Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ponies and Grandmother Arrive!

The past two weeks has been wonderful, because our grandmother Elna is visiting!! February 15th we drove to George, and celebrated Valentines Day (one day late) by eating lunch at Panarottis – it was actually very funny as we barely spoke a word to each other, everyone absorbed in their technology while we had good internet connection... We fetched 'ouma' afterwards at George Airport – it was exciting watching her plane land and another take off.

The day before we fetched her, we (spring)cleaned the house - even Nassie helped washing windows!

George's tiny airport.

Safely back home with ouma (last seen 5 months ago). 

At her arrival, she delivered warm clothes (that we left behind in Potch), and something that caused lots of laughs and teasing for my dad: kefir. It’s a kind of yogurt-making plant (more like sour milk though). At one stage my dad got obsessed with it (he still is) for its health benefits and energy-giving properties etc. When we started travelling he had to leave it behind, but now he wants to start it up again! He had dried some but that didn’t work, so he needed new plants which he ordered from friends in Potchefstroom. The keifer was laboriously packed and repacked till it passed the requirements for flight transport, and my dad was overjoyed when it reached us last Sunday. Keifer is now fully revived and working.

I was required to take a picture.

We’ve been visiting the neighbour farmers and friends with her, went on walks, showed off animals, swam in the dam, washed dishes, cooked and played games together, and are thoroughly enjoying her stay with us!

Walks on farm roads.

Watering the vegetable garden. 

Board games. 

Sunday morning before 'church'. 

Tea on the Kammanassie mountains - the cattle was very curious. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Birthday and Other Events

A few events that happened during late January and early February....

Brendon turned 16; we arranged a small ‘party’ for him one evening. It was a quiet affair with only the people on the farm – we prayed for him, and afterwards had tea and cake.

 Three generations....

 Grandfather and grandson.

Putting candles on or stealing icing??

One past Friday morning was also very eventful; 4 schools around Uniondale (including the one where ‘tannie’ Anel teaches and my mom is helping with admin) had athletics and all of us went with to help. The boys both participated ("hol tussen die res van hulle"), and I helped out with the longjump measuring.

 Nice throw!

In action. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

First Animal Arrivals

New arrivals!

To follow up on last week’s post, we have 12 new inhabitants here on the farm; two piglets (‘Spek en Ham’, Bacon and Ham), and 10 chickens! We drove all the way to Knysna (and then up a mountain) for them. We are going to fetch 2 more piglets from the same farmers February 26th, so keep an eye out for more on that farm soon – they deserve a post for themselves!

Chickens everywhere. 

Two terrified piglets. 

Unusual (stinky) luggage. We had to keep the windows open the whole way.

Their new home!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Projects Initiation and Mobilization

Since we decided to stay on a farm for a year, my mom has been generating ideas like some kind of creative rollercoaster; all of us has been engaged in the planning of having numerous animals, and, armed with our very formal Project Management Plans, we have been working at it steadily (thanks again to mom) during January. 

Plans and drawings.... 

We’re planning to have chickens (my project), piglets (Theuns’), and maybe even a horse or two (for Maarten, our family’s horse lover); things have made good progress so far.

I’m going to have 10 chickens in total (in their coop a short distance away from the house) and supply eggs to the farm’s grocery shop (for their own workers) and our household. Theuns and Maarten are going to handle batches of piglets, two at a time, one month apart (we buy them at six weeks old, and sell them as pork when they are about 4-5 months old).

One Saturday morning we got some of the farm workers to help put up a fence for Theuns’ piglets. We already have some cement pigsties a short distance from the house, but wanted to make a camp for them too. Charles (the supervisor) and company quickly wrote off our previous attempts at planting poles and what not (it was very funny actually; he would shake the pole we’d planted, pull it out of the ground, and remark how they’ll start with planting poles). They put up an elephant proof fence in 2 hours (something that would have taken us much longer), fixing my chicken coop’s one side as well.


Raising the fence.

The jaw smasher - a most useful and dangerous tool for putting up fences. 

Standing and (hopefully) piglet proof!