Have You Brought Anything for us Today?

So I’m innocently driving along William Nicol the other day, my car full of 4th graders going on a field trip, when I run into a major road block. I’m third in line of our little convoy going to visit a dairy farm, and of course the two cars in front of me are waved through, but sadly I’m not. I’m a little nervous, since of late I’ve left my American drivers’ license at home. I’m still not entirely sure what kind of drivers’ license I actually need, as it seems impossible to obtain a South African one. But I also don’t want to lose my Kansas license, which is why I’m only keeping a copy on me, the original safely at home. However, I do keep my international drivers’ license on me, and I’ve also dug up an ancient German one (German licenses don’t expire – or at least they didn’t back sometime in the Middle Ages when I got this one).

All this is going through my head when the cop walks up to my window.

I hand him the German license, which he eyes suspiciously, wanting to know if it’s an international one. I’m sure I could have said yes, but just to humor him I also hand him the international one. Mind you, the two ... 

Read More ››

The Life of a Domestic Worker

Having recently read “The Help” (a great book, if you haven’t read it) and now enjoying the privilege of full-time domestic help here in South Africa, I feel compelled to share a few observations on this topic.

My maid – again, the correct South African term is “domestic worker” or simply “domestic” – is absolutely wonderful. She has been a blessing, which is why I’ll call her Sibusiso, Sibu for short. Without her, you wouldn’t be reading this blog post, because I actually wouldn’t be writing ... 

Read More ››

Joburg Lightning and Rainbows

Johannesburg features some of the most spectacular thunderstorms in the world. We’re entering the time of year where they are an almost daily occurrence, from about 4:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon, or at least so I’m told. I was also warned that you better unplug your TVs and computers  and ... 

Read More ››

Jacarandas in Bloom

One of the most spectacular sights in Johannesburg is when the Jacaranda trees are in bloom during late spring (October-November):

These trees, together with bougainvillea in bright pinks and purples, make Joburg look absolutely beautiful at that time of year. You feel like wandering through ... 

Read More ››