Contrasts- Weekly Photo Challenge

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

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Last year, during a devastating bush fire, I saw this scene… while nature was dying all around, just meters away, a family of farm workers is getting their groceries to keep on living.

 

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What a weekend! A ride with some Word Riders of 2014

This weekend I went to the capital city of our state in South Africa. Polokwane, previously known as Pietersburg. Earlier in the year a lot of us Christian bike riders went with the Bible Society on the Word Riders 2014 tour to the Southern CApe Province.  Six people of the Pietersburg East Congregation went with us. And this Sunday was their feedback day to their church members. So a lot of us decided to go there and enjoy it with them.

They also invited the provincial branch of the Christian Motorcyclist Assosiasion to the service. We were a lot of bikers together!

Yes, we did see the sign… were instructed to park there…

The Word RIders is like a huge family, caring for each other and supporting each other. One guy- Albert, heard about our trip. He lives in the Paarl in the Cape Province- 1650 km south from my town. He booked a plane ticket to come and join us in our church service- that says a lot- Polokwane is nearly 2000 km from his home! Here is Albert:

Albert is a Graphic Designer. He has a HUGE Yamaha Cruiser, that was baptised “Block of Flats” on the Word Rider Tour. It has the distinction of really doing (I kid you not) only 6 km per liter of petrol…

The Church service was very moving with some really good music. Our Word Rider colleague had an amazing sermon and the testimonies of Word Riders and CMA Riders were uplifting. After church not a single burnout or doughnut were left on the church parking lot…

A bit more about the weekend: We arrived Saturday at Karumba Lodge in Polokwane, where one of the church members have sponsored our stay.  The friends from Polokwane really treated us well- thanks guys! That was awesome!  We arrived in time for the second half of the rugby game of South Africa versus Wales- what a sorry match that was.  It was very cold on the way to Polokwane, and we had an amazing time at the Lodge.

But it was very cold… now I have the mother of all sore throats. I guess my immunity system took a battering last week. And today I have to go to our Church’ annual “RIng” meeting, where a lot of pastors will be on a game farm tonight, and tomorrow in a very long all day meeting at Ellisras (sometimes now known as Lephalale) Tonight we will sit around a camp fire, with some enamel mugs in our hands, probably filled with some communion wine, and we will tell stories and dream big dreams. More about that later in the week.

Enjoy your week, and do everything you do with passion and guts!

PS- Here is Albert in action on Block of Flats…

Food is very important…

Ok, useless header. Without food we die.

But today is my 4th day without eating. This is breakfast:

a nice beer mug filled with… apple juice!

Was it not the apple that got us kicked out of paradise in the beginning?

On Friday, my day off, I love to go out and eat breakfast somewhere. Usually with my younger colleague, for it is his day off too.

There are so many possibilities around our town. The most beautiful setting is at the clubhouse of our golf course. They have a nice view, and a beautiful restaurant. Even the prices are very good- surprisingly.

Then there is the Koffiekan, maybe translated as the Coffee Pot They have bottomless coffee,, today’s newspaper (that is not fun to read in South Africa anymore with our respected president, and the mine strikes, and the rhino slaughter for impotent people in Asia, and the killing of so many people in crime… and usually the sport page is a tear jerker too… except our Junior Springbok rugby team, that beat New Zealand twice in one week- that gave something to smile about…)

We have the various franchise restaurants, most with a budget breakfast consisting of a baked egg, two rashers of bacon (sorry Spike!) a piece of cooked tomato and a slice of toast. Very budget indeed. But even that is better than a beer mug of apple juice.

Last night I asked my wife what we will do for dinner tonight. As good South Africans we usually barbeque (Braai!) some red meat, accompanied by red wine. Usually we look for friends that want to dine with us. And it is a ceremony on its own, from the lighting of the fire, opening of the wine, the sharing of stories and jokes. The meal around the table with some candle light on.

And then I remembered: Tonight, on my menu, there will be Apple Juice….

The revenge of the Apple for sins of days gone past…

The attack of the killer apples…

I think: from tomorrow apple juice will be banned for life from my home…

 

Gallbladders and Apple Juice…

Margaret Rose and Seegogga will be on my case again…

About a month ago Seegogga gave me some advice for my recurring gallbladder attacks. And always, always there is just another reason why I could not start the program immediately. There is just never a week without some sort of party or feast.

On Tuesday it struck again. For the 7th time… I woke at half past midnight, with the searing pain I know so well these days. I was afraid of waking my wife, so I went to our television room to lay there and suffer on a spare mattress.  I just tried to tough it out, watching one silly program after another on BBC Entertainment. But the pain never left. And I never fell asleep again. So half past six I phoned my doctor, and he came and injected me with the usual cocktail of 3 syringes, including morphine and buscopan. I was booked off for the day, and slept on and off till half past one . The pain never really went away, so I saw my doctor again at half past 8 the evening for another round of morphine.  This time the pain went away.

So I started Seegogga’s program on Tuesday. It goes like this- 4 days of drinking only apple juice. This is day 3. I am extremely tired of apple juice!  I drink about 1.5 litres a day. And water. That is all…

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I am tired, and grumpy, and apple juice looks like a urine monster…

I still have to go through with this till tomorrow night at bedtime, when I will have a drink of olive oil and lemon juice before bed.

The day afterwards it is soup made of carrots and celery,  and cabbage and parsley. I still need a recipe to make this edible, Seegogga… 

After that I may start eating again, on the 6th day steamed vegetables, and on the 7th day steamed fish with vegetables…

Why is this so bad? On Saturday I would have loved to attend a meeting of the Word Riders in Pietersburg, where there will be a huge barbeque (Braai!).  That is when I am supposed to drink only soup. And on Sunday they are going to church together, and then another barbeque… with me supposed to eat just steamed veggies…

I really want to see my friends again, but I will not be able to stand the lovely smell of barbeque and the temptation of a glass or two of red wine…

My doctor is busy  conferring with his learned friends, to maybe get me another go at a gastroscopy (camera down the throat.)

I am busy following Seegogga’s advice to the letter, but there is still this nagging doubt in my mind: What if…

I am seriously not able to stand another gall grit attack.  That pain will drive a sane person to suicide. And I am not a sane person…

The surgical removal of a gall bladder sounds like the solution to me. But so many people says not to do it. A friend told me his mother died of complications following such surgery. Other friends tells me it will be the end of nice juicy mutton chops and red wine. While still another bunch says their lives just got better without a gall bladder.

Do you still have a gall bladder? If yours was removed, how did it affect your life?

And Seegogga, I still need a recipe to get those green things like celery and parsley into my body…

 

Who do I believe: http://cleansingorsurgery.com/cleansingorsurgeryinfo.php

or http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/flushes.html ?

 

 

 

 

A Winters day Ride…

Today is a public holiday in South Africa. We remember the Soweto Township Riots of 1976, where police opened fire and killed a lot of school kids. Just like police opened fire and killed a lot of mine workers in Marikana last year… the more Africa changes, the more it stays the same…

But being a public holiday, we had to use this day to the fullest possible extend.  Remember- we are very fast nearing our shortest day in the year over this coming weekend. This is winter in South Africa. It is cold- our standards. Would still be an excellent summers day in England!

In any case, me, my colleague and good friends from Naboomspruit went on a 300 km circle route through our province. And here is just some of the moments- we enjoyed the ride, and did not stop for photos very often.

The circle went from Nylstroom to Naboomspruit, where we picked up Philip and Marietjie. Then we turned of at the Sterkrivier Dam road and soon came to a stop. Because, on a cold winters morning- this is what we saw…

20140616_095603Two of us being pastors, and some good Christian folk, we could not just past a lady in distress… we immediately thought of the story of the Good Samaritan, and stopped to help. We don’t want to be known as the church people just passing by… But it turned out that she had a few sharp edges, and set in her ways, so we could not offer her a lift. But we then took some photos to show that we intended to help…

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This is our version of a cold winter’s day in South Africa, Limpopo province…

I really enjoyed my new bike on this ride, it was the furthest I have taken it out to date.

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How do you know someone is a Biker? Their bike is always the subject of the photo!

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Behind the beautiful girl there is a nursery with a coffee garden, so we enjoyed a cup of Java. Being a cold day, we also needed to use the facilities along the way quite often. What is it with cold days and fluids? Or is it just old age creeping up and biting us in the ass?

From that coffee shop we had the beautiful pass at Hanglip on the way to Marken from Potgietersrust. What a pass! Who would stop and take photos? Not us, we enjoyed the twists and turns! Then at Melkrivier we turned of direction Vaalwater. 30 Km before Vaalwater we reached a beautiful place, Eventiera, specializing in the auctions of Wildlife. They also have a lion park, where people can pet some wild cats… But that costs extra.

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We enjoyed lunch at the restaurant, and I had an excellent Venison Pot dish, very affordable. We also had two beers… then we really had to make… Pitstops…

20140616_122748From Eventiera we rode through Vaalwater, back to Nylstroom. This is a very enjoyable circle route, with the minimum time going through towns, and you will see a lot of wildlife along the way. Just before we reached Vaalwater I saw a warthog scratching his backside on a rock. Must have been his mother in law’s curry dish last night burning a bit… wish I could take a photo of that expression on his face!  This route goes through very scenic parts, and has quite good tar surface most of the way.

Thanks friends for an awesome ride today!

 

 

You are NEVER too old to RIDE!!!

We had a beautiful moment last night at our church. Which I would love to share…

Remember, it is now winter in South Africa. Which in our region does not mean snow- we NEVER had snow since the last Ice Age… But last night it was a bit cold for around here, lets say about 8 degrees Celcius. (Plus! Not minus).

In our church we have a very special lady. She is like a mother to us all. And she has never ridden on a motorbike.  In all of her 88 years on earth.

My colleague decided to take her home on his motorbike. And she enjoyed it a lot!

We surely need more people like this in the world!