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Friday, October 16, 2009

Amigos en Espana.

As much as this is info into our lives, is it also visual memories and written reminders for us as a family of all the blessings we receive and the amazing time we had in Spain getting to know all these people mentioned below, who enriched our lives with their love, acceptance, encouragement, care, adventurous spirits  and love for God and life. 

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We (the children and I) arrived in Spain on the 6th Aug 2006, the day before Gustaf's birthday. Our friends Deon and Samantha arrived a month before us and was so willing and happy to show us around and introduce us to Coin the town where we stayed for 2 and a half years. Gaby arrived 2 months later.

Two different views of Coin, our home town while we were in Spain.

Coin lies inland from the Costa del Sol, about 30km's from Marbella and 25 from Malaga.

During our first week in Coin, we met Andy and Rebecca and their lovely girls Eliana and Annabelle. They welcomed us with open arms and hearts. Their hospitality and care humbled me and made us feel at home quick quick. We spent many wonderful hours with them and always looked forward to a day out exploring which Andy has organized. They are genuine people, with a genuine love for God with lots to give and lots of adventure and fun in them!

Andy and his 2 daughters.

We were fortunate to have family fairly close by. Kobus (Gaby's brother), Miriam and the kids, Joshua and Kayla lives in Algeciras. We didn't see them often enough but had very good times together and the cousins got to know each other. It was good for the two brothers to connect again after many years of geographical separation. They as a family have a heart for the Muslims and are very active in various roles. Miriam is strong on child and women ministry. Believing with them that one  day it can become a full time ministry.

During a Christmas holiday at Zagra.

Jean and Stuart were as loving and caring to us and I learned lots from our dear friends. Stuart is a gifted artist and they do love Jesus so much. They are eager workers and prayer warriors in the Kingdom.

Dom and Tanya had a little baby girl Isabella and now little Natalia has joined the family. An amazing hardworking, positive and hospitable family. We had many 'lekker' visits with them. Dom's childlike faith in Jesus has been an inspiration to us all.

Tanya and Isabella. Natalia is bigger than that now. Don't have any pics of her.


Dominic and Isabella on one of our numerous walks.

What would we have done without Henti and Antoon in Coin. Our rocks and very dear friends. They gave us some valuable lessons in our 'lacking cultural life', sharing their knowledge of food, wine, music, Spanish life, beautiful Spain, politics and life in general. We do miss our meals together on their patio with Coin's mountains in the background. Coin, Spain would have been a much poorer experience for us if it was not for them. We love them dearly. They also introduced us to some of their friends like Johan and Mari who we do dare to call friends now. Where will we see them next, in Spain or Cape Town? They are always eager to help! Carli met the author of the 'Liewe Heksie' childrens books, Verna Vels at Henti and Antoon's finca and felt very privelidged when 'Levinia' read a story to her.

The view from their lovely Finca  de las Rosas.

Karen and her fincas..., if only I could have finca 2!!! My laughing buddy, strong in prayer and desperately desires to do God's will. Always ready to encourage and pray with you. We still have good laughs when we talk on skype.

Karen's finca in Iznajar. Many hours of hard labor to build up an old place into a beautiful guest house.

John and Maureen, my mom and dad in Spain. Pity they don't live there permanently. At least every visit was packed full.  An amazing couple with humongous hearts and lots of wisdom. We shared many jokes and spiritual conversations. We love them so much and hopefully will see them here in Australia when they come and visit the family... :)

Enjoying the sun at their town house 

in the Costa del Sol. 
It was Autumn that specific day.

Roel and Inge came into our lives with a bang and surely the time was too short to discover all of them. We had a few wonderful meals at their beautiful guest house up in Alozaina and it was also there that we spent our last night in Spain. And how bitterly cold it was. Hardworking, creative, hospitable, generous friends!! Looking forward to their visit next year!!

Inge (Juanita for the Spanish) happily cooking away in her Andalucian kitchen. A lot of Dutch influence.


Jonathan and Amanda our kind, nature loving, creative, gentle friends. They are living the simple but rich life that many desire. I do miss sitting on their patio and enjoying the vista and silence.

Gloria was my first Spanish teacher in Spain. Always encouraging and believing you are the best. Gloria and hubby Christian gave up their city lives and decided to live the better life in the country and to raise their boy Niels there.

Then there was Jane and her boys Callum and Tommy. My colourful and never a dull moment friend. A woman with lots of courage and spunk. I miss our jokes.

I do not have a better picture of Jane and none of her tall handsome eldest son Callum.

Fernando, Daniella and Santiago are our friends from Argentina. He taught me to make gnochhi and philosophied with Gaby for hours using Spanish, English, Spanglish, body language and dictionaries to communicate. What precious people, such courage and positive attitudes. We wish them well!


The Argentinians love their mate', a herbal drink. Fernando was once stopped by the Guardia Civil because they thought he was drinking some 'potent' stuff.

Kevin and Lorraine with kids Andrew and Hannah were our 'living faraway friends', living down at the coast. We watched with them the Rugby World Cup last year, he is from the UK... :)  We were so blessed by their generous hearts. Compassionate people with lots to give in the Kingdom. We wish them well in Ireland!!

Kevin must have known beforehand who to support.

Hannah their daughter showing who she was shouting for.

And then the YWAMMERS (Youth With A Mission) descended on us. Unfortunately only a few months before we left. What fun we had together with the amazing Dixon family, all 8 of them. Johnny, Traci and the girls (Abby, Jessie, Ollie, Megan and Emma)and Nathan were such a blessing to us. All very creative in different ways and all eager to be busy with Kingdom stuff!! It was too short!! I am sure somewhere in the future our paths will cross again for a longer period!! Amen!

Olivia and Jessica in front of 
their house in Torremolinos.

Emma and Megan at their last sleep 
over at our house before we left.

Nate being the strong man. He needs
to be able to cope with all the 
love he gets from his 4 older sisters.

Dave and Rita, also from YWAM, became also dear to us and gave us very valuable guidance and encouragement when we felt very lost and confused about our future. Amazing people! Time to visit your favorite city again Dave!!

Deon, Samantha, Jazzy and Dane who where there from the beginning and who were so much part of our lives. The ups and downs, the fun and no fun times, the crying together and laughing together times. Life in Spain would not have been the same without them there. Energetic, artistic, creative, positive, adventurous and God loving. Sam knows what she means to me and I'll always be very grateful for all the little life treasures and wisdoms she 'exposed' to me. The greatest being the fact that she accepts EVERYBODY who crosses her path as is and shower them with Jesus' love. We do miss them and Carli specially misses her creative play friend Jazzy!

Deon waiting for the ball during one of our many Sunday afternoon base ball games. Our suburb El Rodeo in the background.

There were many who passed through, some linger longer but all left something beautiful in our hearts. People like Chandy, an exciting, colourful and artistic friend, Sandra and Juan our Bohemian very arty friends from Barcelona, Craig and Debbie Cooke, he a South African and designing Golf courses, she from the USA and their lovely kids.  Judy and Chris whom I cleaned house for. His hobby, collecting stamps (Philatelist, new word for me..) became his main source of income and she is always busy in her beautiful English garden in Spain. Chani with his bar where we had many cuppas and Andalucian breakfasts. Ron and Marian who took care of us when Gaby wasn't there yet. Graham and Cherryl, also South Africans who came just before we left. We had a few good, fun times together. We wish them well in the UK. Mar and her husband Freddy. She had a travel agency in town and could make the BEST paellas. He is a pathologist and they are originally from Galicia. So giving and helpful.

Craig and Debbi

Judy and Chris. Been in Coin, 
Spain for close to 30 years.

Graham, Cherryl and the kids.

Sandra and Juan and little Luna.

Grown ups having fun at 
Carli's birthday party 
her friends are all gone...
the 'after' party)

Some of Carli's mates
at a base ball game.

Thanks to you all for enriching our lives and making Spain an exciting time!!! We love and miss you!!

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