Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Living Abroad

Its hard to believe that we have been living in Ireland for over 6 years.
We moved to Cork from beautiful Cape Town in July of 2001.My daughter was just 3 and a half and it was hard for all of us to say goodbye to my parents and to our home.
Arriving here was strange.The place was totally unfamiliar,of course, and it was nothing like home.There were no similarities!
The saving grace was that it was summer when we arrived,so the streets of Cork were alive and the sun was shining.That truly helped a lot with the adjustment we had to make.
We moved into a small apartment in the city and my husband went to work a few days later.
then it hit me! I looked at my daughter and knew that I had to make this work, it was just her and I most of the time, and I had to be positive.

I enrolled her in a playschool in the city, which she loved, that enabled me to explore a bit and get to know the place, but also to have time to myself to decide what I wanted to do.
I grew to like Cork, especially the city.I loved the atmosphere and I would sit at the top of Marks and Spencer with my coffee and my books on "How to write a novel" and look down at the street, and I felt quite inspired!

A huge blow was September 11th,which happened just a month and a half after we arrived.It scared me so much and made me feel really alone.I think I called home hundreds of times during that period and I felt very insecure.
Then, in the October, just as the weather was getting cold and windy, I received news that my Gran had passed away.I was really upset,especially when I heard my mom's voice over the phone and I couldn't be there for her.

We moved to a lovely house in the suburbs soon after that, and Then i found out I was pregnant.I have to say I was thrilled! My daughter started school in the September and my precious boy was born in the January of 2003.It was a wonderful time, but also very lonely.

My daughter was thriving at school and had seemed to adjust to life in Ireland very well.
My parents came over from South Africa for the first time when my son was a year old and they spent a month.It was lovely to see them, and I loved the fact that they could travel for the first time ever!Very exciting!

When my son was about 3 and a half, he went for tests to see if he had Autism (after a friend suggested he had the traits)
He was diagnosed in December 2006 and of course I was devastated. My world began to unravel and I believe that because I had no family support it made it a hundred times harder.
But a year later - and here we are!
He is attending an excellent school in Cork and I am so pleased with his progress and so so proud of him.He has just turned 5.
As for my beautiful daughter, she turned 10 today and she makes me smile everyday. She is such a precious girl, so down to earth. She loves horse riding and animals in general.

I have a wonderful husband who has always supported me through the rough times.
Life is so full of ups and downs, joys and disappointments, you have to take the good with the bad.And all the time, try and keep your chin up!

1 comment:

Susan Harwood said...


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