The learning curve

Education is extremely important; always has been. Active knowledge of 1 or two extra languages eases you to travel and experience the bigger world. Unfortunately not all people are able to get the education they deserve; partly by a lack of a good and broad accessible education system (= politics) and partly children/students are not really motivated within their own environment (= culture) such as the case in the country I live in (South Africa). Many parents (most of them but not all privileged) decided to take education in their own hands and home schooling is taking of in this country. But the majority of the people seemingly don’t see the importance of education and keep their children on the ‘side line’ partly also that parents can’t afford the school fees.

There is still ‘apartheid’ in the South African education system with fairly good education in the ‘White’ schools (nowadays also accessible for ‘non-white children’ but very costly) and there is still ‘Bantu education’ with relatively low school fees but not always the desired quality (= understatement). Knowledge is power and power-without-knowledge results in a ‘phenomenon’ like Julius Malema and his new political party Economic Freedom fighters; merely consisting of members without much education.

Some refreshment is needed ….

learning

The hidden powers of H2O

_DSC2044I grew up in The Netherlands between the two main rivers; protected by dikes and averaging 1 meter below average water level was my house amongst many others. Growing up with water learns you the (hidden) powers of H2O. Moving to a farm in South Africa in 2000, situated on the slope of a hill, we started immediate with water works to keep our house free of water just in case of a flood rain. Virtually all neighbouring farmers were laughing loud saying ” Ag julle malle Hollanders en julle water werke ….” (“you crazy Dutch and your water works…”). One year later we had the first flood rain; we were laughing. In 2003 another flood rain. Just before this flood rain one of the neighbours let his staff moving rocks uphill to avoid visitors of staff going with their cars uphill (well it’s South Africa and the time still stands still in the farming community of Robertson, where we lived…). During the flood rain the rocks came down and landed in the garden and the entrance path of the neighbour. We laughed together with his staff. And still history keeps on repeating itself and ‘water affairs’ in my village and other parts of South Africa is a hot item at the moment after over 200 mm of rain this weekend.

_DSC2047To keep it within the village and direct surrounds: Last year a part of the road next to the bridge over the Klein Rivier (Little River; now THE Missisippi of South Africa as you can see) washed away. With the repair of it and additional ‘water works’ numerous shortcuts were made (shortcuts are seemingly a part of the culture) and again same part of the road washed away. Hopefully they learn (but I doubt).

_DSC2043The part of the village most affected by the water is where the ‘Bold and Beautiful’ (let’s say the ‘village elite’) is living. Living at the waterfront is for the so called ‘privileged’ and I’m fine with that. But being ‘privileged’ comes with certain obligations; one of these in our village is cleaning the house after a mud water ‘invasion’. Bet that, as last year, quite a few ‘For Sale’ signs will be erected.

On purpose I did not photograph all those unlucky people up to their knees in the water. Facebook pages are already full with it

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Protea in de bud

Tomorrow it will be open.

Protea is one of these fynbos genera and we are living in the middle of it. The Overberg region is the global center for the protea culture. Farmers grow them in plantations and also collect flowers in their ‘veld’. They need to have several permits for that. Where-ever in the world you buy a protea just think of me and know where they are coming from! 🙂

 

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Images in one impression

Remember me going to the Graduation Ceremony of the pre-primary school in a nearby location (township) in South Africa? Well here is what I distilled from the few hundred pictures I made. It’s about children and the joy people have despite severe poverty. And also about a community leader as one of the many who made it all possible. There is not much written history about the different tribes in South Africa and certainly not much from books is known to people in communities like this. But they inherited a story-telling culture and history flows in one or another way from generation to generation. Not the history of facts but a history of ancestry and spirituality. Due to influences of modern times the cultural heritage is threatened with ‘uprooting’ leaving people without knowledge about their cultural background and without hope, without future….