Thursday, 19 February 2009

My answers to your questions - part 1

Thanks to all of you that took the time to participate and give me some fab questions. I have roughly divided them into 5 categories:
1. South Africa
2. Blogging
3. Family
4. Twins
5. Personal

So, without further ado, the first two:

1. South Africa

4 Under 4 asked "Where were you Born? and Betty asked "Can I ask why you live in South Africa? Are you and ex-pat or a "native"?'
I am a born and bred South African - apart from my great grandfather on my mom's side who came to South Africa from the Netherlands in 1850, I stem from varied European (and probably African and Khoisan blood - DNA tests confirmed that most European South Africans have some form of mixed blood) descent. I classify myself first of all as being and African - I am connected to the soil of this place, it is in my blood, and then as being Afrikaans. And why do we (still) live here - well, we almost didn't. We almost lived in Calgary, but decided against immigrating for a heap of reasons, one being our parents who all have only one child left in South Africa and are getting older and another being that we enjoy what the African nature experience bring. We have also invested a lot in my business.

Rachael, Kelly and Missy wanted to know " What is your favorite thing about South Africa?What is your least favorite thing about South Africa?"
The least favorite is easy to answer -the crime and violent crime that is ripping through our country. The sole reason why we did consider moving away. We spend a ridiculous amount of money on security every month. My daughter's nursery school has a full-time security guard.
My favorite - gosh, that is difficult! We have apparently the best climate in the world - and it is really mild, pleasant and filled with sunshine (although we like to complain as everybody does). South Africa is a country with ravishing contrasting beauty and you can really experience a world in one country. The people! Friendly faces and smiles - really so different than Europe. And off course, the African bush experience - you have to put that one on your 100 things to do before I die list. Oh yes, and the wine - South African wines are some of the best int he world.
We make certain that we check on the quality in very regular intervals.

Missy also asked: " If I were traveling there - where you recommend I visit?"

You definitely have to start at least with the Kruger National Park - world renowned Big 5 country, but in a Malaria area - the surrounding Mpumalanga area is renowned for it's beauty .

Also worth the visit is The Pilansberg National Park (we go there until the kids are bigger - also big 5) and the Kgaligadi Transfrontier Park in the Semi desert part of the country.

Cape Town is renowned as being one of the 10 most spectacular and happening cities in the world and from there a road trip through the Garden Route up to Port Elizabeth is a stunning adventure. You will see some of the most spectacular and pristine beeches, some of the best surfing spots in the world, indigenous forest and mountains.

Make sure you spend some time at Stormsriver mouth in the Tsitsikamma natonal park - one of my favorite places in the world.

The Drakensberg region (a UNESCO world heritage site) is also well worth the visit for spectacular mountain views.
If you are into more adrenaline type of adventures South Africa offers the highest bungi jump in the world and several other adventures - check out this post. South Africa also offers some of the best hunting int he world - contact me if your hubby is interested, and also nature hiking trails to dream of. My hubby is involved part -time as a field guide in the Pilansberg park and as Professional Hunter in the Eastern Cape (both Malaria free).
Remember your dollars, pounds and Euros will bring you very far - at the exchange rate of roughly R10 to 1 $ it is excellent value for money.

If you want to read more about my personal experiences and view about South Africa, click on the South Africa label of my blog.

2. Blogging:
Christy had some questions about blogging - girl, you sure know how to ask some hard ones!

"what is your biggest gain out of blogging?"
The support one gets from the blogging community. My, I was surprised at the amount of prayers, support and love shown when something goes wrong in your family, a child is sick etc. Also as a release and a type of diary or baby book if you want to call it that.

What do you like about it the most?
I can not wait in the mornings to read the comments - and then, my favorite girl's blogs. I read blogs long before (when I was pregnant with the twins) I started to blog myself.

what inspires you?
Other peoples stories of faith, healing, love and the wonder of how families of all sorts came to be. I always try to find a "a story of us" type of entry on a blog. Also the support of the blogging community - take Tuesday's story as an example.

Nancy brought up the issue: "Oooh...Last I knew, your hubby didn't know about your blog. What do you think his reaction would be if he found out about it, and do you imagine ever telling him? I'm always fascinated by "secret blogs" :)"
Well, he has a hunch - the whole issue around Tuesday brought it out - I couldn't stop crying and we do not lie to each other, so I vaguely told him about our little community. He can guess in one guess what my pseudonym is and google Cat and South Africa and voila! he's here. I have a very understanding and sweet husband - I think he will understand that I need the support I get. It will certainly explain the fanatic photographing although I have always been a keen photographer.

Feel free to ask explanations on the answers etc - I will answer those in the comments. Keep your eyes peeled for the next riveting installment to follow as soon as I can sneak away and answer!

19 comments:

  1. You did a wonderful job!!!! You can tell that you truly LOVE where you live and that is wonderful. Thanks for the info & pictures - now I want to book a trip!!!

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  2. wow! what amazing places to visit!

    And I didn't realize your hubby didn't know about your blog? Seeing as how my hubby is usually right in the same room when I blog, can't hide from him! haha...although I don't know how often he actually reads it..

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  3. Wow!! That must have been a lot of work, this post. Thanks for answering some of my questions. This has made you all the more interesting and I will be back to read the rest of the answers. You live in a beautiful country and it´s understandable why you stayed!
    My hubby knows about my blog, but NEVER reads it and never asks. But he knows how much this community means to me!

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  4. That's really neat.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Sounds like you absolutely love where you are :)

    Also sounds like you have an awesome husband (although, it's always sounded like that). Thanks for answering!!

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  6. I didn't know your honey didn't know about your blog. Wow...I make mine proof read mine, when I can. I so love the things you told us about South Africa. Looking forward to the next installment.

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  7. South Africa looks amazing!! I really don;t hear enough about it. I am also amazed you have kept your blog from your husband.

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  8. thank you for sharing so much with us + answering the questions. can't wait for part 2!

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  9. Cat,
    Just fascinating! I just loved hearing about S. Africa and also loved your answers about blogging.
    Can't wait to read your next installment!

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  10. Oh Cat, I LOVE this! Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions so thoughtfully, and with such stunning pictures!

    Feel like I know so much more about you, and where you are. :)

    (Once my husband knew of the blog, I got some good-natured ribbing about blogging/reading blogs so often, but I daresay he's tempted at this point!)

    Can hardly wait for the next installment!

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  11. south africa is #1 on my places to visit before i die! not kidding! it's on my blog!

    the photos of your family on your sidebar are just beautiful!

    thanks for visiting me yesterday! i'm gonna hang out here if you don't mind! :)

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  12. Here, following Wenda! :)

    Hubby and i have often looked to buy property in S.Africa- Cape Town, specifically. Depending on what happens after the next election there i think we might finally give in and buy a flat there. :)

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  13. I'm just following Wenda... and dying to visit all of these amazing places!!! You did a fabulous job on this post! I know it musy have been time consuming but it was sure worth it from your reader's perspective!

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  14. I liked your answers! Though, I will say, I was shocked to learn you are a native of South Africa. I would have thought you had moved there.

    Really interesting! I learned a lot!

    My husband doesn't quite grasp the need for me to blog... although, he likes it when I post about him and then he likes to hear the comments! (rolling my eyes) LOL

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So what's on your mind?