Looking Back on 2011

It is the last day of they year, a most wondrous year, and it is time to reflect. But instead of telling you about the highlights of the last twelve months, let me just pick my ten favorite posts of the year – a trick I admit I copied from fellow blogger (and excellent writer!) Marie at Rock the Kasbah. These are not necessarily the best suited to tell you what happened this year, but they are among the stories I enjoyed writing the most.

And what if you’ve already read them all, being a most diligent reader? Well, then you get a day off from Joburg Expat. Imagine that!

1. Africa:

I’m happy with this one because it gave me a chance to show off my less-than-brilliant-but-very-much-improved-since-I-discovered-Photoshop photography, and because it best reflects my sentiments (on a day when I don’t have to deal with Eskom) about Africa.

2. My Shining Moment:

This is such a typical expat story, plus a very redeeming one for me, because I got revenge (or at least satisfaction) for every injustice ever visited on foreign drivers here in South Africa.

3. In the Footsteps of Paul Kruger and the Voortrekkers:

I’m proud of this post because quite a bit of research about South Africa’s history went into it. (You should know that I do quite a bit of research about all my posts. I always start out with “this should be easy and quick” and then drive myself to distraction following up on the most obscure connections so that even a post about buying a fake Christmas tree is close to a dissertation by the time it’s finished). But if you have no time for Michener’s The Covenant, read this one for a brief overview.


4. Family Travels:

I usually like those stories of mine best where I can make myself laugh when reading them later, and this one is no exception. If you have kids, maybe you’ll see your own family reflected in this. Or not. I’m sure your kids are all perfect and logical.

5. Giving Hope at New Jerusalem:

Every once in a while I  like to go back to my days writing for Kansas City Parent Magazine and do a piece of real life reporting. This post was such an article, interviews and all. It also reflects a little on what I have spent quite a bit of time with this year – charity work of some kind or another.

6. My Dark Secret:

Here I reveal something of myself. I wasn’t really keeping it from you. I just actually found out about it. I’m sure you have one of these lurking in your closet too!

7. Face to Face with a Great White Shark:

I admit it. I selected this one because of the cool title. And because people tell me they live vicariously through my stories. Well, I really felt alive living this one!


8. When is the Best Time to be an Expat?:

One of the reasons I write this blog is to help other expats moving to South Africa, and I think I asked some good questions and provided some answers in this one.


9. Cape Town with Kids: Robben Island:

Another one on history, and I story that kept with me for a long time this year.


10. In Pursuit of the Buffalo:

I had to include something about a safari, of course, as they always loom big in an African life. This was actually my first post of the year, and it is only fitting that we’re spending the end of it the same way, on safari. More on that one in 2012.

I hope you also have good stories to look back upon in your year. In the end, telling and remembering stories is all we have.


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