This is how each day begins, maybe even before breakfast. The sheep usually seem eager to head to their grazing area across the bridge.
Yesterday we noticed that we weren't the only ones watching the process! Although the monkeys don't seem to bother people, they are very clever about raiding unattended garden plots! I have really enjoyed watching the wildlife. This little fellow and handful of his buddies are the wildest life we've seen thus far, with a lizard here and there, no snakes, and all manner of color, size, and song of bird. Truly wonderful. If only I knew what all of them were called! Earlier in the week, while waiting for transport home from an outing to one of the "communities," we watched zebras and springbok grazing at the lion park across the roadway. Yes there was a fence, but still... nice.
The donkeys are next. He cleaned out this area and built the fencing to contain his newest additions. He dreams of taming and training the donkeys for useful activities at Refilwe such as plowing the maize (corn) fields and pulling a donkey cart. He had some memorable experiences traveling six hours north to Limpopo with his friend Kleinboi to purchase these creatures and transport them home. Rural protocol sent him to the chief for a donkey "proof of purchase" which more than paid for itself when he was stopped on the way home.
These chickens, in the local vernacular, are nonsense. All day long they could talk and fuss and cluck; instead they are annoyingly silent. However, at 4 am, when we are finally, truly, deeply sleeping the racket begins. There is no rooster, but one hen seems set apart to perform the morning ritual. So much noise out of one beautiful red combed, black feathered chicken! And so we are awake, the wakefulness of those who are changing time zones and who drank coffee too late in the day to be polite (and because it was so good…) Max chuckles at my "designated rooster" comment, and we make the motion of chopping off it's head as he quips, "it is better for one man to die for the nation… better for one hen to die for the flock." We talk big, but they are not our chickens and they will not be butchered.
But it hasn't all been work. One day this week Jaco, our son's boss, took us for lunch to a traditional Afrikaans food stand along the road. We stuffed ourselves on chicken and "pap" (pronounced somewhere between pop and pup) a thick carbohydrate made from white corn; it reminded me of very thick cream of wheat (it is the tradition to eat it with fingers!) and it was a nice contrast to the spicy hotness of the chicken and sauce.