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 ‘O’ memories, opinions and views on a time during a much loved childhood and beyond!
Ostrich, Outshourn, Oranges, Owl, Oribi Gorge, Orange River, Onderstepoort, Orange Free State,
First friendships in school are very important for a child. It is a place where you have a chance to bloom without your parents telling you how to do it. In primary school you’re a tadpole, swimmingly safe.
When you transfer to High School , the pool is huge and you are forced to split up from those you came to rely on. You are in a class of your own, with strangers.
But ‘a strangers just a friend you do not know’. Two of my firm friendships were made from the stangers in my new High School class. One of the girls lived in Onderstepoort, which was an unknown to me then. However my ‘first sleepover’ was soon on the cards!
Onderstepoort is where the Veterinary Institude is situated, ouside Pretoria, Gauteng. Sir Arnold Theiler, worked there on vaccine’s to help combat tropical diseases, like rinderpest and biliary. He also founded the University for Veterinary Science in 1920.
My parents took quite a bit of persuading to let me spend a weekend with her although I was in high school; the reason…..? We as kids were extremely protected and Mommy liked to know where all her little chickens were at all times.
But I was excited, my first sleepover in 1965 in Onderstepoort, where my friend’s Dad worked. So we set off on Saturday morning, the intention being that Dad would collect me on Sunday afternoon. Sadly, he had to make the journey late on Saturday evening to pick me up as I had become quite ill. I seemed to have a fever and couldn’t keep my food down, her Mum reported on the phone.
There was nothing wrong with me, healthwise, once I walked through the front door in Bon Accord. I was home again, that’s what mattered; truth was I wasn’t ready to leave the family nest yet.
More on nesting, takes us a long way from Pretoria; to the western Cape and their largest town, Outshourn, the home of the largest Ostrich population in the world. The ostrich is the largest living bird and lays the largest eggs.
And no, they don’t bury their heads in the sand when trying to hide from a predator, that is a mith. They are quite inquisitive and have been known to eat and swallow strange things, though. This chap is particularly cheeky looking.
After a ride on an ostrich you can visit the Cango Caves, a natural wonder of the world.
They can be found 30 kilometres from Outshourn and quite sensational. Stalagmite formations dating back to 4500 million years ago. The tunnels and chambers underground cover about 4 kilometers. I visited in 1973, and I am sure it hasn’t changed much since then!
The province of Kwazulu Natal, my home of sunshine waves and sand has not had a look in this week. We can visit the province but not the seaside. Oribi Gorge nature reserve is a day trip from Margate by the sea. There you will find beautiful views, bushbuck and duikers and even the odd elusive leopard, if you are one of the lucky ones. This is bird watchers country too.
So do we have time for a little entertainment? Of course! Back to 1968 when I went “clubbing” on a Friday night in Pretoria; yes dark and dingy but nothing at all like today.
I watched this South African band, live, singing ‘I love you Timothy’ and the haunting song, ‘Master Jack’. That band was, Four Jacks and a Jill. The voice of Glenys Lynne. (click picture to listen)
If you would like to catch up on all the other entries fro A to M, follow this link below.