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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
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Reports

Monday, 15 October 2001
Claremont --> Durbanville, Cape Town (SA)

From Neil and Rozie in Claremont I was brought up to the northern suburb Durbanville, where I stayed with the Griffin family. They have a special interest in people from other countries as they have lived in the country Lesotho for over 3 years.
It is great to wake up wit a delightful breakfast off toast and coffee, after Neil had left for his work and Rozie brought away Jessica to the day care center.

Rozie was quite a conversationalist, I didnít really realized that yesterday with all the other company.

With enthusiasm she told me that she is currently a home executive which is a fancy title for the young mother at home, but she is also a certified food technologist and nutrition dietetist.

That means that she is one of the persons that decides what ingredients there have to be used in a meal at the grocery shop. Next time look at the contents of the box and think about my host Rozie in Claremont.

ďItís basically this: if someone makes a delicious meal and wants this to be produced in a factory for mass production, I have to find the right ingredients. The meal has to contain the things that preserve the meal a bit longer, has to preserve its original taste too and has to be the adjusted to the factory standards of the production line.Ē

It sounded quite a business and she even advices people with their diets, together with some friends of hers, especially for those who are obsessed with counting calories or grams of fat. Rozie would be on of the facilitators who demonstrate how to break the diet cycle and rebuild a confident new lifestyle. (more info at www.hugs.com)

After noon Rozie brought me up the northern suburb Durbanville, where she dropped me off at the Tiger Valley mall, a huge (!) complex built in a classic style with a enormous amount of shops. Here my next host would collect me at 4.30 as he would come back from his work.

Malls like Tiger Valley wonít work in The Netherlands. Itís just too fancy, too big for Dutch standards. Holland is already a tight country with its 16 million inhabitants and seeing a mall like this just makes me think about all the costs involved in building it (and thinking about the back pocket is just a very Dutch thing).

We Dutch would build efficiently and low-cost, but still preserving the idea of a mall. As soon as things get overdone in our country, people might turn against it. Then itís not normal anymore.

It was Rob Griffin, who works at the ESKOM electrical company, who picked me up at the mall. He knows what had happened last week when a big part of the country had a power blackout, but he couldnít tell me all the details. Too much was in serious investigation right nowÖ

He drove me to their bungalow home in a middle-class area in Durbanville, as he calls it himself, where I met his wife Rosie and their children Cherise and Vaughen.

The children were excited to meet me Ė actually so were they all. Rob had already invited me in June and he never really thought I would ever visit South Africa. But suddenly I was here and ready to stay-for-a-day at their place. He was very surprised about it.

The Griffins have lived in Lesotho for three years. Lesotho is a country in the east part of South Africa and completely surround by South Africa too, also called The Country in the Sky (because it is mostly highland with plateaus, hills, and mountains).

Rob worked there for ESKOM on the Highlands Water Project controls, which provides water and power for the Gauteng province (Johannesburg) in South Africa.

Their lives had been enriched after living in Lesotho. They met up with so many different nationalities that their interests in people from another country are higher than normal.

That was also one of the reasons that Rob invited me over, he loves to talk with people who come from a different part of the world. Just to be informed a bit more, because youíll hear different things than from your next-door neighbor.

I got a nice chicken curry meal for dinner as we discussed life in South Africa and my thoughts about the country as they very enthusiastic to interrogate me about my journeys.

Later the night I gave Rosie the Letmetstayforaday-gift from Neil and Rozie Andrew in Claremont. The whole family knew about the gifts-chain as Rob frequently follows my tracks on this website.

And Rosie looked very happy with the bottle of Amarula whisky cream. As I didnít know that beverage yet, the bottle was opened immediately and poured in glasses. I could just feel the wildlife passing me by again, while slurping from the South African drink.

The kids went to bed and the rest of us ended watching the National Geographic channel on TV about certain grass dogs in the USA who strangely enough eat their own babies when they are hungry.

Okay, that was an interesting bed time story of course!

The Griffins let me sleep in Vaughenís bedroom as he would sleep in the computerroom. With a towel on the neatly wrapped bed and my own bath room it almost seemed a hotel room to me. Of course I slept as a rose again.

Good night Durbanville!

Ramon.



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