Sometime roundabout 1982 I and my family packed up our chattels and after the tearless goodbyes we hit the road in the Kombi. This jalopy, 1600, sliding side door and split front window.
And big enough to convey a Sunday school.
The going was slow and dreary and at the same time uplifting to just visualise a new world at our feet.
We travelled slowly, about 90km/h and a bit faster down the hills.
We were on our way to Virginia and the mines in the Orange Free State.
According to the adverts in the papers it was a land of milk and honey and hence our trek.
To be part of this great and golden Utopia.
On the first night we parked the vehicle off the verge of the road, covered oneself with a blanket and woke up the next morning with our lives still intact and the 4 wheels still on the kombi.
We stopped over at Upington, had a bath and a meal then hit the road again.
Visited my mother-in-law at Marydale and enjoyed a traditional Boere meal.
Carried on to Kimberley and was astounded at the geology of the Karroo System.
Kimberley, then, was a city of wind and dust. And the dust storm lasted days. Good for sinusitis. We stayed over at Kimberley for 3 days and early on day 4 we hit the road again.
The road was straight and lead us to Bloemfontein where we promptly got lost.
An hour later after been given wrong instructions several times we found ourselves on the right road.
This was in the winter and the temperature was well below zero .and the trusty Kombi was not equipped with the luxury of a heater. We were told later that the temperature for that morning was minus 11 degrees.
We passed Brandfort and further on Theunissen.
This was my first visit to the free State and was awed by the flat eroded landscape and dotted here and there with koppies and meza’ed table-lands.
And despite past learning, there were actually rivers and streams too.
We were approaching Virginia and for the first time I saw the mine head-gears in the distance.
They looked too phallic and coldly threatening. Something inside me said: turn around and return to SWA (Namibia came later) there was just too much invested to get cold feet now.
My wife felt the same way. And the children didn’t give a damn.
The furniture arrive before us and was unloaded in the correct house and I had received a large sum of money to pay our way from SWA to OFS .
One of the reasons to leave Namibia was the political hype which permeated every argument.
The same hype permeated South Africa before and after the shift of political power.
What is lesser understood is today Namibia is a Country better-off than what we have here in South Africa.
South Africa is run by greed not by the needs of the people, and yes there is apartheid still prevalent in Namibia but so small it is hardly worthwhile taking notice of. So much for advertising.
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