Thanks so much for going through that so well. I really appreciate it. I think you're right about the African language thing. Three kids, 10, 6 and 2. I am mostly worried about the 10 year old. I think I will pass on the information you provided to my wife, and she can help him along as a part time interest. Thanks very much for that.
Why would we consider ever going back to SA, well there are a few things, but these will not apply to the overwhelming majority of South Africans in NZ. NZ is a great country, and we LOVE our new country. I want to make that clear at the start, as this is not an NZ-bashing post or a rant.
The biggest trouble is that our lives are very empty, because we don't know any like minded people, and we have no family in NZ. My parents wish to move over, but I know for a fact that they will not adjust in NZ. Their lives are predictable, easy and very comfortable in SA, and I can't reasonably see it being the same in NZ. My dad, due to illness, feels very cold, in Durban that is! Imagine what will become of him in NZ! My kids are yearning for family, particularly their grandparents, and it is sometimes difficult to explain to them that this is the better life.
Although religious belief is largely seen as a fairytale, in today's time, we're still very strong believers, and aren't keen to lose our faith. Being strict Muslims has been difficult throughout the journey, particularly when we lived in Wellington. Surprisingly, not a lot of Muslims move to NZ from SA, and those that do have taken a more relaxed approach to religion when they get to NZ. Whilst the majority of you reading this would see that as an advantage, it is a massive disadvantage for us. In SA it was super easy, with access to good Islamic education, mosques, halaal food etc etc just about everywhere, and the added benefit of being accepted everywhere, That isn't the same in NZ. The stares never end, and it is frustrating to go through it daily. I had an electronic device (Car OBD Scanner) in my hand, walking in Auckland city a few weeks ago. I could not believe how uncomfortable it made the people around me. The increased global terrorism scare has made it even more difficult, but SA is still super easy and pleasant in that respect. During our recent visit to SA, we were so relieved to not be constantly stared at, that we deemed that to be the best part of a 6 week trip.
So, there are heaps of Muslims in NZ, right? off course there are. 1% or so, the same as SA in terms of percentage of population. However, in NZ, that yields a tiny number. Still too, we know a lot of Muslims since moving to Auckland, which was the reason for moving. Trouble is, we don't fit in with the vast majority. They come from a totally different background, with an entirely different way of life. Then there's the language. Most of them aren't English speakers, as a first language. Gatherings are usually awkward, where everything needs to be translated, and we lose the gist of discussions. We therefore tend to avoid all that and just stay home. This hasn't been great, but we're happily living our lives. it just seems empty because of that.
Our kids are now getting the Islamic education they need, and the social contact, as kids their age usually speak in English. The future therefore looks bright for them, and that has pretty much kept us here. Then there's more. In order to get this sort of religion aspect, and some level of an English speaking community, we have settled in Mt Roskill, which has so much of house burglary, car theft, and petty crime that it reminds me of SA. I often wonder, what's the point if we're still living in fear...off course, these criminals don't usually rape and kill, but it leaves one very uncomfortable and anxious. Furthermore, it will be impossible to ever buy a house in Mt Roskill, so we often wonder what will happen after retirement, when we won't have the income stream to pay the massive rentals. We're hoping to buy a cheap house out in the country for retirement, and that sounds like a safe plan, but will we be happy? Seems unlikely, which is why we're leaving the SA door half open.
Added more: I run a part time business, just like I did in SA. It's a few days over 2 years old, but I can no longer see it as being a full time thing, whereas at the start I did. Coming from a family that is business focused, and being an entrepreneur myself, I am a little disappointed, as I managed to easily establish businesses in SA, but labour and rentals costs in NZ make it very difficult. i recently wondered whether I'd be happy as an office worker for the remainder of my working life, and it seemed unlikely. Admittedly, that also sparked SA thoughts.
Another big blow was when I realised that my wife, who is a stay home mum, is struggling with the idea of having to cook, clean and take care of other household stuff, without help. Let's face it, Saffers have that aspect easy, and the adjustment has been tough, particularly with 3 boys who never stop messing. Our house is never neat for more than 5 minutes at a time. I am off course busy with that business, and with full time work, so usually spend very little time on household chores.
It sounds ridiculous to all of you, I know, and I don't expect anyone to understand. I just tried to answer the question I was asked. There is a good chance that much of the things that make us uncomfortable will improve over the years, so I think the likelihood of ever going back to SA is under 20%