Livin' it up in South Afrcia


Omara's first petting zoo Don't worry--our windows were rolled up tightly!

Us all with the yet-unnamed baby giraffe, slightly bigger than Omara at 4-days old

The vicious attack-bird Isaac discovering the fear of waterslides

What is a family to do when stuck in South Africa for weeks, awaiting a new baby’s passport? Dreadful as it is, we’ve tried to make the best of it. With Omara being sweet and mild and very portable, we found ways to entertain ourselves…so many ways, in fact, that I’m quite behind in posting updates!

Day 4 after birth we headed out to a game-park, where we petted lion cubs, and spotted any number of gazelle, zebra, ostrich and huge prides of lions sleeping just feet from our car. We also took pictures of Omara with the baby giraffe who shares her birthday!

Day 5 we went to a bird sanctuary. Isaac has been particularly fond of birds…pointing out every one he sees and chasing any that dare land near us. We were right in that he loved seeing the hundreds of species from all over the world. I underestimated how much the rest of us would enjoy it as well. Anya made quite an impression on one bird who chased her all over the aviary and attacked Chad’s flip-flop when he tried to step between them!

Later we drove 2 hours north to a real live water park built at a natural hot springs. I enjoyed a good book while watching Omara as the older kids played it up with the slides, wave pool, and lazy river. Isaac did not find the slides nearly as fun, and after 1 or 2 terror-filled trips down, he contented himself in the kiddie pool! On the way home we ate ice cream in a restaurant built over top of the 4-lane freeway, watching the cars and trucks whiz underneath us. With pure glee, Isaac screamed out “car” with every one that passed, so we didn’t linger too long!
Sprinkled between these big events, we ate at McDonalds, drank real milkshakes, the kids played 30 holes of putt-putt golf, and we had a braii with friends (pronounced ‘bry’—the South African word for BBQ) complete with kudu steaks and sausages. Oh, and I made a wicked-good ostrich meatloaf. And a pecan pie with the nuts Anya collected from the tree growing beside our apartment.

So all in all, I’d say we’ve had a good time down here! Chad, Anya and Isaac are back in Malawi now, having safely arrived back on Sunday and survived the first day back in the “real world” of school and teaching yesterday. At the last minute, we changed Ethan’s ticket and kept him here with me in Joburg to make things easier for Chad. I have no doubt he could have handled all 3 just fine, but the class he’s teaching is in the afternoon, when the kids are home from school. With me being here, the older kids would have had limited supervision (Isaac is well cared-for by the nanny). Anya will do just fine with that, but as dear as Ethan is, we are also aware of his considerable skill at getting into trouble without quite meaning to if left to his own devices! So I'm not getting the endless naps and peaceful lounging I had imagined, but we're doing well together. But as nice as all the luxury has been, I realized today that I'm starting to feel more than ready to get home again. Even after Chad reported the power going off 4 times his first day back!

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