Recent Posts by Zephora

A Trip Around the World – through Food

I wrote this up in Week 8 of our Lockdown...Enjoy!

We have entered into Week 8 of our lockdown. And I think my family and I could do with a little shake up. Normally, we would go somewhere, we've never gone before. Or we would hop in the car and go explore our city as tourists. Well, of course this isn't possible. So I came up with something we could do inside and still keep it interesting during this period. "A Trip around the World - through food" then became our thing to do on weekends.

In my new kitchen, I wanted to enjoy cooking again...

When I thought of how to get things started, I came up with us celebrating where we come from. So our first weekend we will be venturing into cuisine from South African and Germany. I'm looking forward to it very much. I haven't cooked a South African meal in a very long time. Not even a good curry. And I could do with a bit of German flavours too.

Miss E has been charged with picking a new country for every weekend after we celebrate our Heritage this weekend. She has a large map on the wall outside her bedroom and I will post a video on my Instagram account every Monday morning of her picking the next country. This should get very interesting, because her map has pictures that is associated with the country or city, so we will probably be getting lots of countries with 'fun' pictures.

We enjoy food, and especially tasting dishes from all over the world.

What have you guys been doing to keep things a little interesting during your lockdown? How long have you been under lockdown?

Our International Move – Part 1

So, as you may have noticed, we live in The Bahamas. We recently embarked on our grand adventure and I wanted to share with you how it all went. So read on for Part 1 of Our International Move...

How it all started:

In July of 2019, my husband was given the opportunity to interview for a position in the Bahamas. We had been keen on doing an International move for a while, but our options were very limited. We also had a list of things we really wanted to have available in the next country or city (top of that list was access to a beach). Never once did Nassau, Bahamas ever come to our minds when we discussed our list. So when the opportunity presented itself, we were very excited.

At first glance, living on an island surrounded by water seemed most appealing. However, once the initial excitement wore off and more research was done (by yours truly), I started doubting whether such a move was best for our little family. There were so many things to consider: would Miss E be joining school; cost of living is very high; we would be expats.

Of course I did the only thing that one can do in such a situation - I grabbed a pen and paper and started a Pro's and Cons List. I spent three days on that list and the Pros far outweighed the Cons.

It almost didn't happen...

The Interview Process was a long one, with a few 'back-and-forths', and a period of 'no communication'. In August, we started doubting whether we were even being considered anymore - such was the silence from their end.

In September, Hubby received the good news along with the Contract. A few days later, we accepted the offer and our lives were forever changed. Lists were made; plans were put into place; the first set of important people were informed - it was the start of a thrilling rollercoaster ride.

This was on our visit to tell the family about our big plans.

Our priority was to speak to Miss E about the changes that were coming. It was important to me that she not only be included in some of the key decisions of our move, but also to keep the lines of communication open. At four and a half years old, we didn't expect pushback, but we wanted to ensure that she felt like she was included in the process and not just being told what to do and to 'deal with it'.

Then we decided to tell our families. They were happy for us, of course sad we would be leaving Germany. My family on the other hand, couldn't be too sad, because we were so far away anyway. Although now there is a 6 hour time difference, so that does make it harder to call or Skype.

When the ball got rolling, there was no stopping it

There were so many things to do that I had to start making lists. We had to give notice on our apartment; figure out the best way to sell our car; shipping our belongings; informing our Kindergarten; and all the while keeping our move off social media 🙂

Exhaustion slowly started creeping in and I was in desperate need of cuddles from Miss E

At first we wanted to ship our belongings to Nassau, but after much research and talks with a few people who already have made the move to the island, we realised that shipping would not be the best option. Not only would most of our electronics not work due to the voltage difference (it didn't make sense purchasing voltage converters), but shipping itself would be very expensive. Our only option was to store our expensive large items, sell off what we can and give away the rest. This was not going to be easy 🙂

We still did lots of fun stuff during this time of packing and planning.

In October, I had just returned from a Girls' Trip to London with my good friend, Sandy, when we got the news that my husband had to move sooner than we had initially planned. And since we had so many commitments and things to do, we couldn't leave together. our timeline got moved up by one full month, which meant we had to hustle on the packing. We rented a moving van so that we could take 80% of our belongings to a storage facility we rented for two years. Hubby drove the van up north, got everything packed into the storage container and made his way back home - all within 36 hours.

I treated Miss E to a Ceramic Painting session to distract her a bit and also to make sure we still got our time together during all the chaos happening in our home.

November 13 saw us selling our car and it was the first time since we said "yes" to this move, that it hit me that it was all real. Don't get me wrong: I knew what was happening. But with all the actual packing and telling people and getting rid of stuff, I didn't really have time for it all to set in: we were packing up our home of 6 years and leaving one continent for an island!

It didn't hit me yet that we were moving to another country...not until the day we sold our car 🙁

Two days later, I found myself sitting on the floor of Frankfurt International Airport holding and comforting my daughter - both of us crying. We had just said 'goodbye' to her dad who was walking toward Airport Security. We were going to be by ourselves for one full month.

"Goodbye, Papa. See you in one month."

This was just one more test of my patience, faith and resilience...To Be Continued in Part 2

Till next time,
Zee

Our 6 Month Anniversary

Today we celebrate our 6 month anniversary...We have lived in the Bahamas for 6 months today. And with that in mind, I wanted to celebrate this milestone by finally relaunching this little baby I started 3 years ago. This little blog has been a a sort of 'thorn in my side' for a long time. It has been more a source of frustration than the space of peace that I had intended when I thought up the idea of blogging 3 years ago. Now, more than ever I need a place where I can tell my story; somewhere I can be comfortable expressing my feelings. I have so much to share, so many stories to tell and yes, recipes to to share...for life and baking 🙂

Six months since we first put our feet into the Caribbean

Six months ago, we put our feet into the Caribbean for the first time.

The last six months have been more than I could have imagine. There were highs and lows; ups and downs; disappointments and triumphs. And yet through it all, I have learned so much about myself: new strengths; old weaknesses.

My Hair has seen better days. The humidity is not great, but that is the least of my problems 🙂

It's not easy been an easy transition, and we are still not yet settled in. There are still loads of wrinkles to iron out and we have been set back due to the current global pandemic. But the hope is still there that we can and will get through this and find our feet in our new 'home'. We have so many things on our Bahamas Bucket-list. So much we wanted to see and do in our first year. And we've had to postpone them. Not cancel them.

Life with this one is definitely interesting

We don't know how the next few months will go. No one does. And that is the most difficult: not knowing. We can but hope and pray for life to return to some sort of normalcy. Because, let's face it: we will never truly go back to normal. Our normal way of life; our normal daily routine; how we interact with others; how we travel - that has forever been changed by this pandemic. Some have realised that less is more; others now understand the true meaning of family. One thing is sure: our new normal will be very interesting indeed.

And to that, I say 'cheers!'. Bring it on. If I have learnt anything over the last 6 months, it is that nothing is certain; nothing is permanent; and life is far too short not to live it.

Sunsets and cocktails...

Have you ever moved to a new city or country? How long did it take for you and settle in and find your rhythm? What have you learned about yourself during this global crisis? Comment below, I'm curious.

Till next time, Dearies
Peace and Love, Zee

Mein Freundeskreis

Heute möchte ich ĂŒber Freundschaft und die verschiedenen Arten von Freundschaften sprechen, die man im Laufe seines Lebens schließt. Mein Freundeskreis ist unterschiedlich groß, was meine GefĂŒhle fĂŒr sie betrifft - und ich bin sicher, dass viele von Euch sich damit identifizieren können.

Ich hatte das GlĂŒck, in meinem Leben einige erstaunliche Menschen getroffen zu haben. Menschen aus allen Lebensbereichen; mit einem sehr unterschiedlichen kulturellen Hintergrund; einige, die nach kurzer Zeit kamen und gingen; viele, die meinem Leben einen Mehrwert verliehen haben; und natĂŒrlich einige, die verweilten, um ihre eigene Weisheit weiterzugeben. FĂŒr die wenigen, die ich "Freunde" nennen darf, haben einen besonderen Platz in meinem Herzen.

Es gibt jedoch eine Gruppe von Damen, denen ich an dieser Stelle wirklich danken möchte. Diese Frauen haben alle ein Herz aus Gold. Sie haben ihre Liebe und Freundlichkeit durch Worte der Hoffnung, Ermutigung und Weisheit ausgegossen.

Ich hatte keinen guten Start auf der Insel. Als ich hier ankam, hatte ich eine schwierige Umstellung: Ich war fast drei Wochen lang krank; ich hatte Schwierigkeiten, mich auf der Insel zurechtzufinden; der Umzug in unser Haus war etwas dramatisch. Und dadurch kamen mir Zweifel, ob der Umzug hierher eine gute Entscheidung war oder nicht. Ich mĂŒhte mich ab, das Gute zu finden. Meinen Kopf hoch zu halten war ein tĂ€glicher Sport, und all diese VerĂ€nderungen durchzustehen, forderte seinen Tribut von mir - emotional und mental.

Dann wachte ich eines Morgens mit einer ermutigenden Nachricht auf meinem persönlichen Instagram-Konto auf. Etwas, das mein Herz erwĂ€rmte und meine Seele tröstete. Am nĂ€chsten Tag postete ein anderer Freund etwas Ermutigendes. Und am nĂ€chsten Tag wieder ein anderer Freund. Einige Wochen lang wurde mein Posteingang jeden Tag mit Textnachrichten ĂŒberschwemmt, meine sozialen Medien explodierten mit so viel Liebe und UnterstĂŒtzung. Mein Herz war voll. Meine Seele war ruhig. Ich fand die Kraft, die ich brauchte, um mich wieder aufzuraffen und alles zu tun, was ich brauchte, um mich in mein neues Leben hier einzuleben. Unser neues Leben hier.

Christina, Tanja, Bettina, Denja, Anna, Miriam, Ute, Nadine, Nici - und all die NĂ€herinnen, die ich kennen gelernt habe und die supersĂŒĂŸ waren (falls ich Dich nicht namentlich erwĂ€hnt habe, bitte entschuldige). Sandy, Sara, Miriam K, Milissa, Farial, Daniela, Lawrien, Sabine, Sylwia:

Von ganzem Herzen: Vielen Dank! Eure Ermutigung, UnterstĂŒtzung, Worte der Weisheit und Liebe haben mich kĂŒrzlich durch eine sehr schwierige Zeit gebracht. Ihr wisst es vielleicht nicht, aber Eure Anwesenheit in meinem Leben ist ein Geschenk des Himmels. Allein das Wissen, dass Ihr da draußen in der Welt sind, erinnert mich daran, dass es immer noch gute Menschen gibt. Menschen, die sich sorgen, verstehen und mitfĂŒhlen können. Ihr habt alle einen besonderen Platz in meinem Herz. Ihr habt mir alle geholfen, wieder auf die Beine zu kommen und meine Zen-Zone wieder zu finden.

Ich hoffe, euch alle eines Tages persönlich wiederzusehen. Aber im Moment sende ich euch virtuelle Umarmungen und ihr sollt wissen, dass ihr immer in meinen Gedanken und Gebeten seid.

Nie alle meine Freunde sind auf dem Bild, aber ihr seid alle in meinem Herz 🙂

Licht und Liebe,
Zee

My German Safari 2.0

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog!

When I started this blog 3 years ago, I had a vision of what I wanted to achieve with the blog. I had a two year old daughter and I was still figuring out motherhood, living as an expat in Germany, where red tape hinders just about everything in life. I wanted to use this platform to help other parents in similar situations, navigate life raising the next generation in a country that is not their own. I also wanted to shed some light on life in Germany, from a South African perspective. This was also supposed to be my own personal space where I could voice my opinions on everyday issues.

What I ended up with was a blog growing extremely slowly, even with two posts per week, daily social media activity and very little results in terms of readership.

I then decided to get on the bandwagon of monetising my website using affiliate links to generate an income (however small it was). What ended up happening was me making use of a wordpress plugin, that ended up having a very bad virus that corrupted my entire site. My blog was about 16 months old by then. I was gutted and thought of throwing in the towel. But then common sense broke through: My website was specially built for me – my design, my criteria. I had invested a lot of money into getting the site up and running and having it maintained. I had had close to 200 posts and nearly 1000 photos on the website. It was like another little baby that I had been raising and I didn’t want to let it just die.

So, after much deliberation, I decided to get back on it. But it’s been a long journey since that decision. 2018 was not a great year in terms of my mental and emotional well-being. 2019 saw us making very big changes which included an International move. My little blog had to be pushed back again. Now that we have found our feet in our new 'home', I am happy to finally get my blog back up again. Starting very much from scratch with posts, as I didn’t see a point of re-uploading the old ones.

So, cheers to My German Safari 2.0! It’s not what I had initially planned for it to be. But I am hoping that this new direction I am taking it in will be fruitful and that you will enjoy reading each time you come to visit.

My German Safari Author

Thanks for returning and welcome to those new readers.

Till next time, take care.
Zee

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