I’ve been meaning to do this post for quite sometime now… but there is so much to tell it’s almost impossible to put it all together! Luckily- I DID put it all together- in our Safari Brochure! So what better way to share that with you?
I love this quote so much! It perfectly describes the emotion you’ll feel from your first safari.
Now, each African country is completely different, but i’ve gotta say i’m pretty partial to South Africa- it’s the only African country you can go on Safari to and not have to worry about lots of immunizations you haven’t already had- Malaria is very rare, and Yellow Fever is only up north around the equator. Plus, most in South Africa speak English as their second language, so speaking barriers are unlikely.
South Africa is the perfect country for your first safari, or a safari with your family- Great food, elegance, safety, electricity and running water, excellent hospitality, AND every animal you can think of in its native environment. Additionally, your heart can sing knowing that your dollars spent, whether through your camera button or trigger finger, go directly to the conservation of habitats, breeding of species, local families, and outreach and research. Safaris drive the African economies like no other!
*Please note as you view the images and words below: they are our personal words and photos taken and put together through many hours of hard work and miles traveled across varying landscapes- please respect them and don’t use them yourself, unless granted permission. :) Thank you!
“In a country that offers a truly astounding variety of animals, plants, and birds, hunting proves to be the challenge that it should be. We believe that a safari should combine excitement with safety, and that the conservation of our heritage is a matter of the highest priority. We believe that the Client, whether equipped with rifle, bow, fishing rod, or camera, should be treated with the utmost consideration and that our dealings with him/her should at all times reflect the highest of ethical standards.” – Andreas Dühring Safaris’ Company Mission Statement
Departure day draws nearer by the minute! We (I) have successfully packed one carry-on case, three hard case suitcases, two large duffel bags, and a bow case with right at 350 pounds of jackets, sweaters, pants, shorts, (many) dresses, shoes, a gilly suit, game caller, binoculars, holsters, hunting gear, fishing gear, books, and 500 brochures. Tomorrow I just need to pack all of our tech and valuables into our last carry-on case and my purse, and we will be ready to go!
I must say, I am so very thankful for the South African work force. Day laborers seek work by the thousands, so house-helpers such as maids and gardeners are very common for just about every household to have. We don’t normally have a maid at our house, mostly because I’m too picky and because we live so far away it ends up being more work to get someone here than for me to do it myself. But today, while going crazy ripping our house and bedroom apart and stuffing them into suitcases, I really needed the extra help to clean the house- and oh my goodness what a difference it made! I am very thankful that we were able to have Dorah come today and help us with the house. I got everything packed and ready- and a spotless house to relax in afterwards! It really is a blessing and I am so grateful for it and her.
Stay tuned for airport entertainment to come soon! 😃
Here I am, once again at Brooklyn mall, pretty tipsy off of one glass of TriBeCa’s house Sauvignon Blanc, listening to none other than Robbie Wessels’ Grootste Treffers- the one at the moment being “Leeuloop”. I just finished eating some super awesome chicken strips (my favorite) and it was such a huge serving, that it could have easily fed two. My super amazing cappuccino just arrived, and I’ve gotta tell you, that is certainly one thing I’m going to miss in upcoming weeks- the amazing coffee everywhere you go in South Africa.
Seriously- this culture enjoys their coffee! I have been exceptionally spoiled with gourmet, properly made, high quality, coffee in the variety of cappuccinos, lattes, espressos, and filter coffee that hasn’t been sitting in a pot since 6:00AM. Ah, South African coffee, how I will miss you so. Continue reading “As Close To Oblivion”→
Alright. You caught me. I missed posting yesterday. 😩 and I was doing so good! Two whole weeks! Only to have my lazy Sunday interrupt my perfect cycle. Ah, it’s still a personal record, anyway. NaBloPoMo is really just there for inspiration, and inspire me it has!
So, here I am today, at the Brooklyn Mall here in Pretoria sipping on some yummy coffee from the not-so-South-African Seattle Coffee Company. Lol This will probably be my last time at Brooklyn for at least six months, so you’d think I’d go and get coffee at TriBeCa, but no, I came here. I just didn’t want to walk further, okay! 😉 Continue reading ““Excuse Me.””→
It’s almost 4:00 in the afternoon over here in sunny South Africa, and this girl doesn’t have just so much to say today. So, in honor of NaBloPoMo, I’ll share with you some Afrikaans words that I find to be quite funny. It’s a very descriptive language, so sometimes direct translations can be pretty entertaining- with the animal names taking the cake. Enjoy!
Have you ever heard of the Afrikaans Language?
No?? Well, it is a pretty big deal over here.
South Africa has 11 national languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.
However, English, Afrikaans, and Zulu are the most widely used across the rainbow nation.
Learning any language is always a good decision- it enables you not only to connect more intimately with other cultures, but also to know what people are saying when they think you are just the average American tourist. :)
If you are visiting South Africa any time soon, I suggest learning some Afrikaans phrases, as well as knowing the commonly used terms.
Ahhh the laziness of yesterday was made up for today.
We are at Rosemary Hill today, but aren’t here for their fabulous morning or afternoon tea- we came to cycle.
Rosemary Hill is located just east of Pretoria and they are well-known for having a truly awesome mountain biking trail. (6km/10km) …but I’ve gotta admit – I chickened out and stopped at the 5km mark. My husband kept going and did the full 10km’s. He said it was awesome. It has a huge hill, and several tricky parts. And if he is saying they’re tricky, you better be a bit experienced to handle them. He also said you ride through abandoned buildings, and there are portions where you can choose the ‘chicken’ or ‘bull’ path. The first 5km’s that I can tell you about from experience, has about six spots with little hill-bridges and a whole forest portion with some tight turns.
One of my greatest passions is hunting –
and why do I have to be afraid to say that?
I am new to the Twitter-Sphere and I have been trying to learn how to utilize it for our businesses, as well as for personal purposes. There is a Twitter site (do you call it a site?) @AverageHunter and they do a weekly hashtag that is very popular called #TrophyTuesday. I have participated in that hashtag a couple of times, once with a picture of me and my ducks, and once with a picture of me and my Axis Deer.
A few days after the last #TrophyTuesday I did, which happened to be of my ducks, I got a notification. (It’s easy for me to check each one because traffic on my twitter account is quite rare.) It was a notification of someone that had re-tweeted my Axis picture.
I clicked on the account of the re-tweeter and it was @Blueskyemining.
Doesn’t sound like a hate page, right?
As I scrolled through their twitter page, I saw countless re-tweets of hunting, but not in a good sense. One common re-tweet I came across was originally from a man who posted edited pictures of hunting where he included the hunters/huntresses name, work address, and work phone number, encouraging people to get them fired. I mean… the only appropriate response to that is “What the french toast??”.
Needless to say, I blocked them and deleted my tweet faster than you could say ‘Hot Tamales’. Continue reading “The Hunting Topic and its Controversy”→
There are all sorts of assumptions and questions that people have when you are a young married couple:
“I could never get married so young.”
“Don’t you think you should have enjoyed your youth?”
“Shouldn’t you have dated more to have a better idea of what you want?”
“So, when are the babies coming? You shouldn’t wait too long, you know.”
But when you are a young internationally married couple- Ohmygoodness.
The questions. (said with an eye twitch)
Sometimes, they are just too much for me to handle – mostly because they are always the same and I have answered them to many different people many times. I mean, show some originality! Just kidding… but really.
Below are some common questions that really tend to irk me. Continue reading “Young International Married Couple: Common Questions”→
Hello there again! We booked our plane ticket back to Texas last night, and it got me to thinking about how much of a seasoned international traveler I am. Traveling a lot is one of the things that goes hand-in-hand with having an international marriage.
Because of this, I know airport call signs by heart, which airlines have the best food and entertainment, time zone differences off the back of my hand, and I have my passport and frequent flier numbers memorized – for myself and my husband.
Last but not least, another skill that comes with traveling often- I am an expert packer. I know exactly how to pack our check-in bags and what to carry on the plane, both in my carry-on luggage in the overhead bin, and what I want in my purse within easy arm reach.
No, that is not the phonetic spelling of me speaking with my mouth full, it’s an acronym of sorts that stands for “National Blog Posting Month”.
NaBloPoMo is a very popular challenge amongst bloggers during November of every year where the participants pledge to write a blog post every week day throughout the month. It was originally started by Blog Her –> on this link to her website, you will find a list of participants who have registered for the challenge- I’m number 348 of 494 who have registered so far! Continue reading “#NaBloPoMo- say what?”→
…and a very Happy 16th Birthday, to my oldest nephew, Tate (AKA: TaterTot)!
I am trying really hard to incorporate shorter posts into my blog, so that I can have more content more regularly. One of the downfalls of being a writing perfectionist, is taking forever to draft, edit, and finalize a post.. and it also usually results in a lot of words to read! oops!
Since we are almost never in South Africa for Christmas, we always try to find a way to do something special with my husbands’ family before we go back to the US each November.
(We spent Christmas day here in South Africa four years ago, and let me tell ya, it was weird. A hot Christmas? No, thank you. It’s the last day of October today, and it’s 88*F outside! Dis warm, manne!)
I am so flattered- not only that I have been nominated with my few amount of posts, but also that someone diligently reads and enjoys my blog! So, thank you ever so much, Natasja of Her Arrow Points North! Be sure to check her blog out- it’s California awesomeness.
The Versatile Blogger Awardwas put together to “Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.”. My blog nominations below are just a couple of my favorites. I always look forward to reading their posts because of the great information they share, awesome pictures, life blunders, new products, as well as finding out the similarities we may have in common even though we come from completely different backgrounds.
Even though my “About Me” is quite detailed, here are some facts you may not know:
Ek kan Afrikaans praat… maar ek het nog baie om te leer. ;)
Translation: “I can speak Afrikaans, but I still have a lot to learn.”
To start off my ‘Firearm Friday’ I thought that an introduction into just what IDPA is, would be appropriate. :)
I.D.P.A. – International Defensive Pistol Association.
This organization is one you will want to be a part of!
Originally founded in 1996 in the US, there are now over 22,000 active members in more than 50 countries, with most likely a club near you!
IDPA competitions have stages that solve real-world defensive scenarios using everyday practical carry equipment. The main goal is to improve and test the skill and ability of the individual by combining accuracy and tactical engagement procedure with speed.
Needless to say- it is a lot of fun.
If you haven’t heard the story of my wedding dress: Brace yourself- it’s pretty unique. I knew exactly what I wanted, and my stubborn self wasn’t settling for anything other than what I had in mind. What I ended up with was more than I could have dreamed of.
I did the traditional try-on’s at David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo’s in San Antonio with family and friends, and was sorely disappointed in my options. Every ‘lace’ dress I tried on was just lace appliqué, seemed very mass produced, and were way over my price range. After searching online for inspiration, I found a picture of a designer dress style that was perfect- but it had a designer price and was in Arizona.
We do a fair amount of traveling in our line of work, and I am so thankful for it! I have seen more of South Africa’s landscape than most native-born residents have. Truly. From Hoedspruit to Cape Town, Mafikeng to Johannesburg, Kuruman to White River, Kimberly to Polokwane, Hluhluwe to Ellisras- I have been there!
Method of travel has mostly been by means of driving our trusted Land Cruiser, but also via Kalahari Ferrari, commercial airline and private jet a select couple of times.
Over the next couple of weeks I am going to highlight on the larger topographic areas that we have been to, as well as select trips that we have enjoyed, with of course the aid of many pictures.
So stay tuned because there is much more to come soon!
Sometimes, you just need some comfort food, and tortillas are my ultimate comfort food.
Besides being totally scrumptious, they are extremely versatile.
You can use them to make breakfast tacos
(yes, it is a taco- burritos are deep-fried and folded on both ends),
enchiladas, lunch tacos, sopapillas, … the list goes on and on.
So, should you be on the great continent of Africa, I have figured out which ingredients (throughout many cups of various flour and many trials) work best to make tortillas.
While milling around yesterday in the African younger sibling of Sam’s Club, Makro, I walked by a fellow bulk-shopper. As I walked away from this boot-wearing middle aged man, I felt the corners of my lips twitching- I just couldn’t contain myself, I had to ask him the question I knew the answer to. I gave my husband the i’m-going-to-do-it look and turned around. “Excuse me, Sir. You’re not from South Africa, are you?” He turned to face me, and I glanced at the white cap he was wearing, I instantly noticed it had the state of Texas embroidered largely on the front. “OH! You’re from Texas! I’m from Texas!” He giggled a bit at me, explained the he has lived here for about 3 1/2 years (looks like I will survive), and that there are about 200 Americans living in the east of Pretoria. We, er… I, exchanged contact details and teased him with the allure of my homemade tortillas and enchiladas. Will the overly-friendly, slightly-awkward Texan girl (ahem, me) ever get invited to an American get-together in South Africa by this stranger from Amarillo named Steve? Only time will tell. Continue reading “Heritage Day and the Billy Goat”→
*Updated to include DISCLAIMER:
The following blog post is in no way meant to provide any individual with specific advice. An immigration specialist, or the South African Department of Home Affairs should always be contacted directly for advice. The following describes my experience from August 2013-July 2014, and laws and/or protocol could vary greatly depending on your specific case details and/or method and/or place of application.
Original Blog Post:
If any of the following seems boring or provides you with stress, anxiety, or headaches- just remember that I actually did it all- and if you are contemplating taking the same route, I pray for your emotional well-being.
Here I am!
Married in March, and only now do I decide to start documenting this transitional time in my life.
Thinking about it, I don’t know at what future date our lives will cease to be transitional. College, dating, moving, paperwork and visas, marriage, more paperwork and visas, moving again, babies, paperwork, babies while moving, paperwork….. Paperwork, changes, dishes, and laundry, are about the only constants we can count on.
I decided to start a blog because it seemed more sensible to me than buying yet another journal, that I will write in approximately 8 times a year. Detailed entries, yes. Good handwriting and commitment to writing frequently, no. However, one thing I am diligent with using on a daily basis, is my handy-dandy, world-connecting, handheld device- my iPhone. So a blog, a public journal, if you will, sounded more reasonably suited for documenting my thoughts and experiences. Plus, there is so much less anxiety in publishing a blog post that was written with a public audience in mind, than carrying around a journal filled with personal thoughts. (Flashback to Jr. High when schoolmates found my journal. *shudder* ) Continue reading “An Introduction”→