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Thread: Three years in

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    254

    Default Three years in

    I can't believe we've been here 3 years already, it feels like just a few weeks ago that we stepped off the plane at midnight, and waded into our new life. Come to think of it, it started with a fright for us all, as they held us after they'd seen our passports. Since the work permits were hand-written, they had to phone someone to verify they were real.

    We were picked up at the airport by people OH had met on his recce, and stayed with them for a month. Every time we tried to pay for anything (rent, food, etc) it kept ending up back in my room, became a game of hide and seek the money! I'll never forget the kindness of relative strangers.

    Our daughter had her 5th birthday party a few days after arriving and we managed to rustle up some friends. I still remember my desperate plea to the forum, asking you all to contribute some children for a party, and the lovely responses I had. It contributed to my overall good feeling about the country I was coming to.

    Now it's 3 years later, my daughter is about to turn 8 and is heading to Year 4 - a senior in middle school! She's had a bit of a rough year, with a teacher that I came to believe is a bully and shouldn't be teaching such young children, if at all... My daughter is luckily still happy, positive and outgoing, and looking forward to next year.

    We still haven't bought a house, but having finally managed to get our money out of SA, are ready to do so early next year. We hate our rental house that we moved into at the beginning of this year. In winter it's colder inside than out, and in summer it's hotter inside than out. At least it's consistent!

    This year has been challenging, we've had some obstacles to overcome but we did it and we're here and we're still happy that we're here. For the first 2 years we felt a bit uneasy, a lack of confidence that affected all areas of our lives. We were tentative in our approach to most things. Now we're much more like we were in SA, comfortable in our surroundings, able to navigate daily life with confidence, have friends and things we like to do, etc.

    I'm pretty happy in my career, I like what I do and I feel challenged without feeling out of my depth, which is a good place to be. The things that I loved about New Zealand at first still hold true. It's peaceful, it's organized, you can trust the police, things are generally clean, all that good stuff.

    There are things I'm not wild about, like clothes being of generally bad quality, and just not that nice, things being more expensive than I would like due to the size of our market, the usual things that people complain about. Then there are more serious concerns, I worry that girls here seem to respect themselves less than I would like, and I believe that NZ women are among the more promiscuous when compared to other western countries. This worries me because I have a daughter, obviously, and while I have a huge influence on her at the moment, you can't rule out peer pressure as time goes on. I also find the binge drinking culture concerning among other things.

    Having said that, we are the masters of our own destinies and with some good influences, good morals and some luck, we can avoid these pitfalls.

    We have had PR for 18 months and should be able to get our IRRV in about 6 months. We're planning to apply for citizenship when we're eligible, even though it will mean losing SA citizenship. We've been on a road trip around the North Island, and are visiting Australia for the first time in January. We're planning a trip to the South Island in winter.

    I have a coffee habit that I never had before, comes from working really close to a muffin break. I've started jogging. I'm happy. I love my family, they love me, we're not sick, we're not struggling. I'm grateful to be here.

    Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    2,235

    Default

    Thanks for the update, Bergita!

    Glad to hear you feel settled and well. My three year report (we got here in December three years ago) would probably not look quite as positive...

    However, you cannot be serious about the coffee habit! That stuff is lethal and takes the first layer of your stomach lining off! The muffins, though, and the cake, now that is a different story...

    Daniela

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    3,697

    Default

    Thanks Bergita for sharing your experiences, excellent post!! Wish you & your family a very happy Christmas & happy new year ahead!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    254

    Default

    1 coffee a day only Daniela! And it's a mocha, so does it really count as coffee?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Auckland (from Leeds UK)
    Posts
    384

    Default

    Its not about the coffee...its usually a "casual" work meeting

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Celaya, Mexico
    Posts
    368

    Default

    It's rarely easy to uproot to a new country and there are bound to be some hurdles along the way. Glad you managed to get your money out of South Africa, that must've been an enormous weight off your mind. You seem to have a very positive attitude and that'll see you through. Wishing you a succesful 2011 and a comfortable house to spend next Christmas.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Malaysia
    Posts
    79

    Default

    For a newbie like us who will be making our first arrival next year, the sharing of experiences by those who has walked the path is always enlightening, the good and the bad. But I'm glad to hear that things are going okay with you and your family.....

    Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year......

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Bristol -> Wellington
    Posts
    514

    Default

    Thank you for sharing - I am so glad that your experiences have been (on the whole) positive
    to your next three years and that IRRV and Citizenship!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Ōtepoti, Aotearoa
    Posts
    2,736

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dharder View Post
    Thanks for the update, Bergita!

    Glad to hear you feel settled and well. My three year report (we got here in December three years ago) would probably not look quite as positive...

    Daniela
    I am not quite sure how sorry for you I "should" feel Daniela, knowing a bit of the expectations you expressed not only in this forum.

    However, Birgita, I feel very much with you! Had I written a three year report it would have been positive as well. Not only the overall situation for me - ehh us. But in particular re our daughter who here got the chance to study (performing well) which in our "home" country would not have been possible due to its very rigid (legalistic) structure there.

    So all the best for next threep years - and thereafter!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Blenheim
    Posts
    1,545

    Default

    Happy three year anniversary and Happy Christmas, tto, Bergita (and all the rest, of course....)!
    We will be here six years on the 3rd of January, and we also feel mostly positive about it, after some very hard beginnings.

    Bergita, I have a daughter, too, although she is a bit older, 20 now.., and I can only say that she has grown up to a lovely young woman so far. I know that the students down in Dunedin party at times, but they study hard as well and since I am around 700km away from her (and her yoounger brother), I can't control what they are doing. I think we need to have faith in our children and trust their judgement- as far as our children are concerned it seems to work out out pretty well so far!

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