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Sun
9
May '10

Day 220: Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

The PROPOSAL TO THE PRESIDENT for your perusal.

To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

Beares
Lubners
Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
GRIP (Mpumalanga)
StepThru (Gauteng)

This blog is dedicated to probably the biggest booboo I have made on this project to date, and it has been said that I am very forgiving when it comes to mishaps or booboo’s made by other people, such as when a child breaks something, as long as it wasn’t done deliberately and it was an accident, I believe forget it, it was an accident and get on with life. But when it comes to me, I never forgive myself and wrap myself over the knuckles and never stop telling myself what an idiot I am for having done ‘it’!

Well unfortunately I learnt too late that today, the 4th of May is yet another holiday in Namibia. Gee I mean I thought we in South Africa were inundated with public holidays but here in Namibia they had one on Saturday the 1st may, another today Tuesday the 4th May, another on Thursday the 13th of May and yet another on Tuesday the 25th of May, although I think this one they made a mistake with and meant it to be on the 24th of May being my birthday, right! The fact that it was a holiday meant that my scheduling for my visit to the Beares store was somewhat messed up and which ultimately messed up, or rather caused a major problem in, my life due mainly to my stupidity. So let me explain what happened today.

I was only scheduled to visit the Beares store in Walvis Bay at 11am this morning and so anticipated having a leisurely morning expecting to enjoy the scrumptious breakfast provided by Loraine and her friendly staff of ‘Footprints’ and then take a leisurely drive along the beautiful 35 kilometre coast line to Walvis Bay past that amazing Oasis of ‘Long Beach’ where when I visited the area last in May 2006 Brad Pitt and Jolene Jolie were staying awaiting the birth of their new baby.

So this morning I woke at the leisurely time of 6:30am, made myself a cup of coffee, got back into bed and watched the news and weather on TV. At 8am, exactly on schedule, there was a knock at the door and my scrumptious breakfast was delivered. I was just settling down to enjoying this feast when my cell phone rang, it was Michael, the manager of the Beares store in Walvis Bay and he asked, “Steve where are you there is a lot of people here who are waiting to meet you and talk to you”. Well to put it mildly, I was thunder struck!

I asked what he was talking about and he said that a lady from the Swakopmund store had told him that I would be visiting the Walvis Bay store at 8am and so because it was a public holiday and the fact that the store would be closing at 1pm, he had arranged for a large group of people representing various organisations involved with child rape to be there to talk to me at 8am. Well I forgot about breakfast, changed in seconds, packed extremely fast and ran down stairs with my bags and said a rather hasty goodbye to Loraine who was almost shell shocked to see me in such a hurry to leave her place, but I explained what had happened while I was busy rushing to pack and get a move on. During this time I received two more phone calls from Michael asking when exactly I thought I would be arriving in Walvis Bay.

I hurriedly changed the batteries of my Garmin GPS unit, which I had so long ago painstakingly designed and built a holder for on Buddy’s dashboard, put it on the front right fender so that it could get a flat surface in order to detect the satellite connection, as I always did, rushed into the ‘Footprints’ reception to say a final goodbye and thanks to Loraine for her amazing friendship, hospitality and generosity for her support to the project in the form of providing me with accommodation in Swakopmund, and then jumped into Buddy and sped off.

I arrived at the bridge on the outskirts of Swakopmund on the road to Walvis Bay, looked down to where my GPS was supposed to be to check the time, speed and mileage covered so far, and discovered that there was no GPS there! Devastation! I stopped, checked the ‘box’ behind my seat where when I stop I always put the GPS, but no GPS!

It suddenly dawned on me that I had left it on Buddy’s front right fender and had not put it in the dashboard mounting when I had left. I made a hasty U turn and put poor old Buddy through punishment like he has never experienced in his life, well not while in my care anyway, and headed back to ‘Footprints’ at a speed. Here I have to apologise for breaking the golden rule, but while driving I phoned Michael at the Walvis Bay Beares store and explained that there was no way that I was going to get to the store in the time frame that he wanted me there, and explained the reason.

As I was driving, while returning on the same route I had taken out, I was checking the road to see if maybe the GPS had fallen off along the way and was perhaps lying on the road, but no such luck. On arriving back at ‘Footprints’, Loraine was startled to see me back so soon and in an almost panicky voice I explained what had happened and asked, with fingers crossed, if anyone had perhaps found my GPS and handed it in. From the look on her face I knew the answer and my heart sunk to my knees. And so ended my relationship with my GPS which has been my companion and data support system for so long.

It’s not only the cost related to this loss (R3 500-00) but the fact that it is the GPS from my yacht which I am intending, one day, to live on, on Lake Malawi, and which a friend who recently sailed on the lake during a yachting regatta logged all the main positions of in the form of latitude and longitude positions of various villages and places of interest for when I one day get there. So it was with a very sad heart that I once again set out for Walvis Bay. Now I must tell you that having travelled not only extensively through Africa, but I have been to Europe and the UAE and I believe that the area of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay is undoubtedly the most beautiful and friendliest area I have ever had the privilege of visiting, well I put it on a par with the Lake Malawi region that is, and so I was really looking forward to my visit to Walvis Bay.

However although my stupidity, which resulted in the loss of my precious GPS, which now means that I don’t have any records of distances travelled, speed etc, because Buddy’s speedometer hasn’t worked for years, did not take away the pleasure of meeting the friendly staff of the reduced Beares staff, due to the public holiday, and the enthusiasm with which I was welcomed at the store.

<i>Just before crossing the bridge on the outskirts of Swakopmund on the road to Walvis Bay</i>

Just before crossing the bridge on the outskirts of Swakopmund on the road to Walvis Bay

<i>Nothing but sand for as far as you can see on the one side and nothing but water for as far as you can see on the right hand side</i>

Nothing but sand for as far as you can see on the one side and nothing but water for as far as you can see on the right hand side

<i>Our grand entrance into Walvis Bay</i>

Our grand entrance into Walvis Bay

Unfortunately due to it being a public holiday, the people I was supposed to meet were forced, due to family commitments, to leave, but arrangements were made to meet with them tomorrow morning in order for me to chat to them and get the information surrounding the support structures in place in Namibia for the victims of child rape.

I did however meet with a really interesting lady named Eveline, who is the reporter for the local newspaper who after an hours interview confirmed that she has been involved in a number of cases surrounding child rape in the area and confirmed that according to her information the vast majority of child rape cases is being committed by direct family members such as fathers, uncles and grandfathers, exactly as it is occurring in South Africa. She also confirmed, and I was really happy to hear, that the information which I was given on my last visit to this country is true, and that the government of Namibia does provide the necessary financial support to mothers who report the rape of children by fathers, uncles etc.

Tomorrow I hope to meet with an amazing lady by the name of Reinette Cronye, who was, when I visited Walvis Bay last in May 2006, a Detective Warrant Officer – Commander of the Child Protection Unit, and hope she can provide me with a lot of information surrounding the laws and other judicial aspects associated with the offence of child rape in Namibia.

So without any further ado, Michael closed up the Beares store at 1pm and I followed him to where he had arranged, once again – because I was hosted/sponsored accommodation there on my last visit to Walvis Bay – to the Protea Pelican Bay Hotel, and oh boy what a place this is, pure luxury. The General Manager, Jacques de Jager not only provided me with sponsored accommodation, but promised to ensure that the same is provided on my visit to Ondangwa and Katima Mulilo where I will be spending my birthday on the 24th May, hopefully Tiger fishing, So it just goes to show, no matter what pit falls ‘Buddy and Me’ suffer, there is always someone to make the sun shine on us again. Thanks Jacques for your truly amazing generosity and help.

<i>The view from my room, spectacular</i>

The view from my room, spectacular

<i>The view from the opposite side, my room is situated right in line with the jetty end</i>

The view from the opposite side, my room is situated right in line with the jetty end

Having gotten settled in, once again, into my amazing accommodation, I took Buddy on a trip to visit the sand dunes we had passed on our way in to Walvis Bay, and I think he enjoyed them just as much as I did, he loves tar roads and beach sand but detests gravel roads with a passion, so here he was in his element.

<i>What an incredible view</i>

What an incredible view

<i>And another...</i>

And another...

<i>What can I say, absolute paradise</i>

What can I say, absolute paradise

<i>The long climb, mountains of sand and oceans of water, what a contrast</i>

The long climb, mountains of sand and oceans of water, what a contrast

After returning to ‘The Protea Pelican Beach Hotel, I decided to visit the magic pub/restaurant called ‘The Raft’ which is positioned out on the water on a platform and so this is where I sat and enjoyed a couple of cold local ‘Tafel lager’ beers to drown my sorrows of my GPS loss and to thank God for at least having let me enjoy the pleasures of this beautiful and friendly place.

<i>The Raft</i>

The Raft

While sitting enjoying the frosties, and of course chatting to a group of tourists as well as members of the local community about the project and its associated subject, namely child rape, I couldn’t help but notice a sign on the wall, which I thought, well that’s my sick sense of humour coming out, was pretty good, check this out.

And so ends another day in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’ in our quest to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children. Tomorrow I hope to meet some people who are really involved in the fight against child rape, and hope I can get some interesting information on the topic and what is really happening in Namibia on this subject. I have spoken many individuals, both from the local community as well as foreigners on the subject, but believe that these comments and opinions do not reflect the true and official situation of what is happening on our continent and so have reframed from mentioning them in my blog, A lot of it is repetitive stuff, such as “All child rapists should be executed and removed from our society permanently” etc, but I believe that the solution begins with providing a solid support structure to the mothers in order to encourage them to report the rape and sexual abuse of the children, and to provide the victims with a professionally managed and complete support structure in the form of a ‘One stop shop’ support facility.

So all that’s left for me, Steve Heath to do is wish you all a very good night, stay well, keep your feet on the ground but reach high for the sky, and above all, yep you got it, Keep all children safe!

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Send comments to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

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Sun
9
May '10

Day 219: Monday, 3 May 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

The PROPOSAL TO THE PRESIDENT for your perusal.

To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

Beares
Lubners
Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
GRIP (Mpumalanga)
StepThru (Gauteng)

So after a magic nights sleep at this exquisite place called ‘Footprints’ in Swakopmund, I woke this morning (Monday morning the 3rd of May) to a very chilly and misty day.

Now before continuing with today’s blog there is something I need to write about which I omitted to include in Sundays (yesterdays) blog, and that is the fact that after leaving Basil and Hannerie’s farm in Okahandja and after turning onto the Swakopmund road, I was travelling behind a taxi who, while travelling at about 80 kilometres an hour, slammed on brakes to stop and pick up a passenger. I was forced to hit Buddy’s brakes pretty hard to avoid wiping out the taxi’s rear end and in so doing caused the join which I had done in Strandfontein on Buddy’s brake fluid pipe by my feet to pop resulting in brake fluid spurting out and my brake pedal hitting the floor and Buddy almost running into the rear of the taxi. Of course this resulted in ‘Buddy and Me’ having to drive the 311 kilometres to Swakopmund with no brakes, well at least we had the hand brake.

So today after popping into the Swakopmund Beares store to say hi to the staff, unfortunately the manager, rennet Van Zyl, basil and Hanneries daughter, was not back from her holiday in South Africa yet and will only be back in the store on Wednesday, so I decided to post pone taking the staff picture for my blog until Wednesday, and took Buddy to a local ‘VW Beetle/Beach Buggy’ specialist doctor named Hennie Coetzee.

<i>Loraine Cooper – Owner of ‘Footprints’ and lady organiser extraordinaire</i>

Loraine Cooper – Owner of ‘Footprints’ and lady organiser extraordinaire

When I told Loraine, the owner of ‘Footprints’ about the brake problem, she immediately called Hennie who on hearing of Buddy’s predicament offered his services. He removed the damaged length of pipe and fitted in a new piece with new connector pieces and so Buddy’s brakes are now 100% perfect. Hennie also identified the source of the oil leak which is not coming from either of the two places I suspected, namely the bearing where the fan belt wheel comes out of the engine or the silver pipes situated on either side of Buddy’s twin port engine, but is coming from the oil cooling ‘whatchamacallit’, and can only be sorted out by taking the engine out. So guess what, the problem will remain until ‘Buddy and Me’ get back to Jo’burg in June. Hennie did confirm that it won’t be a problem as long as I ensure that the oil is topped up regularly. And how’s this, typical of the amazing people I have met on this project, he refused to charge a cent for the job, thank you Hennie you are an absolute gentleman and ‘Buddy and Me’ sincerely appreciate your kindness, expertise and generosity.

<i>Buddy once again in theatre undergoing surgery</i>

Buddy once again in theatre undergoing surgery

<i>Hennie hard at work designing and manufacturing Buddy’s new ‘vein’ for his brake blood (fluid)</i>

Hennie hard at work designing and manufacturing Buddy’s new ‘vein’ for his brake blood (fluid)

<i>Buddy’s ailing part, or rather the new ‘vein’</i>

Buddy’s ailing part, or rather the new ‘vein’

<i>And finally with surgery over, the Surgeon Specialist Hennie Coetzee looking very satisfied with the procedure he had just performed on Buddy</i>

And finally with surgery over, the Surgeon Specialist Hennie Coetzee looking very satisfied with the procedure he had just performed on Buddy

The Beares acting manager spent the day setting up appointments for me with police officials and social welfare workers in the area, and the appointments are for Wednesday, so I spent the afternoon cruising around town and chattered to a few of the local community members who all believe that the rape of children in this area is “quite” bad, but believe that no one talks about it, that’s nothing new. Nobody I spoke to appears to know anything about a support structure by the government for mothers reporting the rape of their children in instances where the rapist is a family member as in father/uncle etc. This is quite concerning for me, because on my last visit to Namibia I was told on numerous times by government officials as in social workers that the Namibian government was seriously setting up a support structure of this nature. I look forward to speaking to government as well as social workers about this situation in the very near future.

I spent the late afternoon sitting up on the ‘Footprints’ roof top balcony all by myself soaking up the magnificent tranquillity and beauty of the place, sipping on a cold Millers of course; yep they have Millers here in Swakopmund. Check this out and tell me this is not paradise.

<i>Absolute heaven</i>

Absolute heaven

Now I am sure that anyone who has visited Dubai and in particular the Rus Al khama district about 150 kilometres north of Dubai will agree with me when I say this picture could quite easily have been taken there.

<i>This looks exactly like the Rus Al Khama area</i>

This looks exactly like the Rus Al Khama area

Loraine invited me to a braai this evening which was attended by a couple of family members and close friends of hers. She lives on the ‘Footprints’ premises and we had a magic evening.

<i>Thanks guys for the lovely evening</i>

Thanks guys for the lovely evening

And so ended another day in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’. Tomorrow we head for Walvis Bay, which is just down the road, about 10 -15 kilometres south of Swakopmund so there is no rush in the morning. I hope to have some serious discussions with authorities in Walvis Bay and then get to meet and chat to more in Swakopmund before I head out back to Okahandja on Thursday.

So until later, when I get a chance to connect to the internet, I have been spoilt here at ‘Footprints’ with all rooms providing free internet landline connection, I will bid you good night, stay well and above all, Keep all children safe.

Oh before I sign off, I received an email from a guy named Gary Richardson who is getting married in August and will be travelling through to Port St Johns from Port Edward on part of their honeymoon. After reading my blog he was concerned about the road surface between Port Edward and Port St Johns, this being the area which wiped out Buddy’s rear shocks and damaged my trailer ‘A’ frame. I explained that as long as he takes it easy, and oh yes Gary I forgot to mention, definitely do not drive at night, the pot holes are treacherous enough but the animals and pedestrians make the trip through the area really hazardous. So keep your speed down, focus on the road, I know it will be difficult for you to keep your mind on the road and not on your lovely new wife, but try, and all will be fine. ‘Buddy and Me’ wish you and your wife to be, you didn’t mention her name, all the best for the future and hope you enjoy the rest of your lives together.

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)

Don’t forget you can read my proposal to the president on what I believe is a solution to stopping the rape of children by clicking onto the link on my blog and you can send your comments and opinions either by registering and logging onto the comments blog of the website, or email me at steve@buddyandme.co.za

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Sun
9
May '10

Day 217 and 218: Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 May 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

The PROPOSAL TO THE PRESIDENT for your perusal.

To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

Beares
Lubners
Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
GRIP (Mpumalanga)
StepThru (Gauteng)

To start this blog I must tell you that Beares truly have some amazing staff and in particular in the form of Store Managers. On the last project, which was the ‘African Odyssey’ when ‘Buddy and Me’ passed through the town of Otjiwarango in Namibia, the Beares store manager Renet van Zyl kindly hosted me accommodation at her home, and not only did she do this kind gesture, but also arranged accommodation for me the following night at her brother, Basil and sister-in-law, Hannerie Bean’s, farm in Okahandja who are incredibly amazing people.

So with this in mind it stands to reason that since I was going to be in Okahandja on Friday night after leaving Windhoek, I contacted the Basil to see if the family could possibly assist me with accommodation for the night. Unfortunately he and Hannerie were in Windhoek attending the funeral of a good friend and so that is the reason I had to accept the accommodation provided by the Kings Highway Rest Camp, but this morning, Saturday the 1st May, I headed out to the Bean family farm.

<i>Man what a life, this farm is total paradise</i>

Man what a life, this farm is total paradise

Soon after arriving and meeting the whole fandamly, that is in the form of the two sons, Markus and Christian, their girl friends Jana and Silke, as well as Oupa, Basil and Markus took me on a game drive through the farm, which by the way is massive, the fence around the farm covers a total distance of 39 kilometres. Also on the back of the bakkie was the two dogs, Christian’s best friends and hunting companions, Dopies and Rusty, they where only too happy to be out in the bush and were hopping around barking and generally just enjoying themselves.

Meet two amazing dogs Rusty & Doppies

Christian is a professional hunter and in his spare time is a taxidermist of note. Check out these animals that he has, and is currently, busy preserving.

<i>A leopard which was shot on a near by farm, there are many of them in the area</i>

A leopard which was shot on a near by farm, there are many of them in the area

<i>Christian with the trophies he is busy preparing for overseas guests/hunters</i>

Christian with the trophies he is busy preparing for overseas guests/hunters

And so all that’s left for me to do is introduce you to that amazing family who hosted me for the evening on the family farm a short way out of Okahandja, namely:

<i>From the left: Basil and Hannerie Bean, Oupa, Christian and Silke, unfortunately Markus and Jana had snuck out early to fetch sister Renet from the airport in Windhoek who was returning home to Swakopmund from her holiday in South Africa and so missed the group photo</i>

From the left: Basil and Hannerie Bean, Oupa, Christian and Silke, unfortunately Markus and Jana had snuck out early to fetch sister Renet from the airport in Windhoek who was returning home to Swakopmund from her holiday in South Africa and so missed the group photo

Saturday afternoon was spent watching rugby, obviously the main game being the SHARKS against the Bulls and I must say, although the Sharks put up a good effort against the Bulls, the Bulls managed to capitalise on the couple of minutes the Sharks lifted their foot off the pedal and sneaked home a victory. So to all the Bulls supporters, as in my family members – as in my son in-law Zak and God forbid my granddaughter Michaela (in Durban nogal) and in particular my good buddy Gaston from the Gem Bar in Lambton Germiston (Johannesburg) well done, but lets admit it, we gave you a skrik.

So after a real boertjie farm braai on Saturday night, as they say in the classics in Southern Africa, “Dis mos kos’, Sunday morning found ‘Buddy and Me’ wishing the family farewell, not goodbye because we will be back to see them and spend a couple of nights with them later in the week, and headed out for Swakopmund.

At the time of leaving the farm, the weather, as it had been for the past few weeks, was sunny and hot, but within half an hour of leaving Okahandja the rain came down. It poured for three quarters of an hour, and this was at a really lousy stage in the trip because there was road works underway and the road surface was pretty lousy. But as the rain stopped so did the lousy road conditions and from there onwards the trip to Swakopmund was terrific.

<i>Before I can show you photos of the journey to Swakopmund, I have to show you a photo of the farm kids, they were lined up at the gate of the farm to wave <b>‘Buddy and Me’</b> goodbye and wish us well on our journey</i>

Before I can show you photos of the journey to Swakopmund, I have to show you a photo of the farm kids, they were lined up at the gate of the farm to wave ‘Buddy and Me’ goodbye and wish us well on our journey

The one thing which really impresses me with Namibia, is that no matter how small the town is, every town has a really neat welcoming sign at the entrance to the town, as well as a sign thanking you for visiting and wishing you well on the rest of your journey, as in this one at Usakos, which is a really small village.

<i>A small town with a really big message when you arrive</i>

A small town with a really big message when you arrive

The countryside since leaving Rehoboth, 100 odd kilometres before Windhoek, has been absolutely beautiful, with hills and dense bush and the road winding it’s way through really spectacular hilly countryside, and this has continued right up until Karibib when gradually the scenery started changing to semi-desert and then increased to very desolate conditions.

<i>80 kilometres from Swakopmund</i>

80 kilometres from Swakopmund

<i>60 kilometres from Swakopmund</i>

60 kilometres from Swakopmund

<i>40 kilometres from Swakopmund</i>

40 kilometres from Swakopmund

<i>A small Oasis 12 kilometres from Swakopmund</i>

A small Oasis 12 kilometres from Swakopmund

<i>Welcome to Swakopmund</i>

Welcome to Swakopmund

While on the ‘African Odyssey’ project, while ‘Searching for a Solution to Child Rape’, Loraine Cooper, the owner of the amazing place called ‘Footprints’ in Swakopmund, had generously sponsored our accommodation in Swakopmund, and on hearing of the fact that ‘Buddy and Me’ would once again be visiting this truly beautiful city, generously provided ‘Buddy and Me’ with the same deal again. At the time of staying at this beautiful and exquisitely fitted out Guest House/B&B/Self catering/ magic place, I had thought that here was nothing that could be added to make this place any better, but I was wrong. Loraine has added so many touches to this place which has made it undoubtedly the best; I don’t even know what to call it, it’s not your standard B&B, Guest House, Self Catering form of accommodation, it has all of these plus more. Footprints contact details email: info@footprints2swakop.com website: www.footprints2swakop.com telephone: +264-64-403042 fax: +264-64-403132.

<i>‘Buddy and Me’s arrival at <b>‘Footprints’</b></i>

‘Buddy and Me’s arrival at ‘Footprints’

So now having gotten settled in, and having cooked myself a mean lamb chop chilli, concoction on rice, much better than the tinned curry fish with Provita biscuits and chilli sardines with Provita biscuits I had for the two nights prior to arriving in Windhoek, I have finally gotten internet connection; this by the way is free and included in the deal when booking in at ‘Footprints’, I can send off my blog’s for the last couple of days to Gail and get everyone up to date with what’s happening in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’.

Tomorrow ‘Buddy and Me’ will be visiting the staff at the Swakopmund Beares store, and hope that Renet Van Zyl is back at work and well rested after her holiday in South Africa, and hopefully get to meet a few of the officials of Swakopmund in the hope of establishing exactly what is happening with the rape and sexual abuse of children in this area.

So until next when I can get internet connection and provide more details of the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’ we will wish you good night, stay well and of course KEEP ALL CHILDREN SAFE.

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Please send your comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

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Mon
3
May '10

Day 216: Friday, 30 April 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

Leave a comment


My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

The PROPOSAL TO THE PRESIDENT for your perusal.

To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

Beares
Lubners
Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
GRIP (Mpumalanga)
StepThru (Gauteng)

Fortunately this morning ‘Buddy and Me’ only had 109 kilometres to travel to reach the Beares stores, 2 of them, in Windhoek, because Tia’s place is situated 20 kilometres from Rehoboth which is 89 kilometres from Windhoek, so we could both take it relatively easy and sleep in. So with this in mind I was up at 6:30 am, made coffee, showered, packed and after thanking Tia for her kind hospitality and generous support to the child rape project, headed out on the road to Rehoboth, where I filled up Buddy’s never ending depleting stomach with petrol and then continued ever onwards north to Windhoek.

About travelling 4 kilometres from Tia’s place, ‘Buddy and Me’ once again, the last time being on the road from Polokwane (Pietersburg), crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, and was once again reminded of that ‘Old Dog of South Africa’s African Odyssey Champion, Kingsley Holgate’s’ expedition around the world following the imaginary line of ‘The tropic of Capricorn’. Read the book its well worth it.

<i>Presenting <b>‘Buddy and Me’ again</b> crossing the <b>Tropic of Capricorn</b> in Namibia</i>

Presenting ‘Buddy and Me’ again crossing the Tropic of Capricorn in Namibia

The countryside from Rehoboth to Windhoek is spectacular, the whole 60 kilometres of it and continues right through to Okahandja, 80 kilometres the other side. The road winds its way through hilly areas where one actually has to turn the steering wheel, incredible. After having driven the last 1200 kilometres without so much as a twinge on the steering it was great to have to actually steer Buddy around a bend in the road. And then suddenly there it was – another metropolitan city in the foreground waiting to gobble ‘Buddy and Me’ up.

<i>Welcome to Windhoek</i>

Welcome to Windhoek

Since last I was in Windhoek four and a half years ago on the ‘African Odyssey’ project, another Beares store has been opened, but the original store at 181 Independence Avenue was my first port of call and so fortunately I knew exactly where this was situated, so without any further ado, ‘Buddy and Me’ headed directly for it. Some of the staff were standing out on the pavement and ‘Buddy and Me’ were given a heroes welcome back to Windhoek.

<i>The tremendously friendly staff of <b>Beares</b> 181 Independence Ave store, the Manager Benny is the one sitting on the extreme left looking his usual, very cool and collected self</i>

The tremendously friendly staff of Beares 181 Independence Ave store, the Manager Benny is the one sitting on the extreme left looking his usual, very cool and collected self

I am sure you have noticed the South African flag flying off Buddy’s rear in the photos on my blog’s over the last 10 months, and so I needed to get a Namibian flag to fly off his rear end to compliment the South African flag, and since my arrival in Cape Town I have been searching high and low to get one but all searches to date have been in vain, so far. That is until Adre, the glamorous Beares Windhoek (181 Independence Avenue) lady discovered that there was “Something” missing on Buddy”, and spent a few hours in search of a Namibian flag, and Walla! A Namibian flag materialised and the right size nogal!

<i>Need I tell you which one is the glamorous Adre, - but as you guessed she’s the good looking one holding the Namibian flag - the rest are the ‘windgats’ of <b>Beares</b> 181 Independence Avenue Windhoek</i>

Need I tell you which one is the glamorous Adre, - but as you guessed she’s the good looking one holding the Namibian flag - the rest are the ‘windgats’ of Beares 181 Independence Avenue Windhoek

My visit to this store included a chat with the staff about the project as well as meeting a lady police officer involved with the investigation of child rape, child abuse and cases of domestic violence. I also got to meet a young chap who is involved with the department of; and I hope I get this right, ‘Gender Equality and Child Welfare’. The information they gave me was quite disturbing in that I have often said in my book ‘The African Odyssey’ as well as my blog’s that I thought, and was of the opinion that, Namibia was well on its way to being one of, if not the leading countries in Africa, in their fight against the rape and sexual abuse of children.

However, today’s discussion indicates that Namibia is in fact in the same situation as we South Africans are, and that the support from government to mothers of victims of child rape, in instances where the father and uncle etc is the rapist is exactly the same as mothers in South Africa. I will obviously be following this “accusation” up on my travels through Namibia and sincerely hope that the situation here has not deteriorated to the same levels we are experiencing in South Africa as was told to me today.

From 181 Independence Avenue, ‘Buddy and Me’ travelled a whole 400 metres down the road to the 2nd Beares store which is situated in the ‘BP House’ at 22 Independence Avenue and here I must tell you I encountered what I believe is the busiest Beares store I have ever encountered on all my travels around South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

I had a rushed chat with the extremely busy staff here and then was bustled off to the offices of the ‘Namibian’ newspaper offices for an interview and ‘photo shoot’ and then rushed back to get a photo of the staff, but unfortunately the majority of them were busy with clients and so I only managed to secure a few of them for the photo.

<i>Meet the staff of the busy BP House <b>Beares</b> store</i>

Meet the staff of the busy BP House Beares store

The Boss-man ‘manager’ Piet Kruger, with the stripped tie, invited me to a braai at his house, but unfortunately due to economics, depleting budgets and the cost of accommodation in Windhoek, I had to cancel and head out to Okahandja where hopefully I could find cheaper accommodation, so Piet please convey my apologise to your wife for having to cancel my appearance at the braai, but I promise to make it on my next visit.

So as I said, all enquiries proved that accommodation in Windhoek was going to be way out of my budget, and so I decided to head for Okahandja, which is about 80 kilometres north of Windhoek in the hope that I could find cheaper accommodation for the night. Unfortunately this did not occur, because on arriving in Okahandja and after making enquiries at a couple of places which proved to be way out of my budget and the owners/managers were not prepared to relent on their prices in the form of discounts, I was forced to settle on a bungalow at the ‘Kings Highway Rest Camp’ where when I asked the lady at the reception if she or the management were prepared to give me a discount, and was told “That is the price, take it or leave it”, I took it and got settled for the night, and so in-spite of a large chunck being eradicated from my withering budget, ‘Buddy and Me’ are comfortably settled in our accommodation for the night.

<i>It is really a lovely place and I would recommend it to anyone passing through Okahandja</i>

It is really a lovely place and I would recommend it to anyone passing through Okahandja

<i>Although the cabins don’t have their own ablutions, very clean ablution facilities are close by. The cabins also don’t have cooking facilities, as in self catering facilities, but there is a communal kitchen – this is where I cooked my infamous and much sort after, <b>‘Bully Beef Bush Stew’</b>, and damn it was good, although maybe that was because I hadn’t eaten all day and I was starving, mmmmmm could definitely be a factor</i>

Although the cabins don’t have their own ablutions, very clean ablution facilities are close by. The cabins also don’t have cooking facilities, as in self catering facilities, but there is a communal kitchen – this is where I cooked my infamous and much sort after, ‘Bully Beef Bush Stew’, and damn it was good, although maybe that was because I hadn’t eaten all day and I was starving, mmmmmm could definitely be a factor

And so ended yet another exiting day in the life of ‘Buddy and Me’ Searching for a Solution to the Rape and Sexual abuse of Children’ Although ‘Buddy and Me’ believe in our hearts we have found the solution, all we want is for our government in South Africa to study it and implement it.

So having said all of that, ‘Buddy and Me’ wish you a good evening, stay safe, stay well and keep all children safe.

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Please send your comments and opinions to me via: steve@buddyandme.co.za

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Mon
3
May '10

Day 214-215: Wednesday to Thursday, 28-29 April 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My updated itinerary for Namibia and Botswana, to the end of the tour.

The PROPOSAL TO THE PRESIDENT for your perusal.

To watch Buddy and Me in real time click here, select South Africa under “Global Fleet Logins:” in the left hand panel, enter cellphone number 0822549129 and password Buddy.

To make a donation to or information on any of the organisations involved in assisting victims of child rape and abuse, please click on one of the following links:

Beares
Lubners
Bobbi Bear Foundation (KwaZulu-Natal)
The Teddy Bear Clinic (Gauteng)
The TygerBear Foundation (Western Cape)
GRIP (Mpumalanga)
StepThru (Gauteng)

So after picking up a few extra bottles of oil for Buddy, because for some unknown reason, to me anyway, since Cape town Buddy has been leaking oil from either the ‘silver tubes coming out of the left side of the engine’, or from the bearing from where the big wheel (Fan belt thingamabob) comes out of, if you can make head or tail out of that “you are a better man than I Gungerdin”, but when he gets hot in particular he tends to spit out oil at a mean pace, I got what I needed, or rather Buddy needed, and headed for the Namibian border.

Now having travelled pretty much extensively through Africa, I always find it intriguing that when leaving a country it’s only at South African border posts, as in those leading into our neighbouring countries, who insist on making you unpack and inspect every nook and cranny of the vehicle and trailer. I mean, what are we supposed to be smuggling out of the country that they don’t want us to? If I was smuggling drugs out of South Africa, that would be good for our country, I mean get rid of the stuff and make it the next countries problem and let them catch me taking it into their country. But be that as it may, after finishing with our custom and police officials ‘Buddy and Me’ headed for Namibia.

<i>Good bye South Africa</i>

Good bye South Africa

<i>This sign is about three kilometres before the actual border post</i>

This sign is about three kilometres before the actual border post

<i>Hello Namibia here we come</i>

Hello Namibia here we come

The gap between the two border posts, these being, SA – Nakop and Namibia being Ariamsvlei, is about 4-5 kilometres, but the gap between the courtesy and friendliness of the staff of these two border posts is miles apart. I seriously think our authorities should send our border staff over to Namibia to learn a bit of courtesy and just plain good manners, especially with the 2010 World Cup Soccer looming.

While doing the necessary at customs and immigration on the Namibian side, a large group of people had gathered around Buddy, chatting and commenting with a lot of head shaking on this “crazy little Ferrari type racing car’. When I climbed in a young guy asked if he could get a lift to the next town, this being Karasburg which is about 150 kilometres from the border post. I thought “what the hell some company would be good”, so told him to hop in. He jumped like a springkaan (grass hopper) and ran for his back pack and in two seconds was back and settled in Buddy’s passenger seat.

<i>Meet Javier Winkler, an absolute character and windgat of note</i>

Meet Javier Winkler, an absolute character and windgat of note

During our chat to Karasburg and discussing the purpose of my project, I learnt that Javier had been raped as a 9 year old young boy by three teenagers in Windhoek (Javier is now 21 years old). He has never spoken to anyone about the rape before and when I asked him why he had not told his parents at the time he said that when he arrived home that day, his father was drunk and was fighting with his mother, and had in fact stabbed her that night, fortunately she survived the ordeal, but it did not help Javiers situation.

By the time we arrived in Karasburg the sun was setting fast and so I decided that I should rather seek some place cheap to stay for the night. Javier, having lived in Karasburg for sometime, new where to go and after making enquiries at two places decided that they were a rip off and took me to ‘Aan’t Zebra B&B’ where on meeting the owner of the establishment, Christie Voges who made me an offer for accommodation which I could not refuse, I unpacked and got settled in for the night.

Christie, it turns out is, apart from being a qualified lawyer, an artist of note and also built the lovely B&B with his own hands over the past three years. He arrived in Karasburg “by accident” as in having purchased a motor bike and was not able to get it through the border due to faulty documentation and while sorting out the problem and staying in the closest place to the border, namely Karasburg, he bought a piece of property and developed a B&B, I mean what else must a man do while sitting around trying to sort out bureaucratic red tape.

<i>Buddy getting settled in for the night in front of Christies Zebra B&B</i>

Buddy getting settled in for the night in front of Christies Zebra B&B

<i>Christie hard at work planning his next fund raising campaign – I will tell you more in a minute</i>

Christie hard at work planning his next fund raising campaign – I will tell you more in a minute

<i>The famous ‘Zebra’ wall</i>

The famous ‘Zebra’ wall

<i>Some of Christies art and take note of the ‘toilet’. This is Christie’s invention, patented, a ‘Portable sawdust compost’ toilet</i>

Some of Christies art and take note of the ‘toilet’. This is Christie’s invention, patented, a ‘Portable sawdust compost’ toilet

<i>Another of Christie’s masterpieces</i>

Another of Christie’s masterpieces

During my chat with Christie I learned a few facts about him as well as the area of Karasburg which I would like to share with you, and these include the fact that;

The Aan’t Zebra B&B in Karasburg is the ideal place to stay at when travelling to the Fish River Canyon and places of interest include various historical sites dating back to the German occupation of the country and includes places like Ortmans Braum where a Nama captain was hanged from a camel Thorn tree and Warmbad where another Nama was shot for not returning a goat. From Karasburg you can also get easy access to the Ghost Town at Luderitz.

Christie is also trying to secure sponsorships and donations to purchase the adjacent ground to the B&B in order to establish a training centre for disabled children in the area. And finally, he told me about the ‘Lantern festival’ which is held during the last week of July every year in Clan William on the West Coast. This evidently is a fantastic festival and raises much needed funds for the schools in the area and so if any school is interested in using this terrific manner to raise funds for their school you can contact Christie Vogel on +264 63270378, and don’t forget if you are ever passing through Karasburg there is only one place to stay and that is at the Aan’t Zebra B&B at 37 Main road Karasburg.

This morning, Thursday, I was up at 5am, showered, downed my daily tank of fuel this being one cup of coffee, and after thanking Christie for his kind hospitality and friendship was driving out of Karasburg before ‘Spikes’ (The sun) had even woken up at ten past 6.

<i>This picture proves it!</i>

This picture proves it!

The one thing, apart from many others, that really impresses me about Namibia is the absolute cleanliness of the country and this includes the fantastic roadside rest areas to be found frequently alongside their roads.

<i>Check this out, if only we could have roadside rest areas like these in South Africa</i>

Check this out, if only we could have roadside rest areas like these in South Africa

The entire day’s journey of 611 kilometres from Karasburg to Rehoboth where ‘Buddy and Me’ eventually stopped for the night, which is about 85 kilometres from Windhoek, took us 11 hours 40 minutes to do. It was a blistering hot day and we travelled through kilometre after kilometre of flat, dry country that we could see for kilometres in all directions. I’m sure I saw next week at one stage, check this picture out carefully, you can see the first week of May out in the distance.

<i>Kilometres of nothing, just beautiful, dry landscape, 600 kilometres of it</i>

Kilometres of nothing, just beautiful, dry landscape, 600 kilometres of it

At each town where I filled up with fuel, these being at Keetmanshoop and Mariental, on pulling into the filling stations I was surrounded by kids and adults to chat about Buddy and the project. I was told by one guy during my stop in Mariental that if the South African government is serious about stopping crime and child rape, they should consider spending some time in Namibia to learn how to run a country, I think his comment might have some merit and hope to obtain proof of this during the next couple of weeks of my visit to Namibia.

While driving down one particularly long flat section of road, I noticed something in the distance on the opposite side of the road, and on drawing nearer realised that it was a cyclist. So far since entering Namibia I had not seen one single cyclist and this in spite of the fact that the country, with its flat surface and roads, is ideal for cycling, and when the cyclist got nearer I realised that it was a touring cyclist with panion bags and other areas of the bike packed to the brim.

I hooted, waved, received a wave in return, hit the brakes and made a U turn. On pulling up next to him and introducing myself he introduced himself as Oliver Niedzielski, a German who left Germany on the 2nd May 2009 and has cycled through Europe to Cairo and down through Africa, pretty much the same route that I took with ‘Buddy and Me’ on our ‘Africa Odyssey’ project, but on a bicycle nogal!

<i>How’s this guy, meet Oliver Niedzielski who has cycled 22 000 kilometres over 11 and a half months and still is as cheerful as hell. Well done Oliver, it was a pleasure meeting you and good luck on the rest of your trip. If you want to contact Oliver you can get him on <a HREF="mailto:oliverniedzielski@google.com"><u>oliverniedzielski@google.com</u></a></i>

How’s this guy, meet Oliver Niedzielski who has cycled 22 000 kilometres over 11 and a half months and still is as cheerful as hell. Well done Oliver, it was a pleasure meeting you and good luck on the rest of your trip. If you want to contact Oliver you can get him on oliverniedzielski@google.com

I had hoped to reach Windhoek tonight, but at 5:45pm with the sun setting fast and me feeling really tired and Buddy dripping oil at a mean rate, I decided to pull into a beautiful looking place offering accommodation called ‘Tia’s Guest House and B&B’ and on approaching Tia, the owner of the establishment, and asking her if she could assist with accommodation for the evening for ‘Buddy and Me’ she did not hesitate in making me an offer I could not refuse. So ‘Buddy and Me’ are safely tucked away in Tia’s Guest house and B&B snug as bugs in a rug.

<i>Tia’s B&B, Buddy parked and ready for a good nights rest</i>

Tia’s B&B, Buddy parked and ready for a good nights rest

<i>Well, me, I still have to work, blog and all…</i>

Well, me, I still have to work, blog and all…

So that’s enough from me, so until later, when I discover how to connect my lap top to the internet with this new cell phone system, me having a Vodacom modem and all, I will say good night, God bless, stay safe, and yep KEEP ALL CHILDREN SAFE.

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Send your comments and opinions to: steve@buddyandme.co.za

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