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Wed
16
Sep '09

Day 44: Monday 14 September 2009

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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After a chat with Mike and Merle and wishing them well on their travels through Africa, I think they intend heading up to Kenya, I took a leisurely drive out of the Klaserie Caravan Park and took the road through to Hoedspruit. At one point while passing the Kapama Game Lodge boundary fence which runs for many kilometres, I passed five Giraffe standing right alongside the fence feeding on the trees. One of them was particularly tall while the others’ heads only reached halfway up his neck. It was quite amazing. I stopped Buddy, climbed out and walked almost right up to the fence to photograph them and they just stood there munching away.

Giraffe

Giraffe

Soon after starting off again, I indicated to overtake a slow moving bakkie, it was probably only the second or third time I had actually had to overtake someone else, but when I indicated I noticed that Buddy’s front right indicator light wasn’t working. On stopping at the garage just outside Hoedspruit to fill up, I discovered that the two bolts which hold the indicator unit to the fender were loose and were about to fall out. This had resulted in the earth, which is attached to the one bolt, being completely loose. The spanners were brought out and chop-chop the problem was solved and Buddy was once again legal.

Once again it was a lovely drive through to Phalaborwa with the road passing one private game farm after another. No big mountain passes, just gradual inclines and I think I only had to change to third once, so Buddy had a really relaxing trip. Phalaborwa lived up to its reputation by delivering really hot weather, not a cloud in the sky and by 9am it was already a sweltering 28 degrees with high humidity. On arriving at the Beares store I was met by the Beares Regional manager Gerrit Pretorius. I needed to sort out my internet connection which involved me having to purchase a new sim card and so took a stroll through town to the mall. I was approached by a few of the local inhabitants and was provided with their opinions on the subject of child rape. During the week I always wear my Beares/Lubners blue shirt reflecting the Buddy and Me website details as well as the slogan ‘Searching for a Solution to Child Rape’ clearly marked on it, which never fails to attract people’s attention. In Phalaborwa the opinions and suggestions were no different to those expressed by the public throughout the last project as well as this one, “Child rapists should be executed, failing this, if the government refuses to bring back the death penalty, then they should be put in jail for life – 45 years – with no chance of parole or early release for whatever reason”.

Beares staff, Phalaborwa – Gerrit, the big guy at the back with blue shirt

Beares staff, Phalaborwa – Gerrit, the big guy at the back with blue shirt

An appointment has been set up with a local NGO called ‘Maroela Crisis House” headed up by Altea Prinsloo for tomorrow morning (Tuesday 15th) at 8am so with that in mind and the fact that the police would not talk to me, I headed for home at 4pm (home being the residence of the Round Table Chairman Pieter Van der Merwe and his lovely wife Deidre?.

Round Tablers of Phalaborwa – The Chairman Pieter Van Der Merwe with blue shirt and cap, wife Deidre in pink next to him

Round Tablers of Phalaborwa – The Chairman Pieter Van Der Merwe with blue shirt and cap, wife Deidre in pink next to him

This evening was spent with the Round Tablers at their fantastic Club house and a delicious meal was provided by the wives, and a fiancée (wife to be in 45 days). The night proved to be a really great one and as usual the Tablers and their wives provided brilliant company. Obviously I did quite a bit of talking and the general conversation was centred around the catastrophic situation facing our country due to this horrible crime.

Me being ‘pinned’ with the Phalaborwa Round Table lapel pin

Me being ‘pinned’ with the Phalaborwa Round Table lapel pin

The night ended with Pieter and Dillon sitting on the veranda of Pieter and Deidre’s house enjoying a final cold frosty in the sweltering Phalaborwa evening heat. So that ended my day in Phalaborwa and so now I’m going to retire to bed as it’s a quarter to 12 (midnight) and I’m really tired. So until tomorrow, hang in there and we will see what happens in Tzaneen tomorrow.

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

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