Cadeau from the platteland

April 27, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

[kado] masculine ( plural -x) present, gift; faire un cadeau à someone give someone a present or a gift; faire cadeau de something à someone give someone something (as a present or gift) (French Thesaurus)

My weekend turned into one long cadeau. I have a friend whose husband died a horrible death four years ago. He was a keen cyclist, and got hit by a minibus-taxi while getting fit for the Argus. After 67 days in ICU Johan died (very unexpectedly) of septic shock, just as his family were making plans to bring him home.

They were in my church, and although I saw his name on our prayer list week after week, I only got to know his widow Josie six months after his death. We got talking while baking pancakes at the church fete. I don’t recall how exactly everything happened, but after my divorce a few months later we became firm friends. In Decemer Josie asked us to accompany her to their seaside flat, a place she hasn’t visited since Johan’s death. And we had a ball! Remember the pics I posted of our seaside holiday?

Well, it seems we behaved ourselves well enough for her to invite us again. This time to visit her family’s citrusfarm near Ohrigstad in Mpumulanga.

And once again great fun was had by all! We left very early on Saturday morning, and arrived on the farm round about 12h00. Her eldery mother prepared a spread fit for a (very thin) king. The weekend was one long feast of homebaked pies, custard slices, cream puffs, koeksisters, ystervarkies and melktert. Her brother and his wife invited us for pancakes on Sunday night when it rained. On Monday morning her sister baked flapjacks and served it with fresh farm cream and homemade jams. Another brother’s wife invited us for coffee, once more served with the finest snacks you can imagine. Another one braaied for us (always something a single woman appreciates!) For vitamins there were guavas and oranges picked and eaten under the tree… That was the first lot of cadeaus us cityslickers received.

The second string of cadeaus were the beautiful places we saw on Sunday when we decided to go sightseeing: the potholes at Bourkes Luck, the beautiful Berlin Falls, the impressive Mac-Mac falls, God’s Window (which had a curtain of fog making sure we can’t see a thing), the quaint town of Pilgrim’s Rest. Beautiful scenery along the way: forests of pine trees, cycads, tree ferns, wild flowers, waterfalls…  (pics to follow tomorrow)

The best gift of the weekend was the hospitality, the warmth with which people received me and my kids, complete strangers to them. They opened their homes and hearts to us, and for three full days I could bask in being part (albeit unofficial) of their family.

This morning we left with yet more cadeaus: plants and cuttings from their respective gardens, a coolbag full of guavas, a few bags of oranges.  A special early nartjie each. Two branches of the laurel tree for cooking. And almost a kitten or two.

Outside Ohrigstad we stopped at the local cycad nursery (something one of Josie’s brothers arranged for us) for a personal tour of their lovely extended gardens with hundreds of cycads, aloes, aloe trees, kiepersols and other indigenous plants. We left there with some cuttings and armful of peacock feathers for the kids.

We laughed a lot, ate far too much, inhaled wonderful fresh air, saw breathtaking scenery, relaxed and indulged in a spot of slow living for three glorious days… In short, we did everything the doctor recommends (except maybe for all the cake!). No wonder my kids unanimously decided this was the best weekend they EVER had! 


4 antwoorde op Cadeau from the platteland

  1. So sad about your friend’s husband Tannemys. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend. Hugs to you.

  2. half-pint het gesê op April 28, 2010

    What a wonderful weekend, especially away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

  3. Just your “term of the day” made me think of the most delightful book of my entire childhood (and indeed half my adulthood as well): The Tale of the Land of green Ginger by Noel Langley. Small slave sings a song to wicked prince Rubdub-ben-thud, which goes (and this is deep…very very deep): “Kadee, Kadunk, Kadoo….Kadoo Kadunk Kadee etc etc etc.” A delight. Have a good day.

  4. Man, you’re deep, DV! Lekker dag!

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