Remembering Last Halloween
At this time last year, the pre-covid time, life was normal in my area. We are having beautiful, warm fall days with trees turning lovely colors, the same as last year but so much has changed. Life and activity has shrunk down to a minimum. But not at my house in particular. I have an extended family of 7, which for a time swelled to 11, which was a wonderful family time for my South Africans. Last year, it was a family of five. In the photo are three sons from the family last year, ready to go out for Halloween and fill their bags with candy. The Fair we attended is also pictured and usually these are held all over the Northeast area at harvest time, but not in the time of covid. Antique car shows and delicious fair food are my favorite thing, along with the farm animals on display in the barns. All these wonderful things are cancelled this year. Last year there was no worry about whether you could get admitted to a beach or a park. You didn’t have to scramble back to your car to get your mask so you could go into a shop. I miss last year and feel bad for all of us.
Coming upon the Halloween picture I am reminded of South African parent’s concerns about their children. How will the children adjust? Will they have a hard time in an American school? The experience thus far is this: the children will take things as they come and adjust to the change beautifully, it is the adults that have a head full of worries for the future. The move to the US will take away your comfort zone, even if you are escaping real danger there. You must adjust to many new things while worrying about the future and friends and family you may have left behind in South Africa.
The first family I assisted has moved on to the western part of the country after spending a bit over 7 months here in the East. The children boarded the school bus right in front of my house, they enjoyed school, made friends and thrived. The organization that helps youth is next door to me and they volunteered to help with any school supply the boys might need- before anybody had asked for help. My town organizations have been helpful and generous! When it was time to move on and the boys said goodbye to their teachers, I was told the teachers cried and I am not surprised at this.I believe this is how things will go in most parts of the country.
The difficulties of the adult world are these: Having money to support and feed the family, buying a car, which you will need anywhere in the US you live, registering and insuring that car. Getting a car registered and obtaining number plates has been a problem here in my location as they are not accepting a passport as proper documentation, and solving these issues cannot be done over the phone nor easily in person because of covid. Paying for car insurance is not a problem, they want to collect your money and they ask for more of it than they should in my opinion, based on your not having a US driver’s license. Applying for a driver’s permit in the state you land in to get on the path of a US driver’s license as soon as possible is the wise thing here. If these adult concerns can be worked out and you are feeling more relaxed, then there are 2 more mountains looming in the distance – where will you get employment and what part of the US will you want to call home now? We will speak about these subjects in future posts…