Cool Stuff We Did Over the Christmas Break

Played with animals.

Lion Cubs

Spent a week with this view from our back window.

Pennington, South Africa

Played on the beach near Durban.


Visited a cultural village.


Hit some balls.


Spent some time with our old Taiwan friends the Roberts (now residing in Albania).


Drove around with some Lions.


Played in the pool.


Slid on a slide.


But now the holidays are over and it’s back to reality.  Sadly, Cecily returns to the U.S. this evening.

From this …
… to this.

Sorry Cecily.


This past week was my birthday.  I turned 48.  This birthday has a particular significance for me.  I got married when I was 24 years-old; so 48 means that I have been married for half of my life.


Half of my life has been spent with this man.  This very, very good man.  This man whom I adore and cherish and whom I know adores and cherishes me.  Half of my life which has included university, purchasing homes, job changes, four countries, and building a life together.  Our life together has been both conventional and unconventional in many aspects.  At times we agree and at times we agree to disagree.  But I believe that we have lasted for 24 years because of the fundamental respect we have for one another.

Of course, our greatest accomplishment together has been the creation of these four souls.


They provide us with our greatest sense of joy, worry, pride and wonder; and many, many sleepless nights.  I wouldn’t change our Sixabroad family for anything in the world.


But mostly, I wouldn’t change my life with this man.  With him, I get to live my dream life.  He continually makes me laugh, he continually keeps me safe, and he continually makes my heart go pitter-patter.  Our life together has been a very happy adventure.


I love you Jason Hale!


Election Day Abroad

Today is Election Day in America.  Americans are just waking up on this important day; while, for many of us in various countries around the world, this day is half way over.

Most American expats have already voted.  Pretty much the only way we can vote is by absentee ballot.  We represent a small voter group.  No candidate has tried to court us.  We have missed all of the candidates’ commercials, lawn signs, bumper stickers and banners. Yesterday, I answered a call on our U.S. phone that was a recording of a famous politician endorsing my state’s governor.  That’s it.   That’s all we’ve gotten.  I would say that we feel left out, but we don’t.  We prefer it this way.

America, the rest of the world is watching our election very closely. The rest of the world cares who we elect as president.  They have a vested interest in this race.  The President of the United States is important to them.  They know that they will be impacted by this race.

Honestly, I didn’t know who the president of South Africa was when I moved here 15 months ago.  In case you’re wondering, it’s Jacob Zuma.  For the vast majority of Americans, it doesn’t matter who the President of South Africa is.  But for the rest of the world, it matters who the President of the United States is.

Everyday citizens and companies have joined in the U.S. election fray.  Just look at this picture that Jason took  last week in a popular burger joint in Pretoria:


Sadly America, the rest of the world thinks we’re nuts.  They think we have lost our minds.  And I for one am tired of apologizing for our behavior.  I’ll be glad when this day is over and we can talk about something else.

Americans living in South Africa won’t know who our next president is until tomorrow morning.  The election should be called about the time we wake up.  I pray that we get this right America.  And the rest of the world is praying that we get it right too.

A True Story; Not a Horse Tale

This really did happen to me today.  I didn’t make it up; my mind is not this creative.

Today I went to a pharmacy in Pretoria.  It was a pharmacy called DisChem which is similar to a Walgreens in the U.S.  It’s basically a big store with lots of products that just happens to have a pharmacy at one end.

I was in DisChem looking for travel-size toiletries for my son Ben; who, by the way, starts Air Force Basic Training next week.  (Expect a sobbing mother entry early next week.)  So, I asked a worker where to find the travel-sized toiletries whereupon I was directed to Aisle 8.  Aisle 8 had a small section of everything from tiny vaseline to travel-sized toothpaste to miniature bottles of polish remover.

The one thing they didn’t have was shampoo; or maybe I should clarify, they didn’t have human shampoo.  Instead, they had 90ml (3 oz) size bottles of horse shampoo.  You read that right, horse shampoo.  Remember, this was a human pharmacy, not a veterinary supply store.  Besides the horse shampoo, there were no other animal related products in the travel-size toiletries section.  There was also no human shampoo.

I then waved down a worker and the following conversation ensued:

Me (holding up a bottle of the horse shampoo):  Is this really for horses?

Worker (after inspecting the bottle):  Yes, I believe so.

Me:  Um … do you have any human miniature shampoo?

Worker (after looking around the travel-size toiletries section):  It doesn’t appear so.  But this is also really good for humans.  It will prevent your hair from falling out and give you a glossy coat.

Me (while giving the worker my squinty-eyed perplexed look): Really?!  People really use this?

Worker:  Yes, but you have to mix it with human shampoo.

Whereupon, I put back the few miniature products I had collected and walked out of the DisChem.

Too bad Ben isn’t going into the Cavalry.