|Posted on August 1, 2018 at 9:00 PM|
The last third of our trip this year was to sell Huberta, (the camper). Amazing how a vehicle could rake up so much emotion when you go to say goodbye to it.... but it was true.
On our last night at Mabula, we saw Nightcam pick up a great video of the Genet who came through again, and actually stopped and looked at the camera this time, we were pretty stoked with that. On our trip into Bela Bela, for supplies, we actually met the previous owners of Huberta.!! They saw her in the carpark and came running out, was very interesting learning about her previous life, seems, she was much bigger than she is now!! We also stopped in a small community shop along the road where the local community pull together to sell their wares. We like to support these places, as these are the type of people who need the support most. so we managed to find a few things for the shop back home.
On our way to Hluhluwe game park, we needed to stop for the night, and stumbled upon a place at Jozini. Right at the top of the hill was a lookout where i got out to take a photo, and a young guy came out to greet us. It was only because he saw the elephants on the side of our car that he came out to investigate. Well, it ended up being, that right next to this lookout is a community help centre, called SPACE FOR ELEPHANTS FOUNDATION, (hence why he noticed the ele's on our car) , much of the ele's and other wildlife here at the nature reserve below had been poached out over the years, so some caring international people who visited, took up the challenge to reverse the damage already done. Long story short, we were invited in to camp there, and around the fire that night, we learnt of the way the foundation was trying to ressurect the elephant population AND teach the local people how to LIVE with wildlife. One of their fundraising options is to make ELEPHANT DUNG PAPER, which they deomonstrated to us in the morning. The other off-spin from this, is that when they go to the schools to teach the children about living with the ele's, they also learn the importance of not throwing their litter on the ground and keepimg all their papers. (littering is a BIG problem in much of Africa). The logic is, that they need all the scrap paper to mulch down, plus they need the elephant dung to mix with the paper.... so it is important to have the elephants around, otherwise, they cannot achieve their business in making the Elephant Dung Paper!! It is a good incentive and one that is working!! Naturally, Bob saw a great comparison in his brick maker that he took to Bangladesh years ago, amd the way they make the ele paper,..this got them all very excited, cause you make bricks out of paper to use for cooking etc instead of burning wood or charcoal. They loved the idea, so now we are sending over the paper brick maker we have at home. If anyone else has one of these gadgets and doesnt want it, i am happy to send it over as well.
In Hluhluwe game park (spoken as: shush Loo ee) Our highlight was finding a family of Rhino on the side of the road. Strangely enough mum, dad and baby all together. The big highlight was when mum wanted to come over and check out our car. Seems she wasn't too sure about us and needed a closer look.:mad: she walked right up to the front, had a good sniff, deemed it be ok, and wandered back to the family again. So COOL!!!
Our travels to sell Huberta took us down to the coast, where we finally found a buyer. Seems simple enough doesn't it. It was,... The real trick was in GETTING THE MONEY OUT OF THE COUNTRY... Oh yes, the lovely couple who bought Huberta first tried, for an hour and a half, to make a international transfer through the bank, ~ just as we did to buy Huberta in the first place. For us into Africa, easy.... OUT of Africa. NOT SO EASY.!! No, he could not do a transfer, so we ended up taking the cash, which, ended up being a HUGE F A T wad of cash, which is something i REALLY did not want to be carrying around in Africa..,but, now, no choice. So our new problem began... , we cannot take that much cash out of the country, So again, we need to find a way to transfer it. Took us a full 5 days before we could find a way to actually get the cash to Australia.
Stupid isn't it.... they just want to make sure that the money was brought INTO the country first before they let it go OUT the country again, and even though we have bank statements showing that, the banks still don't want to part with it. Just another reason why we would never live Africa.!!! THE SIMPLEST JOBS DEFY BELIEF !!!!
So,after spending a few fun nights with our in-laws, Erna and Johan, who came to the rescue for us again, in a BIG way, we gave away most of our excess stuff to a local security guard at the caravan park, dropped off Huberta to the new owners, who had been exceptionally patient and understanding & generous; and then headed back to Jo'burg next morning.
I spent many hours trying to pack all the stuff from our camper as well as all the new items we bought for the shop, into our 4 bags limit we're allowed to take home. With that job done, we managed to spend our last 3 nights with some friends we met back in 2014 at Elephant Sands. It is so nice catching up with people again that you meet along the way. We had a wonderful time with Ros, Natasha and the family and have to thank them for their help and hospitality, particularly at short notice.
Once again, Gail was there to pick us up at the airport, and within the first 4 hours of being home, we were woken to explosions and a house fire just over the river from us. Luckily it was sheds on fire, (albeit full of rare & vintage motorcylces etc) but no-one was hurt,... but yes, initally, hearing the blasts, our minds whent straight back to Africa.
Well, that was our last trip to Africa for at least 4 years. In leiu of us travelling to Africa, next year we bring Joseph and Nairsho here to Australia and then also 2021, it will be Samson and Purity's turn to come to Australia.
So in the meantime, we have to get our GALLERY up and ready for the summer season, where we hope to raise that money to fund their trips, and as usual, give Sheldricks their annual donations. Looks like it's back to work for us,.... so, bye for now, and don't forget,...... treat each day like it's your last, challenge yourself occassionally and put yourself outside your comfort zone.... it's amazing how good you feel afterwards.!!!!