Blogs from Saint Francis Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa, Africa

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Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Saint Francis Bay August 10th 2020

“Man, do not pride yourselves on your superiority to the animals, for they are without sin, while you, with all your greatness, you defile the earth wherever you appear and leave an ignoble trail behind you…and that is true, alas, for almost every one of us!” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Russian novelist and philosopher in the 1820’s) There is a classic saying one hears from time to time; “don’t mess with Mother nature”, and it sort of resonates for a short while before our minds leap forward not really wanting to confront what we have done to our planet and sadly, continue to do. The scorecard in terms of our impact on the physical environment is mind boggling and includes; overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels and deforestation all of which in their own unique way have triggered ... read more
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Africa » South Africa » Eastern Cape » Saint Francis Bay August 4th 2020

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson It is mid-August 2025 as we sit around a roaring camp fire under a star lit night sky somewhere in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve chewing the fat on a wide range of topics. All eyes gaze intently at the bright, flickering flames of the fire providing a gentle orange glow and warmth against the evening chill. The conversation focuses on the superb animal and bird sightings of the day and we marvel at how the animal kingdom was left largely unscathed by the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. On the other hand, the impact on the World’s human population was catastrophic. Apart from the significant loss of human life, the economic implosion left many countries almost destitute, other diseases such as malaria and TB ... read more
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“Indecision may come from an instinctive hunch that there’s more you need to know-which means it’s time to learn everything you can about the pros and cons of each option. You can continue on this track, however, only as long as you’re unearthing genuinely new information.” – Martha Beck Last Sunday evening, CR once again positioned himself in front of a bank of TV cameras for another of his spasmodic, knee jerk diatribes. There is no doubt all he is designated to do at these moments in time is to read the script prepared for him by a small cabal of so called “Minsters of whatever” in his “Command Council” (is this not straight out of a Communist handbook?). Most South Africans know precisely who these people are. Don’t lose sight of the fact that a ... read more
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“It is in the admission of ignorance and the admission of uncertainty that there is hope for the continuous motion of human beings in some direction that doesn’t get confined, permanently blocked, as it has so many times before in various periods in the history of man.” – Richard P. Feynman On any journey undertaken, irrespective of destination or duration, there is always a moment of reflection at some point. Questions swirl in the mind; how far have I travelled, am I on the right routing, how much further, what lies ahead? The Covid-19 “journey” is one that every human being on planet earth is currently undertaking and, if many of us dropped anchor to reflect at this point in time, there is probably only one recurring question in most minds; when will this nightmare end? ... read more
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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” – Marie Curie Way back in mid 1926, the camp fire blazed and flickered and lit up the immediate surrounds with it’s golden light. Deck chairs were positioned as close to the fire as possible and those hardy soles were probably the first to visit the Kruger National Park, established in May of that year. They would have had plenty to talk about apart from being in what has undoubtedly become the finest game park in the world. The 1st World War had ended a few years back in November 1918 and claimed the lives of an estimated 9 million combatants and 13 million civilians. They would have reflected on ... read more
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“Normal is an ideal. But it’s not reality. Reality is brutal, it’s beautiful, it’s every shade between black and white, and it’s magical. Yes, magical. Because every now and then, it turns nothing into something.” – Tara Kelly In a normal world, Sue and I would be flying round about now with special friends, Ian and Sue Prior, to Vancouver, Canada. But the reality is something completely different. Covid-19 arrived about six months ago and turned nothing into something big, which humanity is still desperately trying to comprehend. Vancouver ranks in my top three cities I have ever visited (Cape town and Sydney being the other two). Beautiful waterways and snow-capped peaks in the city background. This is where around about 9th July we were scheduled to collect our RV’s and set off on ... read more
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“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.”- Isaac Newton Thank goodness there is a thing called a pause button. Timely to hit it and put Covid-19 to one side for a moment. Fortunately, in the current level 3 scenario of our lock down, one is able to spread those wings just a bit. A week ago, we did just that along with close friends, Brett and Lorraine Wilson Jones, when we left the confines of our homes for the first time in weeks and headed for the Schotia Safaris Private Game Reserve which abuts onto the eastern side of the Addo Park. This is an upmarket game park which caters primarily for the international market but the virus has virtually shut down their operations. In business, when backs are to the wall, one ... read more
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“There is no such thing as race. None. There is just the human race – scientifically, anthropologically.” – Toni Morrison. A martyr is defined as someone who suffers persecution or death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a religious belief or cause as demanded by an external party. Accordingly, the status of the “martyr” can be considered a posthumous title as a reward for those considered worthy of martyrdom by the living. Over the centuries there have been a number of martyrs who qualify according to this definition and one who springs to mind in these modern times is Martin Luther King, leader of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. What does this have to do with the Covid-19 pandemic? Well, look no further ... read more
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“If one corrects a mistake doing the right thing, things become better. If one corrects a mistake doing the wrong thing, things become wronger. It is better to do the right thing wrong than doing the wrong thing right…” – Russell Ackhoff’s f-laws (born 1920, he was a pioneer in the field of operations research, systems thinking and management science). Here we are into month eight of the Covid-19 pandemic, not forgetting it reared its ugly little multi-spiked head in Wuhan, China in November 2019. Ironically, we know as much about this virus today as was the case then. Very little! There is no vaccine and no cure yet despite the very best brains and pharmaceutical giants literally throwing the medical science laboratory and bank vault at the problem. Why does it not seem to affect ... read more
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“The difference between genius and stupidity is, genius has its limits” – Albert Einstein This past week has been incredibly eventful; the coronavirus thunders on like a rocket that has a defined path beyond human understanding, many USA cities are in flames precipitated by the death of a black citizen at the hands of the police, the new epicentres of the virus are India and Brazil and right here in sunny South Africa, the Government and its rigid lock down laws are klapped in a court of law. Riveting, no doubt, but there was an event in recent days which should lift the spirits of this nation to stratospheric heights. But before launching into this exceptional story, a moment of reflection for what some outstanding fellow South Africans have invented and achieved for the World in ... read more
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