Reunited with Ingrid we made our way to the Waterberg, an old Boer faming region several hours north of Pretoria. There we stayed in a guest house on a fifth-generation owned cattle ranch. We covered a whole range of accommodation during this trip: cabana, airport hotel, rock lodge, fancy-tents, tent-tents, and private family housing.
We arrived a bit late in the evening, but just in time for the evening’s astronomy lecture. One of our hosts, Phil, is a physicist and astronomer. He had great and practical information for astronomy greenhorns. With no light pollution the stars were HUGE!
The next day, which was actually my birthday (more on this later), we hung out with the Barber and Calhoun family. Mr. B, the family patriarch, gave us a tour of the ranch and property.
We heard their history; how their relatives came to the Waterberg and how the land, country and politics have evolved. What an wonderful family. They are kind, generous, extremely open minded and articulate.
Let me say that I know many really really wonderful South Africans. But regretfully, I admit that I have sometimes found myself quick to judge or stereotype some white South Africans as close-minded or racist – but this family proved me so wrong. How valuable it is to be reminded that it was my own insular limitations that needed to be redefined and judgements that needed reconsideration.