We decided to have a quiet weekend, since we have been on the go for the past four weekends. We decided to visit a couple of the markets in the area and a safari outdoor store that David had discovered.
The store is called Safari and Outdoors and sells a variety of sporting goods. It was like LL Bean or Cabela’s but on a much smaller scale. Plus, the mounted animals were very different! They actually had a giraffe and elephant’s head mounted on the wall. I was curious as to where/how they got them and was told that many of the animals came from taxidermist. People who had dropped the animal off to be mounted and had never returned to pick them up. I cannot imagine how much it would cost to have an elephant or giraffe prepared by a taxidermist!
Getting into the store wasn’t as inviting as walking into LL Bean, either. We had to ring a doorbell to be “buzzed in”. Once inside, we were behind bars, like in a cage and had to be “buzzed in” through that door into the store. When it came time to leave, it was a similar procedure as well.
One display they had was a canvas tent set up for a safari. Inside, it had a rug of zebra skin, a canvas cot (similar to what the army used to use or maybe still does!), a small wooden desk that collapsed into a box. Outside, there were canvas chairs and a canvas ice bucket with a bottle of wine being chilled. It all looked comfortable and inviting. When I asked if this is something that they would actually use in the bush on a hunting safari, I was told not really. Hunting season is during the winter and this canvas tent would be a tad chilly to camp in…especially if it was this weekend!
We have been enjoying glorious weather, for winter, here in Joburg. The nights have been in the mid-40s and the days would warm to the mid-70s. Many of the local complained about how cold it was in the mid-40s. This weekend, the temperature in the morning was 32 and only warmed up to the mid-50s during the days. It has been downright cold! It seems colder than it would back in the states because there is no insulations, no central heating and the doors and windows are drafty. Most people use electric heaters that are plugged into an outlet. We have a large living room/dining room and a small electric heater that didn’t do much good. Hopefully, the weather will go back to what we had been enjoying real soon.
After visiting the safari store, we went to the Randburg Flea market at Brightwater Commons. The webpage said it had 220 permanent stalls, entertainment and the pictures made it look like it might be a fun place to spend a day. It wasn’t as nice as the pictures. Most of the stalls were wholesale items, there were some African crafts but nothing out of the ordinary. We walked around for about an hour. I bought some small speakers for my laptop but that was all. From the flea market, we went to Hyde Park Mall and went to a matinee. The ticket was only $4.00!
Sunday, we went to the Finders Keepers Market in Rosebank. This market is located on the top floor of the parking garage at the Mall of Rosebank. This market was much better and one that I think that we will return to in the future. There were several tables of crafts and antiques. I bought a few items.
On the left are the wool slippers made from scratch….sheering the wool from the sheep, the wool is then made into felt and then stitched into slippers. My wool socks that I usually wear around the apartment have not been keeping my feet warm on the cold, tile floors. Now, I wear my wool socks AND my wool slippers. My “tootsies are toasty” now!
One artist displaying his craft attracted my attention right off as everything was so colorful! I loved it all. The artist is Tendai, which means “be thankful” in Shona. Shona tribe is primarily in Zimbabwe but there are a few Shona in South Africa as well.
He had these miniature pails, tin cups, plates, trays, etc all decorated with daily life in wonderful, eye-catching colors. I chose this because it shows a woman, with a child on her back, doing dishes. She is drying the dishes on the rack.
The other item I bought from Tendai was a pencil holder made from a recycled soda can. This man was after my heart….bright colors and recycle!!!! Again, this depicts daily life of washing clothes, preparing meals. I asked if any of the women were his mother. He said that the women work hard, while the men drink beer. This was the second time I had heard that….the man builds the house and then the women of the house, do all the work while the man sits around drinking beer. I don’t know how true it is as I have seen many a South African male working in construction around my neighborhood.
Finally, we donated to the R.A.P.T.O.R. anti-poaching unit. They had a table with a few trinkets and if you donated $10, you could choose one. I decided on the giraffe key chain.
The gentleman working at the displayed shared with us the various educational programs that they have in place to help get the word out to children about poaching, the environment, etc. They have created a character “Rocky the Dog” and have books with messages from Rocky. I am impressed with this group as they are a non-profit, non-government funded program. They have a website that is still being developed. It is http://www.raptor.org.za and they have a facebook page that can be “liked”.
We asked how the poaching problem is here in South Africa and he said that slowly education is helping but that it is still out there. Two years ago, he said that there were approximately 21,000 rhinos in South Africa. Today, there are about 18,000. He feels that the problem of poaching will not be completely addressed until the young children who are receiving the lessons against poaching become adults.
I kind of liken it to our “Stop Litterong” campaign when I was growing up. I remember watching the commercial showing an Indian on a horse looking out over the landscape that was covered with litter. Then, the next shot zoomed in on the Indian’s face and there was a tear coming down his cheek. The words “Stop Litter” flashed on the screen. I felt it was a powerful campaign because over 50 years later, I still remember that commercial and no words were spoken. The education of what litter did and how it affected us eventually worked and today, although not perfect, it is much better in the states.
Hopefully, the R.A.P.T.O.R. group will experience the same success and wonderful animal’s lives will be saved. I encourage anyone reading this blog to go and “like” their facebook page to lend support to them. Thank you!
That was about it for this last weekend. Looking forward to the next weekend…always an adventure around the corner.