“Tomorrow will be exactly two months since we packed our belongings into 2 trailers and 3 cars and left the green and wet hills of KZN for the mountainside town of Kampersrus overlooking the Lowveld around Hoedspruit.
We could already write essays about the experiences we have had, some fun and adventurous, others not so much, so we will try and keep this opening letter to the point. The hope is that it will become a monthly or bi-weekly letter that lends you insight into what a move across the country and a change in lifestyle and career are all about.
When moving you try to forecast a bit as to what it might be like when you get there. But we have been around the block enough to know that forecasting in life can be a futile exercise, and while you can’t take a big step in life like this without giving it some serious thought, expect the unexpected. Nothing will really be like you think, and the majority of your predictions will be wrong!
Lets start with the weather We thought we were moving somewhere hot, Jan and Feb in the Lowveld are notorious. But between the mountain mist, cold fronts, cut-off lows and cyclones we have been kept positively damp and cool since our arrival. Living on the side of the mountain under a large fig tree, which drips for hours, doesn’t help this. Our running joke is that we ended up in the rainforests of Borneo, not the Lowveld! It has been a very wet summer with flooding hitting many of the sand-filled rivers of the Kruger, and it’s likely to dry up soon, but when Lauren put on her winter pyjamas last night, it was clear the warnings of the hot weather we would adapt to hadn’t quite materialised.
It’s probably still to come though, so don’t pack away those summer pjs just yet…
Everyone takes different amounts of time to settle. For me it’s been a home-coming, and its felt like the right place to be from day one. Less so with Lauren and the kids who are working things out. Our eldest, Ben, has always been a bit more stringent with his requirements, while Charlie at two years younger ready for anything. So the expectation was that Charlie would sail and Ben perhaps struggle a bit more to find his feet. But no, quite the opposite with Ben relaxing his requirements and usual need to know exactly what’s going on all the time…mostly because he simply didn’t understand what was going on at school at the beginning with teaching all in Afrikaans.
They say time is a great healer, but its also a great settler. As each week has passed they’ve settled more, made a few new friends, and started to find themselves enjoying their new environment. Its not uncommon for them to blurt out a line in Afrikaans around the house now. I’ll let Lauren relate her own experiences in the next “Letter from the Lowveld!”