did you really want a report of doctors’ rooms?

14 05 2013

No? well great.  The reason we were silent for so long was that we did not want to share too much of doctors rooms. Or of shopping malls. or of the angst that most Gautengers live with day to day, as the threat of robbery and mayhem surround them.

Somewhere in all that is an apology for a long silence. We had three weeks back in SA, and it was busy, full. It is always special to spend time with family and we did get to be around for a few birthday celebrations, and squashed in an art lesson or two. We had an enjoyable stay in Kruger for a few days too.

Well, I should have blogged about this trip alone, sorry.  One of the ironies we love is that our internet access is far better in Tanzania than what we personally can get in SA… there is a legitimate excuse! 

A remarkable feature of our Kruger time was the huge amount of testosterone on show. The end of April, going into May is rutting season for several species and the rugged snorts of unhappy impala can be heard across the bush rather often. It amused Deon no end to watch how several males would assume the position (tail fluffed and up, chin lowered), and then go at any other male with speed and tenacity.

Deon camera Kruger april 2013 325small 

They lose all ability to think, and will lock ‘horns’ with thorn bushes, barbed wire fences or any other imposing looking thing at this time. We saw several bouts where 8 to 10 males would all get involved in the same rout.

Other species showing power on this trip:

Deon camera Kruger april 2013 214small

Deon camera Kruger april 2013 297small

There were a few other species fighting over dominance and mating rights now too.  Nothing like a good bit of action!

A highlight for me was a nightdrive we took. Unfortunately, we were in the park after some heavy showers and at a very windy time, which makes for poorer sightings overall. But we experienced some wonderful evidence of power and creativity.


Deon camera Kruger april 2013 452small

A magnificent experience was being surrounded by a herd of about 800 buffalo. We sat with the engine of the vehicle off, listening as they chomped through the grass, and watched the fascinated buffs staring at these odd creatures in a truck. I was so awed by the idea of millions of tons of raw energy surrounding us, yet we were safe and simply observing the opposite species.

Then, alas, it was back to dentist chairs, blood tests, x-rays… all to discover there is not anything hugely wrong, except for that which falls on all of is: heading to mortality.  Age is not kind to human flesh!

We were rather relieved to be heading back to Tanzania, and then we were not! In the days leading up to our return there had been a spate of crimes in the area. the place next door was broken into, we believe there were intended burglars on our roof, and some-one tried to poison our precious dog: twice. The brave canine soul survived well, and we are doing whatever we can to prevent further invasions. But the feeling is awful. Normally Tanzania is a fair deal safer than SA, so to be surrounded by crime here is simply no fun.

This week we are back into full Tanzanian mode. Deon is away on an exploratory trip in Arusha area again, and I am back to the usual prayer groups, art classes and helping school children.

Today’s art lesson with the young group was to take advantage of the amazing sunny weather:it was just far too nice to be indoors.

Before: big flipchart paper and several media set out: foam brushes, squeeze bottles, food colouring mixed with water, spray bottles, powder paint mixed, with cover-all t shirts and soap nearby.


Pour, spread, dab, spray, splatter, spill.

Notice some beautiful configurations as you work.


And have a huge amount of fun cleaning up (thanks, darlings, I did not have to clean it all alone…)

And they left with smily faces and wet pants! 

Despite the challenges, we still feel right to be here, as long as we need to. The joys of amazing friends, happy faces, and creative art keep us going. 

And we are so relieved that our doggy lives to enjoy it all with us too!




2 responses

6 06 2013
Barbara Glass

Karen -I just want to thank you for giving the wonderful art classes for my grandbabies – they are really enjoying the classes and I am enjoying seeing the pictures they have done!!! and thank you again for the recipe you shared-I love it- thank you again and will see you soon-\

6 06 2013

You are so welcome, Barbara. Your grandchildren are a complete delight!

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