A big adjustment for us is getting used to the crime again, I sometimes walk away from the car and the uneasy feeling of having locked the car or not pops into my mind, usually I have NOT locked. Then there are the stories that slowly filter through of people being held up at gun point in their homes, far closer to home than I would like. A few weeks ago I drove into a squad team chasing a group of burglars and reversed into a pole to get out of the way, as they were running towards me with their guns raised. A bit hairy, especially with the kids in the car! A far cry from being able to leave my car unlocked and running on the side of the street outside the school, with the confidence that it would be there when I returned 30 minutes later.
On the bright side, the school the kids are at is magnificent, the type of school I had been dreaming about them attending from day 1 in Qatar. It is set against the backdrop of a glorious environmentally protected range of hills, with sports fields that spread across the grounds creating greenery as far as the eye can see, a half olympic sized pool for training, tennis and netball courts and sport, music and drama that they can thrive on. Both the kids have excelled and are learning Zulu and Afrikaans quite speedily, which means our secret language will soon be cracked. We will have to start with sign language soon!!
Another bonus is having my cousin living down the road, she is an angel in disguise and supported and helped us with our move into our new home, looking after children when need be, supplying endless dishes of food and allowing for her ear to be bent when needed. Our kids are the same age which allows for instant play dates and teen-sitting options when either of us need one!! One of the many aspects that I missed being away from home.
I will start writing posts again about the move and finding a house with the extra added difficulties of when you land to when you settle. Family, friends and the comfort zone you expected but don’t find all that easily on your return. Sometimes I think becoming an expat is easier than returning from being one.
If we had known what we know now would we have returned? I will update you on our feelings pertaining to this question as the year progresses. I am back in writing mode, now that emotions have quietened in my mind and heart. Ready to take on new conquests and forge onwards and upwards…..