Looking for this week’s Five Minute Friday post and the giveaway from Red Letter Words?  Click here.

31 Days - 2014 logoThis is Day 11 of 31 Days of Life in South Africa — a series in which every post is written in five minutes flat.  Thanks for stopping by!




I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

You have to learn how to walk and how to talk.

How to shop and how to get around.

How to show respect and how to listen.

You need someone to teach you where to buy sweaters and that they’re not even called sweaters, they’re called jerseys.  You need someone to remind you to stay on the left side of the road when you drive, and to call traffic lights robots and how to do a hill start because your hometown is as flat as they come.



You need someone to teach you how to cook dombi and vetkoek, melktert and malva pudding.  How to stir pap and how to get stains out of clothes and the best way to hang them on the line to dry.

You’ll have to learn that your way isn’t always the right way, and neither is theirs.  And if you’re as blessed as I was, you’ll learn that the world is a whole lot bigger and a whole lot smaller than you ever could have imagined, and the Lord created it all in its beautiful array of color.



You’ll learn that heaven is going to be so much richer than your small mind could ever comprehend, with its flavors and sounds and words that just don’t translate from this language to that, but fit perfectly when one day we’ll all understand.


To see more posts from this series, click here.

It’s 31 Days time! 

This is my second time linking up with The Nester, who dreamed up this writing challenge for bloggers everywhere to write 31 posts in the 31 days of October.

Last year I wrote Defining Home in 31 Days.

This year I’ll be writing on 31 Days of Life in South Africa, but this time, with a twist.

As the new host of Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five-Minute Friday, I’ve issued a challenge to anyone who chooses to accept it — namely, to write 31 Days of blog posts, five minutes at a time.

It’s like 31 Days Meets Five-Minute Friday.

People who are playing along are linking up at the bottom of this page over here.  Click over to check out some fabulous themes and writing!  If you’re joining the challenge and haven’t linked up yet, you can do so over here!

Also, be sure to enter your e-mail address in the sidebar on the right to get posts delivered directly to your inbox as soon as they go live.  There will be some giveaways scattered throughout the month that you won’t want to miss!

And now, without further ado, let the 31 Days of Five Minute Free-Writes begin!


31 Days - 2014 logo


Set your timers, and … GO.


It was the night before my departure, and four friends came over to bid me farewell.  In typical college student style, we talked all manner of nonsense and laughed till we ran out of breath and basically did everything but pack my bags.  As the sky darkened, the friends gradually dwindled and dispersed until only one remained.  So the two of us did what any rational young adults would do on the eve of an overseas move.

We made waffles.

All out.

Mashed strawberries, chocolate syrup and whipped cream.

Eventually as the clock neared the midnight hour I turned to face the organized chaos that awaited.  Spread all over the carpet of my bedroom floor were belongings strewn about as if in a silent auction, each bidding for a space in the two empty suitcases waiting on the bed.


Move - 31 Days - Day 1
Photo Credit: Magic Madzik, Flickr Creative Commons, edited

My friend leaned against the doorframe and observed as I mulled over which items would win the coveted space in the suitcase and get to see the world.

As I filtered through mementos and photos, clothes and shoes, deciding which would make the final cut, reality sunk in.

In a matter of hours, I was moving to Africa. 



“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:8


This is Day 1 of the series, 31 Days of Life in South Africa. To see more posts in this series, click here.