I’ve been promising to start blogging again, a public blog, less introspective and more frivolous. So I may as well start today.
The thing most prevalent in my life this week is safety. As most of you know we were robbed by 2 armed drug fuelled African men in January. Until then we had been rather complacent with safety, not very vigilant and possibly even foolish. Despite hearing regular horror stories, we felt safe as we live opposite a security estate, have cameras up and down our road and had our own beams and security in place. But all it takes is one slip – not putting the beams on, not putting the alarm on because you are in and out of the house…just once is all it takes and if the opportunity arises then you can be a victim.
As a result of this incident we beefed up our existing security, added new beams, new sensors, metal slam lock doors and a new system to support the additional items. We met with a security consultant and devised a plan in case it happened again – allocated the paths we take in an invasion, plan what needs to be there in that room etc.
Luckily when the latest incident happened my daughters acted perfectly. Lily shouted at them but did not go near them, Caitlin hit the panic button and ushered everyone into my bedroom and then slammed shut the metal safety door.
The family were nowhere as distressed as we were by the 1st incident, partly because there was no face to face contact and partly because they were not actually in the house – just the property.
The next morning I posted in Hout Bay Organised Facebook group and I received an email from a guy who said he could be at my house at 9.30 am and could sort my door for me. He posted a link to his company page so I could see that he is a professional contractor. He showed up on time and fixed the issues.
I had a call yesterday from the neighbour across the road who told me that she caught the guys on her camera and that they had been in her property the week before, they had lifted her gate off the rollers and entered her property.
So we have some footage of them and hopefully the screwdriver they left at the property after mine will result in them getting an arrest. But even if they do, chances of it resulting in a conviction in this country is slim to none.
It is frustrating but that is just the way it is. I can get annoyed or angry but it does no good. I refuse to just accept it but what are the alternatives?
I phoned the captain of the police station today to tell him about the camera footage and to complain that no one had come to take fingerprints, and that an officer phoned wanting to do so today but this is several days later when the work has been done to repair the door so obviously the door has been wiped clean of fingerprints.
His response is that his systems have been down for days, they have not even had email for a week.
This is life in Africa. It moves at its own pace.
The only remaining issue I am left to deal with is the pressure from friends and family telling me enough now, time to move to a more civilised less violent place.
That is not happening. Norm and I gave up so much to return to SA. We lost so much financially and we have given up good careers to come here and earn pennies.
But we made this choice. We want to be near my children. I want to be near my future grandchildren. I want the lifestyle we are able to have in Cape Town. In Europe we made a lot of money and we had a lovely home. But it was NOT my home. I never felt like the UK was a place where I could live forever, it always felt like a stop gap to me.
After over 20 years outside of the USA I can’t imagine going back there to live. The only thing I miss is my family, big spacious houses, air conditioning and 24 hour shopping and that is not a reason to go back.
If we had to leave due to a change in the political climate I do not know where I would want to go. I do not see the point of even contemplating that until forced to do so.
People who have never been to Africa do not understand. It is a country which gets into your blood, your heart, your soul. I love the climate, the people, the rich diversity of cultures.
For now, here I am right where I am meant to be…..