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Nov '09

Day 108: Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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My new itinerary to the end of the South African leg…. Namibian and Botswana legs to follow shortly.

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)

It rained almost right through the night last night and when I got up at 5:30am it was still drizzling and the sky was filled with thick grey cloud, but fortunately by the time I had thanked Shawn and Debbie for their kind hospitality and they had left for work at 6:15 and I had showered, dressed, packed and was headed for the Beares store in Rustenburg at 8:15, the rain had stopped and, although it was still overcast, it was very bright. Yesterday it had been very hot but this morning the temperature plummeted to a very chilly 13 degrees.

I had a quiet morning at the Rustenburg Beares store for which I was thankful for because due to having to include a new Beares store into my store visits which has recently opened in Zeerust, I had to make a couple of changes to my itinerary which included rescheduling the Thabazimbi Lubners store visit from 12pm tomorrow (Wednesday) to 9am the same day. This change ensured that I would have time to make the long drive to Thabazimbi today, visit the Thabazimbi store tomorrow morning and then get back to Rustenburg to collect the trailer which Round Tabler Heindrich kindly offered to look after for me, and then continue through to Zeerust for the store visit at 3pm. I decided to leave the trailer behind in Rustenburg because it puts quite a strain on Buddy.

<i>Beares staff Rustenburg</i>

Beares staff Rustenburg

While at the Rustenburg Beares store I received a call from Elna Retief, the Lubners store manager in Thabazimbi who informed me that a live studio interview with Thabo Stereo Radio had been scheduled for immediately after the 1pm news today, so I said a quick goodbye to all the friendly Beares staff in Rustenburg and headed out of Rustenburg with thick cloud cover overhead and a very chilly wind blowing from my right hand side. During the 147 kilometre drive to Thabazimbi, which took Buddy and me a little over two hours to complete, the temperature never got any higher than 15 degrees, and combined with the wind chill factor, this caused it to remain pretty cold. My thick jacket had been left back in Rustenburg with the trailer so obviously I reprimanded myself heavily for this stupid move, but was forced to live with the situation and suffer the cold all the way through to Thabazimbi.

The big problem I experience whenever there is a strong wind, particularly when it blows from the right hand side while driving, is that I can’t breathe, and so I am forced to turn my head to my left, take a breath of air and then repeat the process every minute or couple of seconds. The cold wind/air and this irritating breathing method caused me to suffer another severe headache and about thirty kilometres out of Rustenburg I was forced to stop and take a few headache tablets, which didn’t really help. Unfortunately because of the headache, cold and wind and threat of pending rain, I was unable to enjoy and absorb the beautiful vast and flat countryside that stretches for kilometres into the distance, only broken by small hills which are formed from huge rock boulders and covered in dense shrubbery. As I got nearer to Thabazimbi the open flat lands were replaced with mountains, not as in the size of the Drakensburg but lots of small ones which the road meanders through.

I arrived in Thabazimbi and headed straight for the Lubners store, where after a quick cup of coffee, was shown the way to the Thabo Stereo Radio studios by Elna where I met the presenter of the talk show Jessie Lang. It was a really good interview and later, while driving through the town, I discovered just how many local residents listen to the show. I had people waving to me and calling out “Hey, great stuff Steve” and “Steve, drive carefully” and was met with greetings and well wishes all over Thabazimbi.

<i>Radio interview with Jessie Lang</i>

Radio interview with Jessie Lang

I was then shown the way to the El Shadai B&B which is a short way out of the centre of Thabazimbi CBD where I have been very kindly provided with accommodation (sponsored) by the owner Marietjie Conradie and her husband Paul. This is one amazing place and has what I can only describe as one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen outside of the professionally designed and laid out gardens such as seen in the five star hotels etc. but these have been designed and cultivated by Paul’s very own, obviously very green, fingers. Instead of the usual African carved animals we see all over South Africa at establishments such as El Shadai, Marietjie and Paul employed the services of a local artist, actually he’s from Zimbabawe, who has carved animals directly into the tree trucks and support logs of the house and garden, and these are truly amazing, check this out.

<i>A buffalo</i>

A buffalo

<i>An elephant</i>

An elephant


<i>A leopard in the tree</i>

A leopard in the tree

<i>A fish eagle</i>

A fish eagle

We had a wonderful evening chatting over a ‘good few’ frosties and were joined by a couple of other guests. I think I must warn anyone who has the pleasure and privilege of visiting and staying over at El Shadai, Marietjie is one hell of a character of note and if you think I can talk wait until you meet Marietjie Conradie!

<i>Marietjie and Paul, with another guest Jacques</i>

Marietjie and Paul, with another guest Jacques

Displayed at the pool side is a highly technical weather indicator especially designed and manufactured at huge cost by Paul. He din’t really want me to photograph it because he is concerned that because he hasn’t registered the patent yet , someone might steal his design, but what the heck if he sues me so be it, what do you think of this master piece?

The weather indicator designed by Paul. For those who can’t read it clearly it reads:

This is a weather indicator. If the stone (hanging below) is:
· Dry – Sunshine
· Wet – Raining
· White – Snowing
· Swinging – Windy

So today is an easy day’s reading, no gruesome serious child rape stuff, but tomorrow we will be back in full swing on the ‘Buddy and Me’ crusade to fight and find a solution to the rape and sexual abuse of children. So I hope you enjoyed the break, I certainly did and in particular I enjoyed my stay and visit to El Shadai B&B and the time I had to spend with that crazy lady Marietjie and Paul, and will definitely be making a turn to this lovely part of our country again, hopefully in the not too distant future. So if you ever are fortunate enough to visit Thabazimbi here are the details of the best and friendliest B&B in the area:

El Shadai B&B
e-Mail: elshadaibb@polka.co.za
Website: www.tourismgrading.co.za
Telephone: 014 772-3389

Tomorrow morning I will be visiting the friendly staff of Lubners Thabazimbi and that other crazy lady, Elna Retief, who by the way is an ex-colleague of Marietjie’s, hell I shudder at the thought of these two woman working together, let alone living in the same town the size of Thabazimbi together, but I will brave it and spend a few hours at the store hopefully meeting a lot of the local residents and getting their opinions and comments on the subject of child rape. So until tomorrow when I visit Zeerest, ‘Buddy and Me’ wish you a good night and keep well and above all, keep all children safe.

Caring regards from
Buddy and me (Steve Heath)

To assist with Buddy’s medical aid (recouping the R9 960.00 spent on repairs to engine and installation of new gearbox, starter motor and front suspension), please make a deposit into the following account:

  Bank: First National
  Branch: Lambton
  Branch code: 251542
  Acc name: Buddy and Me
  Acc number: 622 327 236 78
  Ref: Buddy’s medical aid

All assistance, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated. Any excess collected above the necessary amount, will be donated to the three organisations involved in the project, namely The Teddy Bear Clinic, Bobbi Bear Foundation and The TygerBear Clinic.

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