Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What I do in my spare time

Here are some pics of the pupils of Bonaero Park School, taken at the Library Homework Club on a Thursday and during class visits to the library on a Tuesday.(Sorry about the duplicate; haven't quite got the hang of this yet!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Animals in South Africa

OK, now I know how to do this, there's no stopping me! Here are some animals I've been in close contact with over here. More photos will follow if this post is successful!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In glorious technicolour, direct from Africa...

Thanks to Martin I finally figured out how to add pictures to my blog! So here is one of Martin by the safari truck taken on Saturday 10 May.
He has had some interesting gastronomic opportunities during his stay so far; one of Les’ workers sent him half a sheep’s head, boiled and smoked. He ate a little but couldn’t face it all. He also bought a whole 6 ft. sugar cane and we had an interesting time trying to get into the soft sweet fibre through the tough outer skin, which looked a bit like bamboo. Les is away in the US so Martin and I have to make our own entertainment for the next couple of weeks. He came to the library and to the school again this week and had his own group of readers this time. On Monday, we are planning a trip to Soweto to include lunch at a traditional Shebeen. I have met a tour guide who does small personalised tours so we can have one tailor made to suit us. The weather has turned warm again, so at the moment Martin is in the garden taking in a few rays. I must be getting acclimatised to the weather out here as I actually find it a bit chilly and I am wearing a jumper today whilst he has shorts on!
We had some Czech visitors for dinner last night, they were colleagues of Les who came home from work with him, we all had dinner then I took them all to the airport, Les for Philadelphia via London, they were going to Prague via Madrid.
Next week the removal company are coming to make the preliminary arrangements for our return to Scotland; I can’t believe it’s that time already! We will be back sometime in July but we want to take some holidays before that and travel down to the Cape area.
But all of that is in the future; for now I am just enjoying having Martin here (even though he eats like a horse!!!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"We all went on a game hunt!"

Another great weekend at the game reserve. We saw hippos, elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinos, wildbeeste, springbok, waterbuck, kudo, steenbok, monkeys, warthogs, zebra and loads of different birds. Wonderful! Martin enjoyed the whole experience, which turned out to be quite challenging as the lodge was without water for 36 hours due to a burst mains. However, it all just added to the “bush” spirit and as Martin remarked, we’d never washed in bottled sparkling water before! As always the food was excellent and Les and Martin enjoyed the wines.
An episode with the monkeys was hilarious this morning. Two vervet monkeys got into an upstairs room through the open balcony door via an overhanging tree. Firstly, they drank all the milk, expertly peeling off the foil lids and holding the containers like tiny cups. So elegant! Until they chucked the empty ones over the side, that is! Next, they grabbed all the sugar and coffee packets and made off up into the tree where we could clearly see them tearing open the packets and scoffing the lot. After the feast, they seemed very “high”, probably a caffeine and sugar rush! They played and fought on the grass outside our rooms for a while then simply ran out of steam and flopped on the grass! The warthog family who live in the marsh by the waterhole just a few metres from the door are thriving. The four babies we saw in January and again in February are growing fast, but still stay close to the mother. They have developed tiny tusks already. It is amazing to see them “kneel” on their front legs to root about in the grass for fresh shoots.
Next week Martin and I hope to visit Soweto and also the apartheid museum. He is coming to the school with me and quite enjoying helping with the reading programme. We will also need to do a big grocery shopping; I’d forgotten how big his appetite is!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Martin has arrived

Well, after many trials and tribulations, Martin has finally arrived from Australia. We picked him up at 7.00am this morning (Friday) after a 23 hour journey via Hong Kong. He therefore visited three continents in 24 hours! He was pretty knackered so is currently having a well earned nap. Faither is also having a nap; I can hear him snoring on the sofa in the next room! We have a few plans for Martin’s visit. Tomorrow, we are going to the company's box at the rugby in Pretoria to watch "our" team, the Bloue Bulls, playing the Waratahs from Sydney- guess Martin’s loyalties might be with the Aussie team! On Sunday we are going out to lunch with two couples from the philosophy school, Martin is worried he might have forgotten all his degree stuff by now! Next weekend we are going to a game lodge and will take the early morning safari drive on Saturday. He’d hoped he might get a gun, but we explained he can only shoot film, not animals!! Tonight we will fire up the big braai and let him try South African fare. We will be having chops, mealies, wors, pap and chakalaka with melktert for afters. And no doubt copious quantities of the product of SA,s vineyards too. He has not had a great welcome weatherwise, it is raining and 11 degrees today, but should get better over the rest of the weekend.