Azuri residents share their confinement experience

Hashtags asked Azuri residents to share their experiences and thoughts after living through the government-imposed confinement period that lasted more than two months. From shock and surprise, to acceptance and gratitude, here are verbatim testimonials from Katila, Gary and Dawn, and Josep and Dounia.

How did you adjust to the confinement regulations put into place?

Katila: “The mandatory confinement was a shock to me. It was what I would describe as Mission Impossible. What were we going to do? Panic and chaos arose when teachers started sending tremendous amounts of school work for us to assist our kids with…. and, I was also working from home managing staff from the distance. On the 3rd day reality struck; I needed order in my life. I accepted that COVID was here to stay – the show had to go on. Hubby and I cleaned the house like never before; we organised work stations, put routines into place, decided to wake up as early as before; we started exercising with the kids every morning; and we imposed proper meals three times a day including our main meal at lunchtime and light dinners.”

Gary and Dawn: “Considering the rapid change at very short notice we adjusted fairly well to the ‘new normal’ by having a daily routine in place. It has been a quieter more contemplative three months.”

Josep and Dounia: “As the lockdown was put into lace very quickly and was very strict, we had no other choice but to conform to the regulations, although it was very hard during the first two weeks.”

Clinton & Hayley: “It was tough at the beginning, especially having to entertain a 3 year-old daughter at home. But then got used to it and it eventually felt normal. It was great being able to walk around the estate and having the deli open for deliveries, etc. It helped a lot.”

How did you stay busy throughout the day?

Katila: “Staying busy was not a problem; personally, I became over-busy. I spent mornings cleaning and cooking, then teaching my younger son until 2 pm, after which I focused on my work for 4 to 5 hours, then returned attention to the family to spend time together going for a walk, watching TV, setting up dinner, ironing, preparing for the next morning, reading, and falling asleep like a ‘bear’. Once we began our routines, we kept tasks to what was possible and manageable, and learned to have modest goals, which made for better progress in all areas. The family was happier as we could spend more time together.”

Gary and Dawn: “Most days we were kept busy working from home, rearranging and sorting out cupboards and wardrobes, zoom calls with friends we couldn’t visit, watching Netflix and starting to learn a new language. Some days were also spent pottering about, doing nothing (and not feeling bad about it)!”

Josep and Dounia: “There was so much to do between cleaning house and cooking, playing with our daughter and helping with her schoolwork, interspersed with much-appreciated moments to pause and reflect from time to time.”

Clinton & Hayley: “Luckily we were still busy with work, but had to put a schedule in place for cleaning the apartment and keeping Aurora entertained, while still learning, painting, and counting.”

What were some of your priorities & challenges?

Katila: “Our priority was to stay healthy and avoid getting sick. We exercised regularly and increased our intake of vitamin C by preparing natural juices. We played games, listened to music and danced. Because we all missed being able to travel, our kids came up with the idea of turning the living room into an airplane, in which we flew 1st class to different destinations like Dubai, Cape Town, and Lisbon from the comfort of our home. Our biggest challenge was getting food. Shopping by alphabetical order, with only 30 minutes to complete was like running a race. It was hard not finding products and ingredients that we were used to having, like fruit and veggies, and fish. The lesson learned was that we actually had more than enough, and we became more creative by trying new recipes and baking more.”

Gary and Dawn: “Our main priority was to remain COVID-19-free and healthy. We all need company and social contact, so being home for a long period of time became frustrating.”

Josep and Dounia: “Keeping healthy and fit, succeeding in doing new yoga poses, writing about the changes that the entire world was going through and how they will remain etched in our memories, and ensuring we kept in touch with loved ones.”

Clinton & Hayley: “Priorities were trying not kill each other. It was challenging not being able to go out whenever and wherever we wanted, and not having service to help with Aurora while there school was also closed.”

What have you learned from this experience, and what are you grateful for?

Katila: “I have learned a lot about my family, my co-workers, and most of all, about me. I want to spend more quality time with family and friends. I’ve come to understand that the future does not belong to us. I feel blessed to see each day, and am thankful for my family and friends. I’m very proud of my kids, and how easily they adapted to helping clean up their spaces, and assisting with setting up the table, sorting laundry, and washing dishes. After all, it turned out to be a positive experience.”

Gary and Dawn: “We’ve learnt it’s important to support local – by that we mean our local shop OMG, and the Cafe in Azuri, who were absolutely fantastic throughout the lockdown. We feel very fortunate to have been in Azuri during lockdown as everyone in the village went above and beyond to help residents. Isabelle worked tirelessly to arrange a fruit and veg delivery weekly as well as being on hand to offer help where needed. Ocean Edge had a team that moved on site to keep the village maintained during the lockdown, and lastly we are grateful to our neighbours who brought around provisions for us early in the lockdown and generally checked that we were doing ok. Thank you, Azuri.”

Josep and Dounia: “We are grateful to have spent the confinement period at Azuri, where it was much more comfortable and secure than in other places and countries. We’ve also learned to appreciate, and not take for granted concepts and values, such as freedom, that are more precious today than ever before!”

Clinton & Hayley: “We have learnt to appreciate everything we have, and not to stress about things that don’t really matter. Grateful for all the small things in life like playing with our child on the beach… It’s simple things like this we take for granted.”