You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them – Maya Angelou. Emigrating to another country is a taxing experience. But, when strong women unite, they can overcome any adversity.
The idea of a South African ladies’ tea first took root when Sabrina Zerbst noticed how many posts there were on groups such as SAWITU, and similar South African groups, from women who had emigrated. The recurring theme was one of loneliness on arriving in the USA and a strong need to connect and belong.
Having gone through the hardship of emigrating herself, and knowing what a big difference it made when she made good South African friends, she decided to host a tea at her house and posted an invite to the ladies living in South Florida on the SAWITU face book page.
The response was incredible. The idea was to serve delicious homemade South African goodies such as milk tart, bobotie, lemon meringue, scones and sausage rolls and just have a good old fashioned “kuier”. “The pulse of Africa beats deeply within us and there is nothing like South African friendship and hospitality, no matter where in the world we find ourselves,” Sabrina says.
Two years ago, Diane Rattray met Sabrina at the SA Networking breakfast. Following on the success of her get together, Diane decided to continue with the tea and open it up to established South Africans and make it a monthly or biannual event.
“I decided to invite some of my South African friends who I have met at various SA networking groups. Some I have known for over 20 years. We hope by hosting these teas we have started a supportive network of more established South African ladies who will help ease the difficult path of new South African’s moving here, and that genuine friendships will develop,” Diane says.
Diane adds that being a South African realtor has helped South Africans purchase or sell real estate which immediately creates an element of trust and a unique bond between parties. The tea forms part of the process to encourage friendships and ease the path for new immigrants.