a) How close/far away is your house from: the kids’ school, your main ministry areas, the grocery store you use
Joshua’s school is actually just around the corner, about a 5 minute drive. Emma Grace’s isn’t far, about 7 minutes. Our main ministry areas are located closer to University Village. They are about 20 minutes from our house. I wish I only had to use one grocery store! There is no one stop shop here! There’s 2 grocery stores in town that I use which are about 7 minutes away. I buy fruits and vegetables either in the store, at random spots along the road, or at Fruit N Veg, which is about 20 minutes away. If I want more specialty items, I go to the mall which has 2 bigger grocery stores, about 15 minutes away.
b) What is your church like?
Currently we go to a Sunday evening service. It is very simple with worship, a message, and fellowship with other believers. Occasionally, we go to church in the communities. This is where the real African experience is. A meeting isn’t a meeting unless it lasts for at least 3 hours. Because South Africa has so many whites and blacks, you can find all sorts of churches here. Afrikaans, English, and MANY different African churches.
c) How often do you, Jen, drive? Do you enjoy it?
Yes, I actually drive everywhere! It’s quite a story of how I learned to drive here. We moved here almost 2 years ago. After the first week here, Jeremy got terribly sick. I had never seen him so sick. They thought he had malaria and tested him many times. He had all the symptoms, but every test came back negative. It didn’t make sense anyway because we had just arrived and he hadn’t been to any malaria areas. Anyway, back to the driving. About 99% of the cars here are manuals (stick shift). I could count on one hand how many times I had driven a manual in the states and I had definitely not driven on the left side of the road! But with Jeremy sick, I had no choice. Joshua had to get to school and I had to buy groceries. So, I had a crash course in learning to drive a stick on the left side of the road. And we’re not talking flat roads. Some of the roads here are on hills. Not easy for a beginner learner with no teacher. Let’s just say the car died more times than I care to admit.
After that experience, I felt like I could drive anywhere. I’ve driven in Kruger Park, Cape Town, and the 3 1/2 hr. drive from the Johannesburg airport to our house. I’ve also driven about every vehicle you can drive from a kombi (kind of like a big van) to South Africa’s car of choice, the VW citi Golf. What I enjoy about it, is the freedom I have to get around. If I want some alone time, I can drive to the mall or the coffee shop. It’s great!
(Like my staged driving picture? I’m trying to look cool behind the wheel!)
d) Aside from groceries, do you have any SA or western shops nearby that you couldn’t live without?
Hmmm…good question. I guess there a couple of shops here that I would be sad to see them leave. First on my list would be Zanna’s. An awesome little cafe/coffee shop whose owner is simply fab! They are frequently the fav for coffee meetings, small group outings, weekend brunches, and lunch dates. Let’s just say that our staff give them lots of business!
And then there’s the little yarn shop in town, Evari Yarns. The lady in there is so nice! She’s even let me leave before with my purchases and come back a couple of days later to pay for them! I love going in there even just to ask her questions on knitting. She’s always knitting or crocheting something up when I go in.
Hope that answers your questions, Blissful E! It’s not too late if anyone of you have questions! Or maybe I just post about everything and there’s nothing left to ask! 🙂