Sunday, January 31, 2016

Close Up

I'm pleased that my blog is featured on the website If you are planning a move to South Africa or anywhere outside of your home country, allows you to get in touch with expats living nearby and provides a great resource for discussions, jobs, housing information and more. The website also provides an opportunity to meet people and make friends in your new country. Check it out!

And now onto today's blog post.  

When on safari you have the chance to see many animals. The best part is you are seeing these creatures in their natural environment doing whatever it is they would be doing whether you were there or not. However the animals you are viewing may still be far away and if you are taking photos on safari you likely need to use a zoom lens in order to get really good pictures. 

Recently Mr. Deep and I had the chance to see some animals up close. A few weeks ago we went out for another 4x4 adventure near our home. We came upon some zebras munching on grass. These zebras must be very used to humans being nearby because we were able to get quite close to them and they didn't seem to mind. 
This is not a picture of a zebra. But I love this photo anyway.
Very artsy

A few weeks ago we also visited the Elephant Sanctuary in Hartbeesport in the North West Province. This sanctuary is housed on the same property where the thieving monkeys that I wrote about in this post live. The elephants and the monkeys are kept separately from each other. The elephant sanctuary is home to former zoo and circus elephants who now have the chance to live in a semi-free environment. 
While we were waiting to see elephants we were hanging out with this guy. We are caged and he is free. 
The elephant sanctuary gave us the opportunity to get extremely close to the elephants. We got some great photos!
I can't get over the eyelashes!

Close up of a broken tusk
Our guide, Charles. Pronounced Chouse (rhymes with house)
Charles showing us an elephant skull. The spongy looking area contains air to keep the elephant's brain cool.
The below photo is a dung beetle in the shadow of an elephant.

Here are two photos of the same bug. In the first he is eating a flattened mango. We first noticed the white stripes on his tail. In the second you can really see all of his colors. Does anyone know what kind of insect this is? 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The D word

"You get what you put in and people get what they deserve
Still I ain't seen mine, no I ain't seen mine
I've been givin' but just ain't gettin' I've been walkin' that thin line
So I think I'll keep a walking with my head held high"
 - Kid Rock, Only God Knows Why

When you were a kid did your mom have a specific saying or rule for life that she repeated to you over and over? Mr. Deep's mom used to say, "you buttered your bread, now sleep on it." My friend's mom used to say "if you're bored you're boring." 

Actually Mr. Deep's mom didn't exactly say "you buttered your bread now sleep on it." But she was known for saying both "you buttered your bread now eat it" and "you made your bed now sleep in it" and Mr. Deep being quite hilarious, even at a young age, changed it to "you buttered your bread, now sleep on it."

I wonder in this day of of bounce house birthday parties are moms are still imparting these one line snippets of wisdom onto their children? 

My mom's words of wisdom were, "life's not fair." And of course she was correct.

The thing about life not being fair is that we all know it, but time after time we keep forgetting and repeatedly becoming outraged, disappointed and upset when unfair things happen. Meanwhile, we are more than happy to congratulate ourselves or others when good things happen that we deem fair and well deserved.

I'm not suggesting we all become robots and start muttering life's not fair over and over in a monotone voice. And I'm not saying we should stop caring about the things that are going on around us good or bad, but I am going to start taking a small stand against the idea that good things happen for good people and bad things happen to people who are either bad, not good enough, or worse, don't try hard enough to make good things happen for themselves. 

How am I going to make this stand? This declaration? From this day onward I am no longer going to use the word deserve. As I said, it's a small stand but it's an important one because we are all using this D word countless times a day. We are saying it out loud to each other (you deserve better) and silently to ourselves in our own heads (I didn't deserve that.) In my opinion, the D word relieves us of taking responsibility for our own actions, and using it is disrespectful to those who are suffering. 

You probably think I have gone off the deep end, so let me explain a bit.

"I went to the gym today. I deserve to have ice cream."
No, I don't. I want to have ice cream and for some reason I feel the need to tell myself and everybody else within earshot why it's a great idea, my destiny if you will, for me to have ice cream. From now on if I want ice cream then I will just eat it minus any large announcement about the efforts I put in throughout the day which led me to my decision. I will just say it, "I want ice cream." Or, "I'm having ice cream." Or even, "watch how much ice cream I can eat in one sitting." The same goes for a new car, a new house, clothes, a vacation, a fancy purse, beauty treatments or anything else. I don't deserve these things and I don't not deserve them. I might want them and if I want them then I will decide if I can afford to get them, weigh how much I really want them and go from there.

I am going to stop using the D word when congratulating others. I am no longer going to send emails that say congratulations on your well-deserved promotion (this will actually be quite easy being that I don't have a job or any co-workers but you get the idea.) Instead I will say, "you worked really hard, it is great to see that your efforts are being recognized by the company." Or, "you'll be great in your new role." But the D word will not be used. Why? Because a lot of people deserve promotions, not everyone gets promotions, working hard does not mean you deserve a promotion and not everyone who gets promoted deserves it. 

I am also not going to celebrate anymore when bad things happen to people I don't like. If Donald Trump slips on a marble floor in one of the Trump buildings and cracks his head open because some immigrant didn't mop the floor properly, I am not going to say that Donald got what he deserved. I might laugh, but I will not use the D word. Because if I did say that Donald got what he deserved, then I'd have to go around reminding anyone and everyone who has had a mishap caused by the universe that they either did or didn't deserve what happened to them and that is silly.

"I'm sorry you have cancer, you don't deserve this." 
That is a horrible thing to say to someone. The person is likely thinking back over his entire life rehashing every hot dog eaten, every martini consumed, every bit of anger held onto and every dental x-ray taken wondering what he did that caused the cancer. And does anyone really deserve to get cancer? If so, who? Charles Manson? People who prey on children? People who beat dogs?  Who are we to decide who deserves what? Even someone who smokes three packs of cigarettes a day for 50 years doesn't deserve cancer. We might be less surprised if that person is diagnosed with cancer, but that doesn't mean she or he deserves to suffer or that his or her family should have to endure heartache. 

Moving to Africa has reminded me just how much so many people are struggling. I hope that Christine does not wonder what she did in life to deserve to live in a shack, with no electricity and without running water, surrounded by trash. Because I can promise you she did nothing to deserve it. Did Gift deserve to be born in Zimbabwe and forced to live under Mugabe's leadership? Does he deserve a life where he has to work six or seven days a week yet still barely has enough money to buy food and by food I mean maize meal and some occasional chicken? And I don't deserve the great life I have. Yes, I have worked hard. Yes, I try to be a good person. Yes, I am grateful for all that I have both material and abstract. But deserving? That is where I have to draw the line. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Save the Drama for Your Momma (or your daddy)

When we moved to South Africa I thought the hard part would be the move and then once we were living here everything would be smooth sailing. But in 2015 two things happened that were challenging and made us feel like getting settled here was going to take longer than expected. The first thing was the drama with our house and potentially having to move and second was the ongoing saga of having to re-apply for our visas. Here is an update on both situations. 

"No, I am your father" - Darth Vader

Let's have a little refresher. "Previously on Tales of the Visa Reapplication..."

The visas that Mr. Deep and I currently have are less than a year old. Unfortunately about six months after we arrived in South Africa, we learned that we needed to reapply for new visas due to a slight name change at Mr. Deep's company. Having to reapply would have in itself, been a total pain but the real pain for me came when due to my inadequate fingerprint quality (it's a condition that I suffer from.) I had to fly back to the US to have my fingerprints taken electronically so that I could submit them as part of an FBI background check which is needed for the visa application. The situation was outlined in this post

After my quick trip half way around the world and back, we got the fingerprints, the FBI background checks, the chest x-rays, the updated documents and letters from Mr. Deep's company and everything else required under the sun put together. At the end of October we visited Home Affairs to submit our applications for new visas. To facilitate the application at Home Affairs, we had a local expert from an attorneys office who met us there the day we had the appointment to submit our applications. Even with his help we spent over four hours at Home Affairs that day while our "handler" visited all of the different counters on our behalf shuffled around the paperwork and called us to come up to the counter to sign various documents in the presence of the Home Affairs staff when needed. At the end of the four hours we were told it would take 3-4 months to process everything and then we would receive our new visas. 

Then the day before we were scheduled to leave for the USA for our Thanksgiving holiday we received word that the visas were ready and we were told to send our passports to the lawyer to have the new visas attached. Of course we couldn't oblige because we needed our passports to be able to fly so we advised the experts that we'd send them along when we got back. 

Now, do you want the good news or the bad news? 

The good news is Mr. Deep's visa is a-ok and he will be getting his passport back shortly with his shiny new visa affixed. Once he receives it he can resume having a jolly good time working in South Africa and flashing his visa to anyone and everyone at any opportunity just to prove that he is official. 

The bad news is that my visa is going to take a little bit longer because an error was made. Here is a snippet from the email Mr. Deep received regarding the error. "However, there is bad news in that the South African Dept of Home Affairs have messed up your wife's passport endorsement. They have stated in the visa that it is 'dependent on father' rather than husband. This has been flagged to them and they have requested the passport back to rectify. They should issue the correctly worded visa next week."

Mr. Deep wonders if it might be easier (and faster) if he and I get divorced and then he adopts me as his daughter so that the visa will be accurate.

"I feel we are all islands - in a common sea" - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The house drama has ended as the house has been sold. But there was one last thing that happened with the previous owner/landlord that I never wrote about and like the visa situation it is so ridiculous that it needs to be shared publicly. 

A day or so before the closing on the house both the new owner and the previous owner came over to take a look around and to discuss a few items that, according to the previous owner, were not included with the sale. Even though I had inquired as to what exact items were not included I was never told, so as they were looking around I too was learning what was considered extra. The purpose of all of this was that the previous owner wanted the new owner to buy these items from her or, the previous owner was going to remove these items from the house. 

It turns out that the main items that were not included in the sale were pots. As in about 15 large pots with plants in them. These pots were outside in the garden and on top of the third floor roof deck. While it makes sense to me that potted plants would not be included in the sale of a home, there is something called an "aggravation dollar" which is a phrase that I learned from a very smart boss I once had. The aggravation dollar means that sometimes it is not worth it to worry about such matters because you will end up paying with your time and aggravation. 

All of the pots were quite large and heavy. In order to move them the previous owner would have to find at least two strong guys to carry them for her and would have also needed some kind of truck to fit them all. Even with a bakkie (pick up truck) or an SUV, I still think several trips would be needed to collect all the pots. The new owner said she wanted a few of the pots but not all and while I liked the pots I certainly wasn't going to buy them being that at some point we will be leaving South Africa and we will not want to be lugging around a bunch of pots. So the previous owner said she would come and collect the pots that were not going to be purchased by the new owner.

After we were done looking at pots we were standing around near the kitchen area and the previous owner casually announced that the "chopping block" also was not included in the sale. Both the new owner and I were shocked. First, chopping block is not an accurate name for this piece of furniture. While yes, it has a butcher block type top and it is used for chopping food, it really is what would be considered an island as it measures 3 feet high, 5 feet long and 3 feet wide (or as we like to say in South Africa .91 meters high, 1.5 meters long and .91 meters wide.) In addition, this item clearly matches the kitchen cabinets and another non removable island in the next room. 

In America we call this type of behavior on the part of the previous owner "reaching for shit."
Like, let's see if I can get these either the tenants or the new owner to pay to keep the island, (which I'll call a chopping block because then it sounds like less of a big deal.) True it would be nearly impossible for me to move this island, I mean uh er chopping block, as it won't fit through the door of the house without being disassembled and sure it was custom made to fit in and match the kitchen where it resides currently but hey, lets give it a shot. That's the definition of reaching for shit.

As everyone was so surprised to learn this bit of information the fate of the chopping block (aka island) was not finalized on that day.  Later when Mr. Deep and I moved the island (before this incident we didn't even realize this thing was movable - it's that big) was saw there was a hole in the floor for an outlet of some kind thus complicating the situation because if the island was removed, the tile in the floor would also need to be replaced. A few days later the new owner asked the previous owner how much she wanted for the chopping block and was told the original purchase price was R30,000 which equals a lot of money. Also, that was the cost before people spent countless hours chopping on the thing. So the new owner said thanks but no thanks and Mr. Deep and I decided to buy a new more generic island that we could take with us when we leave here. Yes, we were sad to the see the lovely island go but what were we going to do? Just like the pots we can't be bogged down carrying an island around that is never going to match another kitchen of ours again.

Then, similar to some other points in time during the course of the housing drama, the new owner consulted a lawyer about the situation and told the previous owner, sorry but my lawyer says no way...the chopping block must stay. 

And so the previous owner went off into the lovely South African sunset and was never heard from again. All of the pots and the chopping block/island remain in place for the Deep family to continue to enjoy and chop on. Unless I get deported. Then, Mr. Deep will have to enjoy these items for both of us.
large pot with pen for scale.
Smaller pot which is not that small.
"chopping block"
Other furniture that matches the chopping block.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Camping at Silver Rocks

Before I share the details of our New Years Day and weekend camping adventures, I wanted to share some exciting news. I am thrilled to let you know that this blog is now featured on the Expat Arrivals website as one of the "best expat blogs in South Africa" Yay!! Expat Arrivals is a website that is a resource for expats across the world. You can check out the page that contains links to my blog and several others here. 

I also want to publicly thank my friend (my virtual friend we have never actually met) and fellow blogger Joburg Expat. Joburg Expat regularly shares my blog with her thousands of readers and also frequently comments on my blog and repeatedly tells me how funny I am. If you are moving to South Africa, Joburg Expat's blog is extremely informative about things such as schools, traffic registry and much more. And her writing is also very funny. Check out her blog here. 

And now, onto the details of the New Years Camping Trip.
You might be wondering what exactly is going on here. This is a photo of Mr. Deep installing a makeshift ceiling fan to the top of our tent. He duct taped the ResQ battery (you might remember I wrote about this battery here) to the fan, plugged the fan into it and then affixed the fan to the top of our tent so it faced down on us like a ceiling fan. For some reason the way that it hung it mostly cooled me, but I'm not complaining. And I think that was Mr. Deep's whole plan, to ensure less complaining from me! 

Powered by ResQ
Two posts ago I recounted the horrors of trying to sleep in our own home without the air con on Christmas Eve. Fast forward to New Years Day and Mr. Deep and I were leaving to go camping for the weekend. This camping trip had been scheduled, planned and paid for in full before the scorching night before Christmas episode occurred.  Because of the discomfort we experienced at home when the power went out, we weren't sure if we should attempt the camping trip. We wondered, "does anyone even camp here during the summer?" Were the staff at the campground where we booked laughing hysterically that some out of towners booked a campsite for New Years weekend? Were they opening the camp specifically for us since no South African would ever consider camping during the summer? 

We decided to give camping in mid summer in South Africa a try and traveled to a place called Silver Rocks Caravan Park located near Bela Bela in the Limpopo Province.  Bela Bela is known for its natural warm baths, but it would be too hot to visit warm baths during this trip. The campsite was located less than two hours from our home which was good because if we were dying from discomfort and heat stroke after the first night we could just come home early.

Silver Rocks Caravan Park is a true campground. This was not roughing it style camping like what we did when we traveled the Lebombo Eco Trail back in September. This campground has spaces for tents and campers each with electric hookups and water spouts. The campground also has a pool and full service bathrooms and showers.  A nearby lodge has another pool and a restaurant. Game drives in the nature reserve are also available from the lodge.    

While Mr. Deep and I do have our own tent, we decided to rent a larger canvas tent at the campground because it included cots and we thought it would be more comfortable. At the last minute we did bring our own tent along, in case the canvas tent felt more like a canvas oven.

This was our welcoming committee when we arrived at our tent. No, your eyes aren't failing you it's just a really bad picture. It's so bad it reminds me of a picture that someone would take of a supposed Bigfoot sighting.  It's a scorpion in case you can't tell. 
Reception area at the campground
Table tennis anyone?

Our campsite
Close up of the tent. It had a little reception area shown here.
Inside the tent

While we explored all of the great amenities at the campground, we noticed that yes, people do camp during the height of summer. And they don't just camp. They camp in full style. The campers and luxury items that our fellow campers had on the Lebombo Eco Trail is a thing. It's what everyone does.  Mr. Deep and I approach camping with these thoughts in mind 1) be prepared so we don't die from exposure or injury 2) try to store and prepare food in a manner so as not to become violently ill from food poisoning and 3) try to stay somewhat clean and sanitary during the trip so that when the trip is over we are not mistaken for being homeless. Everyone else in South Africa it seems approaches camping with these thoughts in mind 1) bring a set up that rivals the style and comfort of your living room, kitchen and bedroom back home 2) have lots of electric lights including Christmas style twinkle lights to create nice and celebratory atmosphere 3) have full refrigeration and freezer capability so that you can bring and cook as much meat as humanly possible. 4) spend most of each day preparing to cook meat, cooking meat and eating meat.

Even though this time we were not competing with other campers we were once again completely outclassed. Luckily we were also the only ones who rented a canvas tent (who needs a giant canvas tent when you have a camper) so we were down the hill and not visible to the other campers and they were not aware to the degree that we were slumming it.

Other campers do it in style!
But no worries, what we lack in fancy camping equipment Mr. Deep makes up for in ingenuity!
Enjoying the fruits of his labor.
On Friday afternoon shortly after we arrived we went on a game drive. We wanted to walk to the lodge where the drive would depart from to avoid moving the jeep which was parked right near our campsite. We were told the lodge was 2k away but it was more like 3k. The guide must have been worried that we would be late so he and another guy came and picked us up as we were walking. When we got into the car the two men were talking to each other. It's not unusual here for people to talk to each other in other languages besides English, none of which Mr. Deep or I can understand. White people might talk to each other in Afrikaans and black people will talk to each other in one of the Bantu languages. So these two guys were chatting away with each other in Zulu or whatever and then one of them said, "spitting cobra" and started pointing explaining to the other guy he had recently seen a spitting cobra nearby. There was enough English interspersed that I knew what he was saying. I'm not paranoid, Mr. Deep heard it too. 

Luckily this sculpture was the closest thing to a cobra or any snake that we encountered!
Thanks to the ride we made it to the game drive in time. The only big five animal at this reserve is a rhino. They used to have two rhinos but sadly one was killed by poachers. 
Here are some of the best photos from the game drive.
I will never get tired of seeing this.
I should create a whole blog post dedicated to photos of Mr. Deep peering through binoculars. Like a greatest hits album.

Is there something behind me?
It was a great trip and we were not too hot or uncomfortable. The ceiling fan helped as did a huge rain storm on Saturday night.  Here are some additional photos from the weekend.

On Sunday morning Mr. Deep got up very early and went bass fishing up at the lodge.
For scale this fish was 20 inches/50 cm long.
We did not know the campsite had an electric hook up so we did not bring along the electrical cord for our camping refrigerator. We only brought the cord along that plugs into the power supply in the jeep. Next time we will know.

In the pool at the lodge. The lodge is called Silver Streams and would make a nice getaway from Joburg for those who would rather not camp.

Happy 2016 to all! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Deep Thoughts

My apologies that the font sizes in the email version of this post were wacky. I have fixed that now. Enjoy the post!

As we kick off 2016 I thought it might be interesting to share a different perspective. You've read post after post describing my experiences and thoughts about living in South Africa, but what about Mr. Deep? What does he think about life in South Africa? What does he enjoy, what could he do without and what really annoys him about his wife? OK, that last question really doesn't have much to do with life in South Africa, but it might be interesting to find out anyway. Or, it might not be that interesting.

Before I get to our Q&A with Mr. Deep, I thought I'd share the reason that I call this blog My Thoughts From the Deep End. First, because when you are a kid, going in the deep end of the pool is a very big deal. Obviously you can't touch the bottom and you have to rely on your swimming skills to stay alive. That is how I felt about moving to South Africa. Very excited but totally outside my comfort zone. I wasn't sure if I'd be a strong enough swimmer to survive. Luckily, so far so good. 

Second, on my visa I am listed as a "dependent spouse" which means Mr. Deep is my only reason for being here. As a dependent spouse I can't have my own bank account, my own cell phone account or my own any account and I can't get a job. It means South Africa tolerates my being here because they figure if they ask my husband to leave me back in the U.S. he might not come here and work. 

As part of the visa application process, Mr. Deep had to sign a letter of undertaking saying he'd take care of me, his dependent, and see to all of my needs for the entire time that we are here. It's like when you agree to let your friend bring his dodgy girlfriend to your party. You say, "OK, you can bring her but you're responsible for making sure she doesn't go off the rails and if she does, you're sending her home ASAP"  So I'm deep-end-ent on Mr. Deep and if I act out, he needs to send me packing to the U.S.A. Thus, the deep end.

An interview with Mr. Deep.
Interviewer: Mr. Deep, you've been living in South Africa for over ten months now. Tell me, what are some of the things that you enjoy most about life here?  

Mr. Deep: Most of the time the weather. Despite the recent heat wave we've been having, the weather is usually beautiful.  I enjoy being able to see wild animals in their natural habitat pretty much any time I want.  I like the fact that we can live in such a nice house for way cheaper than something comparable would go for back home.  I also love that beer and food are pretty cheap.  I enjoy that we do things that most of the people I work with don't or would not do, like go to beer/music festivals, go on Soweto bar crawls, go to the CBD (Ed - Central Business District) to see an indie movie. Or take my Jeep out for a proper off-road beating.

Interviewer: Why do you think most people don't or won't go to the types of places that you mention?

Mr. Deep:  Some have kids/families, so beer fests and bar crawls would clearly not be the first choice for something to do. Some would just not think of going to CBD/Soweto in general. I would guess it is just a cultural thing that we as expats do not have a hang-up with?

Interviewer: And of the flip side, what are some things about living here that you find difficult or that you don't enjoy?

Mr. Deep:
 The traffic really sucks.  Not all of the time, but during the morning commute, a 15 minute trip usually takes 40 minutes.  I don't enjoy running into cops looking for payoffs.  Also, seeing all the poverty constantly.  While I am not quite as overt in my altruism as the interviewer is, I do make it a point to pay the parking guards which many of my colleagues do not do. The load shedding is a pain in the ass and I also don't enjoy losing water for weeks at a time. The air quality also leaves a lot to be desired sometimes.

Interviewer: If someone you knew was thinking of moving to Joburg, South Africa, what advice would you give to him or her? 

Mr. Deep:  Have an open mind.  It is tough to put yourself in anyone's shoes here as you are not from here.  I try not to have opinions on certain things here,  if you know what I mean.   Also, don't believe everything you hear on the crime - just be careful. But car-jamming is real.  You should manually double check your car is locked after you click the remote.  Third, just accept that the taxis will drive where they want and cut you off.  No sense getting mad about it.  Unless you have a Jeep and don't mind scratching it.  Then you will always win the game of "chicken." 

Interviewer: Yes, I know what you mean about having opinions. I once a read a quote that said, "don't judge a book by the chapter you walked in on." So I also keep my opinions to myself because I feel like I am a guest in this country and I know I don't have all of the information and the history. And I agree the taxis are very reckless. You need to be very careful and assume any taxi you see is going to somehow break a traffic law within the next 15 seconds.

Interviewer: You go to work every day. How are you finding your job here?

Mr. Deep:
 A nice change from what I was doing, more hands on.  Although my last role really helped me learn much about one of the company's main businesses and the project turned out to be something really important for management.   Now, I am learning a new business and gaining good experience in "non-accounting-related" financial management.  We have set up a lot of processes from scratch and I enjoy the entrepreneurial atmosphere. We have a small team that I am one of the leaders of and I feel like more than just a "mid-level cog at McCann." Your fans of Mad Men should get that reference.

Interviewer: Since you brought it up, did you like the Mad Men series finale?

Mr. Deep: Nice way to end the show.  I liked it. 

Interviewer:  What do you miss about living in the U.S.A.? 

Mr. Deep:
 Surprisingly not too much.  Proximity to a few people that I care about and wish I could visit more. Friends that did not live close by are still just as close thanks to that interweb thing.  I do miss having places to walk or run.  This place is not very pedestrian friendly.  I do miss my sports and not being able to watch my teams, although this was a great year to not have to watch them, especially the Giants.  Ugh.  

Interviewer: Does it bother you that your wife is not working? Do you wonder what it is exactly that she does all day?

Mr. Deep:
 No it does not. She deserves the break.  And the interviewer well knows that I have no right to complain even if it did, given my two-year sabbatical a while back.  I don't really wonder what she does all day because she blogs about it, texts me during the day and generally keeps me informed.

Interviewer: Does it bother you when you meet new people, introduce yourself as Stephen and then your wife constantly refers to you as Steve possibly confusing your new friends as to what you want to be called? 

Mr. Deep:
 Not really.  I think the stigma of the "Don't be a Steve" campaign has disappeared but I still like to call myself Stephen now.  I will also answer to Steve.  Just not Steven.  Not sure how this works, but some people in the office address me as Steven in an e-mail, when the proper spelling is RIGHT THERE IN THE E-MAIL ADDRESS.

Interviewer: Assuming that you only have two years left before you have to leave Africa, what are some of the places you want to visit and things that you want to do before you leave? 

Mr. Deep:
 In no particular order, Namibia, Madagascar, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Victoria Falls whenever it gets some more water running over it, Lesotho, Mozambique, Mauritius, perhaps a safari on the Zambezi river.  I would also like to climb Kilimanjaro as long as I am here.  As for other things to do, catch some live Rugby and Cricket, explore some other areas of Joburg and do some more fishing.

Interviewer: Yes, you recently went fishing for the first time since living here. Tell us a little about that experience. 

Mr. Deep: We were over at the neighbor's for Christmas lunch.  His whole family was there so I got talking with his father and the topic of fishing came up.  Next thing you know I get an invite for the next morning to go fishing at the Lonehill Dam. Dam is what they call man-made lakes.  I caught some pretty big barbels, which is what they call African Catfish. I seem to remember a blog post about different words they use here.  Guess you can add a couple more.

Interviewer: What else do you want readers to know? 

Mr. Deep:
  I am glad I am far removed from that shit-show also known as the Presidential Primaries.  U.S. politics in general to be quite honest.  It is quite nice to not be bombarded by that stuff 24/7.

Mr. Deep on Boxing Day with the giant barbel that he caught.

About Me

My photo
Hello and thank you for taking an interest in my blog. This blog tells the story of some big life changes. First, my husband and I have just moved to Geneva, Switzerland for a few months following a few years of living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two places could not be more different. I'm excited to share our adventures, challenges and insights with you! My thoughts and opinions are my own.