Well it has been exactly 1 year, 1 month and 2 weeks since departing the beloved homeland for Australia. It has also been exactly 1 year, 2 months and 2 weeks since my last blog.
Our first year down under has been colourful to say the least. We made the acquaintance of our baby boy Eli on 19 February 2014. Unlike Ceylon who was born in our home on the Barberton Road in South Africa, Eli made his grand debut in a hospital. This was a profoundly different birth experience to say the least. But more on this topic another time.
After nine months spent living in terrifically close quarters - Ceylon, Eli, Papa bear and I, along with all the worldly possessions we had been able to amass onto our flight, crammed into two medium to small bedrooms in my father’s house, which is also home to my father, step-mother, younger sister and two stoepkakkertjies called Logan and Toto – we moved into our first Australian home. Not only did we survive these initial months in Australia, I can safely say that no animals, in-laws, relatives or relationships were harmed, at least not irrevocably, during this tenure.
In the last year we have befriended a magpie, let our hair grow long, bought a van, become weekend beach bums, quit smoking, gone through more sunscreen than I believe I have used in my entire life, had moments of feeling deeply isolated - from each other, our culture, and our new countrymen – interchanged with moments of childlike wonder and excitement at new discoveries, new experiences and the new people and cultures that inhabit and infuse the lucky country.
The journey of becoming migrants fresh off the boat to residents comfortable in their new surrounds, community and life has been daunting, exciting, challenging and rewarding. It is a long and winding road with many miles still to walk, and, as Jimmy Cliff (who I’ll be seeing live in April at Bluesfest! Yeya!) croons “many rivers to cross”. May we find our way over, and may we never forget that it's all about the journey.