The Adventure Continues…

Today marks the beginning of my third week here in East London, but also marks my last blog post of July. So, I thought it was only necessary for me to reflect (excuse the cheesiness!) on the whole of July and just what has happened.

  1. I left home! And if I am honest, it was the scariest thing I have ever done! Some people can’t wait to leave home and move on to a new chapter, but for me, that was the last thing I wanted to do. If I had my ideal, I would not have left home for another few years at least! But, of course, God has other ideas! So, I have taken a step out of my comfort zone this month and have done something that not only I, but others, never thought I would do. How crazy is that?!

     

  2. I have moved to a completely different continent! Because we all know that if I had moved to somewhere like France, it would have been a lot easier for me to hop on a plane and come home to the UK – it would certainly be a bit cheaper! But moving to South Africa means that I can’t afford to take a trip back to the UK once during my year here because it is just too expensive, plus all that travelling would just stress me out! In some respects, this does make it more difficult to adjust to life here in SA, but at the same time, it just makes me think how exciting this year is going to be and how independent I will become because Mum can’t be next to me all the time and offer to do my laundry for me! It just means that for me, this adventure is a lot bigger than it would be if I was closer to home. 

     

  3. I have started working! Now that is quite something in itself… I feel like I now have a lot more adult responsibilities – something I definitely would not have felt if I stayed in the UK. I reckon that if I had stayed, I would have been less like an adult (if you get where I am coming from). Moving away from home, to a different country and starting to work for a church definitely means that I have to do a fair bit of growing up. But it is fair to say that I will never loose my childish ways – the way I laugh whenever anyone says the word bottom as well as the way I enjoy reading children’s picture books (what?! They are actually very entertaining!). But seriously, working is very adult and very important; I am an actual grown-up! 

     

  4. I have met a load of awesome people and I am actually quite impressed with the amount of names I have managed to remember! For someone who can normally only cope with meeting one person at a time and getting to know a bit about them, I am super impressed that I can remember more than 5 people’s names! It is all very exciting! And these awesome people have already begun to feel like family to me, which makes being able to settle in a lot easier.

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  5. I am feeling like East London is my home. Yes, I miss the UK and I miss my family like there is no tomorrow! There are days where I miss home so badly and I know that is part of it; I have only been here for 2 weeks after all! But I cannot express how comfortable I feel here and how much like home this feels. I just love it here and feel like this place is going to be an awesome place to live for the next year!

P.S: I have really been craving a Lord of the Rings Extended Edition movie marathon so if anyone owns them then I would love to borrow them! I can pay in baked goods! I just miss having friends close by who have the extended editions…

 

Week 1 Complete!

This past week has been simply incredible! 

I have spent my first week in East London, South Africa and I have loved every minute of it. I feel as if I am already learning so much and am seriously enjoying the sun! 

Since I last posted, I have done so much! My first service at Everyday People on Sunday was amazing – I met so many new people and am loving getting stuck in. As well as the social side of church, I have to say that the worship was AWEsome! Never have I felt so much in the presence of God whilst listening to people sing in a different language at the top of their voices. There are no words to express just how I felt. Dad was preaching (a preach that I had heard before), but it didn’t feel as if I was listening to it for the second time. The whole morning was just fab! 

After church, we headed back to the house for a steak braai… Man, it was good! Altogether, the food, people and the atmosphere was great and it was good to get to know more of the people I will be spending the next year with.

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Monday morning heralded my first Everyday People admin meeting. That was an experience! Brad was in charge of the game and Dad and I ended up in competition with each other. It was super competitive but definitely a good way to start the morning! I am looking forward to my next one next week!

On both Tuesday night and Wednesday night we met with all of the different Life Groups to introduce myself and for Dad to talk more about Advance UK. That was also an awesome way to get to know loads of others in the church. Names have overloaded in my head so please do not be offended if I can’t remember your name! Arno has said that I should have met over 100 people this week, so hopefully that excuses me somewhat!

Yesterday, we ended up going to Cove Rock for the day. It was absolutely beautiful and I had a very relaxing morning reading my book and eating biscuits. Dad and Arno got soaked when a big wave caught them a bit by surprise! But the beach was beautiful and I was able to relax and enjoy myself yesterday morning.

So that brings me up to today. This morning, Dad left for Johannesburg so I am well and truly on my own adventure. It no longer feels like a holiday and I now feel like I am in a place I can call home for the year. I am in such a good place and am staying with such a good family; I couldn’t ask for more! I am so grateful to God for all of the people I have met and for the church here and am looking forward to spending the next 51 weeks here!

I Have Arrived!

The purpose of this blog was to keep a record of all that I have been up to in my adventure, moving to South Africa and other little things I have learnt along the way. So, after months and months of preparation and arguments with receptionists, I have arrived at my destination, East London, South Africa. But, seeing as I have been here for a couple of days already, I should probably let you all know what I have been up to and how the journey was. 

I hate planes. They honestly scare me so much! So the thought of spending 11 hours on a plane to Johannesburg and then another 1 1/2 hours on another plane to East London was not my idea of fun and meant that going to the doctors to get medication to help me sleep on the plane was a perfectly reasonable idea. And man, do they work. I was desperate to watch one of the films on the plane (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) so I did not take the tablet until I had finished watching it. Part of me now regrets that decision as take off and turbulence reduced me to tears, but I did love the film and would highly recommend it. In fact, I would recommend South African Airways in general, as the food was great – Dad and I had this beef stew thing that was actually quite tasty – and the staff were really friendly. Of course, I still do not like the sensation of flying, but with the tablets and other distractions, my overall experience was not too bad. 

Knowing that Johannesburg airport is renowned for luggage problems, I was a little apprehensive as to whether we would be able to collect our luggage and get the connecting flight on time. Yes, our suitcases were in the container that fell off onto the runway. Yes, our suitcases were pretty much the last to be brought through. Yes, we were rushing to try and get through to our connection. But, we made it, with plenty of time to spare, and we arrived in East London on time. 

That afternoon, we headed down to Nahoon beach and it was so nice to feel the sun on my back – an experience I have been lacking all throughout my British summer! Of course I felt overdressed in my pair of jeans but a nice paddle in a warm sea was all I needed! 

Evening came along with an epic fish braai. The braai was massive, the fish was massive and so were our appetites. It was incredible!

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Yesterday was a new day and I went into one of the shopping malls with Claire, Josh and Dad to pick up a few things. We found biltong, and it was good; gone within 45 minutes, but good! But have no fear, more has been ordered! It was a really chilled day yesterday as well, which was really nice for me as I was able to just chill and find my energy again. 

Today Chloe, Claire and I went to get some things for my bedroom to make it feel a bit more like my room. It was good fun and I think that tomorrow is going to have more fun exploring and finding more pretty things! Then we went for milkshakes. Oh my word they were good! I cannot explain how they taste because the UK does not have enough E numbers to express the taste! 

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We are having a pizza party this evening and I am seriously looking forward to it. I have been looking forward to one of these pizzas for the last year and I am stoked to get to try one! It is going to be awesome. 

So, to sum it all up, I have loved my first few days here in East London and I think that I am going to be very happy here for the next year. Thank you to all of you that have been praying for me for safe travels and that I settle in well; they have been very much appreciated! Needless to say, I am looking forward to what God has in store for me over the next year!