My weekend started like every day does here in the valley, viewing my garden from my desk!
The bush and mountains are so lush after the regular rains which have fallen over the past two months
Following a bird call, I went off the road and onto a path through the bush. The bird was a Black-headed Gonalek which I don't have a photo of so I have one below downloaded from the Internet
Early on Saturday morning, Naomi, my houselady arrived with a bag containing three pawpaws and about a dozen avocado pears. They were from her father's farm, she said and a gift for us. Isn't that sweet?
In a post at the end of April, I wrote about helping Sue clean and prepare the house next door for the mine manager. He arrived and moved in on 3rd May and we went on leave the next day. Last week, while Grant and I were walking around the lanes after work, we met up with Borries which was the first time I'd met him. On Friday his wife flew up from Johannesburg for a week's holiday. On Saturday morning I popped over with a plate of hot cheese puffs, a longstemmed rose and a card welcoming her to the valley. I also took two pawpaws and half-a-dozen avocado pears as a gift.
Avocado pears are high in vitamins A, C, E and K; also potassium, iron, magesium and vitamin B6. You can read all about the health benefits of this natural sourse of oil here. In South Africa, avocado pears are rather expensive; you can pay up to ZAR20/US$3 for one avo. Here in Kenya they cost KES 20/US$-20c! Fortunately we love avocado pears and I use them in salads, we enjoy slices of this delicious butter-flavoured fruit on toast or just as guacamole with crisp biscuits. I have eaten cold avocado soup at the Guest House, and will probably try my hand at making this while I have a surplus of avos.
On Saturday evening Grant and I drove out in search of birds and stopped, as usual on the low-level bridge across the river near the office. I managed to capture these two young boys fishing
On Saturday night, Grant made the ubequitous braai (barbeque). He invited Johan, the financial manager who is here on single status, to join us. After the meal, the men watched Super 15 Rugby while I caught up with my blog visits. I could follow the entire game on the television behind me, [without watching] because the men inadvertantly gave me a running commentary (you know the sort of comments: "now run the ball; pass to the left/right; wake up ref, didn't you see that high tackle? Yesss! Cheetahs - our team - scored right under the poles")
Early on Sunday morning Grant and I went out birding again. He stopped on the bridge so that I could photograph the river . Isn't it beautiful?
After watching and photographing a trio of African Pied Wagtails on the bridge, we drove further along to a road running below the damwall beyond the office buildings. We were amply rewarded with Pied Kingfishers having a feast on the fingerlings in the dam. There were also about five White-bellied Go-away birds, a host of Cattle Egrets, an African Jacana and three Hamerkops. More about these later.
On our way home, along the road I snapped an old lady who walks from her home higher up on the hill to the market below. She does this every day. When I asked Sephania why she did this, he said she waited at the market for someone to give her a cup of chai (spicy, sweet, milky tea) and mandazi. (a flat piece of deepfried dough, popular with the local people)
Every day thiis old lady strides along the road (barefoot) from her home in the hills to the market square in the village. Late afternoon finds her walking back home again
Last night Borries and his wife invited Grant and me and Johan to an informal supper of vetkoek and mince. Vetkoek is made from handfuls lumps of dough deepfried in hot oil. When drained and cooled, you split the "bun" open, fill it with savoury mince and enjoy. I had cheese and apricot jam with mine. In the name of good manners, for once I subdued my concience and ate this high-calorie treat along with the others.
A wonderful peaceful weekend in the valley.
To see more of what others did over the weekend, click here. Gattina of Writer Cramps hosts this delightful and necessary (at my age, lol!) meme.