Posted by Julia
Categories: Buddy and Me
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The PROPOSAL TO THE PRESIDENT for your perusal.
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Greetings to all the avid supporters of the ‘Buddy and Me’ website. Before I start with an up-date of what has been happening in the lives of ‘Buddy and Me’ over the past few days, I would firstly like to convey my sincere apologise to Julia Ramos, the young lady back in Jo’burg who is kindly assisting me by changing my blogs from email form and posting them onto the website. My apology comes in-light of the fact that transferring photos from attachments to the blog is a particularly time consuming job and this blog contains a particularly large number of photo’s because of the people and places I have met and visited over the past few days. So to Julia, you have my sincere apologise and I promise to try to reduce the number of photos in the up-coming blogs. So with that having been said, I will continue with my blog.
I had a really terrific time visiting my friends in Port St Johns, John and Sherol (Ferrari) Ferreira of ‘The Mountain View Inn’. On Saturday they took me fishing to an amazing place which is situated about 50 kilometres north of Port St Johns called Manteku which is in the Magua Falls forest area. The drive through the area is absolutely mind-boggling beautiful and the place where we spent the day, which so tranquil is almost spiritual. I was told later by a chap named Kelvin Strachan who arrived on the scene and who owns the small piece of land, paradise, which is right on the edge of the beach were we braaied and spent the day, that the beach is called (and I think he named it this) “Cow Beach” and from the photo I’m sure you will understand why.
Typical countryside one travels through on the way to ‘Cow Beach’ and the old Transkei, now the Eastern Cape region.
“Cow Beach” taken high up on the road leading down to the beach.
In my last blog for 2010 (Blog 12) I wrote about the fact that I try desperately hard not to get too attached to dogs or animals of any kind while on the project because every time I do it’s heart breaking for me to leave them behind when I leave and in the case of Port St Johns I once again fell into this trap with an amazing little miniature Doberman Pincher dog which belongs to John and Sherol called ‘Lady’. This little dog followed me every where I went and even slept in my bed, to Johns annoyance because he believed that I was spoiling her which would create a problem for other guests at the resort, “check the worry in my eyes”.
Me fishing with my ‘fishing companion’ Lady.
Kelvin Strachan, Sherol and John relaxing in paradise.
Kelvin who, by the way, is the self appointed “White Mayor of Manteku”, pointing out the “best?” fishing spot.
We experienced some really incredibly hot days in Port St Johns with temperatures reaching 46 degrees together with humidity levels going through the ceiling, so after making a brief stop at the local police station, and I say brief because nobody was prepared to talk to me on the subject of child rape in the area, I headed for a back packers called ‘Jungle Monkey’s” which I had visited and made music at with a few guests of the establishment at the time on my last visit to the area (See Blog 18th – 21st Feb 2010 – Days 164 – 167) where I indulged in a couple of cold Millers to ease the pain of the excruciating heat.
Here I witnessed something which blew my mind. A couple who were guests of the place were lying next to the pool while their young blond daughter, about 6 – 7 years of age, was playing in the pool and was running around stark naked! At times she would lay on her back on her towel while the garden staff walked around cleaning the gardens and in particular the pool area. At one stage the parents disappeared for about half an hour leaving the little girl all on her own. I couldn’t help thinking that should something happen to her; her parents would blame everyone except themselves and scream blue murder. Come on guys for Piet’s sake this is South Africa we are living in and the abduction and rape of children is happening at a horrific rate, we don’t need to encourage the savages to grab the opportunities you provide them with to commit these atrocities.
In Port St Johns I was shown a ‘clinic’ which is situated on the premises of the local hospital/health clinic, which was built, at obviously an enormous cost, for the 2010 World Cup Soccer fiasco. Unfortunately the building of the stadium in Mthatha was behind schedule and so FIFA cancelled the games to be played in the Mthatha stadium, and so for this reason the clinic which was erected and completed is standing un-used. The premises would make an ideal Thuthuzela Care Centre unit which according to the local community I chattered to would be fully utilized by victims of child rape and domestic violence in the area. So I sincerely hope that government listens and takes head of my recommendations for the establishment of these centres all over South Africa, including Port St Johns, and establishes them in the manner I have recommended.
Monday (17th January) found ‘Buddy and Me’ bidding farewell to John and Sherol, and yes I battled to say good bye to Lady, the miniature Doberman Pincher who I had become so attached to and leave behind and so with a very sad heart I headed for Mthatha.
After visits to the two Beares stores, one being in the Mthatha Plaza centre and the other in Madeira Street where I met the friendly staff and had a great chat to them and some guests about the project and was told how shocking the rape of children is in the Mthatha area as well as the Transkei as a whole, I was met by Pat Dalgleish of the Mthatha Round Table and shown the way to a lovely B+B called Coyla’s Place where I was hosted accommodation.
The evening was spent chatting to everyone about the project and getting some in-put into what needs to be done to stop the rape and sexual abuse of children, the general comment was that “Those who rape children should be removed from our society permanently, preferably as in the death penalty”. I was also pinned with the Mthatha Round Table lapel pin and so my ‘jacket of honour’ is becoming pretty saturated with Round Table pins.
Me being ‘pinned’ by Pat Dalgleish.
After a really great and restful evening, the next morning ‘Buddy and Me’ bid Coyla and Pat farewell after thanking them for their incredible hospitality and friendship and headed out of Mthatha, but not before I once again experienced that evil act of thievery we are constantly exposed to in South Africa.
While on my way to Pat’s office to say good bye, I took the wrong turning and got myself slightly lost. I phoned him from my cell phone while parked on the side of the road and while talking to him, a local guy approached me on my right side and kept asking me if “this is a racing car”. I kept telling him to hold on because I was busy on the phone but he insisted on talking to me, I must admit I was getting somewhat irritated with him and eventually he walked off. On arriving at Pat’s office I discovered that the shoulder bag, which I normally keep between the seats and which contains my schedule diary and note book was missing. I usually tie the strap to the safety belt harness but because I had only needed to travel a very short distance I had not done this.
The exact same thing had occurred when I had visited Middelburg in Mpumalanga in January 2010 on project 2 and so you would think I would have learnt, but unfortunately I fell for the same con trick again. So all I can say is that I hope the fleas of a million camels infests the arm pits of the two thugs who stole my shoulder bag and that they are terribly disappointed with the fact that the contents of the bag is of absolutely no use or value to them, but was a big inconvenience to me.
Coyla’s Place, and that’s Coyla Rehse shinning with Buddy. So if you ever find yourself in Mthatha (Umtata) there is only one place for you to stay and that is: Coyla’s Place – 10 Ihem Street Mthatha – 082 254 9082
Before leaving Mthatha I was ‘instructed’ to make a stop at FORTGALE MOTORS which is a Caltex filling station on the outskirts of Mthatha on the Queenstown road which is owned by Round Tabler Jo Berlyn who insisted on supporting the ‘Buddy and Me’ project by generously providing Buddy with a full tank of juice (petrol). So many thanks Jo your support and generosity is great appreciated, Buddy thoroughly enjoyed drinking it all up.
In Queenstown I paid a visit to the Beares store where I once again was given the opportunity to chat to the friendly staff and to experience the chaos of the main street which has been excavated to allow for the refurbishment of the towns streets, hopefully for the residents of Queenstown the job will be completed soon and the residents can resume to their normal life, unlike the storey in Port St Johns where the streets were ripped up a year ago resulting in the town being an absolute mess and after what should have been a 5 months contract there is no end in sight for the completion of the work.
In Queenstown I was hosted accommodation by that lovely couple Bruce and Evette Raasch who had hosted me on my last visit to Queenstown on project 2. Bruce is, or rather was, a Round Tabler but because he has reached that magical age of 40 at which Tablers have to retire he is now what Tablers refer to as a “41er”. I also got to meet up with the other Tabler, a character of note, Adie Peltenburg and his wife Di and we spent a lovely evening at which I tucked into a rack of amazing spare ribs and had a lengthy chat about the project.
Meet Bruce and Evette Raasch of Queenstown fame.
I was going to include my trip to Fort Beaufort into this blog, but my visit to this amazing town and the truly incredibly hospitable people I met there, not to mention the photo’s, is going to be a blog all on it’s own, so I am going to say cheers for now and will include all the details of my visit to Fort Beaufort in my next blog, so Julia you were let off the hook. So stay well, stay safe and keep all children safe.
Caring regards from
‘Buddy (The Beach Buggy)
Me’ (Steve Heath)
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