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Mar '10

Day 186: Friday, 12 March 2010

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My full new itinerary including Namibia and Botswana to the end of the tour (19 May 2010).

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 morning I was up at 5:45 and after showering and packing my overnight bag, I had decided to leave the trailer at the Toyota dealership, I followed Mike to, firstly Marco’s school because Marco wanted me to drop him off at school with Buddy, and then on to the Toyota dealership where the Workshop Manager Richard was going to give Buddy a service. Then it was off to visit another wine farm, this time the esteemed vineyards and winery of ‘Bergsig’.

This incredible winery had passed through the hands of 6 generations dating back to the original Lategan family who arrived in South Africa way back in 1735 and established the wine farm in 1843. The wine farm is currently owned and managed by father – ‘Proff’ Lategan and the three brothers, ‘Plum’, De Wet and Louis.

<i>Here ‘Plum’ is giving the low down on the wine making process</i>

Here ‘Plum’ is giving the low down on the wine making process

<i>The bottling of ‘liquid gold’ process</i>

The bottling of ‘liquid gold’ process

‘Plum’ explained that the ‘barrels’ in which the wine is stored during fermentation can only be used three times (Three season) and cost a bomb (I think he said R7 000-00 each) because they come from France, hell even the corks which are used in the bottling process are imported from Portugal and I think Spain, no wonder wine is so expensive.

<i>Just check out all this ‘liquid gold’ just waiting to be consumed</i>

Just check out all this ‘liquid gold’ just waiting to be consumed

<i>The Lategan family Bible which dates back to 1735</i>

The Lategan family Bible which dates back to 1735

I was privileged to meet ‘father’ Lategan who popped in to ‘check-up’ that the three sons are doing things right.

<i>‘Dad’ Lategan on the left and ‘Plum’ on the right</i>

‘Dad’ Lategan on the left and ‘Plum’ on the right

<i>Of course I had to have a photo of me with ‘Plum’ and of course <b>‘The Rose’ of Bergsig</b> in between the two thorns</i>

Of course I had to have a photo of me with ‘Plum’ and of course ‘The Rose’ of Bergsig in between the two thorns

The other product produced on the ‘Bergsig’ Estate, are pears for mostly the export market which are marketed under the name of ‘Forelle’.

<i>Piles of delicious pears, these things just melt in your mouth</i>

Piles of delicious pears, these things just melt in your mouth

On the way back to the Toyota dealership, I mentioned to Mike that the Bougainvillea with their beautiful purple and pink flowers and lovely white roses really stand out amongst the lush green vineyards and he informed that they are not there for their beauty but as an important factor in the growing of grapes and other fruit forms. Evidently the bougainvillea and roses are the first to detect fungal infections and so the farmers use them to warn them when this nasty infestation attacks the area.

Following my tour of the ‘Bergsig’ wine estate, came a police escort into the town of Worcester. This involved being met by two traffic cop cars at the Toyota dealership and with blue lights flashing and sirens blaring we drove through town to the first Beares store.

At this Beares store ‘Buddy and Me’ were greeted by a large group of kids and guests and I spent a couple of hours chatting to the guests and getting their opinions on the subject of child rape. This discussion included a really terrific lady Captain from the local police services by the name of Captain Maja who is involved in the social crime prevention unit. She re-iterated on the fact that she believes that the RDP housing design has undoubtedly contributed to the unacceptably high rape of children by children, for the reasons I mentioned in my previous blog.

The kids and Beares staff Worcester Beares store (1)

At the second Beares store in Worcester which used to be a Lubners store, the welcome ‘Buddy and Me’ received after another police escort through the town was just as big as the first, the people of Worcester are truly amazing.

<i>The kids having a ball of a time with Buddy</i>

The kids having a ball of a time with Buddy

<i>All the stunning ladies of <b>Beares (2)</b> in Worcester. I made them all promise that if they get calls from Paris or New York for modelling contracts after they are seen on my blog, I want to be signed up as the manager, I mean, it’s only fair</i>

All the stunning ladies of Beares (2) in Worcester. I made them all promise that if they get calls from Paris or New York for modelling contracts after they are seen on my blog, I want to be signed up as the manager, I mean, it’s only fair

During my discussion in Worcester, I was told of a recent situation in which three boys aged between 7 and 9 years of age raped and sodomised a little girl of 4 years of age, and due to the ages of the perpetrators and on ‘conviction’ nothing happened to them, they were merely returned to their parents custody and have to under go counselling.

Another topic which was discussed at length was the one surrounding the fact that, although there are Ministers and Deputy Ministers appointed to establish and set up national policies for their respective port folios, those individuals operating at provincial and local government levels are totally ignoring these national policies and going off at a tangent with their own plans. This then results in the fact that every time one of them is replaced, which is what is occurring on a very regular basis lately, the new guy comes up with his or her plan and all the previous policies which were implemented, and cost a fortune by the way, are chucked out. This is obviously costing the South African tax payer a fortune and is money which could be spent in far better ways.

So with that comment, I am going to bid you farewell until I do my weekend blog on Sunday night. So keep well and as usual, please keep all children safe.

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

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