Still kicking…

Hi Friends!

How did I go from being a daily posterin 2014 to a monthly one in 2015?

Well, there are a lot of reasons… one being: South Africa is in the dark. Our wonderful people at our electricity company fired all their maintenance engineers a few years ago, and paid out huge bonuses to the top management for all the cost savings… and nobody ever maintained a power station ever again. Everybody at the top drove brand new Mercs and Beemers, and had wonderful parties with the performance bonuses. And now our power system is collapsing. “Load shedding” is the new buzzword around here- why so many jobs are lost because factories can’t run, and businesses can’t sell…

A lot is going wrong in our beloved country, and I tried my best not to be negative on my blog. So I have been quite quiet…

I am also training hard- the Pick ‘n Pay Argus Cycle race around Table Mountain is in 3 1/2 weeks time. I have been training by bicycle or swimming 6 days a week now. I am slowly getting there- to almost be fit enough to survive my 20th Argus race…

Wonderful news- my daughter got her first job as graphic designer. It is at a leading cycling clothing manufacturer- Anatomic- my favorite riding gear for the past 20 years. They also are the company responsible for the Ride Magazine, for our country’s cycling community. So my daughter will be designing my sportsgear… cool!

And lastly- the weather. It is hot in South Africa at the moment. We clocked 42 degrees C today at the resort where I do my swimming training.

I also had a lot of weddings to officiate the past few weeks.

Saturday’s wedding was quite memorable. It was an outdoor wedding on top of a cliff. And while we were doing the ceremony, the thunderstorm was approaching very rapidly. And when I said the final Amen, the storm broke loose. I finished just in time. On my way back home I took this photo on my cellphone- it is just so good when it rains in our drought prone region… we almost always enjoy the rain, just not when you are the bride at an outdoor wedding…

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So: still surviving, still trying to keep my head above the water… Soon… there will be more to blog about. I am planning to take my motorcycle wrecking son with me on a road trip to Cape Town when I go down there for the Argus. That will most probably result in a blog entry or two.

PS- The blue BMW was lovingly restored to almost perfect ratbike specifications, will take some photos and post soon…

Keep well!

Rider!

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Thanks to all my friends for 1014!

In a little over 2 hours time it is South Africa’s time, together with Jerusalem and Moscow, to go into the new year. Yes, I know, it is a man made time line, and it is just another rotation of the earth around it’s axle, and another rotation of the pale blue dot finished on it’s journey around Helios…

BUT… like the service intervals on a car, some measurement of the passage of time is still needed sometimes. We need to close one chapter of our lives, and move forward to a new chapter. I need new beginnings, new challenges, new opportunities… and maybe so do you…

In 45 minutes I have to go to our church to prepare the music and the lighting and sound for our midnight sermon. We start at 23:15 and end at 00h00. I am finishing a sermon series based on Psalm 23, which started the first weekend of December. Tonight I talk about the last verse- “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me…”

So, my dear friends- Christians or Muslims, atheists or Spaghetti Monster worshipers- thank you all for being a part of my journey in 2014! Thanks for all your visits, your comments and the good wishes and prayers when 2014 was sometimes a dark year…

So when the sun turns around it’s axle, and a new piece of time is delivered to live fully, my prayer for every one of you is that you may be blessed, be happy, and have peace, wherever you are! And whatever that may mean to you…

May the best times yet be in our future!

Peace!

Ewald

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…

Morphine inspired Funny days…

Last night I had another attack. The same kind that kept me from my favorite Argus Cycle Tour in February.

The attack of the little Gall bladder stones… they might be small, but they beat me 6-0 6-0 6-0.

On Wednesday my son turned 18.  I even asked permission to leave our Church Board Meeting (a very solemn occasion!) to take my son out for his first beer.  Then his mom and his brother also decided to come with. And son decided to only drink Cream Soda… did I really raise him right?

In any case, in South Africa the Spur is a countrywide steakhouse franchise, you would even find some examples in Europe, I saw one in the Liffey Mall in Dublin in 2006. Well, they have this special on Eisbein at the moment. You get a large Eisbein with Chips (sorry German friends, I know it should have been Sauerkraut and Mash- but not at the Spur).

It also comes with a 500 ml Castle Draught- any visitor to South Africa will get to know both the Spur and Castle Draught.  I was extremely thirsty after attending the first 1 3/4 hours of the Church Board Meeting. So the first Draught went down so smoothly. I just had to have another, and then hand over the keys of the car to Mrs Rider or son.  So- large amounts of Pork- sorry Spike!  And beer! Sorry all my abstaining friends.  I also enjoyed birthday cake with my son earlier that day.

On Thursday I went to visit some of our elderly church people, that can’t come to church anymore. I also shared bread and wine with them- a very informal Eucharist. I bought this fantastic loaf of bread at our supermarket for this purpose. Designer bread. Ciabata or something. And then, when I finished all the visits, I also finished the bread on the way home.  You see, for 3 months I did not have any gallstone attacks. I forgot… pork/ beer/ bread… Big problems… 

LAst night my wife made us a mutton stew. Just small pieces of mutton mind you, not our typical over the top South African indulgence into red meat.

At half pas ten the fun and games started. First it felt like slight indigestion. I took some anti-acid powder (Eno’s). Then it started hurting more- I took some pain pills. And then- just underneath the ribcage- that dreadful feeling like someone sticking a red hot knife into your gut… And all the time the pain escalates. The gallstones have a way of also hurting my back. I tried being strong and manly for an hour.

Then I pleaded with Mrs Rider to just shoot me. Or phone our doctor. Whichever could take me out of my misery first. For some reason my wife chose the doctor instead. It was our doctor’s night off, and he went to bed early. He is really a hardworking and compassionate man. He is also in our church. So he asked my wife to drag me to his house. And there he proceeded with another nightmare of mine. Not one, but three injections…  They say gallbladder stone attacks are at least as painful as childbirth… respect to all moms! Well, I would have accepted a 9 millimeter parabellum round last night to end the pain. So I did not mind the injections at all.

So today, I started eating the right stuff again, mostly green. I mostly avoided meat, and beer, and birthday cake.  I am terrified that that pain will return.

Today, two of my sons played excellent rugby. Both their teams won our hated neighbouring town’s teams.

This afternoon I had to marry a young couple. I only found out WHERE last night! I thought I knew the WHEN- 4 pm this afternoon. But then my phone rang at 3:15 pm and it is the bridegroom, politely asking where I was. Fortunately they married in a picture perfect small little church 400 meters from my house.  I got dressed and there in 5 minutes, and was still there before the bride!

So since half past 11 last night, with the soft kiss of morphine, the world feels like a little fluffy cloud.  I am tired, I sleep a lot.

And yes- today I also successfully put new windows channel rubber on a door of my son’s Beetle.

Morphine, used in the right way, for pain as given by a doctor, is such a wonderful thing! Maybe it is even better to say: It sure is fun when you have a day without pain!

What inspired all this nonsense? My new friend over at http://flippenblog.com/ is preparing Eisbein in her flat in Cape Town tonight… I LOVE Eisbein! But Eisbein apparently does not love me anymore…

 

 

Cee’s Share your world 2014 Week 15

http://ceenphotography.com/2014/04/14/share-your-world-2014-week-15/

Cee’s Questions this week:

For your blog do you basically use Windows or Mac, laptop, desktop, pad, or phone?

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

 

1. I use an ancient red Acer Aspire 5336 laptop, Windows 7 driven to blog. Except when I am on a Bike journey, then it is just my trusty old Samsung Galaxy S3 doing the job. Now that I come to think of it- ALL my toys are getting old!

2. A Pilot.

3. A big industrial town. Steel worker’s kid. Quite a violent town, lots of kids trying to prove they are Alpha Male with their fists…

I also worked at the Blast Furnace every university summer holiday, while my friends were laying around ogling girls on the beaches of South Africa…

Yskor 2 001

After a 12 hour shift in a Blast Furnace

4.  I think I will always be 27. Old enough to be a little responsible, but young enough to dream. I would love to keep the paycheck as travel money!

5.  I had the opportunity to do a Trauma Incident Reduction Course, that really gave me good tools to help people who are hurting. This course is much wider than theology, and is also accredited for psychologists and social workers- anyone who wants to care for people basically.  In the coming week I have a hard week with lots of appointments, and the Easter Weekend coming up- a busy time for pastors!

 

 

Why does bad news sell so good?

My eye just caught my stats graph, before it finally disappears from view. My blog usually attracts about 150 views per day.

But when the floods hit our region and I blogged about it, my stats also flooded through the roof!

Before the flood my best day ever was 386 hits in a day. Then it soared to:

Blog highligt

15797 views in one day!

But now I am back to 77 views for a Saturday…  Quite sad actually… but I guess a lot more normal.

I do not blog for stats, I blog just because I enjoy it. But I also thought: there are some regular readers coming here, and to you all I would just like to say THANK YOU!

For all you regulars: Here is a mobile photo from my trip to Cape Town: a part of the V & A Waterfront…

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THANK YOU!

Good news don’t sell newspapers, bad news do…

In South Africa, we are suddenly in the world media’s attention focus with the Oscar Pistorius Murder Trail.  All over the world people follow the court battle on CNN, Sky News, BBC, Al Jazeera… etc. More coverage even than our successful presentation of the Soccer (Football) World Cup in 2010.  Much more cover than the birth of any baby in our country… maybe not as much as the birth of Prince George in England…

Bad news sells.

Now- my blog is just the views of a small rural town pastor in South Africa. I like to blog about beauty, and inspiring things. Things like motorbikes, and photography. Like adventure and great food. Normally my blog draws the daily attention of about 100 people worldwide.  And I am so grateful about that, those regular readers and their comments are a real blessing in my life! My best day ever on views was 386 views in a day once, when I said something about a controversial thing in our church, and a group of people got real angry at me.

But now a natural disaster happened 20 km from my house. My favorite holiday resort got flooded when a dam upstream burst after heavy rain the past week. I share the news of my world with my regular readers.  But suddenly, my views exploded! In the past HOUR I had 496 views, more than any previous day before yesterday.

This is what is happening on my blog at the moment:

Rekords

From a best of 396 to yesterday’s 998 best ever, to today’s views… I am amazed! I wish  I could rather have such viewer stats for good news!

Thanks for all the people visiting to find out about the bad news of the flooding of Klein Kariba.

https://vosperdruiter.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/from-drought-to-floods-in-1-week/

https://vosperdruiter.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/klein-kariba-flood-more-photos/

The news is still not good. The elderly couple that was missing: They were swimming in the indoor heated swimming pool, when the surge of water hit them. The water dragged them through the windows. The body of the husband was found yesterday, I did not hear if the wife’s body was found yet. And this is really scaring, if I just think how many times me and my family swam there. The last thing ever imaginable would be a surge of water dragging you out of there, drowning you and taking your body downstream…  The couple was day visitors, they resided in Bela Bela just 9 km away. 

So thanks everybody for visiting my blog. Please come again, I would much rather share good news with you. Like the beauty of our region, the wildlife, cycling, motorbike routes and great places to visit in our beautiful province and country.

My heart really goes out to the family of the deceased, and all the guests of Klein Kariba who went through this trauma. My heart also goes out to the personnel of ATKV resort of Klein Kariba. I see on their website they said they will be closed for just 2 weeks. A miracle must happen to get the resort up and running in just 2 weeks, after such major damage. But I really hope you get it done, because I really love your resort a lot, and wish you well!

Monday Morning Blues…

The thought that I am going to miss this year’s Argus Cycle Race, is really getting me down. It will be the first one since 1995 that I miss, after completing 19 in a row successfully. So this is how I feel this morning:

_MG_0593I could not decide between this original colour or sepia tone:

_MG_0593bI also have to cut down seriously on coffee, as it really gives me gall attacks, and that is also traumatic…

I hope your week looks better than my Monday!

Ps- these are some of Saturday’s photos from that session me and my daughter enjoyed together…