The Hole-in-the-wallet, Laborious, Frustrating Process of Acquiring a Travel Visa

My Weekly  Musings #3/2017

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We are planning a visit to friends in New Zealand next month and with that, we are trying to obtain travel visas – something that wasn’t necessary for South African citizens only two or three months ago. But thanks to people abusing the system or hypocritical red tape or whatever, the New Zealand government now finds it necessary for us to get that little hated stamp in our passports. (And now the South African government reciprocated by implementing visas for Kiwis to visit SA! It makes no economic sense.) We are currently residing in Egypt and to get a visa, one’s passport has to travel to Dubai for this privilege! As if that is not uncomfortable enough, the costs are enormous! Not only is there the fee for the sought after stamp or little paper glued into your passport, but there are handling fees for the passports to get there and more separate handling fees for them to get back. And apart from the cost, the effort is just silly. After all the documents they’ve required were attached, they requested some more documents after receiving the passports.

There are many reasons governments give for requiring visas. Some might be legitimate, but I sometimes wonder if the visa process doesn’t just keep the good guys out. Because when there is an attack somewhere in the world and everybody is surprised by a person on a terrorist watch list carrying out the attack, l really question the system. Obviously, he loopholed the visa requirements. How can they get into a country so seemingly easy and us good guys have to carry out time consuming efforts and pay the financial penalties? As if travel tickets aren’t expensive enough.

We’ve received our passports back yesterday. There are no visa stamps or stickers in. Instead, they informed us that the visas are electronically issued against our passport numbers. We will get an email to confirm that.  An email! All that effort for an email! Where is my visa stamp?! I hope it works, because when we arrive in New Zealand after two flights of four and sixteen hours respectively, and they don’t allow us into their little country, I will leave a piece of my mind there!

Thankfully, after our patience being tested going through the process, I’m reminded of a place where we won’t need visas to go to one day. All we need is to confess the Truth. It is that simple. Or that Complicated. The choice is ours.

“To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God.” (From the Bible – Luke 8 verse 10)

© 2017 Fielies (Riëtte) De Kock

Awesomest wife. Finest mom. Hopeful Writer. Forever dreamer. Temporarily living in Cairo, Egypt.

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Those Big Small Things in between Facebook Status Updates

20150606_114239More Egypt Chronicles

Life is speeding so fast that it can overtake us very easily, leaving us clinging onto whatever we can to survive. And when we are in survival mode, we tend to focus on just that – survival. Sometimes we need to get off the runaway train, stay on the ground and just enjoy the moments of experiences added together that is called ‘life’. So many of us live for our “one day” – that day or days near or farther in the future when all our dreams will be realised into the utopian existences we spend all our free time imagining.

But sometimes we need real life to give us a slap through the face or shower us with the proverbial bucket of ice water to slow us down from our busyness or even to bring us to a halt in order for us to stop and be alive within the actual moment we find ourselves in.

It can happen through the shock of sudden death, the scare of illness, being faced with dangerous situations or just recuperating from something less serious – but as disruptive.

Shock or trauma or failure can sometimes be good for us. It can help us clean our systems, re-organise our priorities and re-evaluate the impossible goals we set for ourselves into obtainable ones and making us pause for a while. Very few things in life can be so good to us than coming to a complete standstill. And I really mean to stop doing what you’re doing and to live in the moment, with no looking forward to the tomorrow that may never be born.e always dreamt of living abroad for a period of time. Due to circumstances that dream got lost for a while, but after some time it found its way back into becoming a possibility and our lives were frozen in their tracks. Everything we did or didn’t do, planned or didn’t plan and decided had to be weighed first against the probability of going away for a few years. It changes one’s whole focus, lookout and pretty much everything you do.

The realisation of a dream can be a horribly, scary affair and takes courage to pursue. (Read my previous blog on this at https://fieliesdekock.com/2015/11/10/the-process-of-realising-a-dream-can-be-a-nightmare/)

We only heard six months later that we were going to live abroad. In Egypt. I cried for a day and then my previous positive-self reappeared and I made a pro’s and con’s list and, surprise-surprise, the pro’s list convinced me – not that it was the longest! (How is it that when your prayers are being answered and you get what you ask for that you get confused?)  But the crying subsided and the excitement and frightfulness kicked in. We had a lot to do – easier stuff and more difficult stuff. All the easier stuff had to do with the ‘whats’ in our lives. The more difficult ones had to do with the ‘whos’. My mother lived with us for 17 years and she had to be relocated. And we had to find houses for our four dogs. It wasn’t easy.

Fast forward…

…to living in Cairo, Egypt, for two years.

It takes time to settle into a new environment. And it took me one year an nine months to get so used to the new place to fall into a little bit of a rut – in spite of (or maybe because of) busyness.

Precisely one year and nine months after arriving here, I fell into a not-so-slightly ‘down’. (Don’t worry – it was caused by stupid pains, and although they remained, the depression flew out of the window after a few doctor’s visits. ((And I realised that my ‘depressions’ are always health related.)) And it is a fact that everything seems worse if you are far away from ‘home.’)

Now that the background history is told, I will get to the point. Since that day, three years and three months ago when we first heard that we may be moving, I have learnt to live in the moment. Because of the uncertainty of our situation, we stopped buying unnecessary things, didn’t make decisions with long-term consequences and just started taking every day as it came.

Due to the fact that we came to live in a country where the security situation can be volatile, our circumstances can change at any time and our stay can end unplanned and abruptly. So, I decided to keep living here the way we lived back home for those uncertain fifteen months before we left – in the moment. And I already decided to keep doing that when we get back home one day. But, as I am writing this – even that isn’t a certainty, because that is a tomorrow that is still to come. I pray though that it will happen for us all.

But back again (!) to the reason for this writing. During all these experiences the last few years, I have learnt to enjoy the ‘little’ things in life. Don’t get me wrong. With our current, temporary lifestyle come lots of privileges, which we enjoy and appreciate enormously! I mean, without this experience, my dream to see at least something of Europe would probably always have stayed only in the dream phase. We have cruised the Nile and we are scheduled to go again soon. We have snorkelled in the Red Sea (and fell in love with it)! On a French mountain I have played in the snow for the first time in my life! I attended my first (second, third and shortly my fourth) ball! I have stood in a chamber in The Valley of the Kings outside Luxor containing the petite mummy of king Tut. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera. These are memories I will cherish for as long as my mind allow me.

But as it is in life – privileges don’t come free or cheap. And in between these very wonderful experiences are those that don’t reach Facebook status. And they take up way more time than those very wonderful ones. They are the ones that can make or break us. The in-between times when the heat, dust, cultural differences, strange religion, terrible traffic, the thin, sick, hungry street dogs, the stray cats, the tummy bugs, the illiteracy (mine!), the overwhelming crowdedness, the ‘ununderstandable’ customs, the poverty, the dirtiness, the interestingness, the bland food, the overripe tomatoes and all the things you miss from home, make you wonder how on earth did you make it so far and how on earth will you make the rest of the time?

I remember back home when we had some challenges, we would go for a walk in the afternoons and with my hand in my husband’s and with our son and our dogs tagging along, I felt like the richest person alive! And this, I personally believe, is where the secret of happiness lies: to find blessings and joy and thankfulness in even the littlest things in mundane life.

I have listed just a few of these things that make me happy. Some of them are not so little at all.

  • Reading Bible and praying whenever I want to, because the Living God of the Bible is always everywhere.
  • Mild weather.
  • Walking to the shops.
  • Walking to the shops on my own legs.
  • Walking to the shops on my own legs in mild weather.
  • Having good Egyptian people in our lives.
  • Eating the last piece of biltong someone thoughtfully brought when visiting.
  • Sitting (in the still mild weather) in our garden, listening to the birds chirping without the competition of the air conditioner sounds (because the weather is still mild and the aircons are still off).
  • Aircons in summer!!!
  • Drinking rooibos tea with my husband and son on a Saturday morning outside in the garden (when the weather is mild) or in the TV room or swimming pool (in summer, when the weather is not so mild).
  • Sleeping through the night without fear of violent house-breaks.
  • Waking up in the morning. (What a privilege!)
  • Having an Afrikaans (my native language) speaking buurvrou (neighbour) in the building across ours!
  • Having even more friends from home nearby and being able to lunch with some of them every week!
  • Feeding at least two of the many hungry cats in this huge city.
  • Watching ‘our’ two cats doing all their cat-things in our garden on top of the parking garage.
  • Taking pictures. Lots and lots and lots of them.
  • Being thankful for every ‘big’ or ‘little’ thing that works out.
  • Being safe after there had been uncertainties.
  • Aircons droning out the muezzin calls.
  • Power coming back on after cuts. (These days they aren’t as frequent and as long as in during the first year. Something to be thankful for – especially in summer!)
  • Experiencing everything with my husband and son!
  • Kissing my husband good night.
  • Kissing my son good night. (That’s probably not something he would like people to read on the Internet ((but he likes it – I can tell)).)
  • Seeing my husband happy because he can watch South African rugby and cricket matches on the satellite TV channels.
  • Paging through the teabags at my Japanese friend’s dinner to find a rooibos tea bag!
  • Having lots of friends from around the world to hang out with, visit new places with and to learn from.
  • Being able to buy the medicine I need and don’t get from home.
  • Being healthy (I hope).
  • Coming home to a haven of safety and tranquility.
  • Having a good landlady.
  • …the list can go on…

These are just a few things and when writing them down, I realise that they are not so little. They are pretty big and important. They are the glue that holds life together. To be in awe when seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time or feeling small against the largest of the Giza pyramids is splendid, but one can survive life without it. Of course travelling enriches our lives and I am a big supporter thereof (even if it is just exploring outside of you immediate comfort zone) and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on these experiences! But it really is the ‘small’ things that we can’t live without, which makes the mundane extraordinary – which is the difference between letting life get away from you and living in the moment. It is the ‘small’ things in life which brings sustainable happiness.

 

© 2016  – I, Fielies (Riëtte) De Kock is trying hard to be an awesomest wife and greatest lover, finest mom and to write something all at the same time. I share my current living space in Cairo, Egypt with my husband, young-adult son, the building’s two cats and the space in my head with way too many ideas and multitudes of story characters to function as a normal human being.

The Exhausting Thing Called Travelling

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There are so many quotes and writings about the almost ‘magical’ thing called travelling.  Much is said about the wonderful things you see and hear and how it opens your eyes and your mind and broadens your horizons and gives you insights into how the world works that you would otherwise not have had. So much so that when you dream of visiting France for example, you unquestionably expect to hear beautiful French theme music starting to play in the background the moment you set foot on French soil.

Most of the things one hears and reads about travelling are certainly true. It makes a difference about how you look at and think about the world. It does broaden you horizon. And it gives you insights you would probably otherwise not have required. The reality about travelling though is that there is reality. Surely, sometimes you hear French music play in the background (when you sit in a restaurant) and you may have a holiday romance with an Italian heartbreaker or you might travel without any trouble, lost luggage or stomach bugs and you will meet people who will stay friends with you until the end of time. But most of the time, travelling can be very, very hard. So, if you haven’t travelled much yet, here is a shortish version of how a typical day of a travelling transpires.

Even if you knew the day would come for months in advance and planned accordingly, you will still have a hundred and three things to do on the day before you leave. Somehow visas can be the main devil in the traveller’s Garden of Eden and you sometimes have to wait until the very end for the British Embassy to open again after an unexpected closure in Cairo to get your UK visa. Or it can be the Colombians or Algerians or Mauritian authorities causing you problems. The fact is – visas are the traveller’s number one enemy – and friend, because without them, you’re going nowhere.

On a normal day of travelling you will eventually leave for the airport by car, taxi, bus, train or whatever, armed with you passport, your ticket – or the electronic confirmation of a ticket, money, your luggage and those precious visas safely stamped or pasted into your passport pages. You will arrive and queue to book in electronically at a machine or otherwise at a counter, depending on the airport you fly from. While you stand in the queue, you will pray that your bag is within the weight limit. You will ban the question out of you mind of how you are going to manage not to go overweight after ten days or three weeks of buying cute, but in a year’s time totally forgotten memorabilia. You will be thankful when the bag goes through with no problem and you are awarded with your boarding pass.

Then you get out of the line, say the goodbyes to those who brought you, if you didn’t come on your own, and you enter the door leading to the world! But first, you will have to queue for passport control. After the customs officer stamped you out of the country, you are as free as a bird in that wonderful no man’s land called ‘Duty Free’… We normally like to be there long before we have to board, just to get the emotions of the goodbyes behind us and have a coffee or a beer while breathing the busy day out of our bodies and starting to focus on our tip ahead. This is where you realise for the first time that you are on your way.

Your next queue is when you wait to go through the security check to your boarding gate. You remove your camera, jacket/s, shoes and belt, take your wallet and cell phone out of you pockets, remove your laptop, tablet/iPad and your other cameras from your hand luggage, put it in a tray with your passports and walk through the scanner on your still-clean socks, hoping there is nothing left on you that will make it bleep. If you’re lucky enough to go through without a bleep, a person of your own gender awaits you with a hand scanner and two gloved hands. In Europe, this search stops just short of a gynaecology examination. Literally. Then all your scanned stuff and those of the people behind you causes a traffic jam on the x-ray machine, while you try to grab your camera, belt, shoes and jacket’s all at once and try to get dressed while going through the checklist in your head trying not to forget anything:

  • Passport
  • Camera
  • Jacket/s
  • Shoes
  • Belt
  • Other camera
  • Cell phone
  • Tablet/iPad
  • Wallet

You make sure to look back to see if you left anything and check the person behind you to see if he may have taken something of yours. When you are certain of this, you are perspiring a little bit and ready to board your flight.

Note: Sometimes this step occurs after leaving passport control and before you enter Duty Free. It depends on the airport. After this you are happy that it is over, yet you know that this is going to repeat itself over and over during the course of your trip in every airport you visit – when going in and when going out.

Another note: If travelling in or out of Egypt add double the amount of passport checks mentioned above, add two more and multiply the sum by three.

Your next wait is in the room at the gate before boarding. When you finally hear the boarding call, you get up excitedly, because you know, that the journey is finally to begin. You queue in the boarding line, get you passport checked again and your boarding pass scanned. Then you follow the line to the airplane. Finally.

Depending on how far you have to travel, you will be caged into a small space (except if you fly business class of course) where you will try to watch a movie, try to sleep, don’t like all the food the airline serve you (except if it is KLM, then you would want to try the tray too) and probably be stuck behind or next to an unmannered co-passenger or one who’s breath really pongs. This is the less enjoyable part of travelling, especially if you travel five hours and longer.

On the other side, you will have this whole process at the airport again, just in in reverse. Then you have to find transport to your place of accommodation, travel there, queue to book in, move in, unpack or not, get cleaned, connect to Wi-Fi, contact home to let them know that you are safe and try to get a good night’s sleep.

If you travel for ten days to three weeks, the pace can get to you, because you will wake up every day, get cleaned, go for breakfast and travel by car, bus, train, tram, boat, taxi, motorcycle, bicycle, plane, underground (also train) to your next destination. You will queue, you will buy tickets on busses, in museums and on boats. You will always be looking for coffee or beer and wonder where the next toilet will be. You will run not to miss your next bus ride, train or plane, and you will hope you and your luggage arrive at the same place. Which sometimes don’t happen and then you have to spend a night in your day-old undies and a t-shirt from Heathrow’s ‘overnight’ pack. You will queue to see the small, insignificant, but well-marketed painting called the ‘Mona Lisa’ (in English) and take selfies with known landmarks in the background.

You will ask strangers to take a pic of your family, so that you are in some of the pictures too. You will search the map and the Internet for directions and you will learn how a country’s public transport system works within hours after arrival. You will walk or ride from site to site, drinking coffee or beer or wine in between with ‘n light lunch and take more pictures, because you never know if you will ever see it again.

 Mona Lisa Quote

It’s not that these places are so important to you personally or that they speak to your heart, but that you have seen it with your own eyes. There is something in seeing well-known places and things with your own eyes. Even if you feel too uneducated to appreciate every old painting in the Louvre or the Rijksmuseum – or know who the painters were. It is a weird kind of privilege to visit places and share the soil where so many good and bad things happened in the past and to know that somehow your life had cross the paths of those who lived there so long ago.

In the evening you put your photos on Facebook and Instagram and WhatsApp and chat with your family and friends and go to bed too late, because you don’t want to waste a moment and you want to try and put what you have seen and experienced in perspective. The next morning you wake up and the routine repeat itself – but in spite of the repetition, one day is never the same as the previous. So, you get up, brush your teeth, go to breakfast, start travelling, drink coffee, go to the toilet while you are in a restaurant, travel to a site, take too many pictures, walk, ride bus, ride boat, walk more, eat lunch you can’t really afford, drink beer, go to the restaurant toilet, walk to the next site, take more pics, ride bus to the next, take even more pictures, look for a place to get food, have more beer or wine and go to the toilet, ride bus or underground or walk to your place or accommodation, bath, download photos, upload photos, chat to family and friends, go to sleep too late.

And you repeat this until the tour is over. There is no rest, because what South African can afford to go to London for three days and lay on a hotel bed for a day’s rest at times 18 of your currency for everything you do. No, there will be no rest. You will pack in, no matter how tired or sick you are. You will go on. You will get every cheap South African cent’s worth out of your too-expensive trip!

Sometimes while travelling it feels as if you are not taking it all in. You think that you just travel and look and see and don’t think. But when you get home, you realise how much you have thought about. You learned that you never stopped thinking. Your thoughts were transformed somehow by experiences you didn’t realise your brain had recorded. You are a changed/changing person. You realise how much you have learned and how little you really know. Even now. No, especially now that you know how much there still is to learn. And you realise all over again that all of life is a journey. That this little piece of your life, called a holiday, is part of that journey to make your life expand. And you appreciate that you may never, ever see those places you have just visited again. And you are also confronted with the very real possibility that you may never travel to all the places you still dream about seeing. That’s a reality of life.

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You also find that being home, is the biggest part of the journey. And you realise that it is a privilege to have a place to come home to. Even if we have never travelled, or is just a couch traveller or if we don’t want to travel, we are on the trip of our life, because being alive and living life is the journey.

So, are the endless, tiresome movements from one place to another just to see it with your own eyes really worth it? It is. Because you learn a lot about the world, but you learn even more about yourself.

What a curious phenomenon this thing called ‘travelling’ is.

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© 2015 – I, Fielies (Riëtte) De Kock tries hard to be a Proverbs 31-woman – excellentest wife, finest mom, greatest lover and successful ‘wordpreneur’ all at the same time. I temporarily share my living space in Cairo, Egypt with my husband, young-adult son, the building’s ginger cat – and the space in my head with way too many ideas and multitudes of story characters to live as a normal functioning human being.

 

 

 

Travelling with Children

Our son, Michael (5) and his friend, Maryam (6) in 2001. In the background - them in 2012

Our son, Michael (5) and his friend, Maryam (6) in Morocco in 2001. In the background – them in December 2012

 

On our first trip to Israel we met a man and his wife when visiting the Nazareth village. They complimented us for travelling as a family. We encouraged them to do the same, but they protested that their family was too big. On our second trip to the Holy Land though, we bumped into them in the Old city of Jerusalem – with their six children!

Since we visited Israel on six occasions – with our son! We were travelling with other friends, who also travel with their children. On our first trip together, their son was only eighteen months old. On the next trip he was three years old and had an eight month-old baby brother. We also travelled with them when their third son was only three months old! On every trip childless couples as well as single people travelled with us travelled and the children brought no extra stress on us. As a matter of fact, we travelled with less worries, because our children were safely with us.The first time my husband and I travelled to another country together, we did it without our then three year-old son, Michael. We went with another couple, whose children, like ours, stayed with their grandparents for the week. We missed our children a lot and we were always on the lookout for telephone booths in every Moroccan town we drove through. Although we knew that Michael was in safe hands, we still worried about him.

While driving one day, both we and the other couple decided not to travel again without our children in future. Back home our son missed us too and he had his own way of letting us know it. He addressed us on our names for weeks, before we decided to ignore him when doing that. Within days we were ‘Pappa’ and ‘Mamma’ again. We knew that our decision not to travel without him in future was the right one.

Two years later we were back in Morocco with Michael and our friends with their three children. We were travelling in a group of 62 South Africans. We were the only two families travelling with children and enjoyed every minute.Travelling is expensive and the costs might be one of the main reasons why couples tend to leave their children at home when taking a trip to another country. We have a one-income household. I am a stay-at-home mum and my husband is serving in the defence force. We really don’t have money to squander, but somehow we manage to fulfil our dream to travel. When we set out on planning a new adventure, we normally start from scratch. We don’t have extra savings to fall back on. We purely pray and believe it will happen. We believe that is how our Creator meant it to be and that He rewards us time and again for our decision to travel as a family.

Our son is sixteen now and has become quite a globetrotter. He has learned in experience what some other children have to learn from books. He is working in the garden, washing the car and doing other odd jobs to help fund his next plane ticket. Our next trip to the Middle East is already in its early planning stages. The preparation is as much fun as the trip itself. We are reading guide books and planning visits to must-see places, while hoping on and believing that a few miracles along the road will get us there.

Travelling as a family doesn’t have to be just a dream. With a bit of faith and lots of courage it is possible to live the dream. We regularly encourage other families to do the same, as it is enriching for both parents and children. If that pastor and his wife could do it with their six children, any family can at least try it at least once!

Here is a list of helpful tips for families to travel together and enjoy it.

Tips for planning a safe and joyful family trip

  • Reinforcing Immunity. Enjoy the locally-produced yogurt upon arrival in the country being visited. The live cultures of the product will help prevent stomach ailments. Also drink bottled water only, even when brushing teeth.
  • Routine. Maintaining a daily routine helps children becoming less tired and irritated in an unknown environment. Ensure that they get enough sleep and plan daily tours and programs accordingly.
  • Medicine. Take enough prescription drugs for the duration of the trip, as it is sometimes difficult to obtain the same products overseas. If your child is using medication for attention-deficit disorders or other related challenges, don’t stop or reduce it, except on doctor’s recommendation, as this will put unnecessary pressure on everyone. Divide the medicine into smaller portions and keep it in different places, to prevent loss and damage of the medicine. Take copies of prescriptions with and keep over-the-counter medicine in their original packaging.
  • Schoolwork. When travelling with school-going children, make arrangements for tests missed during the time away from school. Try to make up for the work missed before and after the trip. If you are taking day flights, take some work with to fill the long hours on the plane.
  • Toys. Let every child take a backpack filled with his favourite games, toys, and books. It will keep them calm and secure to have familiar things with them. Allow them time to play while the adults rest or read. See that they don’t take toy guns, scissors, wires, knives or other restricted items on the plane.
  • Clothes. While adults can cut back, children need more clothes because they mess more. Make sure that they have enough clothes for all weather conditions. A light fleece blanket is handy when flying, at airports, on buses and in hotels.
  • Security. Before leaving home, set up the ground rules for the travels abroad, such as rules on wandering off, talking to strangers and going into public toilets alone. Teach them safety measures if travelling to countries where security threats exist. Make sure that they keep their hand luggage with them at all times and let them carry some form of identity.
  • Let them explore. Explore with them and by using a travel guide, teach them about the country’s people, culture and history. Travelling teaches children things that they do not learn from school textbooks, like empathy towards others and it also broadens their outlook on life.
  • Travelling in the country. Try to travel when it is not too warm. Take precautions against motion sickness, provide enough fluids and keep some fruit and nuts available as snacks. Encourage young children to sleep while travelling and older children to enjoy the changing scenery.
  • Money. Travel costs are probably the most common reason why couples do not travel with their children. Decide as a family to use every opportunity to save. Cut back on renting DVD’s or eating out, get a food stall at a local flea market, start a car washing service in the street you live in or let the boys mow the neighbour’s lawn for pocket money. Teach the children simultaneously to give away a percentage of their earnings to someone in need. Teenagers can contribute to their air tickets by saving some of their monthly allowance, while smaller children can save for their own spending money. Depending on your situation, allow every child to buy something special to remind them of the trip and encourage them to buy small souvenirs for grandparents, teachers or friends. Their contribution will teach them important values and empower them as ‘world travellers’.
  • Photos and journals. Encourage school-going children to keep a travel journal and/or take their own photographs of the trip. This way they will capture things that are important to them and will feel confident to share moments from their point of view.
  • Strengthening family relations. The family as a whole benefits from the experience, as parents are more relaxed having their children at their side and children feel more loved when travelling with their parents. In a world where the family is becoming an extinct phenomenon, travelling together might just be one way of keeping the unit together.

Things to pack in your child’s backpack

  • His Bible or a Bible story book
  • A favourite story book
  • A few of his favourite cars/action figures or her favourite doll/s
  • A board game and/or playing cards
  • A small fleece blanket

 

Must-take items in your first-aid kit

(Remember to keep it in original packaging)

  • Band-aids
  • Cough syrup
  • Paediatric syrup for fever
  • Paediatric syrup for pain
  • Thermometer
  • Paediatric lozenges for sore throat
  • Prescribed medicine – if applicable, together with an original prescription

© 2012 Riëtte de Kock

I am trying hard to be a Proverbs 31-woman – excellent wife, finest mom, greatest lover and successful entrepreneur and freelance writer all at the same time! I share a living space in Pretoria, South Africa with my husband, son, mother, four dogs and sometimes the neighbours’ cats – and my head with way too many ideas and multitudes of story characters.

Visit my website at www.thewritingclub.co.za and buy my children’s ebook, Yeovangya, on Amazon Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yeovangya-ebook/dp/B008CP2RQ0

My Afrikaans blog is available on my website – or just click on this link: http://www.thewritingclub.co.za/writingclub/index.php?option=com_lyftenbloggie&view=lyftenbloggie&category=bloggies&Itemid=66