina, Mom, Grammie....