Merry Christmas

It is that time of the year when I just have no time to blog but looking back at this past year, I am so grateful for all the wonderful memories. Hopefully, when the New Year starts I will be back on this blog in full swing. In the meantime, merry Christmas to you all! May you experience God’s loving embrace.

Goodbye Madiba

Today I am writing this blog in front of the TV, where Nelson Mandela’s memorial service is currently being broadcast. Lots has been said in the past couple of days about the great man’s life and his legacy. I can only add that I feel honoured to have lived in South Africa during his time.

This past weekend I had to work, but my husband took the kids to Mandela’s house in Houghton to pay their respects. Daniel made a card and picked a flower that he wanted to lay in front of the house. When they arrived, they found an amazing sight – the pavement outside the house had been turned into a shrine, with flowers, cards and candles. A crowd as diverse as South Africa can be had gathered outside, and my husband felt the same feeling that we felt in 1994 when we voted, that we felt when Madiba came out with the no. 6 Springbok jersey on – that this rainbow nation really is here, that it lives and will continue to live.

My boy knows who Nelson Mandela was: that he was our President and a good leader admired by the rest of the world. When he is older, I hope he looks at these photos and grasps the real impact of who this man was, and how he created the country Daniel lives in. What a six year old boy could understand of the situation, and what he deemed important to say in his card, just stole my heart. It reminded me that the icon, the symbol, the legend, was also just a man who was loved by someone.

His card said: “Dear Graca Machel, I am sorry that you are sad because Nelson died. Here is a card and a flower for you, I hope you feel better when you read it.”

Image credits: My husband took these with his cellphone.

When you give a camera to a 6-year old...

Here is the last post about the 40 years of Transkaroo party. As I mentioned before, I gave my old camera (a Canon Power Shot G12) to Daniel on the evening of the party so that he could also take pictures. The angle from his 1.2m height provides a very different perspective, although often less than flattering with everyone’s double chins on display! But I just loved his enthusiasm! I love what he deemed important enough to photograph and how the people smiled back at him. I love how the poor cat and dog were stalked. And the photos of the traffic in the street made me smile. Apparently he was a traffic officer manning the speed camera!

So, sometimes slightly blurry, slightly out of focus, but not bad for a first try. Here is Daniel’s version of the evening (no photo editing).

Image credits: The first one by Callie Fourie, the others by Daniel Kornelius :-)

40 years of Transkaroo: The celebration

How do you celebrate 40 years of doing something? How do you capture all the thousands of memories and moments? All the long summer days and cold winter nights, strung together to make the time pass? How do you capture in celebration having survived all the ups and downs, the difficulties and the worries, but also all the triumphs?

The answer is: you don’t, because you can’t. You cannot do forty years of succeeding at something, by grace and against the odds, justice in an event.

What you can do, is evoke a feeling.

You can use the hotel and its staff to showcase their best. You can take the hospitality normally reserved for guests, and lavish that on family and friends, the faces that inhabit your memories of forty years. You can dress everyone up in white, thereby visually setting the special people you wish to share the occasion with apart, if only for an evening.

Sitting at the table, your table, you can share jokes, stories and memories – but not all of them. You can remember, but not completely. You can say thank you, but never enough. You can take stock, but you will never finish counting the blessings.

And so, having taken the best of forty years and crammed it all into an evening, the time seems to have slowed down and sped by at the same time. And the feeling you’re left with is hard to describe. It’s love, but more. It’s gratitude, but bigger. It’s nostalgia, but something deeper than that. It’s the feeling that it’s all been worth it, and that we’re blessed.

Image credits: The photos above were taken by Elanie Fourie, Callie Fourie, Neel Potgieter, Louis Botha and me. Three cameras floated from hand to hand... 

40 years of Transkaroo: My family

My immediate family likes to take pictures. Anybody who was at the party would tell you that might be the understatement of 2013…! We love it. As in: taking the photos rather than having our photos taken. But, dress us all up as we did for this party and you can be sure we are ready to pose. Before the guests for the party arrived, we gathered in the courtyard, all dressed in white - even baby Auguste in his skinny white jeans :-). Under the canopy of white jasmine in full bloom and the lanterns shining bright, we took a few family photos. I just had to share them because, in all honesty, how often do you get your entire family to all dress up and get dolled up for a bash at the same time these days? The results, if I may say so, flattered us :-)