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Voortrekkers GLAS-kamp 2016

5 May , 2016

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So now we’re in school…and with school come school holidays. I don’t know about you (but I have my suspicions), but I don’t have enough leave to take off school holidays (actually, now that I do contract work I have no leave whatsoever).

From my own childhood I remember my favourite holiday memories were going on camping trips with the Voortrekkers, and I desperately want those experiences for Nicola too.

There really is nothing better! New friends, new skills, seeing new places. All more or less safe and lots of fun. Plus a bit of independance…

So this past weekend I went with Nicola on her first camp. It was awesome! She is a natural and took to it like a duck to water. I reckon I’ll training wheel this for another 2 or 4 camps and then she’ll be ready to fly solo

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Pretoria people, you don’t get to make snide remarks about Joburg traffic ever again, ‘kay?

We sort of convoyed to the camp site with three other cars. I say sort of since we lost the lead car to an e-tag gate that no one else could go though, and then lost the second lead to a red light that cut the last two off. And then the rest of us just got lost and had to separately navigate using locations that were sent through on Whatsapp.

Eventually we all made it there though…

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The kids slept in dorm rooms but adults had to pitch their own tents. It was my tent’s maiden voyage (meaning I had no idea what I was doing). Still managed to more or less get it up before dark, even though Nicola was trying to sword fight with the parts, I ended up with an extra pole and the top sail probable back to front and or inside out, and not bothering with tents pegs because I forgot a hammer and it seemed windstill enough to chance it by weighing it down with my luggage instead.

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Where the kids slept.

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I had the choice of where I wanted to volunteer, but since I wanted to see how Nicola did on her own I didn’t sign up to help with a course and volunteered in the kitchen.

The kitchen is usually the heart of the camp. Hard work and lots of laughs. A great place to meet new people yourself too.

It was all that…and then some. This kitchen was a little bit understaffed to see to the 215 campers, so we all worked like slaves! If I never see another breadroll in my life, I wouldn’t miss it one little bit.

Pic above it about 60 liters of bolognaise sauce for Friday night’s spagetti.

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Everyone washes their own dishes…

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:-)

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This bucket was filled with about 360 eggs for Saturday’s breakfast.

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Hot chocolate!

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This particular camp is musically themed, so all the courses are music related and so are most of the games.

I sang some songs I haven’t heard in 14 years and heard a lot for the first time too.:-)

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Campfire concerts and kuiers – the best!

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Bordesakkies!

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This is what the kitchen looks like clean and empty. I want a double dry rack like that at home haha!

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Stunning sunrise!

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10 kg of bacon.

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My sad looking tent, that decided it wanted to be a kite later that day. Thank goodness for heavy luggage and angels with hammers and storm pens.

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Something tells me I may have been better off sleeping outside, rather than with the children.😉

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Bees!

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A few pieces of boerewors.

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This is how you braai in bulk.

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My visitor for a few minutes. I mainly saw her at meal times.

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Games!

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I had to walk quite a bit to go have a smoke…so my feet were soooo filthy!

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Fellow kitchen slaves.

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Saturday night’s fire lighting ceremony.

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This moment right here, is what makes it all worthwhile.

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Storm pen…need some of that! Also I will definitely be packing a hammer next time.

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Breakfast line up.

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Uhm…I was a bit unprepared for the massive cold front that rolled in. At least I packed us each one set of warm clothes.

I was also unprepared for hearing LIONS ROAR Saturday morning. I kept thinking that it must be one helluva snorer in the tent section, but no, it actually was lions! About 3km away apparently, but they sounded like they were in the tent next door. And there I was, nursing my coffee and chilling on my camp chair at 4 in the morning.(I can’t sleep late, don’t know how *shrug*).

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Another sign of a weekend well spent.:-)

So how does it compare to way back when? It’s the same, but it’s all different…as it should be, since the kids are all different too.

The uniform has changed
There was not one single flag raising parade
Some of the traditional songs still have the same words, but they’ve been retuned! And they are now sung in different voices! (very pretty)
The camp is run almost exclusively by women now – in the past the split was more or less even but most camp leaders I ever saw were men. I hardly saw any men even leading teams this past weekend. Maybe it’s just this camp? Not sure. I asked a few people and they said that generally it goes this way. Interesting. I wonder why this might be the case?

Anyhoo, we had a blast and I can’t wait for the next one!

Fire lighting ceremony on Saturday…

Sorry, the beginning’s focus is a bit eratic. The girl in front of me kept moving her head and getting my auto focus excited. Got it right a few seconds in though.:-)

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What are your biggest long term dreams?

5 May , 2016

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I want to do something worthwhile. I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about something that leaves the world a little bit better off than before, or that makes a positive difference in the lives of the people involved in it.

Once or twice, I’ve come accross an idea that made me think, “This is it!”…but it wasn’t. I’m not worried though, I know that thing is out there. When the time and the thing is right, I’ll jump on it with both feet. For now I guess I stick to making the small differences…

Realistically though, I’d probably have to do my big thing on the side. Those kinds of things usually pay nothing and we are now mostly a family of five now.

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Show your readers 5 different ways to decorate pumpkins

18 April , 2016

Well, we don’t really do a lot of pumpkin decorating here in SA, unless you count hiding them in stews and fritters from our kids so they will eat them as decorating.

I once got involved in some pumpkin carving…and let me tell you, I’m pretty sure the american pumpkins are softer than our standard boerpampoene. It was incredibly hard to do actually! It is extremely unlikely that I’ll be trying that again any time soon.

Anyhoo, if I was the pumpkin decorating sort…which we’ve now firmly established, I’m not…this is what my pumpkins would look like.😉

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Joda! Or as Nicola calls him Iota.:-)

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I could maybe be convinced to try it again if there were powder tools involved…MAYBE.

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Do you decorate pumpkins? Or tell me your most favourite way to hide them from your children?

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Write the beginning of a scary story and let your readers decide what happens next

17 April , 2016

It was a dark and dreary night. The rain had been coming down for six days straight and didn’t look like it was going to let up any time soon.

She absent-mindedly looked at the rain drop’s path down the side window of her car. It was picking up speed and other stray droplets as it zig zagged down the glass.

Stupid car. Stupid rain. Stupid month end that had her working late and subsequently in this part of town long after sunset. Of course this is where her car would break down of all places.

The hazard lights and the rain drops beat an out of sync staccato while she waited for her night in shining armour (and tow truck) to arrive. She checked the time for the 100th time on her phone…22:45. Stupid battery was about to run out too. She hoped that the tow truck would arrive soon, and hopefully before the battery ran out.

Suddenly a loud thump startled her out of her grumbling mood. “Lady! Hey you! Help! We need your help!” a man shouted at her through the door.

Then…(over to you)

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Share your best soup recipe

6 April , 2016

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Lentil Soup

This is obviously not MY recipe. I am a great enthusiast of soup, but to be honest I rarely make any myself. And when I do, it’s whatever jumps out at me from a book right that instant.

There are three soups that have stayed with me through the years though:

The first being my Ouma Willie’s lentil soup (which was smooth, not like the pic above). I have no idea what went into it…except maybe a bit of magic and a whole lots of lentils and love. It is the taste  of soup from my youth and I remember it fondly. Would it still taste as awesome today as then, if she was still around to make it? I have no idea…maybe it’s perfect because of the way I remember it? Whatever the reason, I love/d it.

The second soup is my mom’s vegetable soup. It’s chunky and bursting with yummy flavours. Every winter my mom makes at least one giant pot of this marvel, and often we get containers full for the freezer. I also have no idea what goes into this magnificent soup, but it’s real comfort food.

The third soup is one I had only once…It was a chicken soup made by the Granny of my good friend Louelle. My family soups are not usually chicken soups, so maybe that’s part of what made it so special? Anyway, I loved it and I could have eaten it until I falled over given half a chance. Louelle has mentioned the secret of her Granny’s soup to me, years ago. I tried my own version a couple of times, but it came nowhere close to hers.

What is your favourite soup?

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What are you ready to let go of this year?

31 March , 2016

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Drama.

“May you live in interesting times”, is a Chinese curse for a reason.

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What is the one new thing you want to learn this year?

23 March , 2016

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Mmm…sjoe! This is hard. I kind of feel the things I had on my learn to do list, I’ve learnt to do already. Sounds a bit arrogant though. I don’t know everything, but there’s nothing really burning me at the moment.

Things other people probably think I should learn…now there I could come up with a list! How to sleep past 4am. How to be more patient in a quasi-hostage situation. I think the amounts of people who wish that I was either less or more assertive are about equal (depending on which side of one of my holy cows you’ve managed to find yourself in the past).

The thing I wish I could learn though is how to write about the things that matter without writing about the people and the places that matter. Since I’ve cut down drastically on what I share about my personal life…I’ve sort of lost my voice…and I miss it. Paper diaries just don’t do it for me anymore.

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