Sunday, December 16, 2012

What we were up to lately

I fell behind, and I thought I would like to catch up, recording every single step, but it would be far more realistic to just jump in where we are.  These are highlights from the last couple of days.

At the moment we are still in Still Bay, a small town about 4 hours east of Cape Town, in the Western Cape.    Last Friday we went to see the eels being fed.  We did not know that we would be allowed to feed them ourselves, and that the children and I would get a chance to stroke them. They are very curious creatures, with an undeserved bad reputation after "The Little Mermaid".  Stroking them was like stroking something between velvet and Jello; they are not slimy at all, and very soft.  I never thought I'd say so, but they were actually sweet - they appeared to like it when we stroked them.  We thought so, anyway.

The pond with the eels was right next to a museum, where we visited an old schoolroom or Farm School.  The lady in the room explained how one teacher would teach children ranging between the ages of first and eight grade.  When she asked Jean if he would have like a school like that, he said no.  I am assuming he wanted to tell her that he is in a school like that, and that he does not see the need to go to a different one.  Jacques and the lady then had a long discussion about education and vehemently agreed about everything.

The afternoon, we drove to an even littler town, an hour away, Gouritzmond.

While it looks cold in the pictures, there was no wind and we were very comfortable on the beach.  The sea was very rough, and tossed them around for a bit before they wanted to get out. (The life guards were on their posts).  We were visiting my aunt and uncle, who were waiting for us on a bench when we got out of the water.  My cousin was waiting with them, her twins are on their way to eight grade next year.  How is it that the children grow bigger but we stay young?

 A hot outside shower after the sea roughed us up - a device my aunt thought up and had custom build last year.  It attaches to a clothes hanger, so you can hang it in a tree.

Then you go inside the "braaikamer" or barbecue room, where great uncle has already made a fire, to warm yourself.
I am completely honest when I say that there has only been two or three days where we have not eaten something from a grill, and every time the fire is started with wood.

 Have you heard about Cape Fruit?  It is not a rumor. A land of milk and honey, please come and visit to see for yourselves!

My aunt and uncle lived in France for ten years, two of their children were born there.  She taught me about good cheese and olives when I was a little girl.  Almost every time I eat an olive, I think of her, and how she told me:  you may not like it today, but one day you will love it.  She was right about that and many other things, too.  What a blessing to get to sit in her kitchen again, and to hug her hello and goodbye once more.

 Saturday - another perfect day on the beach.  Christian is building a dam with his cousin who was born almost exactly a year before him.

All eight of them, grandchildren from one grandmother, trying to build a dam on the beach.  The ocean won, in the end.

And last, but only chronologically: my youngest niece, born in October.  Just look at those eyes, she is so awake and aware!

And that is it, for now.  This week we will go and visit friends in Aston Bay, and then start our long trek north, to Tsumeb.

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