The Farm

I went to the farm for the weekend. As short as that sentence is, I’m out of breath saying as I remember the many details between the words. But I won’t go into those details [in all fairness I probably will… just not right now].

Right now I want to focus on the farm and only the farm. The beauty of the land and the traditions of those whose blood, sweat and tears have been the only things keeping the land alive. As we drove out on Friday afternoon, JS’s mother called to check on our schedule since it looked like rain. I could see from the expression change on JS’s face that this was no small feat. His concern was thinly veiled by his annoyance. He doesn’t like anyone telling him how to drive or for that matter how to do anything. I’m exactly the same but I guess it’s a parent’s prerogative. They aim to share all of their knowledge whether we want it or not. After their conversation, I asked him to explain what exactly it all meant and he enlightened me on the road ahead. The very muddy, curvy and slippery road ahead. It rained heavily all the way from Harare to the farm road and like some magical wall, the rain did not cross. The dry gravel-sand was a welcome relief; we didn’t even mind the crazy pebbles or darkness that now surrounded the car.

It took us 40min from the main road to the farm house. If it takes you 40min to get to the house, you know that really is one heck of piece of land! With the cloudy night sky now in full swing, we were welcome to the old house by his parents and of course grandmother. The power was out [ we would later discover that a post fell over and the guy who had to go fix it went to church instead so our power was out till late Monday evening] and the massive hallways covered with hunting memorabilia were lit by loads of gas lamps. It felt like the home far away I always thought I’d never get to see.

We had perfect timing for dinner and a true feast it was: absolutely everything home grown! It’s amazing what a relief it is to eat food whose origin you know. You know who planted and watered it; you know where it was born; how it was treated and what it ate. Knowing makes it easier to enjoy delicious food responsibly. Dinner was followed by coffee in the lounge. This lounge is a pretty big lounge! You have to speak up to whisper a secret to the person on your left. Amazing farm; amazing house; amazing family and it all amounts to an amazing weekend.

The next morning we were up before the sun and I really needed the coffee I got in bed~ along with a wet wakeup call from Spot. After laying down the plans for the day, we all went in opposite directions to truly wake up. For me, it was the porch.

The porch runs all the way around the house and for that extra UV protection has the perfect light weight roof. I sat on a bench that’s actually better described as 2 pieces of a tree standing next to each other, carefully balancing on bricks that were part of the old house structure. I have to be careful though, because if DoeDoe [the mongoose] runs past a certain mark, my second cup of coffee for the day will end up on both of us!

We drove all the way into town to get a couple of cold drinks and biltong~ still hoping that the power would be back on in time to see the rugby match. We didn’t get our rugby match but we got a few more interesting stories to tell like ‘Built on a Sunday in China’ and ‘Frikkadel’, memories that will last us long into our senile years.

Nothing rounds off a day like a braai at sundown with the moon a perfect half-moon, every star in the night sky shining brightly with envy. Dogs at our feet and cattle are bulking in the distance. This is Africa; this is a real farm and these are the people who made it a home…

Sharing my view,

AM

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