The Mass Exodus

17 Jul

With summer in full swing and all the schools closed for the long Summer Vacation, things have quietened down substantially in The Land of Sand.

Over the years that expats have been working and living in the Gulf Region, it has become the norm for the wives and children to return home for a few weeks or a few months over the summer. The Dad’s usually take a short trip home at some point during the family’s absence but obviously have to return to work sooner than the rest of the family.

With the soaring temperatures, and not much holiday entertainment for children I understand how it makes sense for most people to plan their holidays this way. Keep in mind that most women living here don’t work, as the opportunities to do so are very limited so cabin fever sets in quite quickly. I can attest to this, there are definitely days when I really feel jumping into a car (that I am permitted to drive myself) and heading off for a picnic on lush green grass in a beautiful park WITHOUT my abaya, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town would do nicely,thank you very much!

I cannot begin to explain how hot it is here. It was 45C this morning at 9am,yesterday was the same and tomorrow will be no different either. It is too hot to be outside for most of the day and when you do get out, it is usually straight into the swimming pool. If you don’t hop into the man-made pool a short walk away from our back door, your body will create its own pool within a few minutes , gross huh?

Despite all this we really can’t complain. The roads are quiet. The shops all have 70% off Summer Sales, without the crowds to go with them, which are a bonus even for a non-shopper like myself and life is just pretty relaxed all round. 

Take our past weekend for example: We went to a party at the Australian Embassy with a bunch of mates on Wednesday evening. Loads of fun was had by all, as is usually the case. Luka is well taken care of at home with our babysitter, Joy and we don’t even have to drive as the compound sends a bus with all the partygoers on board. On Thursday evening, we took a stroll down the road to a BBQ. We left the already sleeping Luka at home with our friend’s almost teenage daughter looking to earn some extra money. We left her watching a DVD, armed with a mobile phone to call us should Luka awake. At the BBQ  we were all in the pool before dinner and spent most of the rest of the evening floating around chatting. Last night as our weekend drew to a close we spent the late afternoon in the pool with Luka, joined by our fabulous neighbours, Bennie and Madele and the rest of their extended family. We followed that up with a BBQ, punctuated once again with regular dips in the pool and an early night. In between all the evening festivities, we spend our days enjoying our little son and all the craziness that he brings to our lives. I could think of worse ways to spend a weekend.

The summer is passing quickly and we look forward to a holiday in France in 2 months time as our reward for yet another summer, happily survived.


9 Responses to “The Mass Exodus”

  1. JamesBrett July 17, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    i so badly want a pool. or just to swim in one for a few days. and we did finally get our barbecue grill set up the other day. no football field yet in the backyard, but we have a grill…

    are the 70% off sales items westerners would buy?

    • dustbusting July 17, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

      Well done on setting up the BBQ ! I’m sure that a football field takes a while to get done, particularly in your part of the world.

      The pool is a life saver here. Sometimes it is the only form of energetic activity we get to do outdoors so it is essential. SO don’t wan tLuka to grow up in front of the TV just because it’s hot.

      We absolutely buy the stuff in the shops here.

  2. trapperhoney July 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    the BBQ sounds nice. a trip to france will be great! i could handle being locked away in my house for awhile — i’ve been on the run all month. i know what you mean about the summer passing quickly, I can’t believe it’s almost time for school to start again.

    • dustbusting July 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

      I vaguely remember working and spending week after week running around! At least when school starts again you will get to take things a little slower again.

  3. Gayle July 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    I can only imagine how you must be looking forward to your long awaited holiday. Green grass to picnic on, rivers to swim in, and trees to climb…..until your hearts content! To live in that heat before aircon must have been unbelieveable!
    Thanks for the news love, I can’t believe you were up blogging at …..what was it….. 4:35am with the little Luka news, busy girl!

    • dustbusting July 17, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

      Picnic…yes. Swimming…yes. Climbing trees…not so sure. You think I should climb trees in France? Now I am giggling at the picture in my head of me stuck up a tree on a wine estate in the South of France.

      No, I wasn’t up that late Mom. My time needs to be reset, it is completely out. So dedicated I most certainly am not!

  4. Gayle July 19, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Just reading your reply got me going with my imagination……..News paper headlines: OVER THE EDGE WITH CABIN FEVER!! mother up the tree with little son looking on asolutely horrified at not being able to get to her, villagers and grape pickers gathered around ladders and rope to rescue her.

  5. jana July 21, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    I don’t know if I got it wrong, but it seems like despite the strange places, smells, clothes, customs, people, and who-knows-what-else-that-makes-you-feel-like-you-belong-elsewhere, you are enjoying a typical, slow-as-honey summer with your adorable son, husband, and friends. Perhaps I am stepping over a line, but I sense contentment in the Land of Sand. And as a fellow nomad, I know that is a moment to treasure. The trip to France is just a cherry on top.

    • dustbusting July 22, 2010 at 10:07 am #

      You are absolutely right, Jana. Even though we should be complaining and running away from the hot summer weather, we are content. We have much to be grateful for and this country provides us with opportunities that we would not experience elsewhere. Things like living in the middle of the world make for easy international travel, being a full time mom to young Luka and many other things. We give up alot but we also gain much.

      “slow-as-honey summer” – love that!

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