Friday, December 23, 2011

December 2011 update

Well, we’ve booked our tickets, so it’s definitely happening….we’re coming back to Newcastle, Australia, in June 2012. Many things are still up in the air including Niall’s PhD, which won’t be sorted out for a few months. But we have enough certainty to help us decide to come back. Once again we are chameleons - adapting to our surroundings (this one was in our backyard garden - so beautiful!)

While we can live on our savings for a while and live without work and study for now, it is wearing thin. It is with both sadness and joy that we plan our return home. We have all made so many wonderful friends here and had such a great time – we will miss everyone here! But a new journey awaits us….

Our plan is to finish Term 1 of school here, then leave for a holiday mid-April, visiting some friends in Europe and Canada, arriving back in Australia at the end of May. Major flights on the trip have been paid for – just need to organise some of the finer details, which we have plenty of time for.

This month we’ve already had one Aussie visitor, Phil Ireland. We spent the week taking him around the Cape, which was a change from the few weeks he spent locked in at the Climate Change conference in Durban. Niall’s mum arrived early this week and Jeff and his daughter, Julie, arrived last night. After Christmas we’re looking forward to seeing Niall’s brother, Ross, and Sophie and Holly.

The kids have been off school for almost two weeks now and are relishing the relaxed days (although still waking up quite early!) – we’re loving not having to do the transporting to and from school! They both had wonderful reports from school – we’re so proud of them. Niall was asked to do a talk at the school’s Carols service – the kids loved his story about ‘monsters’ and Laura and Connor were very proud of their dad, who now has rock-star status! This week Laura had a few friends over for a very low key sleepover for her birthday, which was all organised by her – and we could mostly sit back and relax. She has lovely friends. We enjoyed a day at the aquarium with our friends - we loved the nemo exhibit!

January brings another house move – this time to a house only a few streets away, thanks to a friend from church who rescued us in our time of house need! We’ll still have a pool and 2 dogs this time – but the owner will look after both (she’s living in the granny flat). The weather has been mostly good, but colder than expected for summer. We’ve been able to use the pool on a few days, but still a bit chilly in. The avocado tree is heaped with baby avos – hopefully we can come back and get a few when they’ve fully grown (after we’ve moved out).

Niall graduated in a not-too-pompous ceremony on a nice cool day (phew!) and then celebrated at night with other Masters graduates from Zimbabwe. It was an interesting night. Fi was asked to come at 4pm to help with dinner, which turned out into a scene from Ready, steady, cook – ie. Here are your ingredients, what are you going to make? Some of the cooking was already underway for the 40 expected guests, so Fi managed to produce some bulk food very quickly with her team of helpers! Then we sat down for the formalities – 2 hours of speeches before dinner. It was a wonderful night of celebration of the hard work of these students and the families and friends that supported them.

Niall and Fi have now got a regular paying gig at a local 5-star boutique hotel on Sunday afternoons (fortnightly), which is going well. After much deliberation (thanks to all those who made suggestions on facebook!), our name is Indringer (meaning ‘alien’ or ‘intruder.’ Basically anything that is not native).

We are starting to say goodbye to people who are leaving in December and others that won't be back before we leave in April; a time of sadness and joy as we celebrate Christmas with family and friends.

We wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year.


At 11:10 am, Blogger Cakelyn said...

Thanks for the update! Not long now and you'll be leaving SA, it seems to have gone so quickly from our end :)


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