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Living like a Swallow

by Jack Bloemraad-de Boer


Even after all the years I spent in Europe in many ways I am a typical South African; I am fiercely proud of my home country, I love the cultural diversity, I am passionate about the overwhelming nature, I love a good braai, exclusively drink South African wine and I rage against the fraudulent, defunct government that rules the country. In other ways I guess I am rather atypical; I lived in Europe for many years, in the beginning I distanced myself from my South African roots, marching against the apartheid government, assimilating everything European and cultivating a love for bicycles and real cheese.


Luckily, Africa gets under your skin making you itch to be “home” and eventually, like most prodigal children I returned, even if it is as a swallow. My husband, Badger and I “summer” in Cape Town and then travel north to Amsterdam for another summer. Badger works in the film industry, which hibernates for the Cape Town winter and more importantly our three children, although grown up, live in Amsterdam, giving us even more reason to be there. We are a close family and this dictates that we spend at least part of the year in the same city to nurture and maintain that closeness.

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