Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Farewell function at Mwadui

Thanks to everyone who visited my blog yesterday and for all the kind comments.  I know I'll be back in the swing of things soon - soon - as soon as I've sorted the kittens and the Guest House dog's lives out! 

I also mentioned yesterday that I had made umpteen snacks for the special farewell function at the Client's club on Saturday night. All in all between me, Head Chef Paulo, Chef Michael and the entire Guest House staff, we produced fifteen trays of snacks.

We had samoosas, mandazi (a square-shaped not-so-sweet doughnut) meatballs, boerwors (SA farmer's sausage) tuna fish cakes, potato skins, potato croquettes, sardines on toast and fried pork sausages served with hot English mustard. I personally wanted to make "things on sticks" which hail from the sixties and seventies and are quite passe today I think. (It turned out to be a more tedious job than I remembered!)  I also made a foccacia bread for the BBQ meal and which the guests could break off in chunks and eat with knobs of butter.

It was a very formal occasion with speeches from all sectors of the mine and surrounding areas. The venue was beautifully decorated and although I placed my snacks on the tables before the guests arrived, I forgot to take photos! 
 The interior of the venue before the guests arrived. Several of my snacks are on the table in the foreground
Makes you wonder if you're in rural Africa after all!
Guests started arriving and soon got chatting to each other. In the top left photo is our new General Mining Manager, Arlen and his wife, Marita. Bottom right corner is Tilla and Wessel who have been in Mwadui the for ever so long !(eight years) 

Grant and his management team: Thys, Production Manager who is Caspian longest -serving employee and the longest resident of Mwadui;  Jo, caterer, carer, arbiter/peacemaker and general mother to all;  Grant, Contracts manager and Johan, Plant Manger

By 7pm the proceedings were under way. Although it was Charl,  the outgoing General Mining Manager's farewell, the incoming General Mining Manager, Arlen and his wife, Marita were warmly welcomed at the same time.  What a treat it is for the expat women of Mwadui to have another lady on site. 
Arlen, the new General Mine Manager

Once the Client management had made their speeches and presented their gift to Charl, the MC called Grant to the podium. At this point I left my seat which was quite far from the podium and followed Wessel (one of the official photographers for the evening) to a closer vantage point.
The Contracts Manager strides purposefully towards the podium! 

 Although I wrote Grant's speech, (ahem!) he ad libbed quite easily 

As a Contract's Manager to the client (in this case a diamond mining company), Grant has taken a lot of flack from their management. Originally he was hauled into summonsed to the GM's office so regularly that he got to know everyone else in the HO complex. This caused great laughter in the audience as everyone has experienced the same treatment over time! However over the past two years, he has built up a rapport with the Client. He thanked Charl too for welcoming us into the community. 
 Part of Grant's speech causes great amusement in the audience
 Charl chuckles as he remembers the many "chastisings" he gave the current Caspian Contracts Manager!

Grant presents the gift from Caspian management and staff to Charl

Grant and I bought Charl's gift in Bloemfontein. As Charl is an enthusiastic hunter, we bought him a hunting knife. We had it engraved and back home in his workshop in Marquard, Grant crafted a beautiful wooden box for it. Once he'd completed the woodwork part of the job, he lined the inside with green felt and added a small hasp and staple fastener.  
 The  engraved hunting knife in its own box which Caspian gave Charl as a farewell gift 

Once the speeches were over, the guests joined a queue and served themselves to BBQ'd meat and accompaniments.  A great time was had by all.

I'm linking my post today to Our World Tuesday which you can access by clicking here


  1. Sorry I'm late visiting your blog, Jo!! Wonderful captures and it does indeed look like a busy, fun day! Thanks for sharing and do get some rest!!!

  2. Brilliant update and celebration Jo, thank you for sharing your life there. So different from my own in Australia. :)

  3. You folks sure know how to throw a party.

  4. Looks like a very important event for sure with all the fancy decorations and the wonderful food. It looks like everything went off without a hitch and a good time was had by all. The gift for Charl looks very appropriate to his interests and it was so good of Grant to make the box for it while he was on furlough. The wooden box is very beautiful. xx

  5. How wonderful to see and hear more about your life as an ex-pat in Africa. Looks like you all put on quite an event what an interesting life!

  6. I see you are very busy again ! love your blouse !


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