Sunday, December 21, 2014

I started this blog two weeks ago so I will finish it in true Sue style - I like closure!!

Well a whole month has gone - Swoosh - at the speed of light November came and went so I can't do my regular 'Peek at my Week' more like a run down of the run up to December!
Where I have been?
I have been dashing around at the speed of lightening and clocked up about 4000kms! I had the privilige to go back up to Vredendal for work and this time V came with me. We drove and the ten hour journey was a doddle after our trips up and down to Natal - and the scenery on the Langkloof lovely. We resisted stopping in at Ronnie's Sex Shop and made our way through Worcester and  Citrusdale. Our B&B in Vredendal was a quaint farm to V's delight with a view of the long rail bridge that spans the valley to Saldana. We were booked into the Vry-Kamer (Kissing Room) - a huge joke as we passed out after an early start, a long drive and pizza for a hasty supper - Dining out in Vredendal is not just limited but none existent on a Sunday night!
As we left we popped into Clan William, a historic little town where people settled in 1725. Nothing much seems to have changed since then! It was named after the Earl of Clanwilliam and is one of the ten oldest towns in South Africa. We enjoyed lunch there and explored the High Street in ten minutes flat before we departed for Saldana Bay for the second part of my work. We then had a night in Paternoster and an overnight stay with Vs daughter in Cape Town and arrived back on Saturday to pack again - V for Natal and me for East London. PHEW!
Who I have met?
More lovely learners in Vredendal and Saldanah who have valiantly made their way through a leadership programme. One in particular stood out for me - I could see he had had a hard life, apart from the fact that his skin was the colour of Namaqualand earth - he had the look of a person who knew what it was to survive against the odds, and when he gave his presentation he told me that he had been working on the mines for 20 years (he is now 35) and learning in a group situation for him didn't come easy. He had lived on his wits since he could remember and the only thing he had of value was what he knew about his job and about mining, and it didn't come easy to him to share the only wealthy that he had. His knowledge was his only currency and he had learned to protect it. What a lot of us take for granted, he had fought hard for.
I met Vs young grandsons again for the second time and we had some fun time in front of my camera. We also bumped into the lovely Austrian owner of Ilse du Paine in Knysna as we passed through. Sadly he was locking up as we called for coffee and we had to go elsewhere but I had a bread making lesson with this lovely man a few years ago and remember his passion for his craft so well. He truly believes in our daily bread and he speaks knowledgeably about today's allergies and gluten intolerance and blames it on poor quality, over processed flour and ingredients and he reminded me again to be mindful of what and how we eat.
What I have bought?
I bought a heart made of shells from a young boy on the beach in Paternoster, as he walked and threaded small shells on a piece of strong wire - he spoke no English - only Afrikaans - and V translated as he answered my questions. He told me it was R30 and that he would give the money to his family to buy bread. He was 9 years old and didn't go to school  - he obviously lived in the cottages where the fishing families live and I wondered sadly what his future held. I also stocked up with my usual collection of marmalade, rusks and home made goodies on route including a lovely rose scented candle that can make me feel as if I am in a summer garden in the UK when I close my eyes!
What I have learned?
Not a new lesson but a repeat of an old one - I have learned how when the end of November comes, I am so so ready for a holiday as I have given everything to my learners and these weeks ahead are about giving back to me if I am to be of any use next year. I have again learned that the universe provides what I need and has its own plan for me - we think we are in control of our lives but we are not! The sun sets everyday whether you want it to or not! I have also learned that I can make a Christmas type fruit cake surprisingly easily out of what lies in my food cupboard - and that V can demolish it overnight! I have again realised that V and I travel easily together - Long distances in a car often challenge a relationship - they seem to build ours! I am looking forward to the road ahead.

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