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an update from down under


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I must apologise for my not being very good with posting on this forum that I have relied on so much.  Thank you S’affers and Aussies who keep the community going.   
We arrived in Feb16, and are still here and improving on areas every day 8 months later.   I was looking for work for the first three months.  Now I’m working every day and even complaining :P
It is not easy.  I cry every day.  Every day!  I need to snap out of it, I can’t seem to do that despite myself.  I am also very happy to be here and want to make it work.   My kids are so happy.  My husband is sooo happy.  
And I know deep down that it makes no difference where in the world we are, and that nobody really gives a hoot since they’ve their own stuff to get on with ;)


In any event, this was my last update: http://www.saaustralia.org/topic/46996-5months-down-under/#comment-430291 and this is my latest mail to family and friends, for all those researching and gathering data 

Hello every one that we love and miss!!  
I know I’ve been a bit slack in keeping in touch.  There are various excuses for that which I’ll get to later but first off, I hope you are all really well and getting warmer!  The weather is turning for the better down under too.  Cape Town winters are surely colder and wetter, so mild in comparison, but still a bit cold.  I bought a pair of Ughs, cold enough for that ;)   For those living in the northern hemi-, I hope you’ve all had a lovely Summer and may you still have some more sunny days.
We are all well this side.  We miss you all heaps.  There are days I just wanna give up.  Peeps who have done this before will be able to relate, although I guess we’ve all done it in some way or other, moved a distance.  It’s really hard.  Dom is over my tears and sadness albeit very understanding ;)   Thankfully I have had friends on the other end of whatsapp that have really shed light on dark days.  You know who you are, and I feel so lucky to have you in my court. 
Dom is doing really well at work and up-skilling at a great pace.  If you recall, I landed a job working for a pharmacist that I worked part-time with about 20yrs ago.  It is working out really well.  There is lots to learn but I am making good ground.  I have been working (and training) for a month now, and I hope to be au fait with it all within the next short while.  It has taken some getting used to for me, going to work every day - the privilege of working from home is not forgotten ;)  Working somewhere else every day takes up a lot of time, which would be my main excuse for not keeping in touch :P   And it’s tricky, as now I have to also ask permission to go on leave and such, which is mildly irritating.  Nonetheless, I am lucky as, since I walk about 22 steps to work from 9-3, and can come home on my compulsory lunch break - which there isn’t actually time for but I’ve been told that I have to take a lunch break as it’s the law!
Anna is doing really well at school.  Wow!  Like really well!!  99,5% for maths this term - actually it was 95% but she found some inconsistencies in the marking so they made their corrections lol:D   She is doing well in her other subjects too, and her lowest mark is a C which I guess she’ll have to scratch up on.  Wow!  Clever chicken.   
She is making some nice friends.  She is still working at the bakery but only on Saturday’s now as her calendar has filled up with basketball and rehearsals for a Mary Poppins production that is starting in November.  My mom will be here too for that, so that is really special.  She got a part in the (singing) ensemble of the show, and has rehearsals twice a week.  It is through the Coffs Harbour Musical C Company, there are 21 shows of the production in November so it is quite a professional affair.   
I had a meeting with Jean’s teacher the other week, and he is also happy with Jean’s progress at school.  
We are reminded of the awesome opportunities available to our kids which make the move worth it.  Jean has made amazing improvements in his surfing here.  Most every seaside town has a local board riders club, something that was seriously lacking in South Africa, and not because of the lack of interest but more the lack of investment.  Here, in Aus, there is a full-on surf culture.  There is investment in surfing by both brand houses and government, which is quite awesome.  Every month, our local board riders has a competition.  When we got here in February, Jean took part in his first competition this way.  This last month, August, he made it through to the finals for the first time and came second in his age group.  He was very pleased as you can imagine :))  There is a local surfer here by the name of Barney Miller - many years ago Barney was in a car accident that rendered him a paraplegic.  We were privileged to have attended the premier of his movie: http://www.garageentertainment.com.au/movies/surf/8240/you-and-me which documents his life.  He is a real inspiration to the kids.  He hosts a comp every year called The Barney Miller Classic which Jean proudly participated in.  At a fundraiser for this event, Dom secured a place for Jean in the auction to attend the Hurley High Performance Centre (HPC)for a day (@ $350/day) plus a sports massage with the physio from HPC who is assigned as the physio for the Australian athletes on the WSL (World Surf League), on the Gold Coast.  HPC is a specialised surf centre, also subsidised by the Australian Govt.  He is so excited.  Actually, another guy put in $20 so that Dom could get it.  How awesome is that!  Very exciting.
And in other news, Dom signed an offer on our house this week.  It is way below what we were asking.  We had put all our savings into the renovation of the property and possibly we were selling too soon to realise any good return on investment… so yeah, the offer was way below our asking price but we’re just going to have to suck up the loss for the win of moving on.   The couple that want to buy the house are a  young couple starting out and have fallen in love with the property, we can’t ask for more than that, so much did we love the house and living in Kommetjie.  The offer is subject to them getting bond approval. I have a favour to ask of you all in this regard .. if every one would please keep us and them in their prayers, and thoughts, and good vibrations that all goes through successfully with the sale, as well as the arrival of our container and all our belongings so that we can finally start to lay some roots here, that would be most appreciated ❣.¸¸.✶❥
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Hi @MelG

Just want to acknowledge you being so honest and sharing your very personal communication with your family with the forum. Although my heart breaks at the thought of not having my family and friends close-by, I know that this is the right move for us. Out of interest, have you made any new friends in Oz that you feel you could call in the middle of the night if you had to? We come from a small close-knit community where everyone knows everyone else and I am really worried about making friends ..... there's my vulnerable side out in the open. 

Also sounds like your kids are a little older. Mine are 17 and 13. Funny enough, I am less worried about them fitting in and making friends than I am about my husband and I. 

Keep us up to date with the journey and take care :)

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HI Husky.  Gosh now I read it, I see it is very personal.  Meh!  That would be the lack of time I have to edit and add here or there :P


It is the right move.  It is a good move.  Honestly, when we live in RSA we feel like it is normal but when you move here you realise that as a S'affer you actually suffer varying levels of PTSD - even if no life-threatening occurrence happened to you, or not a severe one because lets be honest... we all as South Africans live with extremely high levels of anxiety, which for me seem to be taking long to wear off.  So yeah, it is a good move but heartbreak is part of the package.  Husband and son (11) have slotted in and carried on regardless.  My daughter (14) has had sad days but school helps a lot.  It didn't help that I took so long to get out of the house.  I have made a couple of nice friends I can really relate to and laugh with.  I'm sure I could call them in the middle of the night no worries.  They're great.  But nothing replaces the long-standing friends that are no longer close by, except maybe time...  on the upside though, you'd be earning dollar$ which actually has some buying power, if even in savings to visit RSA :):):)

Your kids will be fine.  They will love it!!  Where are you planning on moving to?

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Nothing wrong with being open. Makes me feel that you are an authentic person. 

Think I will feel a lot like you do once we make the move. Haven't even told our friends about our plans yet so not sure how they're going to react.

We submitted EOI and state sponsor apps for Victoria and NSW. So whoever wants us is where we will go. Must admit that Melbourne appeals to me a lot. We do however know more people in Sydney.

Good luck with the journey. 

Edited by Husky
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  • 2 weeks later...

Good luck with the day-to-day, all you can do is go at it, one day at a time. My view on loss (like losing contact after moving, or even the death of a loved one) is that we are all like trees, the longer we live the bigger the tree gets, and where there are friends and loved ones, you grow around them and they shape you. When you lose them it leaves a hole where they used to be, and nothing ever fills the hole up again, but like a tree, you keep on growing and slowly with time the hole is no longer so big or noticeable in the overall picture. It's just hard remembering this when the loss is new and the growing still needs to happen.

'Encouragement' for the short term. It will get better.

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