It was a quiet weekend here in Johannesburg as we will be leaving next Saturday, December 20th for a week in Namibia. I compare this weekend to a weekend in the states where you just run a few errands, have lunch out and oh yes, play with the dogs!
Saturday started out with a stop at David’s office. I have often heard about his office but had not seen it. It is appropriately called the “war room.”
He is overseeing the design of a uranium mine in Namibia. He keeps track of the progress of the engineers with the various charts fixed to the wall.
To encourage steady production, he places “smiley faces” or “sad faces” next to the engineer’s name. David said that he is amazed at how motivating it is for the employees…they really want that “smiley face!”
It is working as the employees progress has steadily improved over the past few months. For that, he rewarded his employees with a huge luncheon to express his thanks.
Next stop, was the Kyalami Race Track. David discovered this place one weekend when I was still in the states. He has enjoyed watching Ferraris, McLarens…which he actually got a ride around the track in and motorcycles race.
The track isn’t far from our home and every once in a while, we will ride out there to see if there is a race of interest. This weekend, it was motorcycles. We stayed for a few laps and then left.
We visited Nelson Mandela Square Mall in Sandton City, next door to Bryanston, our neighborhood. Yes, it was absolutely CRAZY to visit a mall 12 days before Christmas and “Yes, Virginia, the mall was packed with Christmas shoppers, like in the states!”
I really wanted to go to this mall because the had a great craft market. Noticed I used the past tense “had”….it closed about 3 months ago. I was so bummed. There is no other reason I would have attempted to visit a mall on a Saturday, two weeks before Christmas!
We had a nice lunch, walked around with the masses and then left. I must say that the Christmas decorations that I have seen so far are just so-so. At the mall, they had some “icicle lights” strung across the hallways and a few trees throughout the mall but the stores have very little Christmas decorations in their window displays. Santa was there….he looked like Santa from the states and children were lined up to have their annual visit with him.
The rest of the day was spent with the dogs and cats in the yard. After dinner, is when Titus and Eagle can come inside. They always look so forward to it. I spend an hour with one on one side and the other on the other side patting them….which they soak up like water to a sponge. Unfortunately, Tara is still banned from coming inside. David and I give her plenty of attention, though, as one of us will go outside and play with her so she won’t feel left out.
It was much like an uneventful Saturday we would have had in the states.
Sunday we made a practice run to the airport. We have decided to drive and leave our car as to make arrangements to be dropped off and picked up over the holidays was difficult. It is fairly easy to get to the airport, straight interstate driving and it takes about 30 minutes or so. It is well-marked with signs and another fun feature, is they have an airplane logo on the lane that you are supposed to be in to get to the airport. Very helpful!
Coming back, we decided to try and find the hall where the Lipizzaner Horses preform. Believe it or not, there are Lipizzaner Horses here in South Africa and they are descendants of the infamous Austrian Lipizzaner horses in Vienna.
Count Jankovich-Besan rescued a few of these remarkable horses from war-torn Austria and brought them here to South Africa. David and I have been wanting to see a performance which is every Sunday at 10:30. I looked on their website to see if we could see them perform this past Sunday. However, they have a special Christmas show and for Sunday, it was sold out.
We are going to attend the show on Wednesday night and decided to make a drive to the arena so we were certain to know where we are going. It is close by the Kyalami Race Track and not far from our house. That is the good news…the bad news is that we are going to be out at night…which is never a good thing or encouraged in Johannesburg. I was noticing that there are no street lights lining the streets on the way to the arena. Oh well, I will just ask for a “pyramid of protection” to surround us. It won’t be dark going to the performance, just coming from it.
When we arrived at the arena, we were pleased to see several dogs and their owners in the field in front of it. They were holding trials for agility training for dogs. It was so much fun to watch them. How clever they are to run and jump, weave and dart through the tunnels. Just another unknown “gem” to those like us who don’t know how to find these type of events when they happen here in Joburg. So happy that we happened upon it.
So, now we know how to get to the airport and to the Lipizzaner arena for the Christmas show Wednesday night. I am so excited to attend the show. It will be really the only holiday event that we will attend this season. So hard to be away from loved ones and home during this time of year!