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Cheryl Goodenough

Cheryl arrived in Australia in December 2008. She has extensive experience in journalism, research and writing. After studying at Rhodes University, she started her career at The Witness in Pietermaritzburg and then did a two-year stint with the Helen Suzman Foundation writing for the publication KwaZulu-Natal Briefing. Cheryl then worked independently for nine years. During that time she conducted research on HIV and AIDS, safety and security and other topics; wrote copy for various publications and edited and published numerous documents and reports. She also co-wrote a cookery book called Culinary Inspirations.

Cheryl has an Honours degree in Communication and an Honours degree in Criminology from the University of South Africa. She is married to Phillip Hoare, a financial planner (and a drummer on the side) and they have a son Slade and a daughter Kai.

Quirky Place and Street Names

I recently caught the end of a chat show on the radio where people were asked to phone in and share some funny street names that they know of, or in which they live.

Some of the amusing names from Brisbane include:

  • Academic Lane
  • Aeroplane Street
  • Angel Face Court
  • Baguette Street
  • Bogan Street
  • Butt Street
  • Forceful Crescent
  • Goodchap Street
  • Gravel Pit Road
  • Whiteface Street
  • Blackbutt Street
  • Netball Drive
  • Whynot Street
  • Sleepy Hollow Place
  • Megalong Street
  • Humpybong Esplanade
  • Ragamuffin Drive
  • Woollybutt Street
  • Pub Lane

Of course, there are also some quirky place names in Australia, and I recently came across some from Tasmania.

  • Bagdad, a town of about 650 people, which received messages of sympathy and support in 2003 after the Iraqi invasion began.
  • Bay of Fires
  • Bust-Me-Gall Hill & Break-Me-Neck Hill
  • Dismal Swamp
  • Doo Town, which is a holiday village and consists of many houses that have been named in the ‘Doo' theme: Gunadoo, Doodle Doo, Love Me Doo, Doo Us, Doo Me, Doo Nix, Wee Doo, Xanadu, Rum Doo and Doo Little.
  • Hell's Gates
  • Paradise
  • Promised Land
  • Snug
  • Daisy Bell
  • Egg and Bacon Bay
  • Flowerpot
  • Milkshake Hills
  • Nowhere Else
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Sending Secondhand Clothes to South Africa

Knowing how great the need is in South Africa, a number of our readers are looking for ways to send clothes to charities and organisations in South Africa. We've asked readers if they are aware of any ways that this can be done.

Moira recently emailed to say that she's flying to South Africa later this year on Qantas and phoned the airline to see if it would be possible to take extra baggage consisting of secondhand clothes for a church. She was told to fill in a sponsorship request application form (which can be found on their website in the ‘community' section). She has done so, and will keep us posted about the response, which is expected in three weeks.

If you find any solutions in this regard, please email cheryl@sabona.com.au or comment here

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In the News

Australia and South Africa recently signed a film co-production agreement, according to South Africa's Business Day newspaper. The treaty will mean that co-producers can access funding and tax benefits, simplified immigration requirements for the entry of skilled personnel and duty free importation of equipment for use in co-productions.

The newspaper states that the agreement, once approved through each country's respective parliamentary processes, will provide opportunities for Australian and South African film-makers to pool their creative and financial resources, facilitate cultural and creative exchange between the countries and increase the output of high-quality productions.

One example of an Australian-South African joint production that has already been made is ‘The Team that Never Played', which is a film about apartheid era football players that never participated in the FIFA World Cup due to sporting sanctions. The film premiered in South Africa in June.

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The Benefits of the World Cup

SAbona was contacted this week by ABC World Today about the benefits of the World Cup to South Africa. Much of the discussion focused on the financial benefits and academics from the United States and Australia voiced their largely economic opinions on the debt that South Africa will be left with, what impact the money that has been spent in South Africa will really have, and so on.

I thought that the World Cup had a number of benefits – some of which were not financial.

  • The spirit that the World Cup generated amongst South Africans – I would love to know how many South Africans went to their first soccer game in South Africa during the last month? The South African flags that are flying everywhere are a sign of the spirit shown by the residents of the host country.
  • The World Cup has shown that South Africa is a great sporting venue, and many media reports have described the tremendous welcome that tourists have received.
  • We'll need to wait and see what happens to the stadiums, but I do believe that people will benefit for some time to come from the millions that were spent on upgrading hospitals before the World Cup.
  • South Africa has a troubled past and still faces many challenges, but I think that it's great that a sporting event has united people and brought people together in a common spirit.
  • I hope that many visitors realised something about the plight of large numbers of South Africans, and will spread the word about what they saw and heard, and do what they can to help. There are some absolutely awesome organisations doing amazing work to help people in South Africa. If the word about those organisations can get spread a little more, and people who have the means can do an extra bit to help, it ensures that those efforts have even more of an impact.
Australian journalist Stephanie Brantz yesterday published a blog
(http://wwos.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=7928292) that makes me really proud of the country in which I was born. Stephanie says that the World Cup is bigger than football and the memories last long after the final whistle has sounded. She describes the job that South Africa did as a host country as “outstanding” and that is shows what a nation with comparatively little means can do when the world comes to visit.

Stephanie says that the longest time she spent in a food queue was 10 minutes, and she didn't queue for bathrooms at all – “unheard of at a sold-out sporting arena”, she says.

Stephanie described the people of South Africa as the number one success story. “A country so long divided, [was] united in the most wonderful way. Black and white, shoulder to shoulder in the stadiums and on the streets. When Bafana Bafana lived up (or is that down?) to expectations, the smiling locals kept the party going.”

Stephanie also described a visit to a Soweto school with 1GOAL, a charity promoting education for all. She concludes her blog by saying that experiences like these enriched her memories of the World Cup, and that if Australia hosts the event in 12 years time she would be proud if guests were left with memories as positive as those she has of South Africa.

Certainly South Africa continues to face many challenges, but the country has done an awesome job of hosting the Soccer World Cup.

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School Holidays
It's school holidays and it might be a matter of juggling school kids while still getting some work done, dropping off kids at vacation care and getting on with the work regardless, or perhaps you have some time off or are a stay at home parent. As I try to finalise the copy for the next issue of SAbona, I certainly am rather appreciative that our holiday is limited to only two weeks, but we are spending a few days doing some other activities and fun stuff!
Last week we went to watch Snow White and the Seven Little Men, which was a Fame theatre production in Brisbane. It was great fun – the kids enjoyed watching it, and there was even a boy in the show who was from their school. The performers all attend acting classes, but we got the sense that performing in such a show was something that almost anyone could do.
Tomorrow we're off to the Queensland Museum in South Bank, where there are lots of holiday activities relating to insects, and to Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art. The Art Gallery's Children's Art Centre has a street scene, featuring building facades similar to sets built for movies and television shows, which was created by Australian artist Callum Morton. Children can go up and down the street and explore what lies beyond the walls. Callum describes it as a “forgotten fantasy town for kids with a main street lined with shops, a bank and a museum”. Children have the opportunity to design their own billboard, design a package for a supermarket item and plan and construct a new modern metropolis using the artist's façade designs. It sounds like lots of fun.
And later in the week, we're planning to head for the Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich. Our kids have had many fun times there. During this holiday there is a wizards and witches theme with storytelling, opportunities to make wands, scientific presentations and a starlight labyrinth.
What have you done with your children this holiday? Add your ideas and suggestions for others.
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Free Stuff!
During a recent visit to South Africa I stuffed my suitcase with grown-out-of-clothes mostly belonging to my children. I only knew of some limited options about what I could do with secondhand things here in Australia and also felt that I could really only donate things that appeared to be almost brand new. Instead I remembered the appreciation expressed by my dear former domestic worker Anna, who would dance and shout ‘praise the Lord' at the top of her voice when we gave her things. So I arrived to visit her with a huge bag of old clothes and other belongings. To say that she was appreciative is an understatement.
I realise that there are options for donating unwanted things in Australia – Lifeline shops, Salvos and Vinnies are obvious examples, and I know of friends who've found some wonderful treasures at such shops – when it comes to clothes, but also furniture and with regards to household items. In fact, new arrivals in Australia could do pretty well kitting themselves out with items from such shops, and knowing that the money goes to a good cause is great too.
Another wonderful ‘service' that I've discovered is Freecycle. It operates in different places internationally, and the idea is that people pass on goods to avoid them ending up in a dump. So it's really about recycling and thinking about the environment. And, as is suggested by the name, it's free! You can link up to a local Freecycle initiative – just google Freecycle and the area in which you live.
I was completely bombarded by emails when I first joined the Brisbane South group. So much so that I quickly opted to receive the digest version, and I must confess to often just clicking the delete option when I receive the emails.
Now basically you can either ask for things, or you can offer things, and you need to let readers know when whatever you've offered has been taken. If you're taking something from someone you need to travel to them to go and collect it, and it's compulsory that you give away the items from free!
What I've found astounding is some of the items that are on offer: Here are a few recent examples of things available:
  • A range furniture in varying condition, some needing repair, others being in good condition
  • A dishwasher and wall oven that are in great working order, but have just been replaced with new appliances
  • Text books, fiction books, CDs, recipe books, magazines
  • Boxes of stuff such as clothes and household items that people would like to pass on after a clean up – they usually request that these go together and anything unwanted can simply be passed on again
  • An unopened tin of baby formula, baby high chair, stroller
  • A TV, futon mattress, stand up freezer, 1950s wedding dress, loaves of bread and rolls
Coming from Africa, I also found it interesting that the Brisbane City Council have opened a facility called Tip Shop, which is a shop at which the Council sells things that have been retrieved from the rubbish dumps! I've yet to visit, but the Council says that the shop is stocked with household furnishings, collectables, books, toys and sporting equipment that have been identified as re-usable by staff. It's advertised as a great way to get a bargain.
Do you know of places where one can get bargains? Please share them with SAbona readers.
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Domestic Duties

Okay, I'm sure that many of the guys out there have skipped on to the next item in the newsletter, but I'm continuing nevertheless…I was chatting to some friends today about the ironing pile getting bigger and bigger, the floor needing a vacuum and the tiles needing to be mopped and how I just never feel on top of things in my house.

I must say at this point that my husband does lots around the house, and he's the one who irons the urgent stuff for the next day when it hasn't been done (and that's pretty often at the moment). But recently I spent a bit of time during the day (when I'm usually working) catching up on some of those domestic duties – really just everyday stuff like folding some washing that had been sitting around for a little too long. By the time my husband came home I was starting to feel a little more on top of things, and I even suggested that it would be so much easier to keep on top of the domestic duties if I didn't work – not that I'm ready to trade in my work, which gets done from home in between fetching and carrying kids, to just be responsible for the cleaning, ironing, washing, and so on.

So to get back to today's conversation…I was talking about how I work while kids are at school, and often work in the evenings as well, and then in between I'm battling to keep up with domestic stuff. So my really-good-at-planning-ahead friend, who has recently started working full-time as does her husband, says that she cooks the meat for the week as well as doing the shopping and other chores, on Saturday. So most of Saturday isn't such a fun day, but to relieve the pressure a bit, she has a few items of clothes (mainly work clothes) collected and returned once a week by an ironing service, and has a cleaner coming in once every two weeks to do a good clean.

As a couple who budget extremely carefully, they have worked out that this is something that they can afford, and that it's worthwhile. Incidentally, the cleaner brings his own cleaning materials so they're not buying those products so that's a cost saving.

When I'm at home all day, I do wonder if I can justify having someone to come in and clean my house, but considering I'm actually working while I'm at home, it does sound pretty tempting…But, on the other hand, I keep thinking, are there things that I can do to make ‘keeping house' a little easier and less stressful? Yes, certainly all members of the household can be sure to put things away after they've used them, and if I do the washing soon after bringing it in off the line, or wash the dishes soon after using them, then at least those things don't pile up, but there just always seem to be something to do around the house.

I'd love to hear some of your experiences – okay, it's partly just so that I can be assured that I'm not alone in the daily domestic duty battle, but some helpful suggestions (or maybe recommendations of cleaning companies) would also be welcome
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How long did your container take to get from South Africa to Australia? That’s this week’s question from a reader. Please include the respective city in South Africa and Australia, and also how recently you moved.

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The School Dilemma

Moving to Australia, all of us hope for a better lives for (most especially) our children. And I've heard many agonising parents, well mostly moms, I guess, talking about how their kids are settling down in Australia, what they miss, what they are enjoying, whether they're making new friends, whether they're battling to make friends. We talk about what is a good age for children who move from one country to another, and at what age it starts becoming more difficult for children to adjust, how children can cope with change so much better than adults, and those kinds of things.

My children were really excited about coming to Australia, but it didn't really have anything to do with the country itself. My husband Phillip came here three months before we left South Africa. He started a job, found a house, and even had two weeks to unpack the furniture before we arrived!

For Slade, who turned six on the day we arrived in Australia, and Kai, who was 4½, leaving South Africa wasn't really about leaving anyone or anything. Uppermost in their minds was the thought of seeing and being with their dad again. And they were also pretty excited about having all their stuff again – their first night in Australia they walked into bedrooms that were familiar at least in terms of everything that was in them!

Things worked pretty well from that point of view. They had been able to finish a school year in South Africa, and start a new school year here in Australia.

Kai had one year at a wonderful, caring kindi and started prep this year, while Slade went into year one last year.

The big dilemma that I have at the moment is about what school to send them to. The decision about which school to choose for my children is a really difficult one. Coming to a new country, I don't know the general talk about which schools are good, which aren't so good, what problems are evident in what schools, what schools are known for doing well academically and so on.

Slade and Kai are in a state school, which has a lot going for it. There are so many opportunities for senior school students – they have staggered starts and finishes, and the senior students work, study further or do apprenticeships that can easily fit in with the school hours during their final years at school, there is a great hospitality program, with a restaurant that is run by the students, every student leaves the school with at least one qualification in something. The school is progressive in many ways, and when it was opened about eight years ago, was the pilot for some methods that are now being introduced elsewhere. Classes are mixed according to year levels – preps and year one children are in the same class, as are year two and three kids. There are many advantages to that, and I've seen it work well for my children. The school also has pods (almost like two classes combined) that at prep/year 1 level have two teachers and a teacher's aide full-time. So the staff to pupil ratio is pretty good in that sense and the kids work with a number of different adults in the classroom, rather than just their class teacher. The facilities at the school are great and in a good condition as they are relatively new – there is a fantastic library, sports hall and performing arts centre. The school caters for children from prep to year 12 so potentially the children don't need to go through the unsettling adjustment that can come about when moving to a senior school during their teenage years.

I guess my concerns come primarily from some of the behaviour that I've seen displayed by children and teenagers, in some cases towards the teachers at the school. But such behaviour is certainly not exclusive to the school. It's evident in shopping centres, skate parks and so on. In general, young people seem to have less respect for adults than what I was exposed to in South Africa.

So here's the dilemma – would things be any different in an independent school, or perhaps a Christian school? How do parents go about making the decision as to what school will be best for their children? And it's a decision that's made more difficult as a newcomer to a country.

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Moving to Melbourne

If you live inMelbourne, Sean would really welcome your input. He's moving to Melbourne in April. Sean has found accommodation for just himself for a week or so at about $70.

He would like to settle permanently in the Sunbury area when his wife and two kids follow later in the year.

He's looking for temporary accommodation in that area for as soon as possible after he arrives.

Also wants to hear what areas on the North West or South West of Melbourne to avoid.

Perhaps some input about schools would also be useful, and any other info pertaining to the west of Melbourne that you think would be useful for a new arrival.

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What did you think about Invictus?
If you've watched Invictus, we'd love to hear what you thought of the movie, and how you felt watching it. Do you recommend it to others?
These are some of the comments that have been posted on our Facebook page:
  • Kevin: Liked it, think I'll buy the DVD.
  • Sonti: It was very touching. You feel proud to be a South African when watching that movie. Great performances by both Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman.
  • Brent: Clint Eastwood did a great job in portraying the truth. Think other nationalities will get a sense of how great a man Mandela is and what the Boks accomplished.
  • Tracey: Thought it was really great from a South African point of view – Acting not too great, but can be overlooked by the emotion felt in remembering where we were and [what we] felt on those days! May be a little lost on non-South Africans who don't have the emotional memories. So well-timed just before the World Cup…wonder if [it was] done on purpose? Well done!
  • Kate: I have seen it three times. Loved it!
  • Jaylene: Man…such an inspiring movie!
  • Maryka: What a trip back to my High School years back in the days with President Nelson Mandela. He was a good man! Highly recommended movie!
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Dark Video
We recently received an email from South African author Peter Church. Peter recently wrote a book called Dark Video¸ which has been published in Australia. He’s keen to hear from any of our readers who might have read the book. If you have read Dark Video please give us your feedback here. If you haven’t, we’re just waiting to hear back from the publishers and hope to feature the book soon in SAbona magazine.
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The much acclaimed movie Invictus will be soon be on the Australian movie screens. Starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, and directed by Clint Eastwood, it is said to be a brilliant must watch movie. You can see the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9Ovkye6lac&feature=fvw. If you’re interested in watching this movie, let us know which major cinema complex is nearest to you, and let’s see if we can get groups of South Africans together to go and watch!
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Things to Do in Brisbane
Brisbane author Dianne McLay was the guest speaker at Friday's Sabona Coffee Club that meets at Garden City in Brisbane.
Dianne is the author of Brisbane's Best Bush, Bay & City Walks. That book is a guide to 33 walks exploring the riverside, chic urban villages, wildlife reserves, streets rich in history and art, the shores of Moreton Bay and wilderness areas on Brisbane's doorstep. An enthralling speaker, Dianne shared some wonderful ideas about things to do in Brisbane. Her particular focus was on FREE activities. That really is something that I love about Brisbane – there is so much to do that is free, or costs very little. And I'm sure that it's not unique to Brisbane.
I'd like to share just a few of Dianne's ideas with you:
  • Explore City Hall: The City Hall is going to be closing [from the beginning of 2010] for restoration for three years. Climbing the clock tower is a great activity for children.
  • Council libraries: Have regular free activities for adults and children.
  • Queen Street Mall: There are free shows, dance, fashion parades, bands and lots more.
  • Outdoor Markets mentioned by Dianne including the Jan Powers Farmers Markets, Riverside Markets on the river at Eagle Street, Chandler Markets, South Bank Lifestyle Markets and Northey Street City Farm and Farmers Market.
  • State Library of Queensland: Has a free play area for young children, traditional games for older children and “The Parlour” for adults.
  • Gallery of Modern Art and Queensland Art Gallery have free activities for children and most exhibitions are free.
For more ideas from Dianne see http://www.brisbanewalks.com.au/.
I'd love to hear your ideas of FREE things to do in Brisbane, and elsewhere in Australia.
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Holidays Away From Family
Well, I know that it's not quite Christmas yet. Although looking around the shops at all the Christmas goodies that are on the shelves (and flying off the shelves) it's a hard to believe that there are actually still 40-odd days until Christmas. I've been busy working on the next issue of Sabona which has lots of exciting Christmas gift ideas, has Sabona readers talking about what they would like for Christmas, and includes yummy ideas of things to bake and cook during the holiday season.
So, as a result, I feel like I've got way ahead of myself. Christmas is top-most in my mind (not that I've done any of my own Christmas shopping or anything like that!). In fact, a friend phoned today to chat about New Year's plans and I told her that I'd only been thinking about Christmas, and certainly hadn't as far as New Year yet! All of this has also got me thinking and talking about being far away from family and just being somewhere that is a little less familiar, that is not quite ‘home', over this time.
Last year was my first Christmas in Oz, but I had only been here for less than a month so life was a bit of a whirlwind anyway! During these coming holidays I'm really fortunate to have family coming to visit. Many people that I've spoken to are dreading being so far away from family and friends this Christmas season. One of the most common responses I get from people to the what-would-you-like-for-Christmas question, is to be with family and friends.
Last year I set out to make a special dinner, even though it was just my husband and our young kids. We decided that we would still go to the effort of making Christmas a special time, even though we didn't have a big group of family members with which to celebrate. It felt like an extraordinary length of time before I could wish my family a Happy Christmas (the time difference between South Africa and Oz really is a serious challenge), but for our little family it really was a special day.
Do you find it difficult to get through the holidays? Are there some things that your family does in Australia during the holiday season that make things a little easier? Please share these – it may make someone else's Christmas a little easier too.
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Helping Others
Since I started working with Sabona earlier this year I’ve discovered that one of the most wonderful things is how the organisation helps people, and also enables others to help people in need. There’s often a limited amount that Sabona itself can do to assist, but we regard part of our role as sharing information about people in need so that as many people as possible can help in different ways.
We’ve started the Sabona Appeals Network to assist people who are in need of various kinds of assistance. Sabona also has a database of people looking for jobs and we allow companies and recruitment agencies to advertise jobs available for free on our website. It’s heartwarming to hear from some of the people that have been helped through Sabona, and you can read about some of them in the next issue of Sabona which will be out in a couple of days.
The help that we provide is not only through physically doing things, but also through providing information. We can’t always answer questions ourselves and many queries are somewhat subjective. We believe that people benefit from hearing about the different experiences of others.
We really appreciate those of you who’ve taken the time to respond to a few recent queries:
  • The sister who wants to immigrate on a teacher’s skilled visa
  • Bringing a vehicle from South Africa to Australia, and there’s a subsequent request to hear about experiences of bringing a motor bike to Australia
This week we have a few new requests:
  • Moira is relocating from Johannesburg to the Gold Coast in December and has asked readers to recommend shipping or relocation companies.
  • Trish is looking at moving to the Brisbane or Gold Coast area after living in Melbourne for a few years. If you live in this area, tell us which suburbs you recommend.
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Teacher's Skilled Visa Query
Can you help our reader with this query?
'My sister and her family are trying to immigrate on a teacher’s skilled visa. We’d like to make contact with someone who has done this and who could give us some advice.'
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Brought Your Vehicle to Aus?
We recently received a query from a reader regarding the pros and cons of bring a vehicle from South Africa to Australia. We’d love to hear your experiences. The reader in question has a 2007 Honda Accent lxi-A with only 25,000km on the clock. What’s your advice?
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We love to hear your feedback about the Sabona magazine.
We love to hear your feedback about the Sabona magazine. Please tell us:
  • What articles from the magazine and on our website have you found the most useful?
  • What articles do you remember the most?
  • Tell us about people you know who would be inspiring for you to read about?
  • When you open Sabona, which are the first articles that you read?
  • What do you think about the competitions we run?
  • What else would you like to read about in Sabona magazine, on our website, or in our newsletter?
  • Thinking back to what you've been through since you started your immigration process, what articles would have helped to inspire you and make the journey easier for you?
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Biltong, Boerewors and Lemon Creams
Relatively speaking, my family is really ‘fresh off the boat' as many put it. However, I was a little surprised when my children asked, without any prompting, if I could get some Pronutro when I next visited my local South African shop. We hadn't mentioned it since leaving South Africa and didn't even know for sure that we could get it here.

It got me wondering about whether the longing for South African foods will ever go away. Not that I want it to, but I'm convinced that I currently enjoy some things more now that I'm living in Oz than I did while in South Africa. Perhaps it's the comfort of knowing that they're South African while I'm so far away from ‘home'!

When South Africans meet, the discussions about where to get what things, the latest outlets that have opened, and which boerewors or biltong is the best are common-place. Philip Scott even asked for ideas about how to run an Australia-wide biltong and boerewors competition on Facebook recently!

I relish the biltong and boerewors, but my other absolute musts lemon creams and chocolate logs.

So how long have you been in Australia and what are the SA products that you just can't go without? Tell us here, and if you also have any ideas on running a biltong and boerewors competition we'd like to hear those too!

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