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The tide is turning

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It is difficult to conceive that 11 months on from National Lock down on 26 March 2020, our tiny business survives and feels strongly that the tide is turning.
What a significant time and mighty relief for us, acutely mindful that so many are struggling desperately just to survive. Despite it not being my natural or preferred environment, I have embraced the online presentation space. Between weekly offerings on Patreon (www.patreon.com/robcaskie), and invitations to share stories online, we have managed to keep the proverbial wolf from our door. Necessity being the mother of invention, we ran battlefield packages for locals who were prepared to travel when travel was limited and enjoyed them thoroughly. Some of those guests invited me to share stories with their friends, and memorable outings were enjoyed to Manyoni Game Reserve and Southbroom. You may recall my mentioning the rain at Manyoni, and how covered in mud my car was upon departure?

South Africans per se’ are resilient folk, and generally love to get out. This has extrapolated into a number of battlefield tours, and bookings for the foreseeable future. Despite vaccine conundrums locally, many have decided to use Ivermectin and LIVE, rather than isolating themselves. The anti-body debate is interesting, if one can believe any figures coming out of government or Health Services?
Champagne Sports Resort have invited me to partner in their storytelling weekend 5/6 March, and we are offering a storytelling/game reserve experience at Springbok Lodge in Nambiti in May. Alec Hogg of BizNews has invited me to tell a story at their BizNews conference at Champagne Sports on 16 March. Harrington’s in Hilton are hosting our usual dinner/story event on 25 March. Interspersed with battlefield tours there is so much to be grateful for, hence my comment about the tide turning.
After 11 very difficult months, what a relief.

I had Harry Wolhuter’s grandson on tour this past weekend (Harry is famous for killing a lion with a sheath knife in Kruger in 1903), and after retelling the story of the lion attack was given a beautiful leather belt with a Wolhuter buckle. Harry’s book, Memories of a Game Ranger and especially the lion attack are part of South African folklore.
Last month a family on tour presented me with a stunning Ebony stick from Zimbabwe, with the words ‘ Umxoxi Wezindaba’ engraved. Zulu equivalent of Storyteller of history.
Incredible gifts like these are far more significant and appreciated that the financial reward of this vocation. I treasure them; besides they make great subjects for Patreon sessions.

Returning to Reichenau and Centocow Trappist Missions to show cyclists over these remarkable sites, the Polela and Umzimkulu Rivers in full spate, was a special day out too.
Although I have not seen it, the Amazon series ‘Terror’ is creating considerable interest. The series, I believe, deals with the disappearance of John Franklin’s ships Erebus and Terror in search of the North-West Passage in 1845-1848. If one is interested in the issues of Polar exploration, and how men behave when the chips are down, I think this may be worthwhile.

Rainfall records in many areas indicate this to be the best year in 18. What a bounty given the global pandemic, and some difficult drought years recently.

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