I have been in South Africa for coming up to two months now and if I am being completely honest, it feels like I have been here for a lot longer. If I think back to what I thought my first couple of months here would be like, I was completely wrong on so many levels, but right on so many more. I knew I would be worked hard, and I am, but I also knew that I was going to enjoy my job and again, I was 100% accurate! I thought I would make some pretty good friends quite quickly, and of course, I have (considering I live with one of them it has made things a bit easier!).
But there was one thing I was completely wrong about; I thought I would be crying non-stop for the first three months or so because I would be so desperate to go back to the UK to be in a comfortable environment for me. This was just a lie going round and round in my head. Needless to say, I have found home.
I am aware that in quite a few of my blog posts I have been saying that East London, South Africa is beginning to feel more and more like home everyday I am here, but in all reality, I do feel like it is now my home. And there are multiple reasons why this is the case:
- My Bedroom.
I know that to some people this will seem like a silly little thing. When I moved into the de Bruin household, my room was lovely and they had put in a load of effort to make sure that it would be a place that I would want to spend my time in and not just a room in a strange new house. And that was so helpful. But they also told me that I could change things around and put more of my stamp on it so I felt like it was mine. So, with a bit of help from Chloe, we moved my bed and my bench, Arno found me a desk and I put up photos and a chalk board. I have made my stamp on my room and I love it! It is a place that makes me feel like I am at home here.
- My Second Family.
I definitely feel part of the family. There is no way that I couldn’t! Arno and Claire have made it so easy for me to just slot in and find my place, so much so that I am on the family chore roster! But seriously, more than that, they look after me like a mum and dad would. As well as this, Chloe and I have this seriously weird mix of sisterly love and best friend-ness that we gel well. I couldn’t have asked for a better sister! As for the boys, I know I have been welcomed into the family by Josh as we do well at winding each other up and can have a laugh quite easily and Keagan has told me that I am not very good at cutting bread. I feel very at home!
I feel like I am much more at home now because I know where things are. From home I can get to church, Vincent Park, the beach and a variety of other destinations. Now that I feel like I have got my bearings a little bit more, I feel like I am settling in and have made East London home.
- This Past Week.
I know that Arno and Claire were away until Friday but there was something about that time that made me feel like I was at home here and, more than that, I was a responsible person! (I know that is going to be hard to believe but I honestly do feel more grown up.) I just began to feel more at home than I have done for a very long time. As well as that, I have caught myself referring to East London as home. As something I didn’t think I would do until I was almost ready to leave this place, it has been a welcomed change! But yesterday was the day that I really began to recognise this place as home; I went out with Jess, to the beach and then exploring different parts of the city (there are some very weirdly designed roads, I have to say). But when we got to Plymouth Drive, I really felt like I had a little bit of Plymouth here with me and that I was able to fully make East London my home.
So, after a month and a half of feeling like I didn’t know whether I was coming or going, but more that I just wasn’t fully settled, I now feel like I have found home and that for the next year, and maybe more, I have a place that I know I am loving living in and can make a place for myself. Also, I know I am home because I have just got a message from Chloe asking me to fetch her from school at 14:00!