Outta here!

Kids are still sleeping and I’m drinking coffee, checking email one last time before packing up this computer.  This is it.  In a couple hours the furniture will be moved out and we will be on our way toward Johannesburg!

Didn’t we just do this all this a year ago!?  It feels like yesterday that I was asking, “What to do with the remaining tinfoil?  Can we throw in one last load of laundry?  Shall we save the kids’ school art?”  It was hard to believe we’d arrive at today given that this is how things looked around here for the last week, even up until yesterday:


Scott said last night that he has mixed feelings: sad the year is coming to a close, happy about the next month of travel, excited and nervous for all the details to fall into place.  I know we are all experiencing that same stew of emotions.

It has been a crazy-fast last week too.  I’ll share a few photos:


Simon’s school team participated in the largest Tag Rugby Festival in South Africa here in our city – along with 500 other barefooted kids!



Elsa Ruth finished up with several field hockey matches.


A last violin lesson in Durban with dear Ms. Louise.  Their gold star review sheets only hint at the impressive progress they made under her guidance.


What joy- the last day of school was a “Civvies Day”= no uniforms!


The kids were gifted with cards and other surprises, including beautiful pillow cases signed by their classmates.



I was honored to provide a workshop on methods for English language instruction to all the teachers at Umsilinga Primary School.  They thanked me with a gift of beautiful Zulu beads.



Elsa Ruth joined me for one last day teaching Grade 4 learners and preschoolers at the creche.





Scott finished things up in his office with just grading and proposal work to take on the road.


And we made the rounds saying farewells to various individuals who touched us throughout the year.


Ndumasani, the super enthusiastic security guard who welcomes us every morning at the kids’ school.


School moms’ farewells got me teary.


Our wonderfully warm and supportive neighbours (Jenny, left, and Anita, right) who helped with Afrikaans homework, praised violin progress, shared news, answered endless questions, and showered us with love all year.

Selfie with Leiseths

Tessa, Jon, Sophia, and Isaac Leiseth, Americans who are residents here but have roots in Fargo-Moorhead.  They have been family to us this year!  We will miss you but take heart knowing our paths will cross again and again and again.


This is it…several hours since I started this.  Furniture is out and car is loaded!  We hope to post throughout this month of travel, but not knowing the internet availability I have “pre-loaded” a couple stories to keep you satisfied, dear readers!  Sala kahle.  Stay well.



8 thoughts on “Outta here!

  1. Hugs and love to you all as you travel this month! Can’t wait to see you when you return! We love you!

    Kristen Please forgive iPhone brevity!



  2. Happy Trails! I have loved the photos and reading your adventures. Thank you so much for sharing your unique perspective on life and S Africa! We who choose to stay in one place (for now) have loved living vicariously through your posts. Safe travels to you!


  3. Wow !! Time goes fast when you are having fun. How fortunate for your family to have such a great experience. It would be great if you all could give a talk on how this experience has affected you at this time in your lives. Travel safe. The Sandbo’s


  4. I LOVE that picture of Simon playing rugby barefoot! So cool. And something I can’t imagine happening in the US, and why not? And the little boy at the creche whose hand you are shaking looks like he is about to cry that you are leaving! Makes me teary. We are so excited to see you and hear more about all your adventures in person! Love and safe travels.


  5. Dear Family,
    You are on your way now as I read this splendid posting. Am sure your bodies are tired and hearts are full of emotions and anticipation. You have touched many lives there in Pietermaritzburg and will be remembered by many. Keep writing in those journals. We all want to know about your June travels and discoveries. Love from Grandma Nancy


  6. Dear Scott, Amy, Simon and Elsa,
    Though I haven’t written to you until now, I want you to know that you have all enriched my life this past year! It has been so much fun to see you all learning and enjoying your time in So. Africa. Your willingness and perseverence to share your adventures and musings have been such a pleasure for me. Amy, I was happy to see that Kjersten (?) and her family were able to visit you there…what a wonderful experience for you all!!
    I hope to see you some time when I’m visiting in Minnesota. Now that Dorothy and family will be there, that just might happen!!
    Take care,
    Much love and blessings, Kathy Schwandt


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