Thursday, February 19, 2009

A day of many surprises

I had to apply for a new passport. In my present passport is a stamp of Israel. With that stamp I won't get a visa for Sudan again.

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

Mooi loop!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ons laaste kyk by Gaza

Two days after this video her home town was hit by a rocket.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tas varkboerdery 'n mens aan?

Ek het 'n plaasboervirend hier naby Naboomspruit. Hy het oulike kinders en 'n KLR. Gehad. Dis nou die KLR.
Gister het hy die KLR vir 'n Triumph scrambler ingeruil. Dis 'n splinternuwe fiets.
Ek kan met eerlikheid skryf dis die lelikste maar lelikste fiets wat ek nog ooit gesien het. Hy is weer totaal begeesterd deur die fiets.
Kan dit die varke wees?

Friday, February 13, 2009

By die Russiese grens

Verlede jaar in Letland by die Russiese grens het ek diƩ gesinnetjie ontmoet. Hulle het kruideniersware by 'n trokwinkel gekoop. Daarna is hul al drie op die klein fietsie huis toe.

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

Negevwoestyn, Israel

Kliek op die foto om 'n groter beeld te kry.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


You might be wondering why the postings of the last few weeks were posted on my motorcycle blog.

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.

To the children of Israel / Palestina who have died

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,

terrorized, destroyed,

and to cover your broken body,

my child, born in hate and misery,

my child, robbed from your most valued,

your childhood.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sderot, weer

Hier is 'n aanhaling uit die Jerusalem Post van so pas / A quote from the Jerusalem Post from a few minutes ago:

"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 region of the western Negev. In addition, at least one Kassam rocket landed near Sderot an hour later.

The latest ceasefire violations were one of many for the day. Earlier, IDF soldiers patrolling the Gaza border near the Kissufim crossing came under fire, and before that four Kassams and a number of mortar shells were fired at the South from the Strip."


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.

Die dokument is byna 5 mb groot. Die Sondagmiddag rustigheid is bedrieglik. Vandag is weer twee vuurpyle van Gaza afgevuur.

The file is nearly 5 mb. The tranquility of this Sunday afternoon is only on the surface. Two rockets were fired from Gaza this morning.


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.