A blog about emigrating from SA and for families fragmented by migration.It's about sharing,empathy, compassion & humour; about reflecting on our universal quest for life, security, challenge & growth. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like your personal journey/story showcased on my BLOG or in my next book! Namaste.
Scatterlings- A Tapestry of Afr-Expat Tales will be out soon :) Watch this space re the launch >>> Thanks to all the amazing contributors- without you there would be no book ! You have made it this rich Tapestry :)
Where to start ? About the book's content maybe...
I'm a SA born and bred, passionate about my country and its people.
I worked in SA much of my life as a teacher and then a Principal of special needs children who are/ were disadvantaged and mostly from impoverished backgrounds.
I'm a freelance writer, a psychologist. - an expat and a humanitarian.
Like many people, we have very sadly and reluctantly left SA due to the untenable levels of crime, the incompetent leadership of the governing party, the disintegration of services, the unknown future and the limited opportunities for future generations.
I went through the deep grief and mourning process when we emigrated in 2008, as we have children and grand children in both SA and NZ. SA is what I refer to as a 'shrapnelled society...'
It's not easy to emigrate at the age of 58, and my spouse was then 62. One leaves one's entire life's history and footprint behind; one's roots and one's identity; all that is familiar and that defines one's self.
My book chronicles the journey, the epiphany and to what I allude to as the 'metaphorical death' and 'rebirth' as a migrant.
I share aspects of my carefree childhood on a Freestate farm, about my slow conscientising that all is not right due to the separatist existence of the various cultures and the dawning of awareness of the heinous apartheid regime, coupled with a sense of fear and of suppression, as well as guilt for not being adequately oppositional...
I provide a Support Process regarding adaptation and healing from the grief of migration and from the traumas of SA life, in which many experience PTSD and high anxiety, fear, stress and depression, both during the regime and after - as well as pre- and post- migration.
In the wonderfully rich Tapestry section I share other people's stories; Folk from Zim and SA now spread around the globe; abroad and those returned home or who have opted to never leave.
I have an historical/political time line section in the book from Khoi Khoi to current and conclude with all time favourite SA recipes and some poems on Immigration.
Within the time line section one will find book reviews and articles form the media which give an outline of data re SA over the past few years.
My book concludes with the fact that no one can decide for one if to stay or leave and that those who leave always hold a piece of Africa in their souls. Its a very personal choice and there are pros and cons to every choice we make in life. It also concludes offering hope that the future remains unknown and that only time will define where to from here for each and every person; also that we are in essence all interconnected whether far away or in Africa, - in a way that defies time, space and distance through the eyes of a renowned quantum physicist. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Dear wonderful people (who have contributed to the book or supported and assisted me...)
I have re-submitted my book to the publishers this week, having done a bit of trimming and reducing and gaining consent from writers of published works etc.
I feel humbled and privileged to have so many notable, as well as regular people's work in my book and feel that I am merely a conduit.
No, I won't make a fortune out of the book and yes, if I do, you will come to the celebration!
What are the objectives of the book, you may ask ?
1. It was part of my personal healing as I went through the painful motions of migration and confronted my own metaphysical crisis.
2. In going through the journey, I felt that my research and engagement in the process could benefit others in the same predicament.
3. The more I wrote and learnt, the less I wrestled with myself and the more at peace I became about honouring my grief, about respecting individual choice; to stay in SA or to leave or to return... or to leave again ! My book chronicles such stories in it !
4. This made me ever more aware of the complexity of the migration story, the passion and power of the human spirit, the determination and resilience, as well as the collective pull that Africa holds for us all; regardless of where we are on this mortal plane.
5. It made me ever more acutely aware of the complexity of the Southern African legacy; the history, the politics, the pain, angst, brutality, bloodshed, greed, stupidity, inequity, confusion... and oh, the lessons to be learned, as well as the need for healing, forgiveness and solutions.
6. As I began to heal, my love for Africa returned and my anger and hurt diminished, although it still hurts and always will.
7. In writing my bit of the book and collating others' stories, I came to realise that we are all interconnected and all on a continuum from one extreme to the other; we are all fallible and human, full of human error, yet survivors. We are all Africans and we take that African spirit with us far and wide.
8. In writing/collating the book, I learned that in Africa, as with everywhere else, greed and entitlement and materialism is humanity's downfall and yet competition is what keeps humanity alive.
9. I have learnt how vulnerable we all are.
10. I have learnt to value the moment.
Thank you for being part of my journey !
Please also check my book blog- ScatterlingTales... :)
Some folk leave Africa and that is that.... and others have a great need to kindle the African Spirit. It is such a powerful magnetic pull that Mama Africa has for us expats ! These are pics which depict the Africa Day in NZ (March 2013)
And no... we haven't turned our Backs on you Africa ! We love you from down under here in NZ !!!
May I take the liberty of inquiring at what stage people should apply for political asylum elsewhere?
Should they wait till the exchange rate is utterly untenable to contemplate emigration?
Or possibly when their burglar bars, remote controls, razor wire, watch dogs and other security options have been stolen, which they can’t afford to replace?
Should they wait until their jobs have been taken and they are too old to beg ?
Should they wait till there is no more pension money in the kitty ?
Or what about till the exam pass rate is dropped to 25% leading to the standard of education being the laughing stock of global education, rendering their children a Mickey mouse qualification and no credibility to pursue tertiary opportunities out of the country?
What about waiting until the government officials have acquired so many BMWs from the tax man’s almost empty coffers, so that more public hospitals have to be closed down as the money that grows on trees has amazingly become depleted?
Or maybe when International Antiretroviral funding stops, so that if one is ill one simply can’t get medical support, as the system is groaning and under tremendous threat ?
Or maybe when the potholes are so enormous that one’s car gets swallowed in a ‘gat’ and one can’t get out and about by public transport as its non existent?
Or possibly when one simply can’t afford a body guard?