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Wed
23
Sep '09

Day 52: Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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Well after a magic sleep in my ‘Grandma’s big feather bed’ – actually Franna calls it the “banana bed”, you will have to ask him why he calls it that (contact him through Round table Kameeldoring Club 92 – Mokopane), I was up at 6:15, showered, a cup of coffee in my tank, turned down Nicolene’s kind offer of breakfast, thanked the van Rensburg family for their kind hospitality and friendship and was on the road to Groblersdal at 7:30. Fortunately the overcast and cold weather is now behind me and the day had dawned a beautiful warm sunny day. Soon after leaving the mountains and hills of Mokopane behind, the landscape flattened out and became as flat as a pancake. I missed the turn off to the N11 to Roedtan and Groblersdal and ended up having to go through to Mookgopong, previously known as Naboomspruit. This little extra piece of road added about 30 kilometres to my journey to Groblersdal but it was a good road and Buddy enjoyed the flat countryside, as did I. Where the land has been cultivated, ploughed and ready for planting, I could see for kilometres in all directions. Where it wasn’t there were the usual thorn trees and shrubs mostly populated by game farms.

I was stopped three times by traffic cops mostly just curious to look at and admire Buddy, hell who am I, just Buddy’s driver, but on the road Buddy is the super star, he attracts attention from other motorists and everyone we pass who wave and shout greetings. I did manage to sneak passed three sets of traffic cops without being stopped but on passing they suddenly saw us and just waved. During the drive Buddy started a new trick. Every time I put Buddy into 4th gear he would jump out of gear, so now another problem! Later in the afternoon when I spoke to Bev Whishart, Marketing Assistant at Beares Head Office in Pinetown, she suggested that perhaps Buddy was playing up because he is actually a she and is rebelling against the fact that her name is Buddy and not ???, please help me out here!! When I had stopped outside the Beares store I discovered that Buddy’s new ignition I had fitted just prior to starting the project, turned a full circle and wouldn’t switch off! So Bev, I have being giving your suggestion a lot of thought!

At the Beares store I got to meet an extremely interesting lady by the name of Corrie Ludwig who is a social worker and who has a Master’s degree in the subject. She gave me a run down on the latest initiative implemented by the government which if applied and managed properly will. I believe, make a huge difference in the outcome of child rape judicial cases and hopefully increase the pathetic conviction rate of around 4% dramatically. She has promised to e-mail me the details she presented to me soon and so I would rather wait until I receive them before I go into any more detail regarding this particular initiative. Corrie I know you are going on leave soon so you either have to do the e-mail before you go or take your laptop with and do it while you are on leave, everyone is waiting in anticipation to hear the good news!

Groblersdal staff

Beares Groblersdal staff

A large group of young girls arrived in the store shouting and screaming “Hello Bobbi Bear” and all proceeded to give me a hug and take photos, hell I felt like a visiting rock star called ‘Bobbi Bear’, photos were taken with them clambering all over Buddy, one young lady stood on my newly designed GPS unit bracket and proceeded to break it off; more work for later. Then Corrie and I headed off for the Groblersdal Primary School where we were invited to address the 500 odd kids there.

Crazy bunch of girls at Beares store

Crazy bunch of girls at Beares store

The talk went extremely well and I think the message passed by Corrie and I definitely got through to the kids who were very tentative and responded excitedly to every question that was posed to them.

Talk at the Groblersdal Primary School

When it was time to leave a large group of kids joined us where Buddy was parked resting in the shade of a tree and I had to get a picture of a couple of kids who were dressed in traditional clothing and of course, Emmah from Beares who had shown me the way to the school, waving to everyone along the way like she was visiting Royalty, joined in.

Young girls in traditional dress

Young girls in traditional dress

Then a short visit was made to meet the staff of Groblersdal Lubners where I met up with that amazing lady, Rosa De Waal who had, when she was manager of the Beares store in Groblersdal on my last visit, literally closed the streets of Groblersdal on my arrival.

Lubners staff Groblersdal

Lubners staff Groblersdal

By now it was already nearing 3 o’clock and I had some urgent work to do on Buddy, so I contacted Carel of the Groblersdal, actually Loskop Dam Round Table division, who told me that they had arranged accommodation for me at the ‘LekkerBreek Guest House’, a short way out of town. There I was met by Round Table Chairman Carlo Fourie who after showing me around left to complete his day’s work but promised to meet up with me later and invited me to join him for a bite to eat this evening.

The evening turned out to be a really great one and we were accompanied by Jaco van Straaten and his wife Louisa. Jaco is the past President of ARTSA (The Association of Round Tables of Southern Africa) in other words a ‘larney of note’ in Round Table circles. He is also a man and character of note and the stories that poured out of this man during the evening were amazing, oh and while on that subject Tim, up in Polokwane, I heard some really good stories about you?

Me, being ‘pinned’ by Carlo

Me, being ‘pinned’ by Carlo

Me, being presented with the Loskop Round Table ‘plate and mug’

Me, being presented with the Loskop Round Table ‘plate and mug’

And so ended my evening in Groblersdal, once again a late one, midnight, oh boy can these Tablers party!

Carlo with white shirt, Jaco between us, Louisa seated

Carlo with white shirt, Jaco between us, Louisa seated

So tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd September) I head for Middleburg, and because Thursday is a public holiday I will be heading for home, as in real home, and will be attending May’s niece, Bianca’s 21st Birthday on Saturday. Monday morning I will be returning to the road and will be in Belfast at the Beares store and Tuesday I will be in Witbank at both the Beares and Lubners stores. So to the guys of Loskop Round Table, thank you for arranging my terrific accommodation at the LekkerBreek Guest House which, believe me, is a really magic place, and to Carlo, Jaco and Louisa, thank you for the absolutely fantastic evening, oh Louisa you were right, that sea food platter was fantastic.

Lekkerbreek contact details: lbgh@ananzi.co.za

So with that, I wish you a good night, and until I write again, stay safe.

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

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