Sunday, 14 August 2011

Thank God for technology

We may not be certain on when we will be moving to Australia, but this uncertainty does not stop us from doing our preparation.
Thank God for technology. While we are using our state of the art technology (mostly internet) I can not help to think of our forefathers who came to South Africa, many centuries ago, seeking a new or better life.  They did not have technology and did not know what the country looked like.  They had no photo’s to even know what type of houses they will be living in.  All they knew were the stuff which was written in letters or by word of mouth.  Must say, thinking of their courage gave me new found respect for these brave men and woman.
Luckily we live in the 21st century and we have the comfort of the internet, where we can find lots of information.
There are more than enough websites telling us about the Aussie life style.  All about the latest News, laws, customs, neighbourhoods, lifestyles, etc. On a regular basis I read about food prices on Coles and Woolworths’ websites and we even look at websites of companies like IKEA to compare prices and to see what we will be able to afford there and what we should take with and leave behind in South Africa.
The house rental sites are user-friendly (same as the South African ones) and we love visiting houses in the virtual world. We have an idea of neighbourhoods in Sydney that we may be interested in and will explore these neighbourhoods later when we are in Sydney for our “entry” visit.
All the ratings of the neighbourhoods are done based on child friendly environments, proximity of shopping and recreational facilities.  NONE give a crime rating!!! Oh, so much we need to get used to.   
Thanks to Google earth, Google Maps and Street Google, we are able to see the area, the amenities and distances as if we are there – well … almost.
The kids are also very interested in learning about their new life and Megan and I read up on some schools in the areas we are interested in.  Megan chose a school and set her heart on it. Guess what she used to decide which school is the best – the uniform.  Give her credit; she is a “tween” and almost a teenager.  Until we know with more certainty where we are going, we allow her to have her moment with the school uniform. ;-)
At this stage we all drink, eat and sleep Aussie preparation.
We make lists of questions; we chat to friends and family in Australia and look at the sites for work opportunities and good schools. 
I read every expat blog I can find and read about their experiences.  Not only the practical arrangements, but the emotional side of the emigration process.  I wish I can thank each and every one personally for allowing me into their life.  We’ve learned so much from them.
In all honesty, although reading these blogs are interesting and informative, it also leaves me a bit “green”. I sooooo wish we can start our new life now.  I want to be where they are, but I need to wait. This wait is the worst of the whole process.  I really have to remember to continue to “live” in South Africa and that my life is not really on hold – although it feels like it.
In the mean time, we are doing as much as we can with regards to our preparation. I know it takes more than a few websites and blogs to be prepared, but at least it is more than what the settlers of the 1600’s and the Voortrekkers of the 1800’s had.  We are very privileged and thankful to have technology.
Our lists of places to explore are growing and our questions are piling up.  We are prepared and ready to go on our “entry” visit.  We plan to go December / January and will use this time to our best advantage.  Some other emigrants did not even set foot on Australian Soil before they emigrated.  At least we will have that advantage.

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