Thursday, February 19, 2009
Middle January I visited the offices of Home Affairs in Pretoria. The line of people standing there was long. A lady told me she was standing there already for three hours and wasn't close to the front.
I called Amanda in our office and she told me I could apply in Naboomspruit as well. I was dumb-strucked as I had driven from Naboom to Pretoria to apply for the new passport.
I drove back to Naboom, where I went to the local Home Affairs office, quite sceptical. There Lebo, the lady on the photograph, helped me immediately. There wasn't a line of people, only me.
This morning Mrs Lebo Mashuke called me. She arranged that someone would pick up my passport and bring it to the office in Naboom. I went there just now. My new passport was ready!
Lebo, thank you so much!! If Home Affairs only had more people like you working for them!
Why is this day even more special?
I received the manuscript of my book back from proofreading. This weekend I will go through it again. I still enjoy reading it.
This morning I received an email from a teacher in the USA, an expat. She wrote:
Ek het na jou naboom2germany website toe gegaan, download jou dagboek en sit en lees dit (al 324 blaaie) …. My skoolkinders wil net weet waaroor ek lag/huil/oe-aa/ens., en op die ou end kos dit my jou engelse vertalings print vir hulle! Een van my dogters het sommer gou n file aanmekaar geslaan en nou le jou wedervaringe hier in n Virginia “country school”. Die seuns vrek oor jou motorfiets en die meisies natuurlik meer oor die ervaringe. En ek is sprakeloos !!!! EN jaloers, vreeslik jaloers, oorlat ek SO graag nog n trans-Afrika wou gedoen het. Wie weet, eendag nog miskien.
Liza, thank you so much for the email. Regards to all your pupils!
And then, the last piece of news I want to share with you. On Friday 8 May I am off again, again across Africa, this time not with my KLR but with my Toyota. It is an FSA project called Africa our Home. Have a look at www.fsa-youthexchange.co.za/africaourhome.htm
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Last year in Latvia close to the Russian border I met this family, who came for shopping at a mobile truck shop. After the shopping they left on the small bike. All three fitted onto the one bike.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Often your journey is pre-destined. Quite often your final destination is not the destination that you had planned while at home.
That happened to me.
I was supposed to travel through Libya and Tunesia.
My Libyan guide disappeared. I had to turn east and travel through Israel.
There my ties with that wonderful and sad country were forged. With one foot on the one side, the other foot on the "other" side.
That was the reason for my return now.
I experienced so much hatred on both sides of the fence. And the poor, moderate people in the middle are crunched.
And the biggest losers are the children, on both sides of the fence.
I look forward to many more long trips with my KLR. There is still so much to discover.
Flowers from Hell
Run, my child, run,
before the battle of two brothers
change you into a heavenly messenger,
sowing flowers over our green fields,
that your feet never will touch again.
Your sin was to be born in a promised land,
torn and divided by hate,
ripped open to the heart,
where blood tainted
your past and future.
Your future was to be,
Your past was you,
you played like yesterday,
like an angel sowing love,
when he decided
it was time
to strike from heaven
with his rockets from hell.
Like fields of flower
clouds of red and yellow and white
drifted lazily over our green fields
to cover the scars
of a town, a region, a country,
and to cover your broken body,
my child, born in hate and misery,
my child, robbed from your most valued,
Sunday, February 1, 2009
"Two soldiers and a civilian were lightly wounded by shrapnel on Sunday evening when four mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the Sha'ar Hanegev of the western Negev. In addition, at least one Kassam landed near Sderot an hour later.
In en op Sderot het tot en met die wapenstilstand van 20 Januarie duisende vuurpyle oor die laaste jare geval. Ons is Woensdag weg uit die dorp. Donderdag het weer 'n vuurpyl buite die dorp geval. Vrydag was ons terug in die dorp. Baie winkels was toe. Die parkeerterrein was byna leeg. Vandag was dieselfde parkeerterrein weer vol motors. Die vlak van trauma onder die dorpbewoners is hoog. Op die agtergrond is een van die baie bomskuilings.
Sderot suffered under thousands of rockets the last few years. Since the cease fire on 20 January the situation improved. We left Sderot on Wednesday. Thursday a next rocket fell just outside the town. On our return on Friday many shops were closed. The parking area was empty. Today, Sunday, everything was back to normal. The level of post traumatic stress under the the people living there is high. In the background is one of many shelters against the rockets.
Sondagmiddag: Met die hulp van 'n Israeliese meisie kom ons tot naby verwoeste huise wat in Gaza is. Toe sy dit klaar vir ons gewys het, se (kappie) sy op video ons moet padgee want dit is gevaarlik. Ons ry netnou lughawe toe, doen nog laaste oplaai'e. Kiek op die foto's.
With the help of a Jewish girl we got close to destroyed houses in Gaza. Then, on video, she told us to leave because it was dangerous. We are leaving for the airport soon, doing last updates. Click on the photographs.