Thursday, September 19, 2013

Update in South Africa

We arrived home in Marquard on Sunday evening and as usual it's been "all systems go" since our return. On Monday I had a much-needed pedicure with my friend, Carin and also caught up on all the news.

On Tuesday Grant and I had a few appointments in the city, Bloemfontein and we also bought various vitamins and OTC meds not available in Tanzania.

Later we met up with Wessel (my IT friend in Mwadui) and his wife Louise for a lovely lunch at Jimmy's Killer Prawns. Afterwards we drove to Wes and Louise's home to see the renovations which they had had done while they were in Tanzania. We also arranged with them where we'd meet up to go to our friend, Dick's funeral on Wednesday.

Grant, Jo, Louise and Wessel in their newly refurbished kitchen

Louise' house is all wooden floors and wall panels with extremely clean lines accentuating each area 

On Wednesday mid-morning, Grant and I set off for Parys, in the Northern Free State. We were in contact with Louise and Wessel and as Grant and I arrived in town first at around 1pm, we waited in a restaurant for them. 

At 1.15pm Louise phoned me, voice quivering. They'd been in a massive 14-vehicle accident on the freeway. When we'd passed that area earlier, we noticed a huge cloud obviously emanating from a veld-fire. By the time they passed there fifteen minutes later, the wind had blown the smoke across the freeway resulting in zero visibility for vehicles driving along there. 

Wessel ran into a stationary vehicle parked in the middle of the road. As he did this, a truck rammed him from behind and another into the truck behind them and so on. 
 The back of Wessel and Louise' vehicle
The front of the car
Side-view of the car

Louise and Wessel ended up in a local hospital with severe bruising and shock. They, of course, didn't make the funeral and asked us to explain to Rina what had happened. 

Grant and I went on alone to the memorial service which was beautifully done. Although we were all very emotional, it was still good to see our dear friend, Rina again. We were also pleased to see that she had wonderful support from her son, daughter, Dick's son, and Rina's own two brothers and her sister.
The funeral sheet showing a photo of Dick on the cover
Grant and me with Rina after Dick's memorial service. I forwarded this photo to the expat ladies of Mwadui, who were with us in spirit yesterday

Once we'd collected the cats' medicines which Dick had bought, from Rina, their Mwadui house key and Dick's company phone, we bid our precious friend goodbye.

As soon as we were on the road again, I contacted Louise to see if we could fetch them from hospital and give them a lift home to Bloemfontein. They had been discharged from hospital but she said her brother had driven up from Bloemfontein and they would return home with them. 

Now we're home again and packing the motorbike in preparation for our week-long ride to the Cape. 

I won't be online while we're away but hope to post as soon as we return to Marquard and before we drive (in the car) to Durban to visit Grant's mum.

I hope you're all keeping well and having a great week. 

Blessings

Jo


9 comments:

  1. Terrible car accidents!! Glad you and Grant are okay! Hope you have a good weekend!! Stay safe!

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  2. Scary about that wreck but glad that your friends are both okay... Yipes!!!!

    Glad you made it --and got to go to the funeral. Great photos. Both you and Grant look fabulous and healthy!!!!

    Have fun going to the Cape.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  3. My Word! They could have been killed in that tiny car! Bless their hearts...What a sad time for you all!!
    (((HUG)))

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  4. HI Jo How terrible. Glad to hear you both are OK.

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  5. My goodness Jo, your friends really had a time of it. I thank God they are okay. I'm glad you were able to make it to the funeral to support your other friends. Have a safe and happy journey until we hear from you again. Hugs. xx

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  6. Jo wow, the car accident sounded terrible. I am glad your friends escaped with just bruises., it could have been worse. I wish you happy and safe travels.

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  7. So glad they survived that accident. How terrible. And on top of the funeral.

    Be careful out there on your journey.

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  8. That's one hectic accident. Glad they didn't have very serious injuries.

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