The Chronicles of a Southern Girl's Adventures of Living, Loving, Learning, and Traveling in Africa
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Today is my South Africanniversary! I moved here exactly a year ago today and it’s definitely been an adventure! It’s been a year of wonderful highs and some challenges and I’ve definitely grown as a person. Anytime you step (or go 8,000 miles) outside of your comfort zone, you’re going to have to learn to deal with change and I’ve tried my best to embrace my new surroundings. A trick I use when I’m living in a new place is to find things that I love about living there. So I decided that the best way to reflect on my 1st year here is to share my favorite things about living in South Africa!
1. Seeing Fung Daddy everyday – We were long distance for waaaay too long so I must say it’s still great to wake up and see him or to hear his key in the door after work. He was one of my favorite people on the planet before I moved here and thankfully after living with him for a year, he still is.
2. Our Church – My only request before moving here was that we find a church that both of us really like. And it happened very quickly. We found a church where the message is great, the vision is wonderful, & the leadership and people are really friendly. And it’s really close too.
3. Writing for Destiny and Shimmer – One of the highlights of each month is to open the magazines and read my articles. It’s a dream come true to get a chance to share what I know about haircare with other women. And it just makes my heart smile when I get readers’ emails and Tweets saying that my tips are helpful!
4. Connection to African languages, culture, and history – African-Americans know that they have genetic ties to Africa but most of us have either never been here or don’t know anything about any of the African cultures. It’s been very cool to hear South African languages spoken everyday and to learn about the different South African cultures and history.
5. Cape Town – People always talk about how beautiful Cape Town is and they were right! It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It is the only city I’ve ever been to where you can look in one direction to see the ocean and turn your head in the other direction and see mountains. There’s so much to do there! Check out my posts about our New Year’s Eve trip to Cape Town at http://wp.me/p21RUs-bh.
6. South Africans LOVE America – People can’t comprehend why I would’ve left America to come to South Africa. Everywhere I go, people play American music and use American phrases. At least once a day people tell me that they love my accent. Now, as a southerner who lived most of her southern life in the south, I never heard that. I think they’re even more fascinated by the fact that I’m a Black American. Most people here haven’t come in contact with us. I’ve visited a country (France) where there was a strong anti-American sentiment so it’s wonderful to live in a country where it’s just the opposite.
7. Low cost of living – Food, drinks, and services are waaay cheaper in SA than in the U.S. The going day rate for a domestic helper for a 2 bedroom/2 bathroom condo is $20. That includes cleaning the house and washing/folding/drying/ironing clothes. Your money just goes so much further here!
8. Full-service gas stations – I can’t remember the last time I saw a full service gas station in a major city in America. There’s nothing better than pulling into the gas station and knowing you don’t have to get your lazy behind out into the cold of night to pump gas. The gas station attendants also put air in your tires, wash your windshield, and check your oil. It’s also great as a woman to know that all the minor things that could go wrong are being checked out on a regular basis.
9. Avocado and mango – I’m a big avocado fan and this country puts avocado all over everything and I love it! I was never a big mango fan but now I am. The mango in this country is the best. I’ve. ever. tasted.
10. Passion fruit and lemonade – This is my favorite drink in SA. It’s a combination of Rose’s passion fruit juice and Schweppe’s lemonade. When I’ve visited the U.S.since I moved here, I always miss this drink when I go out to and can’t wait to get back to SA to have it again.
11. Movie ticket seat reservation – This is a small thing but when you buy a ticket for the movies in SA, you reserve seats too. So now you don’t have to worry about whether you and your Boo can get seats together.
12. credit card transactions at the table – When you’re at a South African restaurant, the waiter brings the credit card machine to your table and the amount that is debited includes the tip as well. In America, they take your credit card and complete the transaction at the register and you can’t be sure if your card number has been written down. SA’s way of doing things is born out of preventing fraud and I like it alot. Wish the U.S. would adopt the same approach.
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Thanks for reading! Please feel free to share this blog with your friends and family. I want to share my amazing experience in Africa with as many people as I possibly can!
Surprised that it’s been a year! Congratulations. Nice to see what makes life pleasurable for you in a place so far from what’s most familiar. My prayer is that the list continues to grow!
Thanks Aunt Debra! Me too! Time flies when you’re having fun! I pray that the list continues to grow as well.
Thanks for being a great ambassador for SA & Cape Town. It’s great to see SA through your eyes! We love having you here 🙂
Thanks Wisaal! You’re so sweet! I’m glad to be here!
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