Life, Love, and Passports

Archive for April, 2012

The sun will come out tomorrow

I love the way the weather and seasons are such an awesome metaphor for life. After some rather awful weather the past few days being woken by blinding sunlight was such a wonderful reminder that nothing lasts forever and that a change will eventually come.

I tend to be very caught up in moments and on far too many occasions have to be pointed towards the end of the tunnel. Often that tunnel of life can seem so dark and threatening then I remember the days when the tunnel has had no choice but to come to an end and there at the end is fresh hope. It doesn’t always look like sunshine but it always presents an opportunity for change.

The journey of life is filled with twists and turns. Enjoying the good times and enduring the difficult times is one way to live your life. Yesterday is gone, today is a gift but sadly tomorrow is not promised to anybody.


My perfect Sunday

I absolutely hate waking up on a Sunday morning to find it wet and soggy. Granted it has been raining for about a week now somehow in my subconscious I expected bright skies as the day suggests. So rainy Sunday’s are a bit of a deal breaker for me. After all the weekends are for celebrating.

I’ve been feeling slightly homesick and longing for South Africa the last few days I guess it has something to do with the long weekend and a range of family activities. For some strange reason I always imagine it being rather sunny as well which adds to the longing when the skies are so grey.

I’m happy to report I’ve had a fantastic day with expatriates celebrating a birthday. Needless to say there was more than enough food, laughter and camaraderie. I loved every moment with my adopted family. What a wonderful end to an otherwise dull and miserable day!


Let freedom reign!

South Africans celebrate freedom day today in remembrance of the first democratic and non-racial  election in 1994 as well as the contribution of those who fought to bring political freedom to all. It does seem like a lifetime away right now but I do remember the atmosphere and excitement around the time.

We have our political freedom but are we truly free? Freedom is more than political and somewhere along the line the rights of citizens to enjoy social freedoms has been drastically diminished. While we now have freedom to live where we want, educate our kids where we want and my personal favourite is to swim in whatever beach we choose. Somehow our freedom of movement is limited.

How much longer will our beautiful country be referred to as a young democracy?  As freedom day is celebrated my prayer is that those in power would find a way forward for us to be truly free in our country. From the city to the farms people should be free from fear and intimidation. South Africa belongs to all who live in it.

Like Martin Luther King I have a dream too. I dream of a South Africa where we will be truly free because if we’re not free to enjoy the vast beauty of our land then I’m sad to say we are mere prisoners. Let freedom reign!


Longing for freedom

It’s been quite a while now that I’ve been very interested in the dynamics of human trafficking. After attending an information evening and being exposed to the vastness of this evil I must admit I was very overwhelmed.
I heard a mom share from experience what had happened to her daughter but her message was simple – evil cannot be allowed to triumph!

There was so much to think about and I kept reminding myself that I don’t have to do everything I just have to something. Humans were never intended for sale but sadly the few statistics show just what a high price this trade is and not just monetary value. The effects are deep. The key word to me is freedom and it is a basic human right to have freedom to choose how you live your life.

I take my hat off to the many people and agencies who fight tirelessly to bring freedom to the oppressed. Whoever you are, wherever you are we can join in this fight for freedom for men, women and children. Will you join the fight?


Memories of school outings

I’m certain these school trips were called excursions when I was a pupil. Which I think makes it sound more educational than fun. Generally I’d say I’ve got quite a good memory perhaps rather selective at times because I can only remember one such trip and it was to the museum. Can’t even recall needing a consent form but then it wouldn’t have been my business.

Gabrielle my three-year old had a trip to an art centre today and all the logistics involved for that two-hour trip would’ve been sufficient for a trip anywhere! At least this time we did eventually reach our destination. Not so long ago the trip was cancelled because the transport didn’t have a three-point safety belt mechanism. It’s on days like that I know without a doubt I’m a world away from South Africa.

Back to the trip! It was a wonderful experience and my husband and I tagged along and got to enjoy the display of colour, lights and photography. Of course the parents and carers are not always invited to join the kids like on the trip to the China town and the German market. Trips are great and a lovely change from being confined to the daycare room. I certainly look forward to many more outings and hopefully my little princess will remember all these wonderful experiences!


Double edged sword

For many of us being asked to give an honest opinion varies depending on who the person is asking the question. The tricky part is whether the individual actually seeks the whole truth or just wishes perhaps for you to stroke their ego and are horrified with your honesty. Now I’ve never been one to read between the lines of absolute statements. I just grind my teeth though when I realise that the person has no intention of considering the advice. Absolute waste of my time!

Recently I fell to the double-edged sword after being asked for my opinion. Perhaps it wasn’t honesty the individual was seeking. I must admit I was horrified by the response and kept thinking to myself that they’d asked for my opinion I did not offer it.

Looking back I have to now agree with my very wise father who says there are some things which should not be communicated by text. Emotion and attitude are left to the recipient to decide and depending what space they are found in it could have disastrous effects.
I often get annoyed by stuff I read particularly on social networking sites and usually after a moan to my long-suffering husband I try to look at things differently. Truth is nobody likes to be misunderstood. I guess the solution is clear communication.


Holding out hope

Family is such a wonderful gift a gift that should be cherished and protected. I find it very difficult to process when I speak to people who say they don’t get along with and speak to their parents or siblings. I can’t imagine my life without the kind of relationship I have with my family. Being separated by distance can be rather difficult at times but just knowing that seeing all their smiling faces again is possible is reassuring enough.

Whilst watching an episode of Long Lost Family a documentary that always leaves me so sad and yet so happy at the same time. Seeing mothers being reunited with children they gave up for adoption, brothers and sisters hugging, laughing and reminiscing about the good times. I can’t help but be grateful that everybody I love and care for is accounted for.

Today a family are remembering a daughter, sister, niece and cousin Bianca Couch a young South African who went missing on the 20th December 2011. I’ve written about her disappearance before and while I don’t know her personally I know many of her relatives. They will not stop searching until they find her and bring her home where she belongs. I never want to tire of praying for her safe return and I wait for the day she will be reunited with all who miss her.


My magic apron

It started on Christmas day when a good friend came over and said she’d left her apron at home and wanted to know if I had one she could use. I didn’t because I didn’t have one of my own. Being one who goes the whole hog I made certain to get one for myself and my three girls.

When I finally put on my apron it brought back some wonderful childhood memories. Though for some reason I can only ever remember wearing it on a Sunday after church perhaps it was to protect our ‘good clothes’. I always seemed to be making gravy. These days I just buy it in a packet. Still traumatized from chopping onions finely and far too many lumpy and salty results.

These days though when I don my apron I feel like a super cook. I’m invincible in my apron and nothing is a bridge too far. I’m not a fan of cooking but I’m not a shabby cook by a long run. You see when I put my magic cloak on I seem to get super powers I’m immediately transformed from mediocre to iron chef in sixty seconds.

Today I’ll wear my apron and the result will require a well set table and perhaps even candles!


As time goes by

It wasn’t that long ago that my life was completely filled with three very young children – babies to be precise. In those long never-ending days it was hard to imagine the day would come where I’d roam the streets with just my handbag.

Being far from family and amazing friends meant that every task was undertaken with all of my offspring. With my husband working away the problem was just compounded and I waited patiently for his arrival just so that I could get my hair and eyebrows done!

Today was the first time in way too long that I had six whole hours to do what I liked. I’m quite sad to report that I spent far too much of time in the children’s library, a Disney store and a toy shop. Not forgetting the clothing stores. I started out with a spring in my step armed with my iPod and umbrella I was ready to take on the world. It didn’t take me too long to realise that while I was free from the physical presence of my girls. I took them with me on some kind of mental trip. I doubt they spent their day thinking about me.

Life goes in cycles and I’m grateful it does. I’m really looking forward to the next phase in my life. I’m also very thankful to the people who helped when things were rough. After all no man is an island!


Must love candles

In the run up to Easter I did quite a bit of craft with my daughters. From egg painting, bonnets, masks, cards, baskets and even colouring activities. At this point I felt that we had exhausted every option but then they spotted some candles which they couldn’t resist. So my sticker happy daughters went about decorating the candles and were very impressed with their effort.

The candles brought back memories of a hobby which dominated my life for quite a while in my mid twenties. Unfortunately once you let people into your interests they feel obligated to add to your collection which of course is not always such a bad thing. The problem is once you have more candles than you know what to do with it creates much difficulty when it comes to storing these often fragile works of art. As a collector obviously I had no plans to light them and watch such beauty turn into smouldering wax. I’ve thought about my beautiful candles after all these years and hope that I gave them a beautiful home when I could no longer care for them.