THE THIRD MONTH
By Philip | 4 April 2018
8500 km | 7 Provinces in South Africa
Well it’s been 3 month now.
The time when you are suppose to have merged into the spirit of traveling. Getting rid of the uncertainty and baggage that keeps you behind, the questioning and doubting.
We are pitching camp on our 26th campsite since we have left our beautiful home and much missed dog and circle of friends in order to manifest our dream of exploring our country and ourselves.
It is supposed to get easier, lighter in a way at least, this is what you read and learn from those several resources and travel blogs of fellow families on the road.
Fact is that things don’t necessarily became easier along the way as we are facing increasing episodes of homesickness and to a degree despair in the light of omnipresent inequality that manifests itself surprisingly at least for us in the northern part of this still breathtakingly beautiful country.
Leaving St. Lucia, Kwa Zulu Natal towards the Lowveld, Gods Window Region, consciously circumnavigating the Kruger National Park and leaving it for another time in our lives – we were heading towards the Noordkap Region through an immense area of deforestation and therefore a transformed natural habitat that didn’t keep a lot of it’s natural beauty.
Endless stretches of sugar cane plantation and industrial forests kept us wondering about our place in the world and if all this was really necessary, totally conscious about it’s economic necessity perhaps, yet the in the face realization left an imprint on our sensitive traveler souls.
Although its almost boring to mention it’s still relevant to say that life seems very different up north of our country and we are concerned to see and witness first hand how omnipresent inequality and into the face racism that seems to rule this part of the world.
Old established campgrounds and work relationship seem to have surpassed the New South Africa that we were hoping to discover.
We cannot say that we have felt any vibe of change or hope, founded in mutual respect amongst the different ethnic groups along the way and our passion and motivation and need to nourish our spirit to go on has not been met in a way that we have so wished for.
One of our primary reasons for spending this much time in South Africa was to deepen our perception and witness first (or second hand) about those race patterns in the light of our adopted, colored daughter Una, to show her and us how life is for others in South Africa.
On our way from Pilgrims Rest (Mpumalanga) to Middleburg (Gauteng) I have almost been assaulted by a group of drunk, misbehaving bunch of 14+ testosterone driven high school students on the parking lot of a beautiful outdoor museum by the Sedhana Caves and Dinosaur Museum, while taking Una to the public toilet. The situation did not escalate to the worst, yet the picture of those boys (and some laughing bystander girls) remains present in my mind as to how it is possible in this society that those young kids on a Saturday school excursion are somehow allowed to get drunk in the first place and there was absolutely no one to attend to with my complaints to get a sense of security as a matter of fact.
Finally arriving in Magaliesberg in the beautiful area of the Cradle of Humankind near Johannesburg we found ourselves camping on an what felt like overused – abused campground/caravan park that left us speechless with regards to the general set up and behavior and look of fellow campers.
We had to get ready and prepared for our journey further north into foreign land – had to organize a lot of things like issuing a Carnet De Passage for our vehicle at the AA headquarters near Kulani in Johannesburg, purchase a new set of tires for the adventures to come, service the Land Cruiser, pick up a new laptop battery in a business center near Joburg.
Interpersonal tension arose as the general energy was everything but accommodating and we almost felt as part of a diversity struggle that still hangs over this country like the clouds over the Magalieberg Mountains manifested through the body language of many individuals that we came across along the way.
The rain did still follow us everywhere which doesn’t make things easier while camping and it was difficult for us to look over these facts and focus on our perceived mission to maintain and even deepen our sense of community and togetherness as a family, exploring the country we chose to live in and even point out through our obvious visual impact with our colorful caravan that we want to change those inequality patterns and bring more color at least in our little world.
Luckily good friends of ours came flying up from Cape Town to visit and Rudy and Una (and ourselves) had a sense of home while having the best time with their great friends which proved to us that friendship has no borders and you can create your own little freedom and space even facing the worst rains in an inconvenient environment.
Of course this scenery and environment impacted deeply onto our souls and we started questioning the purpose and success of our endeavor and we came to realize once more that change can only come from within each individual – a long way to go.
The fact that we traversed further through abused and raped territory along the way (Mining land) where whole landscapes that have been changed from their natural beauty added on to our perceived disharmony and we felt so sorry to be part of this species that abuses our mother earth without any respect for its natural purpose.
And yet we managed to maintain and restructure to a degree our travel purpose in order to see the world as it is and not as we want it to be. A natural cause of suffering that we didn’t want to subscribe to.
We found confidence in staying faithful in order to celebrate that life that we have chosen to live right now, as modern Gypsies in a colorful caravan trying to give back the good that we have karmically received.
We have finally crossed borders now, finding ourselves in the southern part of our beautiful neighbor Botswana where things and time, people and nature seem to have a different, more respectful mutual sense compared to the relentless narcissistic world that we come from.
Maybe it’s the nature of traveling to get away from what is and open space in our consciousness and perception for the world around us. For this we are entirely grateful for all our experiences no matter what their nature was.
We cannot attest that this month was a very joyful experience but it certainly brought us much closer as a family in our endeavor to celebrate this togetherness.
After spending a week in Botswana we are now on our way to Zimbabwe, crossing borders within the next couple of days.
We are visiting a very promising cultural village project, Kufunda, near Harare and are very excited to perhaps witness a different, more creative attempt to bring together communities in a village setting.