Friday, April 13, 2007

Easter in South Africa

The air was cold, which is why I was quite surprised at the contrast as I sat on the warm grass. The sun’s rays cut through the cold air, penetrating the earth, the emerald green grass, and the resident Springbok which were grazing upon it. Normally I have the dog and baby with me, but today I was walking alone, listening to relaxing music on my MP3 player, and admiring the Fynbos (South Africa’s native plants) and Springbok (accompanied by some Guinea Fowl, Thick-Knee, and Crowned Plover - all native birds). As if that weren’t enough, the soft blue silhouette of the mountains provided a dream-like backdrop to it all, beckoning me to stay a while. It was so perfect that I was overcome by many emotions. What an incredible tapestry of life.

I was on my way home, having just taken a little time to read my latest lecture for my online travel writing class. The most important lesson from this week’s lecture? I think it would have to be the teacher’s statement about avoiding long-winded writing that resembles “Uncle Benny’s Vacation Slides”. So no more, “Day 1, we went here... Day 2, we did this”!!! Although I have a lot to learn, I feel like this is definitely the next career for me. I don’t remember the last time I got so excited about reading lecture notes!

But now it’s time for me to tell you about our Easter here in South Africa (above left). Overall, it’s a much respected and observed holiday. Most people have the Friday and Monday of Easter weekend off, making it a long weekend. For this reason, our sleepy little village, Mossel Bay, was once again a hopping tourist destination, and along with ridiculously full parking lots and (what we now consider) unimaginable traffic, many standard supermarket items, like mineral water and wholegrain bread, were nowhere to be found. On Easter itself, we, along with what seemed like the majority of the Western Cape, decided to have a picnic in a town called Herold’s Bay. Despite the crowds, we really enjoyed spending a little time on the beach, and the weather was perfect. The baby’s still skeptical of the sand, but he seemed to really enjoy the water.

To quickly recap the milestones of the past week, on Wednesday, after we brought my sister to the airport, we attempted to put our own socks on for first time (and by “we”, I mean the baby). He also began talking A LOT, figured out how to “blow” bubbles, and has really taken off with walking (today especially!). Furthermore, he’s nearly perfected his summersaults (although he still needs a bit of help!), started dressing his stuffed animals up (also with Mommy’s help), learned the value of kisses (and how to use them as a secret weapon after you’ve made someone mad, and finally, on Easter itself, he made his first “tooting” noises in an effort to mimic the original sound (ummm, from the dog, that is).

As for me, I’ve begun the online writing course and my first pieces have been published (online). Yay! And the hubby keeps very busy with work, although we were very grateful to have him all to ourselves for the 4-day weekend (over which he sliced his thumb open while cooking and had to get stitches)! Oh, and Monday we had a few people over for dinner. We “braiied” (or grilled) fillet mignon (which is dirt cheap here) on our indoor grill.

This week has been pretty quiet. I’ve just been reading, writing, and enjoying family life and life as an expat. Life is good!

Our next adventure, scheduled to begin tomorrow, is a 5-day trip to Cape Town. I’m hoping to get an early start, so we can make it to a couple of weekend markets in the morning. Better get packing!

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