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Laying some cable

9:46 pm Filed under: General

After catching up with some friends and drinking too much Friday night I decided it’d be a good idea to dig up half the back yard and run some network cables through the house…

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There’s nothing quite like crawling around under the house in the mud, dust, rocks and spider webs with a clanger of a head ache, coughing and sneezing on a Saturday I’d recommend it to anyone!

Shorshengorve

5:45 am Filed under: Uncategorized

Day 4: Started the day by driving myself over to Sonia’s house, this might not sound much but assure you driving over here is quite an adventure…

Sonia’s dad looks over the managment of schools within the Pretoria area, thats all schools black, white and mixed. He makes sure the principles arn’t embesiling all the money and that the teachers are in their classes. He invited me to come along with him to one of the all black schools within this massive shanty township called Shorsengove.

Having been protected from seeing the litteral “West side” of Pretoria the car ride there through the city centre and out the west side was quite an eye opener. It’s hard to convey just how uncomfortable I felt, most city centres I’ve seen are the business centre of a city this is not the case here, the city centre is loose. It’s full of blacks for starters no whites at all, there are people selling stuff from milkcrate stalls on the footpath all over the place, guys fixing cars on the footpath and heaps of people just hanging around. I wasn’t game enough to take photos.


One of the nicer streets in the city centre

As we got close to the township we passed the “upper class” area, These are tiny little brick houses that have inside toilets and power, Jon ( Sonia’s dad ) told me that the people living in this area don’t like to be accociated with the other “Shanty” areas.


Ritzy Shantys

Next was the drive trough to main more shanty part of the township, there’s the shantys to start with, they’re alot neater than I expected, they sweep all the dirt around their own little plot and keep it all clean, the actual construction of the shacks varies alot but as a whole they’re more square and have better doors and windows than I would have though. Also they’ve got these little roadside bussinesses dotted around, some of these are quite a site you’ve got the guys selling second hand (and I mean second hand) tyres, apparently they paint them black and then regrove them to recondition them…. dodgie. The pubs and hair dressing selons are pretty funny.


No it’s no the garden shed it’s the house!

They actually squeeze around 10 to 20 people in each one of these.

In the middle of all the garden shed style places you get this?

The local hair dressing salon.

The local pub.

Just for contrast here’s one of the better compounds that people live in, on the east side of Pretoria.

Apparently they paint the old ones black and dig out the groves a little then resell them.

Oh and one thing that is very different not just in the townships but all over Africa is the “public” transport, what they call taxis over here arn’t safe for white people for starters, secondarily there privatly own and run little comby van type mini buses, generaly in some state of disrepare, as an example Jon told me about a story that some police had pulled up a taxi that was driving eradicly to find that it didn’t have a stering wheel! the drive had an adjustable wrench on the nut and was stering it with that… thirdly they stuff them to the brim with people, it’s nott uncommon to hear about a single taxi crash where close to 30 people are killed or injured. These taxis are how all the blacks get to and from work, there are these huge taxi ranks where the taxis wait out the busasines hours of the day before they pick people up and drive them back home.


Taxi rank

We made it to our destination whithout incident, we did catch out one of the vice principles who wasn’t at school, I couln’t understand the excuse he gave but it seemed half assed. When we arrived there it looked like it might have been little lunch or some other break, kids running around here and there general schoolyard noise, we headed in to see the principle who was this big black mumma whith nostrals the size of 20 cent pieces. Jon went over some issues with her and then we went out have a look at some class rooms, by this stage the teachers had managed to get all to kids into classrooms, it turns out that it wasn’tt actually little lunch they were all actually in the middle of an exam… I’m not sure what sort of exam it was because not all kids had paper or pens?

The school buildings consisted of a mixture of brick and tin classrooms, the tin shed type ones are “temprary” to house the overflowing student population ( 1600 kids ) they have between 60 and 80 kids in a classroom andm most of the windows have been smashed in the tin classrooms as they don’t have bars and grates over the windows, appaently people break in every weekend and vandalise the school.

The kids seems to be smileing alot and I almost got mobed by the grade 2 kids when I tried to show them the photo I had just taken of them.


Quadrangle.

School Emblem.

Grade 5 kids.

Through one of the broken windows.

Grade 2 kids.

Made it back home safe and sound, all in all it was quite an experiance I certainly enjoyed the beer that I had that night as I apreciated the life style we’re fortunate enough to live.

Back in town and Kickin ass!

10:12 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

[pumped up put on south afican accent]The Petester is back in town and his body doesn’t really know what time it is![/pumped up put on south afican accent]

Second day back at work, I’m starting to ease my way back into it. Spent most of yesturday clearing my inbox and catching up with work happenings whilst I was gone, Thankfully James and Hairy managed to not destroy anything.

I’ve uploaded the pics that it put in the articles and I’m re-puplishing over the next week or so… I’ve literally got another 1000 pictures to sift through for the slide night so it’s going to be on the turd of Aurgust, See you then.

Reaquainted

5:42 am Filed under: Uncategorized

Well my second South African adventure has began. Here’s a break down of what I’ve been up to the past week and a bit.

Day 1: After a nice and well deserved sleep, Zetty thought I should get re-aquainted with South African quasine straight away so she cooked me up some Pap and Biltong! Basically it’s a meat based cerial dish… I soldiered through it but I’m still not sure what to make of it?


Pap and Biltong

After we organised an ultra cheap/dodgie hire car (90 Rand or $15 a day) the rest of the day was spent catching up with Zetty’s friends and organising wedding crap for Serraldi’s wedding… Oh and drinking beer.

Day 2: We met up with Sonia and Serraldi at this huge shopping complex called Menlyn, for a bit of last minute wedding shopping. Any man instinctivly knows there is no fun to be had here, thankfully it was over nice a quickly. I did run across a few interesting shops though….

Finished the day with a few beers.

Day 3: Had a quiet one Wednesday, a bit more running around then let Zetty and the girls go out a get hammered for Serraldi. I had a few beers and an early night ready for the next day…

Connected

6:01 am Filed under: Uncategorized

Finally managed to get the lappy hooked up to the net… in some fashion anyhow.

Got the articles up but can’t get the photos ftp’d up so you’ll just have to wait on those, if the ftp details have changed can someone text message me the details?

I’d better head going to follow the coast up the Etorsha ( however it’s spelt ) and check out some game… seeya

No wind

5:54 am Filed under: Uncategorized

Just got up after having an awsome day yesturday, went sandboarding in the morning then quad biking in the arvo…

We’re in Swokopmund, still in Namibia I’m hopefully going to get this stuff uploaded this morning.

Since Luderitz we’ve camped at Duwisib castle (Small German castle built in the middle of nowhere) for a night, stayed a Sesriem for a couple of days and climbed a few dunes then ran down the same dunes, saw another (much smaller) canyon, when through a town called Solitaire and passed over a desert mountain range.


From the top of Dune 45


Getting down Dune 45

Yesturday was awsome as it was the first day of full on activity we’ve had since leaving Australia.

First up was the Sandboarding, you take a slightly modified snow board (has a different material laminated on the bottom), snow board boots and hike you ass off up this massive king daddy MoFoing dune, get your breath back whilst waxing the board, point board down dune and go go go. Repeat until thoughly exhausted.


My last run

The quadbiking definatly has a far better physical effort vs fun ratio. You jump on a torquie 2 wheel drive 250cc 4 wheeler and carve you own temporary signature in the dunes… awsome fun, personaly I tried to keep my bike sideways for as much of the 2 hour trip as I could!


Zett carving the side of a dune

Oh and the day before all this Zett and I hired a tandom mountain bike and explored the city of Swakopmund, it may not be the most practical mode of transport and definatly not the most comfortable but it is definatly the most fun! I’ve definatly gotta make on of these…


The big girl in action

Wind 1 Poo 0

5:52 am Filed under: General

Well after another bloody windy night we’ve packed up our shit and got the hell out!

Our poor little borowed dome tent copped a bit of a caining, the fridge tore a hole in the side the first night and one of the corners tore off last night… we’ll have to do some sewing before we pitch camp tonight.

Yesturday we had a prety nice day, went to this dodge ‘ghost town’ it’s an old dimond mineing town that was abandond when the diamonds ran out, pretty much just a set of buildings half burried in sand. Had a bit more fun at Agate beach, fossicking for agates… whats an agate? well the’re these little rocks with swirly colours through them, we found a couple once we knew what we were looking for.

Cooked up a huge seafood pot for dinner that turned out very nice, 1.6 kgs of seafood and between the six of us there was only one spoonfull left!

We were supposed to stay another night in Luderitz but the wind got the better of us, heading to some place just past Aus for the night them onto Sesriem tommorow night.. not sure what to expect accept I’m sure it’s going to be sandy and rocky.Fun fun fun…

More wind than you can poke a stick at!

5:49 am Filed under: Uncategorized

Well here I am half pissed typing on this tiny little libretto laptop at Shark Island, Luderitz Namibia on the west cost of Africa and it’s blowing a gale…. you wouldn’t belive the different shapes a dome tent will contort into and remain upright

Shit just spilt half my Windhoek (Vindhook) in the floor of the tent almost drowning my digi cam and ipod.

Anyhow we’re 4 days into our big Namibia trek, luderitz is a disturbingly baren place with basicly either sand or rocks running into the sea, it’s little hard to describe but just imagine no trees, shrubs or grass but sea side fishing village.

I can’t complain so far though because we cooked up a feed of 2 kgs of deliciouse Snoek (Snook) for dinner and it only cost us 2 bucks aussy from the local fish market, that feed all 6 of us.

The town itself has been interesting so far half dirt roads and from what I can tell mostly black population…. that one thing that always strikes me, I feel quite uncomforitable in a place with mostly black people, you get this distinct us and them feeling… especialy when they seem to always be just “hanging around” (like ready to roll any unsuspecting tourist), it’s all good you just keep an extra eye out for yourself thats all… but hey it’s africa!

So far this trip we’ve done one big day down from Pretoria (824km) to Kiomeme where we basicaly Bria’d then headed out early the next morning across the SA Namibiam border for Ai-Ais.

Ai-Ais is this weird kinda resort tucked away in this huge canyon on the banks of the orange river (which flows for about 2 weeks in a year).

Had an awsome day there when and checked out the Fish river canyon,, doesn’t sound like much and I’ve never been to the grand canyon but this was spectacular… bloody huge… can’t really say anything more than it was so huge that I had trouble focusing my eyes.

Finished the day with a small pack (a beer each and a camera) hike up one of the near peaks to build a rock pile.

Man the wind is bad here!

The trip here today was interesting stopped off at a couple of interesting pubs on the way for beer, you wouldn’t beleove the difference in scenery hour to hour…. admitedly it’s all pretty dry but if you pay attention to what type of trees, rock, soil, hills/mountains and grass are around it is always changing as you go along.

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