It’s December 18th 2019. It’s 8 p.m and I am sitting in the living room of my huisie by die see with all my holiday family and the house is fuller than I am used to but I love it! There are new huis kinnes and I am one of the original ones so I look forward to keeping the torch alight.
For those of you who are not familiar with this Afrikaans term, it’s literal translation would be “house child” or ” house kid “. It’s colloquial and means any child who is not necessarily a member of the family but now part of the household and is always welcome. Welcome to stay over. Welcome to share a meal. Welcome to seek refuge. Welcome to recover from a stressful situation.Welcome to help out in the house and welcome to be who they are as long as they respect the house and not burn it down!
My aunt Dawn’s exact words: As long as you keep the place clean and don’t burn the house down you are always welcome!
A house child is like an additional sibling or family member for life. House -children are usually your cousin’s friends, or a neigbhour’s child who comes over to play with your children if you are a parent. They could be school friends or a friend of a friend who knows your cousin who met them a few years ago at a random gathering. We are all connected somehow. We all have someone in common and if all the dots were connected it will make an amazing house kid family orchard.Not a tree, since there are many generations of us and we are spread out far and wide.
So I am also known as a huis kind in many people’s homes around the world and I have also had a huis kind or two back in Colombia. Both boys. One of them followed in my footsteps and became an English teacher as well and the other one also takes after me as he has an affinity for languages. He speaks Spanish and English fluently and he started studying French as well.
I think it’s a beautiful thing. I think it’s beautiful that we as human beings can have extended families, blended families, open homes and open hearts. And all the huis kinnes usually have powerful stories to tell. Each of us have lived through some form of childhood trauma or loss, some of us are sometimes seen as the misfits or the black sheep in the family but as house kids were are all one.
We are all loved,understood,validated, accepted and we are all welcomed and embraced in a space of freedom of being and doing.
So I arrived in Struisbaai on the 14th of December 2019 and I started my yoga routine again after more than a month of not being able to get myself back on the mat again. I think it’s the transition and adaption period of arriving back home.It took time for me to firstly settle in, become present and now accepting that I am in fact home after 5 years of not being here. I am safe and I have this moment to be immensely grateful for as I have been praying for it for so long. I think this was the best and most unexpected gift that I could ever give myself. It was not planned but it was needed for me to be here right now.
I needed to be around this energy with all the dancers, musicians, singers, pianists and guitarists and writers right now.
Josie – Raine is my 14 year old niece who is a ballerina. Her mother, Tracey and I are second cousins. To me, she is my big sister, my pillar, my voice of reason and my compass. Her house in Struisbaai and hometown is safe space. It’s my happy place and the only place where I always feel most content and at peace.
The last time I saw Josie, she was about 7 or 8 years old.Tracey would always send me videos of Josie dancing and I would feel so proud of the creativity and talent that resides on both sides of our families. The arts run in our veins. So being here now feels right. And doing yoga with Josie feels perfect as well.
She told me yesterday that she wishes she could do yoga more often, so tonight was day 2 of being mindful, being present and honouring myself by focusing on my health and reconnecting with my family and friends.
I feel so honoured to spend time with her because we have so much in common. She loves butterflies and I used to go butterfly hunting at the Volador Hill and the Botanical Gardens in Medellín every Sunday. I would write down all of the butterflies that I saw and then go home feeling so inspired and blessed knowing that I could connect with Mother nature in such a way that I realized that butterflies teach us how to evolve. They start out as caterpillars, cocoon themselves and transform into the most majestically winged creatures that I have ever seen.
Josie and I have made flavoured candles and soap together and I also wrote some motivational quotes in her room for her, because her dream is to be an international dancer. I can’t wait for the day when she hits the international stages dancing to her heart’s content!
Doing yoga together gives both of us the opportunity to love and take care of our bodies and center ourselves. Some of the poses had us falling over, but we simply laughed and got back on our mats until our routine was done.
I would like to dedicate this post to you, Josie -Raine. Josie- Raine the ballerina who dances to her own tune in life. Josie – Raine with the long, golden brown wavy hair and flexible figure. Josie – Raine the winner of medals and professional accolades. Keep dancing!
Love and light