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Saturday, February 9, 2013

American Adventure 2013

We are living in America for a year as my husband will be studying at Cornel University in Ithaca, New York State, so this is where we will be for the next year, until January 2014! (I think?)

We will be sharing our adventure with you, our happy memories; our frustrations; our challenges; what we have liked and not liked, so just having our friends and family follow our journey and share it with us, will mean a great deal to us and remind us of friends and Africa back home!

We would really appreciate your comments and contact through this Blog or emails or skype as we will miss you all and will love to hear about how things are back in Zimbabwe (and South Africa, Ausie, New Zealand and the U.K)!
 Phil and Duncan at home in Zimbabwe, Leaving for our Year Long Adventure in America!
 Our entire belongings and off we go! 
 From Sunny Skies to Shimmering Snow - The boys` first day of sledding! Phil giving Duncan a push start!
 Phil and Luke trying to keep each other warm (jokes). I was FREEZING and went inside. I dont think I lasted more than 10 minutes!
 In Ithaca, New York State! We finally found a sweet little Duplex after much looking around and viewing some really interesting houses. It is a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom (for now, as another bathroom is being built) a lounge, dining room and sweet kitchen. The place where I spend much of my time! Feeding 4 boys is hard work and they just don`t stop eating and I just don`t stop shopping! It is a pleasure though not worrying about power cuts and the convenience of a dish washer and shops that have whatever you need. The boys have slotted in well though and they each have their chores that they are responsible for. Murray sweeps, mops and vacuums all the floors. Duncan empties out the trash, keeps the dustbins clean and sweeps the steps of snow. Luke packs and unpacks the dishwasher and helps tidy the kitchen with me after meals. They all help fold laundry, pack it away and shovel snow. Phil washes pots and pans, helps clean the bathroom, where we all take our turn. All my 4 boys are a great help! Oh and I do everything else! (cook, clean, wash, teach, discipline, disciple, shop, drive, organise, manage, delegate ......... there is more but I will stop there) :) :)
The coldest it has been so far -16 Celsious which is 3 Farenheit. Note, me driving! One of the obstacles I am learning to overcome. I know how to get to the library, Walmart (shops), post office and bank, so I think that just about covers it for me.......for now!  
 Duncan finally gets to shovel snow! The boys have been dying to get stuck in and do some shovelling. I`m sure they will have their fair share of that in the weeks ahead. There has not been much snow at all and a very mild winter so we will see what the weather holds for us in the near future?

This is our lounge and where the boys also do their school work. Phil is not there during the day so we have enough space. His office is down stairs, so nice and queit and out of the way for him. We have since bought another desk and Duncan`s desk is now in the other corner so they have more space.
 Our first sun rise taken from our front door just in front of the car overlooking the neighbours. No fences!
Well, I guess there is a first time for everything - my first run in -10 celsious. I didn`t want to run far just in case I froze on the way out and then couldn`t get back! Actually I was quite warm with my thermals on, just my chin and nose felt almost frozen, so next time I will go even more prepared.
We are still trying to find our feet and as we meet new people and become more familiar with our surroundings, then we will begin to feel more settled. We have joined a wonderful church with a great youth group so I hope the boys will be making some new friends soon. They miss their friends in Zim! Murray was involved with helping the youth group doing up a shelter for homeless single men which he enjoyed.
This is the end of my first entry. I will try and add posts every 2 weeks. You can sign up and then you will recieve emails when my blog has new  updates.
Lots of love xxx 


  1. Mandi this is the first time I have seen your blog - what a wonderful idea. Have been desperate for news of you as had heard u were have trouble in Zimbabwe. You sound like you are having a great time and your life seems so rich and fulfilled. I hope your year turns out just as you hoped and I hope that we will get to see you when you return to hear more stories. We are going to zim for 4 days over Cates 40th. My first time back since we left. This weekend the whole family are swimming at midmar - last year only the kids swam. Will keep following your blog. Much love from all of us Cronjes.

    1. It is SOOO wonderful to hear from you! Thanks for the reply. We think of you all so much and sorry that we will miss you when you come to Zim. It will be good to keep in contact and also let us know how your time in Zim went. Love to all the kids and keep safe! Lots of love xxxx

  2. hi mandi, phil and the boys

    its great to see you are all settled into your new place. we miss you.
    i hope by now you automatically finding yourself driving on the correct side of the road.
    summer is going ok here. the rain is back again so that's good.
    glad to see you have found a good church.

    take care,


  3. My driving is getting better and better. I haven't gone off on the wrong side....yet! The traffic rules are also slightly different so I do get hooted at now and again! My neighbor friend gave me a copy of the traffic rules but I still need to find the time to read it?! God has been good and the snow has been manageable, so all good. Love to all your family and thanks for the reply! Lots of love xx

  4. Hi Mandi,
    I saw your blog link to Sue. Sounds like you're having a wonderful start!
    Love and Blessings to you all.
    Linda xxx

    1. Hi Linda, great to hear from you. Not sure if you received my email, I get so mixed up with your addresses as they have changed over the years, so sorry if you did not receive it. Hope you are all well and love to the family. Lots of love mandi

  5. Hi Mands and Phil
    So excited to hear from you guys! Nick will miss seeing you in zim. We are so looking forward to following your journey with you. Baby steps, baby steps - is what we were told . We have joined a church called T he Goodlife but think it is toooooooo big for us do will try another one next week ( they have over 500 people . Felt a little lost . Love to you and all the boys big and sue , nick , James and Michael

  6. Hi sue. Sorry to miss nick. Hope he has a good time in zim. Good to find a church where you are comfortable and feel more at home. Our church is not too big and they are all very friendly and welcoming and we feel that it is still small enough to really meet people on a personnel level and of course for us it is important that the church has an active youth group. The boys are happy there. Lots of love phil, mandi and boys xx

  7. Hi Mands = LOVE reading your blog - well done! You're very good at this :) so glad you guys are doing great. Love Arina

    1. Hi Arina. Lovely to hear from you! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying all the rain you are having. Please keep safe and give a big hug to all those cute children of yours! Lots of love mandi

  8. Mandi,
    So excited to see and read of your family's year here in America. I pray you have power from this past weekend's blizzard; please take care and I can't wait to read more! Who knows, maybe we'll see you here at Precept for another women's conference! Hugs and prayers,

    1. Hi terri, It is so good to hear from you! You have been in my thoughts so much, i will send you an email and give you my cell number, I cant remember yours. It woudl be great to be able to meet up again but this year, i will not be coming to the conference as it is a matter of expense right now. Please give my love to Brian! Lots of love xxx