Advice and Support for South Africans Immigrating to New Zealand

South Africans Going To New Zealand

Author Topic: Early Days But Hey We Did It!  (Read 1068 times)

Offline Bonni H

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Early Days But Hey We Did It!
« on: March 12, 2007, 06:35:09 am »
Hi Everyone,

My name is Bonni and my husband and I have recently moved to NZ. My hubby Graeme arrived in NZ on the 30 October 2006 on a Talent Visa and my children & I followed on the
30 December 2006.


I miss my family in SA daily but at the same time thank GOD for being so lucky to be able to be one of the lucky ones presented with an opportunity to leave SA. When I feel really down I go onto the website and read all the emails of people yearning to leave but unable to do so or still in the long process.

We are living in an area called Howick in Auckland. I have two daughters aged 13 and 9 and what an eye opener it has been with the schooling over here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My oldest daughter was enrolled at a High school in the area and when we went along to get her uniforms I was introduced to a different type of teen that I certainly was not use to...... these teens were allowed to wear make-up to school and plenty of it I might add, the boys hair was so long (half way down their backs). Well coming from a very conservative Pietermaritzburg, KZN school this was more than my poor daughter could handle. And from there it was just a downward spiral. She went to school only to be totally ignored by the kids during lunch break she would just sit in the class on her own and we would get the updates in the afternoons of how undiscplined and disrespectful these kids are during class.

Well I quickly decided that this is not what I wanted for my child and certainly did not move "half way across the world" for her to attend a school like this. So we decided to see if we could move her into another school and had no luck at all as we were out of zone for the majority of schools. There is a lovely Christian School (Elim) down the road but they said they had no place. At this stage I was ready to pack my bags and run as fast as I could to the airport.

So whilst doing the lovely household duty of HANGING THE WASHING OUT I asked GOD what on earth have you done to me now and if this was the right path for my family you had better show me ......................well they say ask and you shall receive and that we did.

The following day I received a call to say that our SA next door neighbours had been hijacked at their gate after coming home from a lovely dinner ...............luckily they were not hurt. The first thing I thought was ..... this could have been my family and then I received an email from the Christian school down the road to say that they had a place for my daughter.  :D

Well I am happy to say that she is now the happiest child ever and has made some nice friends as well, many of whom are South African.

There have been so many adjustments over here and funny enough one that I have found is the food .......................everything seems so bland compared to what we are use to in SA. But with time we are slowly starting to get use to it.

So for those of you who are preparing or contemplating leaving SA be sure of this ....that life will be very different in NZ but the quality of life here is soooo much better than back home and it is so gr8 being able to go out with your family and not be constantly looking over your shoulder. Here I go for bicycle rides with my children and don't have to take the pepper spray .... so there is more to life than the luxuries we have grown use to in SA and that is A GREATER QUALITY OF LIFE after all if you do not have a quality life then why bother living.

One thing that has made it easier for me is that I became friends with some South Africans that have also left their home country and it is so great to just be able to talk to someone who is or has gone through the same emotional feelings as I am and that is why I would like to extend this invitation to anyone that is in NZ or planning to come to contact me and I would love to help in anyway possible.

So to Xmanne and GeraldH .....both my relatives, take the step and know we will be there for u...  :) and anyone else that is about to make this BIG DECISION please feel free to contact me.

Take Care and Be Safe

Offline Happy Expat

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Re: Early Days But Hey We Did It!
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 07:44:48 am »
Howzit Bonni and welcome to this site!

All the feelings and emotions you have been through are very common with expats! I have been through very similar problems when we first arrived just over a year ago. We had first moved to the UK and that was much worse for us, so we found NZ easier to deal with.

I'm glad you are feeling better about things and that your daughter is now in a school where she feels like she fits in!!

All the best!

SA Going to NZ Advice Forum

Re: Early Days But Hey We Did It!
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 07:44:48 am »

Offline Bonni H

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Re: Early Days But Hey We Did It!
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 08:24:12 am »
Hi Happy Expat

Thanks for the reply. Lets hope more SA's can join us overhere.  :)

Offline Nolan

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Re: Early Days But Hey We Did It!
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 09:46:09 am »
Hi Bonni, thanks for sharing your experiences with us, we appreciate it.

It is important that folks realise that NZ, or any other country for that matter, has it's problems too. It is important to hear of them. Just the fact that you guys are still there and that you have family coming to join you says that these problems are surmountable, as opposed to here in SA where they are out of our control.

When it comes to schools, it almost seems better to choose the school first and then find a house in that zone.

It is easier for young kids to fit in than teenagers. From what I have seen from expats worldwide is that even teenagers that battle to fit in in highschool, blend in just fine when they go to Uni as the playing field gets leveled again with old clique's / circles of friends being dissolved and new ones forming.

There are folks on the site in your area, Jacques & Lindi, they landed in Dec, you may want to contact them?

We look forward to learning from your experiences on the site.

Offline zatexnz

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Re: Early Days But Hey We Did It!
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2007, 03:04:55 pm »
Hi And welcome Bonni!!!

I have heard about the schools (both my sisters are already there), and my eldest sister went over when her kids were young teens.  She was so upset with the school system, and didn't have the finances to put her kids in Christian school, so she switched to homeschooling them.  Now they're in their early 20's and doing fine! 

I'm not sure where we will be settling, but  very likely also in Auckland area.  My kids are currently in a Christian school here (Texas, USA), and my sister says that Kings is another great Christian school.  And that is probably what I'll be doing when I get there.  BUt I will homeschool for a little bit, as we will land up coming in the middle of the school year, and my kids finish their school year in May. 
lekker sweet as, y'all
~ Colleen