Grant asked me (I was in South Africa at the time) to locate Rudi who was working on the diamond mines in Botswana. He had just completed his contract and readily joined Grant in West Africa on a large construction and earth-moving project. I contacted Bertus, who also flew up to work with Grant.
The three of them worked together until the end of 2008 when this project was wound up. In March 2009 Grant secured the a position in Khartoum, North Africa. At the same time I received a call from a earth moving company in Liberia (West Africa) offering Grant a position on a gold mine. I gave them Rudi's phone number; he was successful and flew up within a few days to take up the position of workshop manager.
Meanwhile, in August 2009 I flew up to be with Grant and recommenced my African adventures. At the end of that year, Grant had flown (with the UN plane) to war-torn South Sudan to commission a fleet of amoured vehicles owned by the Nepalese delegation. I stayed behind in our apartment in Omdurman on the Nile River.
Grant needed an extra brain and I contacted Bertus in South Africa. He flew up to Khartoum and subsequently down to Dafur to assist Grant. A few days later, mission accomplished, they both returned to Khartoum.
Bertus remained with us until January 2010 when he returned home to the Western Cape. South Africa. He was living quite comfortably on a grant from his original gold mining employer (West Africa) but his health had deteriorated quite rapidly.
Around this time, Rudi had an offer from a gold mine operating in the DRC. He remained there until his contract expired in February 2016.
Every time Grant and I came out on break from East Africa, we popped in to see Bertus and his wife, Bakke. They had moved to their plot in a beautiful valley called Zuurbraak. Because Rudi was also on a rotation, it didn't often happen that his and Grant's leaves coincided.
This year in March Rudi drove up from his home in Wilderness, Western Cape and stayed over with us here in Marquard. He was on his way to Durban (Kwa-Zulu Natal) to visit family.
When we traveled to Cape Town in mid-May, we stayed over at Rudi's house in Wilderness. We three drove to Cape Town where we met up with other mining friends from the 90's. On our return trip up the N2, we stopped off to see Bertus and Bakke.
This was the first time in ten years that all three friends were together. I thought it warranted a photo.
Mining friends for three decades: Bertus, Grant and Rudi
I set the camera on self-timer so that Bakke and I could be included in the photo!
Here's wishing you all a WONDERFUL Monday!