The “I” of South Africa

The “I” of South Africa

For Jenny’s Alphabe Thursday, I am going to write my thoughts, the bits and bobs that I remember of how it was for me, during my almost fifty years spent in South Africa.
These are my ‘I’ memories, opinions and views on a time during a much loved childhood and beyond!

Impi, Impala, Irene, Isuzu, Ifafa Beach, Indaba, Island,

If ‘G’ was the Granny of all the entries with loads of information; and ‘H’ was the one with the hugest amount of topics with H; then this one has to be the Imp!  It is an impossible task!

If this was a Zulu blog I’d be alright because so many of their words begin with an ‘i’. 

We could do animals, Izilwana.  Or we have Impala, the graceful antelope preyed on by lions, hyenas, crocs and vultures; but it’s greatest enemy is the tick.  The blood loss they suffer from an infestation of this horrible insect not only kills eventually but leaves them vulnerable to atttack.  They de-tick each other to stop the infection.

Or the Zulu word for places, Izindawo.  And we have one!  Ifafa Beach on the South Coast of Natal, where we often spent family holidays before we went to live at the seaside for good.  

So how did that happen exactly? 

Rumour had it that two families, then neighbours went to the coast, children in tow, for a holiday; the intention was to purchase a caravan park like the one they loved at Ifafa, so that they could escape the rat race, wear shorts and sandals every day of their lives, hardly ever work, and really LIVE!  They didn’t find a park, but bought a bakery instead.

The Zulu word, Indaba, meeting place, is also a lovely word often used as slang within the English or Afrikaans languages.  Lets have an ‘Indaba‘! 

One particular indaba planned, many, many years ago, the summer of 1969 to be exact, by old friends of mine was at the Vaal Dam, in the Transvaal, on the Island right in the middle. 

This man made dam is the second largest in area in South Africa. 

When at our indaba on the ‘deserted’ island, we weren’t aware that it had been once been used as a secret meeting place for the apartheid government. (Or was then!) 

We camped, sunbathed and skied each day.  Our boat was covered with painted daisies of every colour.  At night we shared ghost stories, spotted weird lights in the bush, imagined how we would survive if we became marooned.   It was hugely fun!

Then the boat motor stopped working, and we were marooned!  We had to hail a passing boat for a tow back to the mainland. (no mobile phones then! It was 1969!) 

Now this island hosts the largest inland yacht race!  All the secrets, scary lights and derelict dwellings that we found in 1969 are no more.

I is for impi, Zulu warriers.  These men are not the real deal, but like any proud nation, they do love to dress up and depict the warriors of old. 

This picture takes me back to the sounds of the African chants and war cries.  Shhhhh, listen; look long enough and you can hear it too.

To end my ‘i’ story, I’d like to stick in 1969.  

Stick to flowers and sunshine, back to the carefree life we lived then, beside the Vaal dam in South Africa. (click image and listen to Bryan Adams)

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About liz2you

Life just happens when you plan something else. 50 years spent in Africa and relevant stories.
This entry was posted in African animals, Alphabet Thursday, camping, colourful, South Africa and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The “I” of South Africa

  1. Eveline Mc Nally says:

    Think I know those families who looked for that caravan park!!!

    • liz2you says:

      Yep, me too! Years ago Eve; I still remember my first sentence when the blokes got back with the shopping! That hot mosquito infested night with four exhausted kids, well fed, thanks to you! X
      I was livid!! But we cannot repeat that now!
      Thanks for reading, its like sharing.

  2. Judie says:

    I just love reading your alphabet travelog! Great “I” post!

    • liz2you says:

      Thanks Judie,
      So do I after I have written it. How sad is that, only because it takes me back.
      Next week, see ya!

  3. anita says:

    You’ve given us an I-full this week. I look forward to traveling with you each week! So fun!

  4. Every post makes me want to visit there more! I have always thought impalas to be one of God’s prettiest creatures.

    • liz2you says:

      I do love it when someone picks characters or events out of a post! All of the animals in Africa live in the food chain, which I hate to think about let alone talk about.
      And yes, the Impala. They are graceful! Thanks for visiting.

  5. Oh hooray!

    I was totally excited when this opened up to your blog!

    I took a big drink of my ice water and prepared to be transported!

    And, as always, you never disappoint!

    What an incredible journey!

    This is quite a trip filled with the texture of local landscapes, people, wildlife and plantlife!

    Just incredible!

    Thank you for linking up.


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