My name is Samantha. I am from Harare, Zimbabwe and I am currently living in Johannesburg, working in Bloemfontein, South Africa. I’ve been here 3 years and changed jobs twice (this is my second job). I am enjoying the pace of this country.
1. Why did you move abroad?
I just moved across a border not abroad but to answer your question frankly I was tired of the power cuts and waking up at 5 to prepare for a work. I did it for a solid month and got even more ticked off by something at work- late pays and one woman wanted to control me. I got so fed up that when I got my pay that month end I got on a bus and came here with no cell phone and one pair of shoes. I left a lot of stuff behind. It was a good decision. I buy now new shoes almost every month instead of a few times a year.
2. How do you make a living?
I am currently a store manager for a lingerie store in Bloemfontein, Free State; a position I started in May 2011 before that I was heading up the Monte Casino Branch. I’ve also done modeling, promotions and was an acting manager for a Travel Consulting Company.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
I call my mom regularly. With my younger sisters it’s mostly facebook, mxit and emails. They also visit sometimes especially during the holidays.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in South Africa?
I got to see the World Cup first hand. This country was abuzz with happy people. Last year for me was just an awesome year. South Africans are passionate about sport in fact they are a passionate people overall. I also get to enjoy a First World country with a Third World economy. Helps when it comes to saving money.
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in South Africa?
I haven’t met my little nephew, I think makes me a bad aunt without even trying. South Africa has 11 official languages and I speak only 1 makes it hard to communicate sometimes. I also get annoyed when someone says to me I should learn the language. I speak English and it’s an official language.
6. What do you miss most?
I miss my home and blasting the radio loud. I live in a complex now; noise is not allowed.
I certainly do not miss the smells.
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
I haven’t really integrated. I live with my sisters and do a lot of things with them which is good. I don’t get to miss home since I’m with the people I love most. However the few people I met through work or when I went out.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
I find putting salt in pap (sadza) strange but even stranger eating it with a spoon. It’s meant be enjoyed with your washed, clean hands of course (me thinks).
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
South African drivers are actually courteous at four way stops which I find weird since there is lots of road rage and traffic jams. I managed to get my license here where the speed and traffic is greater.
10. What advice would you give other expats?
Engage the country in the first year of moving this way you will get to enjoy it fully. I personally am trying to do that and it’s hard because it means adjusting again since I’ve been settled.
11. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in December 2010 because I was bored, lol. Truthfully I needed a place to channel my thoughts.
12. How has the blog been beneficial?
The blog has helped me be more organized but it’s a long process. Blogging has made me more aware of what’s important. I don’t blog about being in a different country though it’s mostly about growing and staying positive, so you will never find negative content on my blog.
Samantha's blog, Ebony Delights
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