Algamdulillah, December is finally here and the year is almost over. Everyone back home in Cape Town is busy finalising end of year parties, family get aways, family get togethers, braai days, beach days and so much more but yet here we feel as if our year just started.
The school year starts in September until end of June here. Summer holidays is from beginning of July until the end of August where the whole of Europe is on shutdown. When we arrived in August this place was like a ghost town with everyone gone on holiday in amazing places like Spain, Italy and to the South of France. For the December holiday period the schools close for two weeks only from the 23rd December and re-opens on the 7th January again. We had plans to visit Cape Town in December but our residency cards won’t all be ready before then. We therefore had to postpone our plans. No family get togethers, no braai days, no December beach days – nothing.
We will miss my brother’s 21st birthday party! Can’t believe we won’t be there – the highlight of his entire year! Now the other day he was born and soon he will be turning 21! Our mommy would be so proud to see what a caring, loving man (he is still my small baby brother even though he is going to be 21yrs old!) he turned out to be. All her hard work and sacrifices in moulding him, having patience with him and sometimes not having any patience at all haha. Now he just needs to get him a car and buy him a wife – then he is sorted! We believe that Allah’s plans are better than ours, always!
Cape Town we will see you in February – Insha Allah! Will come catch the last of the summer days! *excited*
A lot has happened since I last sent out an update in October, Algamdulillah!!
We managed to get small ones into a French school and they loving it! Their teachers are sweet, helpful and very understanding. This has helped make the transition from an all English school to an all French school sooooo much easier. They have their own friends but SP just complained last night that ZP is stealing all her friends haha. Algamdulillah they both learning so much – they able to count till about 30 (I think! lol) in French and know the alphabet already. It is nothing like English and so I make lots of Dua it only gets easier and better for them from here on out!
JP and AP have both transitioned from the beginner french classes to full french classes. Their subjects like mathematics and physics are given in french – at first they found it difficult but Algamdulillah through time they starting to understand what the teacher is saying – how amazing is that – Allah is great! Algamdulillah. Hubby has started his German lessons and I am still trying to find a class that I can attend as the one that I want to attend is only starting end of January!
Algamdulillah, the big ones started travelling alone to school and back home with the tram. We got them a monthly tram ticket and they are now able to move around easily. I still stress and worry about them (I call them a hundred times from the time they leave school to the time they get on the tram etc.) and sometimes I think they think I am crazy but I cannot let my complete guard down just yet. It was a big adjustment for us to let them travel alone but Algamdulillah, it is really safe here. Children as young as 10 years old are travelling alone with no adult supervision, cars are left unlocked with keys inside still, apartments and houses have no burglar bars or alarm systems, people walk alone around at night, children walk alone to school – all this is new to us! Coming from South Africa, Cape Town – you cannot take chances like this but Algamdulillah here we can breathe a little. We can let the children walk and run around without holding them too tight. About two weeks ago hubby lost his wallet – we looked everywhere for it! Oh my word – we checked in the car, the apartment – messed the whole place up because he was running late the morning for his train and needed his wallet desperately. He eventually left without it. Luckily he did not need it that morning because he bought his tickets to work already and he did not need his licence (which was in the wallet) because I took the car. Either way – he got to work and before calling the bank to cancel all the cards etc. he called me to double check if I found it. As he called – a man rang the apartment doorbell and I opened up for him. Told hubby that there was someone in front of me – I would call him back. This man could not speak English so we communicated via the Google translate app and he told me that he picked the wallet up in the road and dropped it off at the Town Hall. I could not believe what I was hearing – this man picked the wallet up, cycled to the Town Hall to hand it in there, came back to our area to look for our apartment (nobody gave him our address!) and came to let me know that he picked it up!! I was shocked and soooo very grateful that he found the wallet – I could not say merci beaucoup enough times!! Nothing was taken, no money or piece of paper was out of place – Algamdulillah!
I started working part time again – whoohooooo!! If you know me, you know I can’t sit around and do nothing – I would die of boredom because it is in my nature to be busy, work hard, manage hectic deadlines and schedules! How I miss the DPRU days 🙂 Anyhooo – I managed to get design work for a new client, an electrical company based in Cape Town. I designed their logo, business card and an invoice layout. I also designed a logo for an upcoming clothing designer for kiddies sleepwear also in Cape Town. My aim to assist start up businesses with their design work as well as creating their social media platforms for online marketing purposes. For any queries please feel free to contact: email@example.com
I started driving – OH MY WORD – what a nerve wrecking experience! Driving on the right side of the road and sitting on the left side of the car – how very confusing!! For the first week of driving I kept on going to the right side of the van to get in and looking for my seat belt over my right shoulder – yikes! When I drove for the first time – I had to drop small ones off at school and I told them that I wanted no talking, no asking questions, no shouting, no music – nothing! I had to concentrate and make sure I got to their school in one piece and not scratch the van!! Haha I managed, Algamdulillah by driving slow — verrrrrry slow! Hubby went to Germany for work and I thought I would be okay driving at night – I decided to fetch JP at school as he finished off at 18:00! I got lost going to the school and eventually when I picked him up – going home I ended up in the wrong lane! JP got so embarrassed – shame, he tried to hide in the car haha (reminded me of when I was young and my daddy had an old Volvo – he would fetch us at school and hoot sooooo loud at our friends – we use to duck down cos we were embarrassed, haha) I managed to get lost again and ended up on the HIGHWAY!!!!!! OH MY HAT – I was sooooo scared! Just imagine driving in the dark, like a learner and ending up on the freaken highway!!! I don’t know the roads so I needed to reply on Google maps to get us home safely and all the Duas I kept on saying in my mind – ya salaaaaam! The highway is filled with massive Scania trucks, people rushing to get home and here I was driving Mrs Daisy (rolling eyes). I eventually got home and had to drink sugar water because my nerves were shot – had nightmares also which was uncool haha.
I have managed to unpack most of our boxes but it still does not feel like home. Our plan is to get cupboards, dining room table and chairs, extra kitchen table for working space etc. next year only. Our priority is not getting that stuff now but focusing all our energy on getting kids sorted and making us comfortable – that’s it! I can work out of my suitcase for now, hang my jackets over my room door for now, we can have our supper on our beds for now, I can work on the small space in the kitchen for now – all this is not ideal but we say Algamdulillah for the bed we sleeping on, the warm blanket we have over us, the heating in our apartment, the car to take my small ones to school, the tram so that the big ones can get to school, the warm plate of food at night, the hugs and kisses from the children when they come home from a long day and so much more!
Algamdulillah, this is not a movie – this is real life, with real feelings and emotions – our new reality, our very own movie! In the movies everything is perfect and beautiful but in our movie it is lonely, difficult, scary but at the end of it all we still manage to say Algamdulillah for all our blessings! We still smile, we still grateful and we still move forward. We still acknowledge the good in every situation, we still find ease in difficult situations and we still find peace in our scary crazy situations.