On our Own Private Island for a Week

Island Water Villas near Memel in the Free State

One invaluable gift we’ve been blessed with in South Africa is good friends. Almost immediately upon arriving here, we were “adopted” by other families, invited over to braais, and generally shown the ways of this country.

One such set of friends are Mike and Jacky and their two children. They are veterans of the African bush, owning every conceivable gadget you could possibly need not only to survive in the wild but live quite nicely. They also possess that most important of all things, a wonderful sense of humor. If I ever was stranded on a desert island, I would want to have them along. Going on a trip with Mike and Jacky is always an adventure. About a year ago they organized a weekend getaway at a place called Prynnsberg, a diamond magnate’s house built in the 1880s and currently in the process of being restored by a private family. It came complete with a large staff of cooks and domestics who treated our group of over thirty people like royalty, serving every meal in a different venue, culminating in a cookout-cum-slumberparty under an overhanging rock. Except we never got to the slumberparty phase, because we accidentally set the bush on fire and had to spend the rest of the night and most of the next day fighting a huge wildfire. A corporate team building exercise couldn’t have provided a better bonding experience, though I suspect the owners of the house and surrounding farms didn’t quite see it in such a positive light. Mike and Jacky are also owners of that other invaluable possession you should select your friends by, a power boat. Therefore, when asked if we wanted to come along for a week of waterskiing in the Free State, we enthusiastically said yes. That is how we recently found ourselves on a remote farm, living in a house in the middle of a private lake, surrounded by beautiful scenery, with no one but our two families to play in the water as we pleased (if you don’t count all the cows and sheep keeping us company).

One of my goals in life has always been
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I’ve Got Music

One thing I particularly love about our school, Dainfern College, is its music department. There aren’t enough words to describe how much energy and joy it has brought into our lives, thanks mainly to our indomitable and loving head of music, Patti van der Plog. If there is one teacher who can ... 

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Do I Write or Do I Draw?

As you all know, my passion these days is writing, Hence this blog. Even though lately I’ve been a bit behind, running out of pre-scheduled posts (even though I have ideas and material for at least six months, I’m sure).

But one of my other interests is drawing and painting. In fact, Noisette ... 

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Better Parents Needed

I’m going to hijack this blog away from my typical expat theme this once to write about a topic dear to my heart – parenting. Well, I guess I can write about whatever the hell I want, this being my blog and all. And parenting and being an expat is not necessarily mutually exclusive. On ... 

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To Climb or Not to Climb Kili?

Ever since the subject of moving to South Africa came up, I’ve been harboring this secret idea of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro while we’re here. Before I even looked at houses or schools or even the crime rate, I was googling the different ascent routes up this legendary (in my mind at least) mountain.

I figured it’s the perfect mountain for me. I’m afraid of heights, so any vertical drops are out for me, and I’m almost as afraid of the cold, so a mountain that is situated in Africa has a certain appeal. Even though I’ve yet to find a really hot place in Africa, to be honest. ... 

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A Proper Fake Christmas Tree

So I did it!

I finally gave in and got a fake Christmas tree. This is quite a feat, mind you, for someone who’s always, up until now, had a real Christmas tree, and who until the age of eighteen even had real candles on it – the kind you only lit on Christmas Eve and admired while the whole ... 

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