The life of my blog seems to roll in chapters, with every new African country that we’ve moved to, being a new chapter. This is the 3rd time I’m rewriting my About page, coinciding with our move back to my home country, South Africa.
Our move back to South Africa has certainly earned it’s new About page, being so completely different to the previous years. This blog started a number of years ago when my husband and I lived in central Mozambique. But our story started in Zimbabwe a few years before. I got married and moved to Zimbabwe, a country in the throes of hyperinflation and ruled by a dictator. There I began to write, documenting my experience of living in a country where every single resident was a ‘trillionaire,’ only a trillion dollars could hardly buy you a box of matches!
We’d wait for hours in queues to buy a loaf of bread, some cooking oil or a bag of sugar with a tog bag full up of Zimbabwean dollars. We’d pay our bills with fuel, we cooked on fire most nights and we’d attempt to make a living by farming paprika.
2 years later, we were given a great opportunity to farm sugarcane in central Mozambique for a South African sugar company. We were there for 8 years. This is when I started the Africa far and wide blog, fed up of what felt like a mundane life as an expat wife, sipping on countless cups of coffee and discussing what was happening in our husband’s workplace. I had to do something more with my time there and it seemed obvious to pick up a camera and my pen and begin documenting our lives and the lives of others in this fascinating war-recovering country, Mozambique. I fell in love with Mozambique and bit by bit, I began to look a little deeper and ask more questions. With my camera in hand, I took notice of the everyday life, the struggles, the celebrations, the disputes…I observed a life nothing like mine.
Almost 8 years later, we received a terrifying phone call that left us no choice but to ‘up and leave’ Mozambique in a hurry. From Mozambique we moved to Malawi and lived there for a blissful 2 years – exploring a new land and its people.
We were happy in Malawi. Moving back to South Africa was never on the cards, let alone back to my hometown in a small farming district in KwaZulu-Natal. I loved my life as an expat; of moving around, meeting people from all walks of life and continually discovering new things. Going back to the farm and the life from another lifetime, was inconceivable. But there was a good opportunity being offered to us, one that was hard to ignore!
“The years teach much the days never know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I reluctantly returned to South Africa. To my ‘home’ which no longer felt like ‘home!’
Leaving behind a life or way of life that you love is difficult, devastating sometimes! It’s like mending a broken heart. It takes time to accept what is gone and time to see what is in front of you or what can be.
And so Chapter 3 of this blog begins; of rediscovering South Africa – a land of opportunity, complexity, turmoil and hope. And as with all chapters, always an ADVENTURE!
“The best journeys in life are those that answer questions you never thought to ask.” – Rich Ridgeway