23 Apr Kroonstad-Bethlehem
After spending two days there, the petrol station feels like home. At the fast food restaurant where we’ve been taking all our meals we’ve made friends with everyone. Today, to mark our last breakfast there, the staff surprises us with a farewell song in which everyone is taking part, even the cooks. It transpires that some of the ladies there come from the township we visited yesterday and they want to thank us for giving out presents. It all ends in a general hug, with typical African warmth. The morning program continues with a meeting with the local farmers at Kronstad’s agricultural and technical school, which happens to own quite a nice collection of vintage tractors, where we have the opportunity of having a chat with some of the students. The kids we meet in Bethlehem in the afternoon unfortunately have a quite different background. The guests of the Kantore foster home have gone through abuse and poverty, or come from families that are unable to take care of them. We hand out t-shirts, soccer and rugby balls and backpacks and the kids are ecstatic. They appear serene, but there’s a rather heart-breaking undercurrent of distress about many. It’s a sad ending to the day.