Thursday, June 30, 2011

Leaving South Africa on a Jet Plane - emigrating to New Zealand

The Beatles sang about 'The Long and Winding Road....'
     The long and winding road that leads to your door 
Don't keep me waiting here,
Lead me to your door
Let me know the way
Will never disappear...

Mine was a long long jet flight to get here and my article,  'Leaving on a Jet plane' first published in The Witness caused a little 'local vocal' reaction at 'home' :)
 (follow this space for more about that!)
Leaving South Africa on a jet plane 
12 May 2008                                                      Eve Hemming

The world’s a strange place; a bit like a merry-go-round. People migrate from one land mass to another. It’s connected to humanity’s free will and desire to conquer or explore new territory. My ancestors landed on this continent from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and a few missionaries from Prussia. And the merry-go-round continues to rotate, as sure as the Earth rotates around the sun. 

I’m heading off on that jet plane. And no — it won’t be easy.

I love the sensory evocation of Africa — the smell of rai
n on dusty earth and the piercing prehistoric timbre of those sycophantic hadedas. I love the bold autumn hues and crunching on frosty dry veld grass. I love waiting for a purple Jacaranda flower to drop on my windscreen while I’m driving and slowing down for cows in the road.

I love buying Wilson’s toffees in a trading store and smelling the African-print fabric, the aromas of incense and pungent Durban curries, and the ornate oriental artifacts in the Indian markets. I love the thumping sound of African music emanating from that car parked down the road and the prayer chants wafting across from a mosque. 

I love the banter of indigenous languages that flow like a song that I can’t quite understand after all these years, yet that sound as familiar to me as a mother’s bedtime lullaby.                                                                      

I love the smell of a veld fire, of sizzling chops on a braai, the salty after- taste of biltong when my body has shouted for salt and the Sharks. I love the sounds of yacht stays tinkling in the wind along Midmar Dam’s shore and the crack of melodramatic thunder after a humid day.

HMYC KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

I love our memorable family holidays — watching a golden orb setting across a gorge of silhouetted thorn trees, gathering handfuls of pebbles and shells on a south coast beach, the sounds of the Indian Ocean singing in my head, camping and picnics, and wide-open spaces.

I love the sounds and vistas from my childhood — the soothing coos of a rock pigeon, the sandstone farmhouse architecture, my Free State clouds, windmills and koppies. It’s strangely comforting to think that if other things change, they’ll remain constant for billions of years.

South Africa safari,

Loving so much has enriched my life beyond measure. The staff and children I work with are embedded in my soul. And I love my own precious children and grandchildren; even those chaotically noisy family suppers at Spur with that rather dire Happy Birthday song. 

Where I’m going there won’t be any of this. Instead, there are volcanic craters, magnificent, but alien vistas, geological delights and long winters. There’s the Treaty of Waitangi and a whole different political arena. And there’s the All Black’s haka.

Why am I going if there’s so much I love here? Because, that’s why. I love so many things from my rich life here, that I want to cherish them in my mind before they metamorph into something that’s no longer precious or familiar to me. I want to explore a new chapter because life’s transient and unpredictable. I can live with periods of no lights, with exasperating delays and even some disorder. But I can never condone the prevalent, heinous and inhumane criminality and violence. 

People like me may be searching for a Nirvana that’s non-existent. We’re all born with free will, but not necessarily all with the opportunity to create change. I have the choice. It may lead to material impoverishment, but then some of us are dreamers.

Nothing will be able quite to replace the passions which are at the core of my psyche. No new acquaintances will be able to reminisce about the “remember whens”. But there will be enticing new chapters. And despite currently waking up each morning feeling gutted, I’m enormously optimistic. I feel a profundity of abundance in what I’ve tasted in South Africa and absolutely no one can ever take that away from me. 

• Eve Hemming is a local educationist. 

Published in The Witness  12 May 2008

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


    'It's good news week... someone dropped a bomb somewhere contaminating atmosphere' >>> lyrics of a song...

        But YES YES YES, IT IS GOOD NEWS WEEK without the bomb !
The Immigration lawyer has just called us a minute ago !!!! How fortuitous is that having just kicked my blog into first gear ?
We have been granted Residency Visa's....  a long haul, but what an achievement !
In NZ one must be 55 or younger. But once can be granted residency based on a profession on the Skills' Shortage list  which one applies for to the Minister of Immigration.
And my darling psychically inclined daughter said yesterday, 'Mum you'll hear this week' - after we've been waiting for what has felt like an eternity !

Funny Vuvuzela Pictures (41 pics + 2 gifs)
Vuvuzelas yadda yadda !!!!

How to apply for residency:
You can go via an Immigration lawyer. For us it was the way to go. One needs to cough up $ and have medicals, police clearance and submit one's passports, plus CVs, testimonials, qualification transcripts, proof of marriage etc....quite a lengthy process, but worth it for peace of mind, instead of having to renew one's work visa every 2 years ! Once one has residency one is able to benefit from various support systems and feel more like a Kiwi !

    And now I want to celebrate as soon as this bout of winter flu's over !

<<Thank you Thank you Thank you REJOICE Thank you  Thank you >>

Torn in the New SA - by Bronwyn McIntosh -Book Review

‘Torn in the New SA’ 
by Bronwyn McIntosh-  2010                                                              
Book Review by Eve Hemming
            The McIntosh’s left SA for USA several years ago with two small children. They felt that the country had failed to protect its millions of citizens. News of the senseless murder of a dear African friend of Bronwyn’s was the final straw. She drove to her husband’s office in Cape Town in her feisty way and announced. “We’re leaving!”  “Oh, where to?” quizzically enquired James, fantasising about a spontaneous weekend jaunt; not envisaging a life-altering move to the other side of the globe. Bronwyn’s friend’s murder was the final catalyst which triggered their epiphany to leave South Africa.
The McIntosh’s went in search of a safer milieu in which to raise their children, to discover that this choice brought huge sacrifices, adaptations and deep pain. The title of the book ‘Torn in the New SA’ emblemises these profound feelings of being torn. ‘I will not ever be completely whole again’ Bronwyn acknowledges.  
Threading the book together in her colourful, graphic style, Bronwyn shares her feelings about missing the land of her birth. She sorrowfully acknowledges that her children will not grow up in S.A. in ‘the wonderful cross-cultural mix’, and that she and her husband, James, chose to trade this for a life where they can sleep soundly every night; where the fears of violent crime are no longer part of their life and where their children are now safe and happy.
Interwoven through the book is their personal voyage, combined with hundreds of excerpts written by South Africans ‘at home’ and abroad. It’s a book filled with theirs and other people’s hurts, fury, emotions, fears, memories, regrets, courage, tragedies, heartaches, justifications, judgements, loves, wishes and dreams…
Bronwyn shared her reasons for leaving SA on an international website, for which she was publicly criticised by Mbeki in his online ANC newsletter (ANC Today) in October 2004. (
The book’s genesis developed after Bronwyn received a spate of email responses. Bronwyn’s on line article hit a raw nerve for many South Africans, and the flood gates opened, which provided a plethora of rich material to add to her own electric tapestry.
 It’s a book which encompasses the whole spectrum – people’s fears, losses and outrage at violent crime, the palpable heartache of people who’ve immigrated, others confusions about making choices or attempting to justify why they stayed or left SA, and anger directed at those who left...
This pot pourri shares what the people of SA have been feeling, thinking and experiencing. Bronwyn has courageously taken the metaphorical large wooden spoon and blended the spectrum of people’s visceral emotions into the mixing pot; together with her own feisty ingredients.
Some excerpts are heart wrenching, whilst other parts are a celebration of the things we hold dear and revere about S.A
It’s a brutally honest and heart-rending book about extremes - one contributor said he’d be content to be employed to clean the road with a toothbrush if he could immigrate. Another said that it would require someone to physically scrape him off Africa with a spatula.
The diversity of contributions to the book means that the lens swings from one extreme to the other, thus allowing the reader to see through others’ eyes, and not only from one’s own subjective choices or circumstances. It exposes the reality that the choice to either stay or leave is fraught with levels of trauma.
This book may facilitate one to come to terms with personal choices and challenges, or jolt one into a new realisation. It may bring old hurts to the surface and agitate one’s sensibility. It’s a book that hits you - one will find that someone’s words may echo one’s own. Every reader is bound to acknowledge that the fragmented SA society is made up of passionate, resilient, courageous people, who all have that indelible survival quality, irrespective of where they live. Hopefully it will permit one to acknowledge that it requires courage to stay or leave, that no one can make such a complex choice for one and that one must seek one’s own inner state of peace.

Torn in the New SA - living, loving and leaving South Africa  available at,,

Bronwyn McIntosh’s website: 

 ' A must read for every Saffer emigrant/immigrant' - eve

Kiwiana - immigrating to New Zealand means embracing Kiwi symbols.

Flag - Silver Fern
Flag - New Zealand
          Kiwi Symbols which depict New Zealand

Also check out websites like zealand/culture/kiwiana  

for an explanation of what some of the Kiwi symbols are about.
Sticker, Road Sign - Sheep


   From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Kiwiana mural in Otorohanga.
   Certain items and icons from New Zealand's cultural    
  heritage are often called Kiwiana, a term that represents   
    Kiwi elements, especially from around the middle of the 20th century,
and also means a form of kitsch

Sticker, Road Sign - NZ Kiwi

Silver Fern photo
Kiwiana: “Any of the many 'collectable', items redolent of New Zealand life and culture." Oxford N.Z. Dictionary

Little corners of South Africa can be found in any major NZ city!


     Address  6c Rosedale Road Cnr of East       
                       Coast Bays, Albany
(09) 478 8016

The South African Shop offers a variety of cultural delights

 for all visitors. You'll be hard pressed to leave without taking
some South African item home, whether a treat from our 
delicious range of food products, or a unique souvenir.
 The South African Shop in 6c Rosedale Road, Albany,
 Auckland is a cosy treasure trove of South African goods
 and products. Easily spotted by the South African flags 
as landmarks against the shopfront windows, and its 
distinctive South African colours. 
           This is where Evi buys her biltong

Evi loves African obj de art and wild life !
African Beadwork

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hub's arrival, acquiring a doggie, home and then our furniture's arrival !

(metaphorically speaking)  wench's hub      
arrives to rescue her !

My hub arrived 2 months after me; yey, I was going to have an extra pair of hands, all his love and moral support, after living alone in NZ, sans any immediate family/friends for the first two months :)

I even did a trial run to the airport the day before with my GPS, so terrified was I that I'd get lost and miss his plane's arrival!

One of the first thing we did once he'd arrived and settled, was to find a home to rent (instead of my furnished apartment) and get ourselves a little kiwi baby, Paddy-wag to help us feel like a family, sans any of our kids,, siblings and SA mates...We found our puppy Paddy-wag on Trade Me (check it out at where one can buy cars, homes, computers, furniture, baby goodies, pets etc in NZ !)

This is Paddy-wag (our Jack Russell/Shitzuh) aged 2. He adores retrieving balls & chewing sticks, & helped us to get over missing our SA doggies we'd re-homed - & to feel like a family. 

The article below is about us living in a home sans furniture, whilst awaiting our container's arrival. We made do with borrowed and bought bibs and bobs as immigrants do, until the thrill of the container's arrival 6 weeks later, with the unpacking of boxes galore. It's such a thrill unravelling fragments of one's previous life, but brings a waterfall of tears with it...

Thoughts from a loo with a view 
Published in The Witness 18/11/08                                                                           Eve Hemming

The three of us — my husband, Paddy-Wag and I — are sort of residing in our virtual reality home. But recently the harbour lady called to say that “our ship” (with our container aboard) arrives soon. That was an off-the-Richter-Scale thriller. So then we shall have a home with real furniture in it. 

Meanwhile, the best (and only) throne in the house is the loo. It has a spectacular view across Manukau Harbour. It’s also a terrific vantage point from which to watch every international jet’s bulbous belly impossibly hanging in suspended animation before landing across the bay.

The tree that scrapes against the window ledge is the spring home to a pair of New Zealand pigeons. These are the most robust bellied of the pigeon species. A bit like the jets, one feels awed at how these rotund chaps actually acquire the art of ever becoming airborne and how they manage to suspend themselves upside down in the delicate filigree-leafed branches to devour wads of sprigs. If one obliquely squints in the general direction of the tree, one would wonder why some lunatic had planted two rugby balls up there. Below the tree is a pastoral scene, where four horses graze contentedly, their blankets, which have protected them from the wet, cold winter, newly removed.

The land of the long white cloud is indeed just that. Bulwarks of clouds scurry, build up to a crescendo and vanish with the click of a celluloid frame, to reveal a fabulous rainbow arched from one end of Auckland to the other. There are generally four moments in a day — sun, clouds, rain — then the rainbow. One dresses accordingly. It’s the land of layered garments.

In the three months of living here, I’ve grown to love the place. I love the quirkiness juxtaposed against the phenomenal orderliness. In so many ways it’s similar to home, yet it’s diametrically opposed — the lurking paradox.

Talking of rugby balls, there’s the same rugby mania here, with cars adorned with little black flags, the way the blokes at home have their Springbok and Sharks banners out. And talking of rainbows, believe me, it’s a far bolder multi-hued rainbow nation than South Africa can boast. In my work organisation alone, there are over 10 different cultural groups and/or nationalities.
On the converse side from home, it’s a land that’s receptive to its constant metamorphosis. There’s a constant flux as people come and go. Some go to big brother, Aussie, and some arrive from South Africa, China and India, among others. Helen Clarke, the previous prime minister, talks about a brain gain as skilled immigrants arrive, whereas South Africa bemoans its brain drain.

It ticks over to near perfection. It’s thrilling when one is phoned to say the garden furniture will be delivered at 10.07 am and, oh boy at seven minutes past, there’s a knock at the door. It’s a zero-tolerance country on law and order, and having hailed from a laissez faire system (a polite way to put it), one truly has to learn to dot the i’s and cross the t’s to ensure not getting a fine. It’s a real skill being an accomplished Kiwi and I’m still getting there.

Clocks are here for a reason, not as decorative wall features. And the work ethic is intensive, as it’s the only way a country of 4,5 million people can operate profitably. Labour is limited, so mechanistic contraptions can attend to anything in a jiffy, 24/7.

From the loo window I can see that things are hotting up in our neck of the woods. Elections were held recently in New Zealand, which was fun to survey from the sidelines as a persona non grata. And yes, if I was the new prime minister, there are things I’d aim to change. There’s no Nirvana, but globally speaking it functions impressively away from the hot spots on th
e planet (other than the potential volcanoes  * 

It’s a place that works, regardless of the world’s larger forces. Being part of the global village, though, sadly means that negative social influences and the global recession have infiltrated this gloriously pristine place. But it has a rich heritage and a titillatingly metamorphic vibe.

• Eve Hemming was a local headmistress before emigrating to New Zealand.

* And of course I must add the sad reality of earthquakes subsequent to having this article published.

The Kiwikaner website for SA wannabes to check out

I have taken the liberty to forward this Kiwikaner

 website info to my blog for wannabe immigrants 

to read and to find loads of useful info  !

Saffers wanna help Saffers :)

Welcome to Kiwikaner!

We all know that thousands of South Africans are migrating. 
Almost all of us have some family living overseas or have 
friends with family living overseas.  Most of them are migrating to New Zealand 
and Australia.  While others find their way to the USA, Canada and Great Britain
 among most countries. The problem is that we don't know about each other and 
therefore we struggle a lonesome
struggle with no one that really understands what you are going through.  
You don't know 
where to go and who to ask for more info on migration. 
Kiwikaner is a website we created for everybody that still want to migrate, 
or that are in the process of migrating right now to NEW ZEALAND. 
If you are still in South Africa and need to start researching how to migrate
 to New Zealand - then this is the best website to start your journey! 
We don't sell anything on our website.  We just offer warm Kiwi and South African friendship!
 I strongly advice you to do 2 things:
     1.  Go through our website in 
 order. Firstly visit all the pages under the 
 of Welcome to Kiwikaner! 
Then move on to 'This is New Zealand'
 with all its dropdowns, 
then to Ways to migrate and Visas' 
with all its dropdowns. 

Spend some time at 'Is it worth it?' with its dropdowns  
Go to to ALL the dropdown pages under these headings. 
 It will help you to understand what we are trying to say much better.
2.  Lastly, go to our Links - Know before you go! page last, but definately go there.  
We have loaded some of the best New Zealand and ex-pat websites we could find. 
 Websites like Kiwiboer and SA going to NZ 
will not just be informative but will save you a lot of money and despare. 
On this website we will try to inform you.  Feel free ask questions or to to 
get in contact with Kiwikaner as well.  In a nutshell -
 lets help each other through a sometimes difficult and stressful process.
When you decide to migrate I strongly advise you to make contact 
with ex-South Africans by starting with the Ex-pat Support Group
These nice people will help you in the following ways:

  • Give you info and advise even before you migrate
  • Receive you at Auckland Airport when you land
  • Help you with basic needs like a first meal
  • Guide you through the Kiwi lifestyle in a group meeting
  • CAP - Christians Against Poverty
  • Help to find you initial accommodation after you landed - 
  • speak to them before you come!
  • Give you free advise regarding all your financial needs like life insurance, 
  • general insurance and loans
  • Help you to bring your funds over from your current country to New Zealand
  • Introduce you to a reliable and effective recruitment agency that covers 
  • all industries in Auckland and countrywide in New Zealand
  • Help you to find a house - whether you want to rent or buy
  • Introduce you to the South African community through Doxa Deo - 
  • an Afrikaans church that really cares
Lastly, feel free to take part in our polls at the bottom of each page.  
Be prepared to spend hours of great informative website surfing!  
You came to the right website.

May God bless you on your adventurous journey,
PS:  Kiwikaner is a combination of the words 'Kiwi' - 
referring to New Zealand - 
and 'Afrikaner' - referring to South Africa.
Natuurlik kuier ons ook lekker in Afrikaans! 
 Die website is in Engels om mense w√™reldwyd 
te akkomodeer, maar as jy in Afrikaans 
wil laat waai is jy meer as welkom.  Kiwikaner.