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Jun '10

Day 254-256: Monday to Wednesday, 7 -9 June 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:

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

Monday morning found ‘Buddy and Me’ heading out of Gaborone and travelling west out to Molepolole. This place had made quite an impact on my life way back in 1994 when I spent 7 months working on an American/French air force bases close to the town. In fact I can safely say that Molepolole turned my life around and up side down, but I won’t go into those details now.

The Beares staff at Molepolole decided that there was something missing on Buddy and soon produced the missing object, a vuvuzela, and blue nogal with a small blue and white soccer ball attached, and so now Buddy is ready for his reappearance into South Africa and the World Cup fiasco.

<i>Buddy now complete with his own vuvuzela</i>

Buddy now complete with his own vuvuzela

<i>The <b>Beares</b> staff of Molepolole</i>

The Beares staff of Molepolole

The Molepolole Beares staff were a particularly friendly bunch of people and they were amazed at the comments and well wishes made by the other Beares stores staff, and after spending sometime reading the ‘Beares book’ immediately got to work creating their own page, and so thanks guys your well wishes and comments, they are much appreciated by ‘Buddy and Me’.

<i>The ladies of <b>Beares</b> Molepolole studying the <b>‘Beares book’</b> and others busy working on their page for the book</i>

The ladies of Beares Molepolole studying the ‘Beares book’ and others busy working on their page for the book

From Molepolole we headed for Kanye where we made a right turn and continued through to Jwaneng where once again I had a wonderful time chatting to the Beares staff and met and chattered to a few members of the local community.

<i>Meet the energetic staff of <b>Beares</b> Jwaneng</i>

Meet the energetic staff of Beares Jwaneng

Yame had arranged accommodation for me in Kanye and so ‘Buddy and Me’ drove the 80 odd kilometres back to Kanye where I was escorted by the Credit Manager and acting Beares store manager, Sekai Leteemane to my accommodation at the ‘Motse Lodge and Cultural Village’. This is a really tremendous place to stay if you are ever passing through Kanye on your way through to Windhoek on the Trans-Kalahari highway. I got to meet the managing Director of the establishment, Mrs. Matshediso Hansen who is a really friendly lady and who invited ‘Buddy and Me’ to pop in to stay anytime we are in the vicinity, So Matshediso we just might take you up on that offer when we visit Kanye on our next project. The Motse Lodge contact details are; Web site: www.motselodge.com email: motselodge@botsnet.bw.

<i>The Motse Lodge and Cultural Village</i>

The Motse Lodge and Cultural Village

When I entered the dinning room for breakfast, a man approached me and asked if I was the man driving “That very interesting little car parked outside”, and when I confirmed that I was that crazy individual, he introduced himself as Lesly Kofe a senior manager in the Botswana Roads Department. He explained that they were having a meeting in the Lodges conference room and that the meeting was regarding the HIV/Aids problem the country is facing and that this meeting was a lead-up to a national meeting which was going to be held the following day in Gaborone. He asked if I would mind addressing the meeting as he believed that there is a definite similarity between my project and the subject of their meeting. I of course, never to give up an opportunity to talk, immediately agreed, because there is a definite similarity and connection between the two subjects.

My talk ended up taking almost an hour and when I eventually apologised for having taken up so much of their meetings time, they started asking questions which ended up taking up a further half hour. Of course the similarity and connection between the two subjects is mainly attributed to the fact that there is a large number of unscrupulous individuals in the form of Sangoma’s inhabiting our country who insist on corrupting the minds of those who can’t think further than their nose and believe the ridiculous rumours these unscrupulous individuals are spreading regarding having sex with a virgin in order to cure Aids and the ridiculous statement that the younger the victim the stronger the cure, which is resulting in thousands of young children and babies being raped.

<i>The caring people of the Botswana Roads Department</i>

The caring people of the Botswana Roads Department

Then came my visit with the Beares staff in Kanye and these guys really made me feel at home, a really tremendous group of people and I spent another hour chatting to them about the project and the similarities between the problem we are experiencing in South Africa and those being experienced in Botswana with regard to the rape and sexual abuse of children. Every time a potential client entered the store one of the sales ladies would rush off and on returning asked me to please repeat what I had said while she was away.

<i>Meet the staff of <b>Beares</b> Kanye, these guys are really interested in the subject of stopping child rape and really want to get involved in the project</i>

Meet the staff of Beares Kanye, these guys are really interested in the subject of stopping child rape and really want to get involved in the project

From Kanye ‘Buddy and Me’ made a dash for Lobatse to visit the Beares staff there and I was hoping to be able to cross the border and at least reach Zeerust and spend the night there, but I was told that things at the border are somewhat hectic with the tourists who have been visiting Botswana who are now leaving to head for South Africa for the 2010 World Cup Soccer fiasco as well as the hundreds/thousands of Botswana and Namibian’s who are travelling to South Africa for the soccer and that I would probably end up having to either return to Lobatse or sleep over night on the road side in a long cue at the border because the border post closes at 7pm.

So with this in mind I phoned a friend I met on my last visit to Lobatse, Rotarian Erwin Happel and asked if I could stay over with him and his son, Robert for the evening and so after my chat with the Beares staff of Lobatse, that is where I headed.

<i>The <b>Beares</b> staff of Lobatse</i>

The Beares staff of Lobatse

After a restful evening, this morning, Wednesday the 9th June my official last day on this project, I bid farewell to Botswana and headed for the border at Pioneer gate on the Botswana side and Schilpadhek on the South African side and believe me the suggestion to stay over for the evening in Lobatse had been a good one. I arrived at the border post at 10am and after standing in a queue for over an hour and then parked in a longer queue while the border police searched every vehicle from bumper to bumper; I crossed over into South Africa just after 1:30 in the afternoon. Then it was the drive through to Zeerust and on through Swartruggens by way of the biggest daylight robbery in the form of a R65-00 toll fee which has to be paid for a road which is in a shocking condition, patched so many times it’s ridiculous, and is in fact a single lane not even a dual road, a total rip off, to Rustenburg.

Soon after passing through Swartruggens the fact that I was back in South Africa and reasonably close to Jo’burg struck home by the fact that the temperature plummeted to a point where I stopped to first put on my project blue jacket and half an hour later changed this to my heavy duty jacket and changed my cut off gloves for warm solid ones. I was pretty tired and cold and decided that I would end the project by stopping off and camping at that lovely camping facility ‘Buddy and Me’ had stayed over at, what seems like years ago but in fact was 8 months ago in October, ‘Roos se Oord’ which is situated on the Crocodile river where it leads into Hartebeespoort Dam.

Right now it’s freezing cold and I am sitting outside with a fire burning, wrapped up in so many layers of clothes that I look the size of a Springbok front row rugby player. Supper consisted of a very hot beef curry and rice and alongside me I have a delicious cup of coffee, laced with a good dose of Klippies brandy, for medicinal purposes of course. ‘Buddy and Me’ are the only ones occupying the resort and so it is blissfully quiet, and peaceful, although freezing cold, and I am really happy that I decided to end the project here where I can reminisce on the past 11 months which seems to have flown past and all the amazing people I have met and places I have visited, before returning to Jo’burg to the chaos and hype of the 2010 World Cup Soccer fiasco.

So all that’s left for me to do is to thank all those amazing people who have made this project possible, and there are so many I could not start to name all of them, but if you have been reading my blogs over the past 256 days, you will have read about them, but I must mention a few and these include:

Firstly and foremost to:

The Management and staff of BEARES, and this is not just for the fact that they have definitely lived up to their motto of “Beares really cares” but because they do really care. To Tony von Blerk, and Andrea Bell in particular, thank you for your incredible support to the project and your personal support of the fight against the rape and sexual abuse of children, as well as your friendship and constant concern for my safety and goodwill. To say I appreciate it is an absolute understatement, but thank you, and I wish you both well for what lays ahead of you as in the changes which will be taking affect in both your business lives as well as the impact of that on your personal lives. Stay well and stay safe from ‘Buddy and Me’.

To the great people of Round Table South Africa, which consists of so many people and their families who supported the ‘Buddy and Me’ project in the form of assisting us with accommodation in areas all over South Africa and who showered both ‘Buddy and Me’ with friendship and hospitality second to none, a warm thank you to all of you.

To two very important people who without their friendship and support, not to mention the incredible amount of personal time they spent helping me with my website and blog’s, and if you knew how bad my computer skills are you would fully appreciate how much I needed their help, Rory Albertyn of ‘Radiant Networks’ www.radiantnet.co.za who did the original design and generously hosted the ‘Buddy and Me’ website, and Gail Vyvyan-Day. Gail generously offered, after establishing just how bad my computer skills really are, to post my blog’s from my email form to the website, although I don’t think she really realised how much work this would involve and just how much of her personal time would be taken up undertaking this massive task. But she has done an outstanding job and to both Rory and Gail my heartfelt thanks go out to you both.

Of course a very special thanks goes to Mandy, owner of the Gem Bar in Lambton Germiston for her and her patrons undying and loyal support to the ‘Buddy and Me’ project. Mandy you have no idea how much your help and support has meant to me and I will be forever grateful. I look forward to seeing you all again at the Gem Bar where I will finally end this project tomorrow, the 10th June at around 3pm. It seems like years ago when I left there on that rainy, cold day on the 1st of August last year and I just hope the weather will be kinder to me for my return.

To May who has been looking after the dogs and birds back home and had to face the really sad situation of having to find Buster, our Boer Bull ‘Lion’ of a dog, dead in his kennel and have the sad task of having to tell me, (See my blog of 17th May day 233), thank you for everything you have done for me to make this project possible.

To the management and staff of the Protea Hotels and many other places I have mentioned in my blog’s where I was kindly hosted accommodation, thank you, without your assistance and support my budget would have been eaten up long before the project was completed.

And so ends this project of searching for a solution to the rape and sexual abuse of children. I sincerely I hope I will be able to commence with another project very soon, as I believe that in order to achieve my goal of stopping the rape of children, we have to keep the pressure on the powers that be and get them to listen and do whatever is necessary to stop this evil scourge sweeping across our beautiful country. And so I will be placing one more blog on this site in a few days to summarise what I have learnt about the subject of child rape and what I believe needs to be done to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children in South Africa, so stay tuned for the final episode, on this project that is.

With that, ‘Buddy and Me’ will say farewell for now, keep well, stay safe and above all KEEP ALL CHILDREN SAFE, it’s our duty as parents and adults, they are our countries future!! Mr President you better believe it!

Caring regards from
‘Buddy and Me’ (Steve Heath)
Comments and opinions will always be welcome and appreciated at: steve@buddyandme.co.za

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