So, one year into our South African adventure (July 2014) and we are all enjoying our time here, but it is unquestionably the children who are having the time of their little lives. Scarce an eyelid is batted at the power cuts, traffic jams, street hawkers or shacks. They do ask questions about the poverty and disfunctionality they encounter, but take the answers in their growing strides.
For the past 12 months, they have been outdoors every day, swimming, cycling, climbing and running, these activities only ever briefly curtailed by lightning. They have made new friends from all over the world and have been up close with all sorts of wildlife. They have met their great great aunt who lives down near Cape Town and hiked up to the lighthouse at Cape Point with her.
Hysterical screaming in the event of an unidentified bug situation has been exchanged for calm(ish)ly finding me and prepping me in on my latest bug disposal mission. “Mummy, there’s a bug”. “What kind of bug?” “It’s a spider.” “How big is it? (gulp)” “I’m not sure, but it’s a flying spider.” “Okay, it’s probably just a fly then (phew)”.
Sweetpea rides a school bus full of high schoolers. I suspect this is both good and not so good for her expanding vocabulary and she now endlessly drops hints about the older kids having i-pads, pods and phones. Both kids are on the go with school and activities all week and this early to bed, early to rise culture certainly doesn’t leave much time to watch TV after school. So little time in fact, that it was only yesterday, that we got around to activating our TV subscription.
Let me end with a particularly proud moment, a prime example of the international outlook our children are acquiring….
Pickle to French boy: It’s time to get out of the pool if you want some ice-cream. (no response). Okay, I’m going to count to 3. 1…..2….3… Mummeeeee, he’s not listening to me.
Me to Pickle: No Sweetheart, he just doesn’t understand much English.
Pickle to Me: Okay, I tell him in French.
We watch and listen with great anticipation. He strides purposefully back to the pool and……. blows and enormous raspberry.
Endless summer, broad horizons.