Remembering…

I am not an American, I have never been to the USA.  But today I want to bow my head in silent remembrance to those people losing their lives on 11 September 2001.

I also want to bow my head in silent remembrance to the victims of terror attacks all across the world. All those people dying for other people’s ideas and systems, without ever having a choice in the matter.

And finally I want to bow my head in silent remembrance of Reeva Steenkamp. Her death was echoing  all across the world in the Oscar Pistorius court verdict today, as broadcasted on all the major news channels like CNN, BBC, Sky… Not guilty of murder- the rest to follow tomorrow…

As a Christian I would love to live in a world without violence, in a place where one would also respect people with different cultures, opinions, religions, races, creeds. A world where people even love their enemies.  A place where everybody can feel safe at night. A world without fear? Maybe that is not possible in this world. But that is what I believe in.

So tonight, no fancy words, no photos or graphics. No jokes.

Only a silent prayer for a world without hate… I still dream of a world where love would reign supreme…

And (apologies to Mr Lennon):

I am not the only one… 

From Drought to Floods in 1 week…

Yesterday I blogged about a nice breakfast run to our neighbouring town of Warmbaths/ Bela Bela. Even then the water was flowing about 30 cm deep over the road when entering the town after a week of quite heavy rain at times. But the sun shone brightly for a while yesterday, and it was quite an experience to take the bike out again.

But things in our region changed very dramatically. Some more rain fell. And a few farmers’ dam walls broke. We have a very good holiday resort between our towns,  named Klein Kariba. Unfortunately it is in a valley. With all the dams broken upstream a huge flood went through the place, washing caravans (mobile homes?) tents, cars and people downstream.  We hear the rumours on facebook this morning that a few people are missing at the moment. Not good news.

I did not take photos of the water along the road yesterday. But a few of my facebook friends did. And these are some photos from Juanry and Mona of the town of Bela Bela (AB de Villiers, the #1 Cricket Batsman at the moment in the world- his home town.)

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Photo: Monique Ungerer

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Where I buy my diesel…
Photo: Juanry van Niekerk

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Photo: Juanry van Niekerk

At Klein Kariba, one of my favorite holiday resorts to visit, the damage was the worst as stated above. I have blogged quite a lot about this place, with a lot of photos of wildlife, boats, peaceful waters… that is why it is such a shock… 

Like these:

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From Klein Kariba’s website at http://atkvoorde.co.za/klein-kariba-meer-oor-ons

Well- this is what happened yesterday afternoon: 

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Photo: Antowan Nothling Jacaranda FM

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Klein Kariba Caravan Park
Photo: Antowan Nothling on Jacaranda FM’s facebook page

Also- Earlier in the week the rain already caused major damage to road to the town of Ellisras (Lephalale) where a huge power station is being built to save our economy…

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Photo: Clara Ludwick

For some video material of the water to the west of us at Vaalwater-  from Afriforum’s website:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=724973804201188

 

While this all is happening, the whole world’s eyes are on a small little altercation in the High Court 130 km south from us, where there is a show about some Oscar guy…  No golden statues involved, I believe…

We also experience huge power outages at the moment, because it comes to light that all our good grade coal is being exported to India, and the dregs from the washing process of this is used in our coal burning power stations, and everything is wet in any case…  So no electricity= no economic growth…

And our National Cricket team lost to some small island somewhere in the South Pacific, something like Australia or something…

And I am not in Cape Town to compete in my 20th Argus Cycle Race in a row- I think that is the worst of them all… the sun is shining in Cape Town, and I am not there.

No sorry- the worst still remain the people missing from Klein Kariba…

 

These are interesting times in Africa…

 

 

To be (a fan), or not to be, that is the question…

Daily Prompt: Fandom

by michelle w. on July 11, 2013

Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SPORTS.

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photo: spikesandheels.com

My wife and I, we were huge Lance Armstrong fans. As the world’s slowest cyclist, I had a huge admiration for the world’s fastest… We read all his books- It’s not about the bike (we did not know how right that title was), every second count… and some photobooks about his life. I really would not believe that he could be doping, given the beautiful story of his battle against cancer, his victory over the dreaded disease, and his comeback. In my world that is being given a second chance in life, something to grab onto. and make the most of your life. I was a huge believer in his innocence, until he admitted all on Oprah.  I was shocked beyond belief. I still did not delete his profiles on twitter or facebook page. I also live in a world of grace, where people do get second and third and fourth chances to make right.  But I have learned a lesson: all people are vulnerable. Every human has his flaws and weaknesses.  No one stands on the top of a mountain forever.

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Yes, I still am a fan of a lot of sportsmen and -women. Like some saw- I really believed in Sabine Lisicki’s chance to win Wimbledon 2013. But I was wrong. Marion Bartoli proved otherwise, and showed huge character in the way she handled that rude dude from the BBC…

Oscar Pistorius- photo http://www.guardian.co.uk

We South Africans are a very competitive nation, as the Aussies and Kiwi’s will also testify. We hate to lose! And that is why any sportsman who do something wrong, is such a big disaster for us.  I was a huge Oscar Pistorius fan. And then he went and shot his girlfriend.

I am a huge Blue Bulls rugby fan– the Rugby Union team from the Northern parts of South Africa. But the bigger the fan, the harder the fall- last weekend the Bulls have narrowly beaten the Sharks by 20-19.  How could they lose so much momentum in one season?  Most Americans have no idea what I am rambling on about- just think of the Cubs versus the Socks or whatever- then you’ll probably have a spark of recognition… when your team loses or nearly draws against another strong team, your nerves are shot.  The Blue Bulls fans are fanatical indeed. Some guys paint their houses turquoise, drive around in blue cars with plastic bulls testicles dangling from the car’s trailer hook. They wear blue plastic safety helmets with bulls horns attached, sometimes with bulls nose rings pierced through their nostrils.  They gather around to worship on the hallowed grounds of Loftus, in the shadow of Pretoria University. They live by the credo: Stay True to the Blue… Like this guy:

The most famous of all the Blue Bulls fans- image from http://www.sport24.co.za

I am a huge cricket fan too. I love to be alongside the field of play. But our national side, the Proteas can really work on our nerves- sometimes they are the best team in the world, and in the very next game they become chokers and loses against much weaker nations… It takes a lot of beer to feel better about it…

A.B de Villiers in flight mode- photo http://www.dailymaverick.co.za

The problem of being too attached to a sportsman/ woman/ team is that we forget they are only human too. They also have their bad days, only much more in the public eye than my bad days.  Things also goes wrong for them. They also get criticised a lot, sometimes by the big networks’ commentators who also is has-beens or never-beens…

We are very tough on our sports heroes. Some fans are really obsessed. I think that could be dangerous (like Robert de Niro’s The Fan movie…)

So relax, it is just a game! Even if your hero gets paid millions… a month.

We can forgive sportsmen and women their mistakes, just do not go and shoot pretty girls in your bathroom  like Oscar!