13 May Cullinan-Balfour
We reach the outskirts of Pretoria, one of South Africa’s three capital cities together with Cape Town and Bloemfontein. We’re just passing by today, on our way to Balfour, but we’ll be back in a week’s time for Xtractor’s official closing ceremony. Right now, though, there are a few more important things we need to attend to. One of them we would gladly have done without, frankly, and it’s our first police check. Strangely enough for a country with a whole lot of traffic police patrolling the roads at all times, we hadn’t been stopped yet in almost two months. Despite looking quite stern at first, once she ascertains that the drivers ‘ licenses are ok the police officer relents and turns curious. When she hears about our partnership with Amref for the community vegetable garden and the soccer field we are inaugurating in a few days ‘ time, she gets emotional and hugs us goodbye. We have arranged to have braai tonight, the grilled meat that’s a quintessentially South African ritual, so much so that barbeque facilities are available for free virtually anywhere. By virtue of their superior knowledge, our local escorts are braaing the steak and sausages, but we are contributing our humble bit as well – some grilled tomatoes flavoured with olive oil and Mediterranean herbs that are both healthy and delicious, and get wiped out in a flash. The best of two worlds!