Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Panoramic View




Day 8 of our international travel seminar was expansive in both sights and sounds. From a visual perspective, we saw the best South African panoramic sights to date. Named for Dutch settlers in the early 1800’s, Bourke’s Potholes Nature Reserve has a rich, colorful history at the fork of two rivers. Locals indicate the River of Sorrow and the River of Joy were named after a scouting party who was sent to secure a ship port on the Indian Ocean portion of the continent and did not return for more 30 days –thus the River of Sorrow. After several months and move of the settlement to the other river, the scouting party returned and the settlers named the second river “River of Joy”.

Three Rondawells is a mountain range with beautiful valleys that truly provide a grand majestic view. At 1,829 meters above sea level, it was the perfect place for a class photo.

The group was also blessed to have one of our game guides and a member of one of the local villages – Solly Manyike – shared facts and stories about life in his native village (pop. 6,000). Solly shared that men can not marry until age 25 and women until age 22. In addition, men can have more than one wife as long as they can afford them. The Village Chief has enormous power and makes all major decisions including who can receive land as well as punishments for crimes. The Chief’s first son from his first wife is the next Village Chief upon his father’s death.

The group ended the evening with game drive where we saw several types of antelope, rhino and zebra. The group enjoyed authentic African food and native dance. Our view of South Africa has been truly a “panoramic view”!!!

Ray Smith, Jody Heemstra, and David Lambert