Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mossel Bay / Garden Route Mothers

In case you're new in town, as I was, and are looking to set up a support network, here's the scoop...

There are a number of ways to meet new Moms in and around the Mossel Bay area. I'll list them below, in order of their helpfulness.

1) For starters, there is a group of mom's that meet regularly, and although the group is primarilly focused on breast feeding, various other topics are discussed at the gatherings. The town's pediatrician, Dr. Sandilands, can provide you with the contact details.

2) Visit Kindermusik & like programs! I prefer the town's non-Kindermusik option, Sandra, who has a music program for children in Heiderand. Check with the women in the above listed mother's group for her telephone number. Kindermusik is quite a bit more expensive, and I found it to be a bit slow-paced for my son (who wants "cuddle time" when there are so many kids and toys to play with?) Another option is "TopTots" in George (about 30 minutes' drive from Mossel Bay), just behind the Checkers' shopping center in town. I did this for a few months and absolutely loved it (as did my son), and the price is reasonable.

3) There are tons of places where you can go to relax, meet other Mom's, and let the kids play. Here are a few:
-Jimmy Jungles in Langeberg Mall (not my favorite, but Lukas liked it)
-Victoria Heights "Country Stall and Tea Garden" (on the road towards Wilderness). A great spot for parties, and kids love the donkey!
-George's Red Berry Farm (on the road going towards Blanco). Great spot for birthday parties!
-The Barnyard Donkey Sanctuary (also an excellent dog kennel!) - in George on Airport Road
-The Lumier petting-zoo and café in George, also on Airport Road (R102), but the hours are a bit strange (open to public on Wednesdays only?). They also offer a craft program for the kids.

Lastly, if you're looking for a gym/fitness studio with child care, there's a new Curves next to the Langeberg Mall, which may offer childcare, but Virgin Active in George is absolutely incredible, and offers 1st class childcare.

A couple other tips:
1) Day cares are called "creches" in South Africa, and the creches in Mossel Bay apparently leave a lot to be desired. Be extra careful when considering whether to put your child into one of these. I used a Nanny, Rijanah Isaacs, who also helped out with housework, and who I highly recommend. Maybe she's still available! Her number is: 083 439 9346. If she's not available, perhaps she can recommend someone.

2) Don't try to go into the Fynbos tea shop on Marsh St. with your kids. They'll turn you away at the door, no matter what age your child is... and that's no fun. Don't ask why. That's just the way they are. They're also bad about engagements, so don't try to plan anything there. But the gift shop is pretty nice, so go in once, have a look around, and be done with it. ;-)

If this has helped you in any way, and/or if you have any additional questions, please send me a note! All the best! ~Liz

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