A dream comes true

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I Love motorbikes. And I love my children. For many years I have dreamed for this day to arrive.

Today, two of my sons successfully completed their motorcycle learners license tests. My eldest son for the big motorbikes, and the younger one for a 125cc bike. The younger one promptly disappeared over the horizon on the scooter with his friends. While the eldest and me rode some blocks around the house. I have to coach him gently, because it is a huge step up from the automatic scooter to a 850 Roadster BMW.  But it went well so we headed of to our local steak house for a beer (just for me- for the nerves!);and some nachos. 

I have really looked forward to this day a long long time! The danger of bigger bikes and young men is the testosterone factor. It is so easy to be overconfident. When you are 18, Marc Marques makes motorbike riding look so easy. But is also real easy to get killed by overconfidence.

So I am really trying to instill a healthy fear and respect in the young men…

And looking forward to great journeys with my sons on two wheels..

The times, they are…

Warning: Don’t read- a lot of negative drivel…  Just move on to something nice… 

This is really a silly season in our part of South Africa. It is November, and still it has not rained. It is extremely hot, and extremely dry… every now and then we hear some thunder at night. But that,  like our dearly beloved president of South Africa,  is just a lot of noise with no performance…

At the moment it is quite hectic times. Especially with my kids. The academic year in our country is rapidly coming to an end.

My daughter is finishing her three year degree as a Graphic Designer this month. Now it is just the final projects that has to be finished, and it is a heap of work to end with. Then- the study loan is laying in wait like a cheetah stalking an impala. She needs to get employment, and there are no firm offers yet. Ideas range from doing a TEFL course and go teach English as a Foreign Language in somewhere like South Korea. Or doing some art and hold an art exhibition.

My eldest son is finishing his school days in matric. He is between the two dreaded final maths exams, one paper yesterday, and the other on Monday. I still wake up sweating in the middle of the night after having nightmares about writing my matric year end papers in maths…  My son is writing the examns, then going on a short vacation with friends, and then he is starting at a farm as a laborer, to get ready to possibly go and work on a year contract in the USA… my own dream is to visit the USA on a motorbike, and now it seems as if my son will beat me to going there…

We are having difficult times in South Africa. I had to bury another murder victim on Wednesday. This man in our church was sick at home, when he was overpowered by three thugs. They first tried to strangle him, and then put a plastic bag over his head, tying it off with duct tape. They got away with his purse and his dilapidated old pick up truck. The criminal element in our country is way out of hand, and it starts at the very top…  Our President is holding secret talks with Putin to buy 8 atomic power plants from Russkom, the people who built Chernobyl… It will ruin our country’s economy, but the wise man is chasing his dream… It also came to light that we have our very own spy satellite, also built by the Russians…   Why on earth do we need that? Our new economy minister meanwhile says the state’s coffers are empty, he will have to tax us more… meanwhile the ruling party parties on…  The poor gets poorer, and more and more violent crime is rising.

It is scenes like this in our country that really breaks my heart at the moment. A lady gets hijacked inside a security complex, and they not only have to take her car by gunpoint, they first have to beat her senseless…

Our national captain of our Soccer (Football) team was also murdered in this week…  No one is safe anymore…

With all these news you will understand that I don’t blog a lot at the moment. I don’t like to sound negative, it is really my dream to be positive, and make a difference, even here in South Africa. But I lost my way a bit, and am struggling to find some sense at the moment.  This too shall pass…  I hope…

Refraction- WPC

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It was a happy day. We were on our way to Cape Town via my mother in law. As it is on the other side of the country, we departed real early that morning. And just outside the city of Welkom in the Free State, the sun rose. The lakes around Welkom are renowned for the multitude of pink flamingo’s, making it an awesome sight, and really beautiful if you can look past all the old gold mine dumps in this region. Nature sure is beautiful, but man can really mess it up!

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As I sit here behind my desk on a Monday Morning, I really wish I was on my way to Cape Town again. Or any other place where there is a beautiful beach and mountains… My soul yearns for some salt water…

Matric Farewell (Prom) South African Style…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy...

I am suffering from severe writers block at the moment. It is also extremely hot in our town at present, and extremely dry… so we are just barely surviving until the real rain starts.  So inspiration is at an all time low…. But dreamy…   There is one function in every school kid’s life that might be considered to be dreamy…

Every school kid in South Africa dreams about their matric farewell function, shortly before they write the last examns ever at school.

It is my eldest son’s turn this year…

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The last one, with his beautiful date, was unfortunately taken with my mobile phone in extreme bad light, without a flash- the battery was nearly flat. But you do get the idea…

I hope to find some inspiration soon, or some time to take a decent photo again…  a dreamy landscape perhaps…

Coffee in Franschhoek, South Africa

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/signs/

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Yes, it might be a bit touristy in Franschhoek. But there is a reason for that. Spectacular landscapes, in the heart of the South African winelands. Here you will also find some of our best restaurants in South Africa. Reuben Riffel is one of our South African Masterchef judges. His cuisine is excellent. But the coffee of Deluxe Coffeeworks… yes it is as advertised!

Harley Endurance…

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I am still way too young to even consider riding a Harley! But sometimes…

Yesterday was South Africa’s Heritage Day, a good public holiday to take to the road on a motorbike.

At one of the rural crossroads on the other side of the next town (Naboomspruit), I waited to meet a friend at the elephant…  (with my decent bike, not a Harley…)

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And then, at the crossroads, we saw an old biker, really an endurance example! With a bike suitable to claim the title with him- a 1942 Harley Davidson, war years bike complete with sidecar, and stock standard…

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Endurance

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/endurance/

There was nothing more demonstrative of “Endurance” as the Rhino in the African Bush. Until the humans came along, and needing it’s horn because they don’t have one… this magnificent creature was also killed in our region…

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Also enduring despite the riks of becoming soup, is the giant mountain turtles you see in the Karoo National Park outside Beaufort West, South Africa…

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Then of course- a 71 year old Harley still in working condition would also be worthy of this title…

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_MG_1290And an Antonov A1 old Biplane, still keeping on keeping on… 65 years later…

 

Strong- Weekly Travel Theme

http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/09/19/travel-theme-strong/

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A Caterpillar is strong! Even this abandoned one, surviving in the wind and weather for so many years. Taken in the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa in 2007. And Cat has such lovely clothes as well, I have a pair of boots, and 2 pairs of black shoes made by Cat, and 3 pairs of blue jeans that endures for years and years… really strong clothing. So my thoughts of Strong is the CAT brand…

Ailsa has such beautiful quotes at this week’s travel theme challenge:

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. – Ernest Hemingway

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – A.A. Milne

Saturday Night in the Parsonage…

A sad and lonely blog post, do not read any further. Rather go to a happy blog tonight… Go to the Photography or Travel Categories instead… 

What a week this has been…

We have to attend a certain amount of further educational training courses in a year, like a lot of other professions.

This week was it. My colleagues and I went to Pretoria, for a 3 Day Seminar, with different workshops. It usually is a very good time of the year, catching up with old friends, thinking new thoughts, buying new books. It is also Spring in South Africa, and the university campus life is full of new energy.

But in our home town it has not rained yet- the last rain we have seen must have been around March- Irish friends won’t understand this at all. The region is very dry, and very hot at the moment. It is also very windy.

We were just attending our first lecture on Tuesday, when the calls came through. One of my favorite people in the world, one of the elders in our church, has passed away. He was caught in a bush fire on his farm.  This was the one person in our church that has supported me maybe the most, through my 20 years in our town. He has been there for me in good times, and in some extremely bad times.  He was the one person, that came to my house just after my operation, who came and sat on my bed to ask how I am doing. He was the king of Watermelons in our region, and every summer he delivered some of the world’s finest watermelons at our house. A real father figure in my life. I also see all three his sons as friends in my life.

This morning I had to lead the memorial service for him. It was really difficult. I was dead tired afterwards, and barely made it to my bed for a nap this afternoon.

Now it is Saturday night. Party night in South Africa. The evening to watch the rugby games with friends. To barbecue together. Time for family and friends.

I have been away from home for three days. I came home on Thursday, and Friday my wife went on a Netball training course for her school, for the whole weekend. The kids are at a church youth camp. And now I have the first available time to prepare my sermon for tomorrow night’s church service.

One of our older pastors has written a poem about 20 years ago, about it being Saturday night in the Parsonage, and he is just dotting some ink marks on an empty paper. That is the feeling here tonight as well.

Maybe when one feels sad and lonely one should not post on your blog.

I would much rather sit around a fire tonight, in good friends’ company, with a glass of red wine.  Maybe that is why I blog tonight…

Meanwhile, my sermon for tomorrow evening looks like this:

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