In 1985 I moved to The Republic Of South Africa after my first marriage ended in divorce. I had a two year old daughter at the time and the unrest in Zimbabwe helped me make this decision.
I packed my clothes, my daughter and her clothes and left my place of birth with 500 Rand in my pocket which is the currency of South Africa. I can't remember what the equivalent in US Dollars was at the time but it was not a lot of money (Maybe half a month's salary even less), but those were the rules of the government at the time.
If you wanted to take a car or furniture with you, your car had to be more than 20 years old, your furniture more than 5 years old (you had to provide sales receipts to prove it or get the furniture evaluated) and you could take only R500 with you .... period. Everything else had to stay. I am not going to get into politics but it was hard.
They had stopped people taking out insurance and retirement annuities before leaving which was one way that people were getting their money out with them. In a nutshell they cottoned on to everything and did everything in their power to make sure you left with as little as possible.
At the time Petrol (called Gas here in USA) was very short and we were rationed, only allowed so many gallons a month to get to work and back, had to apply for our "ration" and when the flow got worse we used to park our cars in a queue outside a service station on a Friday night so that we could be there first thing on Monday morning when the delivery arrived to get 10 litres (a bit more than 2 gallons) and when it ran out everyone else got nothing so it was first come first served until the following shipment which was normally a week later.
Also it was not the fuel like we get here, they had mixed Ethanol into the petrol which presented its own problems, my little old car used to get too hot for it and it would start evaporating before it got to the carburettor and my engine would cut out until it had cooled down enough to make another spurt for the border LOL.
To make matters worse, I had just got up a nice speed and was chugging along when an eagle that had landed in the middle of the road to eat some roadkill (sounds like a comedy!) wouldnt move until the last minute to get out of my way and it slammed into my windshield shattering it!! Fortunately it remained intact so I didnt have a big hole in place of the windshield but it made for very difficult driving.
I started off my South African adventure with a 2 year old daughter, a car that was falling apart and no money. I was very fortunate that my brother put us up for a short time in Johannesburg and then I moved in with some old Zimbabwean friends who had moved a little while before, to house sit for them and to help get back on my feet and find a job.
The first picture is of one of my favorite animals, the giraffe, this was a young one. The second one is of a lion that lived in a lion park near where I later lived in Johannesburg and the last one is of another favorite of mine the Zebra and foal which was taken in a small game park just on the outskirts of Johannesburg outside a town/city called Krugersdorp (same park as the shot of the giraffe). We would often make a day trip to this little game reserve and on one occasion stayed overnight in their guest lodge which was wonderful and attracted a lot of tourists.
To be continued .....