My recent migration of blogging platforms gave me an opportunity to speed-read through Joburg Expat. This gave me an excellent bird's-eye view of what South Africa has done for our family. Our lives are richer for having lived in Johannesburg for three years, gone to school there, and traveled the continent. Thank you South Africa for everything, starting with biltong.
This Thanksgiving break I inexplicably got it in my head to migrate my blog from Blogger to WordPress. What I should have done is a) picked a more opportune time when I wasn't already extremely busy, and b) created a test domain to migrate my blog to before switching to live, which I could have built in peace and tested to my heart's content until it was rock solid. But I didn't.
As you might have noticed, Joburg Expat is getting a new look. We are currently finalizing all the changes. Please bear with us while we complete this process, which may take a few days. You may not find the page you're looking for during this time. Please be patient, and we'll hopefully have it up and running in the next few days. If any particular links aren't working, please contact us.
Most expats sell their cars in their home country when they leave and buy a new one in South Africa. But what if someone doesn’t want to give their car up? Maybe it’s a vintage model or a custom-made dream car, or maybe they’ve just grown attached to a specific model that isn’t available in South Africa. Whatever the reason for wanting to keep your current car, there are ways to make it happen.
This blog post is an attempt to give a glimpse of what's in store for an expat family the first few weeks after their arrival in South Africa, from Babbalas to Yebo, from enrolling the kids in school to going on the first safari, from watching weaver birds build nests in the yard to watching them tear them apart, from learning what robots are to learning what to do when they're broken, and more.
If you like the Victorian era, a visit at Lindfield House Museum in Johannesburg's Auckland Park neighborhood is a must. There you get to meet the legendary Katharine Love who not only owns the house but also lives in it and doubles as museum curator, tour guide, and cook. Let her take you back in time to another era, and then savor the present with heavenly scones during afternoon tea.
When I recently got introduced to Hannah Pirnie, another long-time expat in Johannesburg who herself is a great resource for newbie expats with her Translating Me service, we came up with the idea of starting a Webinar series for people who have questions about moving to South Africa. I'm excited to announce our kick-off event with the topic "5 Mistakes To Avoid Your First Month in South Africa."
Finding a group to join is a big deal for many newly arrived expats, especially those with young children who won't easily meet people through school. Translating Me helps you make friends from around the world, provides valuable resources to you, connects you with interesting volunteer opportunities, and gives you many options to explore your new surroundings.
When you become an expat and are sent overseas, your first three questions to your employer might be: How much will I be paid, which currency will that be in, and how do I get the money to where I need it? When you get paid in your home country and have to make the transfers yourself, you should research the best option. A small difference in fees can turn into a big number.
Have you read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson? The idea was to build schools in Afghanistan, but the story was about more than building schools. That's how it has been for our group of expats supporting Alexandra Baseball. It's about giving young people opportunities to build self-esteem and teamwork and make something of themselves in an environment where few such opportunities exist.