South Africa is front and foremost in my mind for a couple of reasons: The FIFA World Cup and my daughter Amanda who arrived there a week or so ago to help a family out with childcare.

First up: the FIFA World Cup – I am watching the games out of the corner of my eye with my son Peter and am really impressed by the features and the stories that are presented on TV about the player and the places. Makes me think I would like to go there one day.

I am trying to make the World Cup a total “mother/son bonding experience”. What Pete and I have talked about is maybe cris-crossing Toronto during the tournament; going from eating/drinking establishment to eating/drinking establishment along the lines of teams that are playing. So, Korea won their game today against Greece, so maybe next stop is Korea Town to watch their next game. Am secretly hoping that either Spain (Peter’s favourite) or Italy make the final – there are some really good eating/drinking establishments in this town devoted to yummy Tapas or Pasta, either of which makes soccer a lot more interesting!

Secondly: – South Africa in general -Amanda was originally coming home from Africa at the end of May but has enjoyed her time there so much, that she is staying for a while longer. We have the chance to be in touch via email and MSN messenger and my new found friend SKYPE. I am still in total awe of the technology that allows me to be in such close contact with a loved one so far away.

I am a city girl. I like concrete under my feet and chlorine in my water and conditioning in my air. I am old enough to no longer have to pretend that I would like to go camping. I wouldn’t. It is therefore amazing to me to have raised not one but two daughters who are the complete opposite. Amanda in Africa is having the sort of adventure that I love reading about from the comfort of my kitchen with a coffee.

I am trying my best to be supportive and encouraging but I have to admit, at times, it isn’t easy. Take her recent email which included three pictures. One picture of her tow friends Jimy and Ben and one of Ben’s little sister and brother. I have to say that she is the subject of a lot of curiousity among many young children that she has met. Ben’s little brother was a typical example. He cried in fear when he first met her. To him, she is strange looking – her skin colour is not what he was used to and neither is her long soft light brown hair. She was able to make friends with the help of a lollipop and the picture shows a happy little boy. He was hearbroken when she left a few hours later and was sobbing unconsolably in his mother’s arms at last sighting. Apparently Amanda has lots of small children running up to her; shyly touching the skin on her arm or touching her hair.

The third picture is of a lion!??!!! A LION!!! I phoned her to ask her just how close she was to the lion. The reception was very poor and we got cut off so she sent me a text: “Don’t worry abt calling the recep is too bad and I am not allowed to wander outside cuz of rhinos and leopards. I’ll talk to you tomorrow or so xo”

This is written with apologies to my own mother who is learning about not only lions but rhinos and leopards for the first time as she reads this.

See what I mean? Just when you think it can’t get more complicated – I want to see the parenting book that prepares you for the lion picture or the leopard/rhino text message not to mention coming together and coping with the World Cup marathon.

Tagged with: ,