For nearly a year, I've been working on a plan to leave SA. Today, it all came together, and by this time next month, I will no longer be planting my feet on African soil.
Before you pull out that well worn race card, let me say that I did not ever want to leave because of race. I couldn't give two hoots what colour my countrymen are, let alone my neighbours.
What did finally prompt my decision to look for options elsewhere is becoming a mom. I want more for my daughter. I don't want her to have to fight for everything, and be branded a racist. I don't want her to have a one in four chance of being raped, or to become another statistic of our horrendous roads.
Let's be clear here: she is nearly four, and so far, she doesn't know that there IS a difference between races. When we had a contractor building a wall in the back yard, she wanted to go outside to see the 'chocolate uncles.' (And yes, she's a typical four year old, so chocolate is worth more than it's weight in gold in her eyes.)
But I want her to keep that outlook. I don't want her to grow up thinking that race is EVERYTHING, and as long as we stay here, there's no way I can avoid that.
I also want her to be able to read when she leaves high school, and to have access to opportunities, and as much as I hate it, that's just not really realistic here.
So I will be winging my way across the world.
I will be leaving my friends and family behind.
I will be getting on a plane for the first time. Because yes, that's how South Africa bound I've been till now. I am African from the soles of my feet to the tips of my hair. I've seen just about every inch of SA, but I've never left. Scary prospect, but also filled with hope, that somewhere, just over the horizon, I might find peace.
I will carry my Africa with me. I will take the sun, the warm water, the friendly people and the potential with me. I will leave the violence, the racist hatred and the despondence behind.
When I am in the 'great white north' I will have a huge picture of the mountain on the wall, and I will make my melktert and tamatie bredie, and I'll braai in the snow if I have to. Heck, I might even force myself to watch rugby... or maybe not. Homesickness has it's limit I am sure.
To those of you who have not yet taken the scariest step in the world, or who don't plan to, I say, good bye, and good luck.
I truly hope that SA will one day become the country we ALL dreamed of in 1994, and I will continue to watch, and comment, from afar.
I sincerely hope that my chicken run is just that.
But I don't think it is.
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