Twenty-two years ago my husband and I decided to take the opportunity to move to America from South Africa. While living in South Africa our homes were burgled twice. First in Bloemfontein, then later in Johannesburg. Walking from the grocery store my husband and a friend were robbed at knifepoint for one bag of groceries. While using a phone booth and absentmindedly putting down my handbag, somebody just grab it. All this is ironic because this happened while still students and after just started working. So we were not rich and our apartments really did not have anything worth stealing. I can just assume that we were easy targets even though we tried to be vigilant and alert. Speaking of plunder and mayhem, One day while my husband drove on the highway, a guy jumped out of his BMW and hit him through the open car window. So there was more than enough reasons to try another country.
Now that I have written a paragraph it looks that this post will fit in nicely with the Daily Post of May 30 on the word RETROSPECTIVE.
Still there are people in South Africa that goes through all this and more that do not see the need to emigrate or just temporary live in another country. Speaking for myself I found myself curious about other countries in the world from an early age. In high school I requested a catalog of places in Europe to visit even though at that stage there was no chance for me to visit any of those countries. And while on university I chose not to become a nanny in France or travel for a year since my dad were very sick. So I find myself curious but scared to try out new places until I met my husband. With whom I was figuratively dragged from train station to train station. From Bloemfontein to Johannesburg, to Atlanta, Georgia, to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Bedford, New Hampshire. By car, by airplane, by foot by hook or by crook. It was wild and tense.
Being South African one can not reminiscence without talking about race. I grew up with apartheid. I grew up on a farm. I do remember being a toddler and staring at the row of colored people while I stood with my dad or my mom in a line of whites. It was strange yes although one grew up with that and if you are lucky you might realize the horror of it. As I grew older, the country changed. The two lines of separation disappeared long before apartheid was officially voted out. And by 24 my husband and I were excited to vote in our first democratic vote. Excited about the positive change in South Africa.
I never witnessed any violence from my father towards the employees on our farm. I was proud of the fact that my dad built a school for his workers and any of the neighbouring farms’ workers. Sad to say that after my dad died we were unable to continue farming and now that school stands empty.
In the end the decision to immigrate was fueled by a desire to see more of the world to get to meet more of the world’s people. In the end one has to realize that there is a universe out there and that we are more alike than not. If there is a god he surely created the whole earth and not just the one spot your were born on.