Tuesday, May 5, 2009

serious thoughts a brewing.

CAUTION GANG Pictures, Images and Photos

Just thought I would warn you.

Last fall Ebes and I went to South Africa. Ha, his boss thought I would not go. Silly man, he doesn't know me to well. Trip of a lifetime, for many reasons.
I have not shared much "out in public" so I thought I would just go for it. There was SO much to take it, from the climate, people, food, agriculture, atmosphere, politics, etc. Simply Amazing and Mind blowing at the same time. I encourage anyone to go at least once in their lifetime.
NO matter where you are in the world, kids love to ham it up for the camera.

I think hunger and food issues are at the forefront of Africa the continent, we can all agree on that. Where we were a bird can poop out a seed and it will grow. Its that fertile! Oh and I did do some landscaping while I was there and wouldn't you know it the nursery we went to was "The Montana Garden Pavillion".....haha slap my knee, Scott and Jerry are just not gonna believe me!!

So the food issues, well I came away with a better understanding when I visited with Florence a bit. She lives in Hazeyview and travels to Nelspruit via bus for work. She does not have a garden or chickens and when I asked her why she stated "they will be stolen from me while I am away for work, no point in it."....me left mouth agape. I really had to mull that over, I came to the conclusion there must be a real lack of boundaries in her community, either out of ignorance or the mindset that whats mine is mine and whats yours is mine, I see a fruit I am hungry I am going to get the fruit. Mr. Stephen clued me in a bit about the turmoil in Zimbabwe. Seriously I really do not care of any political agenda of what is pc here. Bottom line.....Mugabe essentially sentenced, oh lets say millions to famine by ridding the country of Boers that know how to farm the land once creating the breadbasket of that entire continent!! (that is not a typo, thee entire continent). Shame really! Stephens cousins, who were quite young at the time along with his aunt and uncle fled their farm under attack, meanwhile watching thier animals being slaughtered in front of them!!(I had goosebumbs on goosebumps). So tell me how is it that land reform (redistribution of wealth) supported their country and its people?

I am convinced that Boers or Dutchman no matter where they live in the world are the best farmers, its in their blood, its their gift to the world. They have the inate ability to grow food. I have seen it. Its true.
Reminds me when we were having a meal with Mr. Robbie.(Mr. Robbie is a doctor and has a smallholding farm that has been in his family since Blood River Battle times) I saw a butternut on his counter, I said "I grow these back home, they are so good"....Robbie says "I am planting two acres of these"........hold a sec, let me wrap my around that visual. I say to him "are you nuts? you know you are going to have like thousands of these to eat" Robbie says "yes that is what I am going for"....then I chuckled...I think he was thinking..."this American is a bit slow". What Robbie does not realize is I have never seen a garden farm in my life. He also grew bananas on his farm. Neato!
When we arrived he had a branch of ylang ylang in his hand....to smell that was a glimpse of heaven for me. I have only smelled the essential oil before that. Mr. Mark had a 9mm strapped to him as well, he warned me before hand...."dont be afraid Val, but Mr. Robbie has been captured 3 times and tortured, so we are in a bit of danger just going to visit him, but I assure you it will be all worth it"
He was correct, I could visit with Mr. Robbie for hours he is fascinating to say the least. The plants around the patio veranda were incredible, the scent of jasmine lingered in the cool air. He finally fenced everything, not because of intruders, because of a hippo showing up in the back yard one morning.

We ate basic good healthy food the entire time we were there. vegetables, meat, fruit and sweet potatos. I was so worried that there would not be meat so I stuffed my suitcase with 10 big bags of jerky, you know, just in case. RyHahn enjoyed that jerky immensely, "its different from our biltong, but I really like it".

So from my personal experience in what I saw....their is no good reason for the hunger that continent faces.NOT ONE! Sure, there are many excuses, those excuses are rooted in the throws of politics and personal agendas of those in power. A paradigm shift in thinking is what is needed from the top to the bottom to rise above it. In time, sooner than later is what I pray for.



Kit said...

It's very interesting to read about your visit to South Africa and the perspective you came away with. Our end of SA is so different from Mpumalanga, it could almost be another country down here in the Western Cape. The fertility of the land that they have up there is a different story here - we have very dry summers and poor sandy soil, that needs lots of encouragement and water to grow food.

The province is more prosperous overall, with loads of tourism, wine farms and a more cosmospolitan feel.

But it is the same story for people in poorer commmunities - if they keep animals or grow food, it is very likely to get stolen from them. It's a complicated mixture of poverty, displaced communities from the apartheid time which put paid to any traditions of loving thy neighbour, and a whole lot more.

The whole situation in Zim is unforgivable and will take many years to put right once Mugabe is gone.

Anyway I enjoyed reading about your visit and the people you met.

Val said...

Thank you Kit, really It took me weeks to process in my mind thee entire experience.
We get average 12inches of moisture annually here in Montana, gardening becomes a true "labor" of love.
I do pray that peace comes about for your country, and that is not just lip service, I mean a level where loving thy neighbor and trusting thy neighbor becomes an everyday thing, not just something to dream about, but to LIVE it and breathe it,feel it and not live in fear.
I could be a pansy too, I was a bit concerned about our personal safety. Its not like that at all here in Montana. We still leave our doors unlocked regularly. Not true even in other parts of the States.