Tuesday, 9 July 2013

08 July - Home

Life here is starting to settle into a routine and Malcolm's course is giving him more homework (the CDC apparently signed a contract with Malcolm's funders saying that there would be homework given everyday!), so we're not doing majorly exciting things everyday. Sure, interesting things happen, small things - people ask us directions which always surprises me. Apparently I look like I live here when I always feel like I look like a tourist especially when I'm videoing the bread-slicing machine... coming soon! ;)

So anyway, blogging might decrease a bit, or else my posts won't always be a re-cap of what we did that day, but rather a reflection or perspective on something. I've enjoyed posting everyday about what we did because it's kind of our online-diary, and my memory is shocking, but it's going to get a bit boring to read (and write!), so we'll see where this goes, please be patient with me while I figure out patterns or ideas and what to do with our little piece of online space :D

Today I've just been thinking about home... not in a home-sick kind of way (though that happens...) but in a soppy kind of what-makes-this-home kind of way.

I was reading the letter from Jeremiah to the Israelites in Babylon and found immense comfort in it; it reminded me that for those of us who see Heaven with Jesus as our home, earth is exile no matter where we are in it. We're called to build houses and plant gardens and make this our home, while not conforming to it. So, in the context of Germany, yes we settle here and make it our home, we help the country to prosper in whatever way we can, but we remain who we are and do not have to conform completely to their ways, we can be "Proudly South African". I find it amusing how in South Africa, in PMB, somebody from another city is regarded as a "foreigner", but coming here we make friends with people from Pretoria and other parts of the country on the basis that we're South African. Our citizenship makes us connect even if we never would have felt such solidarity with them if we were in SA. I guess, then, that it's natural for us to want to be part of a church, if we are citizens of Heaven (Philippians 3:20)- we might be from all over the place, but our citizenship there brings us together here.

That said, Pinterest has it's own idea of what "home" is... and it's sometimes made me feel inadequate, that our home here isn't Pinterest-worthy. I don't have cute crafts all over, and I cannot paint the coffee table because it's not ours. We don't want to collect things (coffee mugs!!!) because we're not sure how we'll move it in 2.5months time. But what I've realised, is that it really is the small things that count. When we packed up we needed to be pretty ruthless about giving away special things - often gifts from people we care about - and kept only a few things at my parents' house (ok actually it turned into a few car-loads... mostly furnature though!). We could only bring 75kgs along with us and it was difficult to prioritise... but I'm so glad that we brought some special things rather than "practical things" (I mean, who needs that much clothes, right?), because these little things around the house make me feel like it's our home. So, here's a tour of the little things that make our house feel like our home :D (warning: cheeeeesy...)

Fridge-magnets! Our fridge is in a cupboard so the obvious place on the fridge didn't work, so our fridge-magnets are now door-frame-magnets! The piggy has come a long way with me, from Granny, the green photoframe is from mum from America, the pink one is from Amy at ballet... the yellow card is from Mal's parents, given to us when we left, the photo is from last Christmas-eve, and the other photo we took here. The to-do-list reminds me to make the most of everyday because we're only here a short while. Talk about space-efficient, right?? 

The cook-book was a wedding-present from the Couperthwaites, one of the few to make it here... the rest will be sent when we're settled hopefully! The Apron, again from Amy, and the baking "tin" from Mrs Boote! 

Our wedding Album... not only does this contain beautiful pictures from our wedding and of our precious family and friends, but it's also special because it was money that the ballet-girls I taught collected as a wedding present that paid for it. 

Photos! Most of these photos we taken off our wall last-minute and I shoved them into my wallet as we left, so they weren't well selected, but I love each one! Unfortunatly they have to lie on the window sill because we have no prestik, though we did find something similar (just didn't buy it...). 

Malcolm's Bible, he reads it to us most nights before we go to sleep.

My ballet shoes. A pair of these has hung in my room for the last 10 years, and although I'm not going to classes, they're a reminder to keep up the basics at least, and that one day they'll be worn again. 

The throw over the couch was a present from Malcolm for Christmas - bought for our home together. The pillow was part of the ready-furnished apartment, but it's made in South Africa. I don't know if Ellen and Wolfgang really like African art and craft stuff, or if they just put it in here to try help us feel at home? 

Our veranda - we can finally sit outside together on our own veranda and enjoy tea or coffee... or breakfast or lunch or supper!

*and so ends the really long post*

Lotsa love!!


  1. Just caught up with about a week's reading during my lunch break. So good to hear you guys are doing OK.Only another two weeks and we start classes again. Can't believe how the year is flying by. So envious of your trip to Paris. Four of us have started to save up to go abroad in about 2 years but haven't decided where yet. If we go to Europe I'd like to visit at least 3 countries. The British Isles are a possibility. Then there is the Far East (would love to go to Japan again). And then St Petersburg and Moscow might be nice. We'll just have to see. Well must get back to work so cheers for now. Ian

  2. And your posts are never boring by the way!

  3. Ah Salut! Time flies hey! Is there an intermediate group starting up as hoped? I'm SO excited for Paris, I'd love to see the smaller little towns in France too, but that just won't work with only a weekend available. St Petersburg is DEFINITELY on my to-see list... always wanted to go there. We'll hopefully get to Italy sometime, and also the UK. :D We need to start saving too!

  4. love this!! you are so right! love the ballet shoes...my sister was a ballerina :)