1 year later…

It’s been 1 whole year since I left South-African soil…

1 whole year since I’ve gathered with my family or laughed with friends…

1 whole year since I sunk my teeth into a chicken licken hot wing smothered in ‘Soul Fire’ sauce…and while we’re here…1 whole year since I enjoyed a koesister after church on a Sunday – it’s been rough!!!

1 whole year since I’ve heard words like “aweh”, “dumelang” or “haaibo”…also, I never imagined I’d miss seeing people signal an Orange-Farm taxi…but here we are!

It’s been 1 whole year of growing pains and tears…somanytears!

Despite the tears though…I’m having the time of my life!

“Now I’ve had the time of my life…”

Image result for dirty dancing i had the time of my life

I’m often just gobsmacked with awe and wonder! God has done exceedingly, above and beyond what I ever imagined! He’s gon’ and done it AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN!

New Zealand is an extraordinary place – you can literally be sunbathing on a stunning beach, skiing down a snowy mountain, watching bubbling thermal mud pools, hiking through lush forests, swimming in a hot water beach and so much more within a couple of hours of your front door!

People are laid-back (very laid-back…like seriously laid-back), friendly and generally very helpful. The most surprising thing for me was the diversity…people from all corners of the globe can be found here.

Life is a lot simpler, more…minimal and relaxed. People spend a lot of time outdoors, out on the ocean sailing their boats, fishing, camping, biking etc.

So “outdoorsy” in fact, that my whole outlook on life has changed since moving here. The biggest change in terms of quality of life is health and well-being. With such a strong focus on work-life balance the emphasis on an outdoor lifestyle has forced me to re-think mine (especially after all the comfort eating I’ve done this past year). Now, most weekends you’ll find me walking through the bush or on the beach, playing basketball with the kids in the park or hiking and my all-time-favourite-favourite…  chasing waterfalls (sorry TLC) – who even am I?!?!? And don’t be fooled by my size – these thighs were made for walking and climbing and hiking…not running though…they’re DEFINITELY NOT made for running!

It’s funny…we now have a deeper sense of appreciation of our culture and country of birth…there are numerous things that sets us (Africans) apart – things we probably only realized once we left, and we revel in celebrating this every opportunity we get!

I’ve enjoyed immersing myself in the Māori culture too, watching my kids learn new languages and appreciating how different we all are is quite rewarding.

Overall – I’d say – the impact this move, our new lifestyle and new mindset has had on our family unit (especially our kids) makes every tear worthwhile. We’ve been tested and stretched in every way possible and we’ve grown from it but most of all our faith in God and each other has grown and that brings me peace!

Until next time…

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