New site & Drakensbergs

New site & Drakensbergs
These are the mts from our village

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 15, 2012

The weather has broken!!  We weren’t sure when we got back whether the cooler weather we had in Pretoria was because it is at a higher elevation of if we had entered Autumn.  Instead of highs in the high 30’s C (high 90s -100+) they have been in the high 20s to low 30s and down to the teens at night (20C = 68F). – a really nice change.  I’m afraid it won’t last yet.

April 29, 2012

The cooler weather did last for a while.  In fact we had one day where the high was below 25C (77F) and a night when it got down to 13C (about 55F) but it’s warming back up again.  We are on a welcome looong 5-day weekend from school.  We spent Friday planting in the garden.  The cooler weather made Richard decide to get some peas in the ground and I planted some green beans and carrots.  We started a new compost pile.  Our host family has been using compost now when they pant new seeds.  I hope they will keep making compost after we’ve gone.  If not, at least the soil will be better for a while.  We’ve added quite a bit of compost in the year we’ve had the garden.  It’s interesting having been here a year now we can look back at what the weather was like a year ago and have some concept of how the arc of the weather will be.

We’re now visiting a couple we met last month.  Didi was a PCV in Botswana in the early 90s where she met Kobus a South African man. They married and now live outside of Hoedspruit on the side of a mountain in a beautiful house with a gorgeous view of the lowveld.
Here is a picture from their porch:

Kobus is from an Afrikaaner family that has been in the country since the 1700s.  I have found someone to play “word” games with!  (Richard is not fond of word games) I think Didi and I have played 6 + games in the two weekends we’ve spent here.  Kobus is just starting up a spring water bottling operation as a business venture.  They have really good water from a well that puts out a lot of litres per hour.  We’ve enjoyed good conversation and laughs.  Didi said she knew how hard it is for older volunteers to get to know people in the Peace Corps.  It’s nice to have English speaking friends outside our Peace Corps group.

Next weekend is the regional gathering and Richard and I have been asked to share some of our successes and challenges in the garden with the PCVs at the gathering.  We’ve asked another person to help us, hoping it will be more like a seminar than a “presentation”.

Shortly after that my daughter Megan arrives for 2 weeks!  Also Richard’s daughter, Hannah is coming at the end of June.  I think she may come with us for part of our trip to Botswana &/or Victoria Falls.


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