As I’m sure you’ve been able to gather from my previous blogs, South Africa is filled with amazing sights, sounds, and Sun, all of which I am infatuated with. This is truly a gorgeous, beloved country. Everywhere I look I am amazed by the sheer beauty of the landscape, architecture, and people. Last week on my visit to Kimberley, the drive alone was fantastic. Instead of forests, trees, or deer alongside the highway like there is at home, there were endless golden grasslands with cattle grazing, and occasional pairs of Ostrich. Yes, Ostrich. How cool is that? And this weekend I was able to go on top of Naval Hill, a game reserve in the middle of Bloemfontein. The views from the top are breathtaking. You can see all of Bloemfontein, and much of the Free State. I will never get sick of seeing a woman walking with goods high atop her head, as I am sure I could never do that myself.
I also have quite a few roommates now. I live with some mighty large spiders, beetles, random insects I’ve never seen, and a host of praying mantises. I really have no qualms about it, I’ve learned to live with them peacefully, unless they are giving me a vibe. All part of the experience!
The sounds of South Africa are exhilarating. I have come up with a ‘South African soundtrack’, that I listen to each day.
Track 1- The kids at Lebone getting ready for school, around 6:30am every day
Track 2- The Doves, Ibis, and Rooster calling their mighty morning calls
Track 3- Children reciting their daily songs at the pre-school at Lebone
Track 4- The sound of sprinklers all around Lebone watering the fields
Track 5- The siren notifying the workers at Lebone that it’s time for tea, lunch, end of work, and dinner
Track 6- Calls of ‘Andrew!’ from the kids who get home from school, hoping to find me ready to play
Track 7- African house music, which I am becoming quite the fan of
Track 8- Dogs barking at night, protecting their respective homes
Track9- Thousands of crickets playing in their evening orchestras
Track 10- Kea Monama practicing her violin skills, which are improving greatly
Track 11- Sounds of elation from Tape’ Monama when Real Madrid scores a goal
Track 12- Pure joy, elation, happiness and praise in the singing of church members each Sunday
Track 13- The hustle and bustle of the Mangaung township on the weekends
Track 14- And pure silence, as I settle up each night to read, think and get ready for bed
The Sun is so important in Africa. It is crucial for the crops growth. It dictates how hot or cool each day will be. I spend almost my entire day outside and I am working on one of the most amazing farmer’s tans in history. My occasional use of my gumboots is also making for an interesting tan. The sunsets here are astounding, bringing a striking mixture of yellows, oranges, pinks and reds to the sky. The sunset brings cooler temperatures, and the Guinea Fowl come out and scurry around the fields.
The sights, sounds or ‘soundtracks’ and African Sun are truly becoming part of my daily life in South Africa. I like to stop and take it all in from time to time, knowing I will miss this once I’m gone. But for now I’ll continue to relish in my experience, atmosphere, and awesome farmer’s tan.