Saturday, December 4, 2010

Modern Day Pilgrim

On Thanksgiving Day, eight years ago, we arrived in Seattle to make the USA our new home.

I will never forget the captain's words after we touched down . "Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and welcome home."
I just ,started to sob, because this was not my home.

My home was where my heart was, and my heart was back in South Africa. My Mother Country, where my family was still reeling from saying goodbye to us. Where I grew up, went to school, had my first crush, had my first kiss, met my husband, got married, had my three children....

This new country held no memories for me, no familiar, friendly faces, no nostalgia invoking smells and no favorite places and sights...yet.

It did , however hold a family whom my husband had only briefly met on a previous trip.They very graciously invited us to stay with them IN THEIR HOME for a whole month, while they showed us the ropes and helped us get the important things , like a bank account , a cell phone and a vehicle.
I will never forget your kindness, Brooke, and Dough, and you are one (or two) of the " things" I am thankfull for today.

I have since made my own memories here, took some awesome trips, seen some beautiful places, and made wonderful friends. I have cried many tears these past eight years, but I have also laughed a lot, loved a whole lot, trusted, believed, dared and most of all, grown as a person.

Although I will always miss South Africa, with its abundant wildlife,

beautiful beaches and mountains, its people with their hilarious sense of humor, and of course my friends and family,

I am beginning to see this, here, as my home.

The last eight years have not been easy, but it has been good, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here, and to be a part of this country.



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  1. I wondered about your "story" when I saw your comment on my giveaway. I am so sorry you are far away from the ones you love. I have always thought that if I were ever rich, I wouldn't need a bigger house (maybe a bigger garage!), or a boat, or fancy jewelry...but I would love to be able to give Christmas gifts! I'm sure it's not much comfort...but I *wish* I could provide you with your Christmas wish! Just want you to know you are being thought of!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.

  3. Your story is lovely. I say lovely because I am currently experiencing the same sort of feelings in reverse (American in Australia). Australia will never be my "home" because that spot in my heart is reserved for America; but I am determined to make it a very close second. I am inspired by your 8 years. I am 4 years in. Happy Holidays!

  4. I have very fond memories of my time in South Africa. I lived there for 2 years and would return any time. However I am german and met my future husband in Spain! He is American and I am moving over on December 24! For sure I will grow, for youre I will cry. I am glad to say that like you, we have found a German-American couple being kind and helpful - in the same village. Love from my pilgrims heart to yours.

  5. Your post really touched me. What amazing friends you have in Brooke and Dough, and what an amazing experience -- moving from South Africa to America. You have a wonderful spirit in your efforts to adapt. I've known a couple of people from South Africa, and they too, loved it. They were also the most fun-loving people. Smiled all the time and had a zest for life.

  6. I had no idea! That must have been hard to move here. I only moved a few states away from my family, and that was difficult enough, so I can't imagine moving to an entirely different country and perhaps culture. Thanks for sharing your story with us - I'm glad you are starting to see this as your home.

  7. Such a beautiful and touching story. Being so far from family is so hard. I wish you Love and Happiness for this season. Hugs, Marty

  8. Gosh this time of year just chokes me up. Let me say, I have a dear friend who is from Germany. She had to come to America 10 years ago and had all those same feeling you did. Her and I became very close with their family, and then one day a year ago, the family had to be relocated backt o Germany. She did not want to leave and go back to her home country. She said this was her new home....I miss her, and I bet you have made lots of new friends too!~ Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks for visiting and thank you for sharing your story.


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