Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hoedspruit - Day Excursion...

Down a dirt road.....
After we left Jessica, Brass organised a visit to a 3000 yr old Baobab tree and a divine meal of pancakes and smoothies at the nearby restaurant.

              I just love this view of the mountains

Oh!! and we passed this unusual watch dog along the way to the Baobab tree and restaurant!

A wishing well outside  the restaurant

Our group approaching the old tree that has collapsed from its enormous weight

Cheney, in the foreground, Stefan and his mom and his dad and Bev at the back

Look at the size of the tree branch in comparison to the size of Brass's small body!! It's incomprehensible!

It's sooo big that one could move in and live there!

My angel and Stefan. He's also a fellow student who hails from Cape Town. His parents took the long drive up from there to attend their son's graduation as well.

Part of the fallen tree!


Came across these "half mens" tree - (Afrikaans for "half human tree). Their strange shapes resemble the human form reaching upwards!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time for a look at our delicious meal of pancake and....

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Time to relax now...

..... with "Jessica" the world famous hippo!
 Brass organised an exciting and very informative day for us all on Saturday - after the graduation at Campfire Academy the previous night. We started the day off with a visit to Jessica the world famous hippo.
 She was rescued in the 2000 floods that swept through the Limpopo Province, as she was washed up onto the banks of Tonie Joubert's property; her umbilical cord still attached to her. The Blyde River was in flood and little Jessica became the new member of their household! She grew up in their home and became almost human. She sleeps on a mattress on the verandah at night with a crew of English Bull Terriers who are her best friends!
Jessica now swims in the river at the bottom of Tonie & Shirley's garden & visits them every day for some black Rooibos tea and a few kilos of raw veges. She is still allowed to enter their house at her leisure and even watches a bit of TV! She has also starred in 97 movies and is famous around the world!
We were invited to personally meet Jessica down at the river and feed her her bottle and some veges. Wow!! Awesome! I couldn't wait, knowing that hippos are guilty of killing more humans than any other animal in Africa!

Our visit started off with an informative presentation about Jessica, hippos, wildlife and Africa!

Mom and Cheney watching the presentation.

One of the Bull Terriers who is sooo friendly that he climbs up onto the table to look you in the eye!

Meet our own Jessica!

Eating sliced sweet potato...

Richard, one of the Swedish students, having a go...

I also tried my hand at feeding her. Hippos have such thick skin

Time for a little kiss!!

Rooibos tea. Apparantely Jessica drinks about 20 litres of this brew every day!

The love of his life...

Bev also loved the contact with Jessica

Come on, dad!! Give us some more

Our Cheney also loved Jessica and has volunteered her services at this sanctuary

Well that's Jessica and I trust that you have enjoyed the visit with her as much as we did. See you tomorrow for our next stop to......

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Graduation time.....

This is a graduation ceremony like none other I have ever experienced! All the graduation ceremonies I have  attended, have taken place in a huge hall, with formal wear, micro phones, lots of noise & bright lights!!!

Here is Laetitia Cronje giving a speech, with Wouter on the left.

It's tradition for the students to be 'branded' with a "C" for Campfire Academy at the ceremony. I must add that it's a voluntary exercise!

Awwww!!!!  Ouch!!!...there goes my beautiful daughter's ankle!! A brave girl....

Laetitia is a remarkable woman with an abundance of knowledge. She is like a walking Encyclopedia!! I am so thankful for everything she has taught my daughter; confidence and knowledge of the bush that has left our mouths hanging open!
You can like their page "Campfire Academy" on facebook.

All the students who passed their FGASA Level 1 course! A proud moment!

My mom, Gran, with Cheney!

Thankyou for popping in. Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Graduation time...

Brass (on the left) keeping an eye on the braai / barbeque and Tish (owner of the Reserve & fascilitator of the FGASA course) preparing her branding iron. It's tradition for the students to have a branding of a "C" once they have completed and passed the course.

Brass is one of the most capable people I have ever met! She cooks, organises, drives, supports and loves every student and their respective families. She has endless energy and knowledge of the bush as well. She's a real treat and a blessing!

How peaceful it was just sitting around the fire waiting for our meat to be cooked and waiting for Cheney's graduation to begin. This is a graduation with a difference!

 Stefan (also a student) and his parents. They drove up from the Cape province to attend.

She was surrounded by her immediate family...... a value that I have tried to instill into my children; that family is so important. We cannot function without family.

 Well, thats all for now. See you tomorrow when we see the branding and presentation of certificates! Thanks for stopping by. Take care.