We spent the week getting settled in Pietermaritzburg. (It definitely did not look as easy going as the above photo might suggest). There was an awful lot to unpack, organize, and learn on the homefront. (I’ll save keys and security systems for their own special post!) It felt very celebratory when, after five days of waiting, someone arrived to cut off the padlock from our sunroom to a small garden. It is full of exotic (to us) plants and flowers and to Elsa Ruth’s great delight a trampoline!
There were also many “grown up” things to attend to – banking, navigating a new place while driving the opposite side of the road and vehicle, getting telephones, internet service, arranging a few house repairs. All of these things required errands and appointments that, though interesting at first, required a great deal of waiting in lines. You can imagine that the children tired of these tasks pretty quickly!
Overall we found people to be exceptionally friendly. Neighbors in our gated complex greeted us the first day. (Thank goodness as we had a leaky pipe that first night and not one rag or old towel for mopping). They have come by regularly since to check on our progress, warn us about the power outage schedule, and answer questions.
We enjoyed a visit to this early morning farmer’s market with what we are told is the “winter produce.” One can only imagine what the summer options might include! Here are a few sights from that outing.
We celebrated Simon’s 10th birthday with the American friends mentioned previously. Feasting, laughing, talking, and being silly were exactly what our house needed to feel a little less new and empty and more like home!
And we concluded our week with a Sunday morning hike at nearby Queen Elizabeth Nature Preserve. “THIS is more like it!” was the attitude exuded by all as we left behind the tasks and hiccups of settling in. Yes it is – wide open views, emptiness, cool trees, a rambling trail, and even a bit of wildlife!