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Tue
11
May '10

Day 222-223: Thursday and Friday, 6-7 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 with a sad heart ‘Buddy and Me’ were packed and ready to leave ‘Footprints’ just after 10am. So after thanking Loraine for her incredible generosity, friendship, kindness and hospitality and after wishing her and her friendly staff of ‘Footprints – Self Catering Accommodation’ farewell, ‘Buddy and Me’ first headed to the Beares store to say farewell to Renet and her staff and to get a photo of the ‘Lighthouse’ restaurant, because the next time I visit this area it will have been demolished and a new waterfront will have been erected in it’s place. I was pleased to hear that a new ‘Lighthouse’ restaurant will be included in the new waterfront development.


Loraine with the ‘shades’ and pink top, and amazing team, if you ever are fortunate enough to visit the beautiful and friendly city of Swakopmund, a stay at ‘Footprints’ is a must: e-mail: footprin@mweb.com.na (and it’s not a spelling mistake, there is no t at the end of the first word “footprin”), Website: footprints2swakop.com.

The ‘Lighthouse’ restaurant, a really nice place. The last time I visited Swakopmund, I celebrated my birthday here, on the 24th May 2006 and I was sponsored dinner that night by the owner. This time I enjoyed a lovely meal with two lovely ladies, Renet Van Zyl (Beares manager) and her and Basil’s sister, Belinda

By the time I had done all of this, it was a quarter to 12 and so with a really cold breeze blowing, as had been the previous day, ‘Buddy and Me’ finally headed out of Swakopmund. I stopped on the outskirts of Swakopmund to take a picture of the contrasting landscape which I had not noticed on my way into the city because at the time it had been slightly overcast and there was a fine mist, so this time I had to get a picture of this amazing sight.

<i>If you click on the picture it will open up bigger, and if you look carefully you can see the contrast of the flat white sand of the surrounding area and the high orange/golden colour of the high sand dunes which stretch all the way back to the coast for about 5 kilometres, I think</i>

If you click on the picture it will open up bigger, and if you look carefully you can see the contrast of the flat white sand of the surrounding area and the high orange/golden colour of the high sand dunes which stretch all the way back to the coast for about 5 kilometres, I think

When I had driven from Okahandja to Swakopmund, it had rained for a large part of the trip and so coupled with the fact that there is a lot of road construction taking place and coupled with the fact hat I did not have any brakes, I had had to focus on my driving and so had missed a lot of the lovely countryside and how it changes from dense bush to semi desert and then to desert conditions.

<i>A short stop to quench my thirst, you can see the construction of the new road which is taking place and once this is completed driving the Okahandja/Swakopmund road will be a pleasure</i>

A short stop to quench my thirst, you can see the construction of the new road which is taking place and once this is completed driving the Okahandja/Swakopmund road will be a pleasure

The change in weather, from about 20 kilometres out of Swakopmund is amazing. It had been really cold in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay during the last couple of days, in-spite of the fact that the sky was clear with brilliant sunshine, but after driving about 2o kilometres out of Swakopmund it warmed up and was soon scorching hot.

About 60 kilometres out of Swakopmund, I stopped at a roadside rest spot to change my thick winter shirt to a ’T’ shirt, and as I was changing a 4X4 drove passed heading in the direction of Swakopmund and a few hundreds metres after passing, stopped, made a U turn, and came back and pulled up next to Buddy. Three guys climbed out and the one guy said “Basil said we might pass this crazy guy in a Beach Buggy on our way”. It turned out that they were Andrew, Simon and Eddie, the first two (Andrew and Simon) being the ‘Brothers’ who are the franchisers of the ‘Brothers’ mattress company of which Basil is the franchisee of the Okahandja, Windhoek and Swakopmund branches.

They had spent an evening, and from what they told me, and from what I learnt later when I arrived at Basil and Hannerie’s farm, it had been a hell of an evening, with the Bean family. The three were on their way to Henties Bay for ten days fishing/angling, of course you know there is a major difference between these two sports/pastimes, I’m not quite sure which one they were going to partake in? But it was great chatting to hem and they made a contribution towards my fuel bill to Okahandja, so thanks guys I hope you caught the big one, or at least enjoyed yourselves trying.

The 311 kilometre trip to Okahandja and Basil and the farm took ‘Buddy and Me’ a little more than 6 hours to do, and of course when I eventually arrived at the farm at 10 past 6 with the sun almost set they couldn’t believe it, they normally do the trip in around 2 hours, sometimes when in a hurry even less. So when ‘Buddy and Me’ pulled up in front of the farm to warm welcome from the Bean family who were sitting out on the front stoep it stands to reason that soon I had a cold ‘Tafel Lager’ in my hand and was relaxing with them.

The drive to the farm from the Okahandja/Gross barmen road involves a three and a half kilometre drive along a bush/track/gravel road, which Buddy really hates and so vibrates, shakes and rattles like crazy, but it’s a really nice drive through dense bush and so I convinced him to relax, take it easy and all would be fine.

<i>Lovely Bushveld to drive through, for me that is, Buddy hated it</i>

Lovely Bushveld to drive through, for me that is, Buddy hated it

The drive to the farm also includes crossing a short section of a dried river bed which consists of deep soft sand, which of course Buddy loves, and so he accepted the situation and we arrived at the farm in two pieces, Buddy – and – Me.

<i>This is the part that Buddy loved and made me just a touch nervous at first</i>

This is the part that Buddy loved and made me just a touch nervous at first

Friday morning (7th May) ‘Buddy and Me’ once again tackled the bush road and headed into the town of Okahandja to meet the friendly staff of Beares there. Unfortunately the manager, Godfrey Julie was away on leave, but his stand-in manager, Petrina Sloa and her staff had done a sterling job in inviting a few people from the community in the form of social workers, and other interested members of the community which included a very interesting minister from the NGK (Dutch Reformed Church) of Okahandja, Reverend Pine Pienaar to meet me and have a discussion on my hopes and aspirations of what I hope to achieve with this project and to get their in-put, comments and opinions.

From what was told to me, it is obvious that the community is not happy with the direction the Namibian government has taken with regard to following the South African governments route in handling criminals with kit gloves, and believe that this is going to; as it has done in South Africa, create a situation of encouraging people to follow the route of crime, rape etc, rather than it being what ‘justice’ is supposed to be, a deterrent to anyone to commit crime particularly child rape.

After presenting them with an abbreviated version of my proposal to our South African President on what I believe needs to be done to stop the rape of children in South Africa, (The complete proposal is available on a link on this website), it was unanimously agreed that the factors identified in it, would definitely also work in Namibia, and it was also unanimously agreed that the Namibian government should give serious consideration to studying it and applying it.

<i><b>Beares</b> Okahandja staff together with the group of guests – Reverend Pine Pienaar in front, the ‘thorn’ between the roses, sorry Pine it’s just a figure of speech</i>

Beares Okahandja staff together with the group of guests – Reverend Pine Pienaar in front, the ‘thorn’ between the roses, sorry Pine it’s just a figure of speech

Pine Pienaar and I continued our discussion for another hour after everyone else had left, which by the way, was one of the most interesting discussions I have had on the subject of child rape to date. So Pine keep up the good work you are doing and thank you for your kind wishes, advise and kind comparison you made of ‘my crusade’, its really appreciated and I will be spending many hours while driving Buddy contemplating some of the things you said, many thanks.

Before heading back to the farm, and subjecting Buddy to the gruelling bush road, I paid a visit to Basils ‘Brothers’ mattress factory business which is situated on the outskirts of the town, where he first got his staff to stitch the edges of my South African and Namibian flags, which due to the wind ripping the edges to pieces were looking somewhat tattered, now they should at least last the next 6 weeks of this project, and then they made me two magic waterproof cushions for Buddy’s ever sinking-in seats. Not only did Basil do this, not to mention provide ‘Buddy and Me’ with amazing friendship, hospitality and accommodation, he insisted on ‘Brothers’ making a donation towards our expenses while in Namibia, so Basil thank you, you are a true gentleman of note.

On arriving back at the farm, I had to make adjustments to Buddy’s tow bar structure and had to raise it by about four centimetres because whenever I attach the trailer the tow bar frame knocks on the exhaust creating a terrible knocking noise and vibration through Buddy’s body. I did this while in Swakopmund with the use of straps, but I did not loosen the bolts holding the frame to the body sufficiently and so by the time I reached Okahandja it had sagged and was once again knocking on the exhaust. So with the help of the farm hand Paul, we did a proper job by loosening the bolts and jacking the tow bar frame up and strapping it up.

<i>Paul after a job well done</i>

Paul after a job well done

<i>Hopefully this is going to hold for the remaining 6 weeks of this project, I’ll make another plan for the new project</i>

Hopefully this is going to hold for the remaining 6 weeks of this project, I’ll make another plan for the new project

Basil and Hannerie went to Windhoek for the evening and Christiaan and his girl friend Silke also had plans. So this left Oupa Markus Du Plessis – Hannerie’s father and I at home to enjoy each others company and we watched the ‘Bulls/Crusaders’ Super 14 rugby game, the Bulls having won, again! (I think what is their 18th game in a row, – which means that Gaston, back at the Gem Bar in Lambton Germiston will never let me live this down) After the game we braaied, had a couple of beers (or rather I did, during and after the game of course, Oupa Markus just had half a glass) and Oupa Markus told me some fascinating stories of his life, which by the way commenced way back in 1922 when he was born in Angola. Later in 1928 he travelled to Namibia in an ox-wagon and the stories included some of the 2nd World War and the impact this had on their lives in Namibia, and so after a rather busy but fulfilling day, we are now retiring to bed for a good nights sleep.

So until later, ‘Buddy and Me’ wish you well, stay well and keep safe and of course above all, keep all children safe.

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

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