Go! Camp & Drive - - CONTENTS -

A girl’s got to be tough out here in the Kala­hari, whether you’re dressed for a party or not.

We farm 80 km out­side of Askham, and those who are fa­mil­iar with this part of the world will know that no place is “just around the cor­ner”. My three­year-old daugh­ter Elmé and I re­cently vis­ited my friend Pe­tra Knoetze’s. Pe­tra and her hus­band live about 70 km on the op­po­site side of Askham, which means that it’s roughly 150 km from our place to hers.

We are used to these dis­tances, but on the way back, near the Grootaar Pan, I could feel the bakkie shud­der­ing, so I stopped. The right rear tyre was flat, but of course there’s noth­ing un­usual about that around here ei­ther. My daugh­ter and I stood next to the road, with a load of salt lick in the back of the Isuzu. I got the wheel span­ner, the crank and the jack out so that I could change the tyre. The trick­i­est part for me is to free the nuts; but I learned long ago that if you give the wheel span­ner a good kick, the nuts should loosen. It’s also dif­fi­cult to thread the crank through the hole and into the pully so that you can lower the spare wheel from un­der­neath the bakkie.

While the bakkie was safely parked and the hand brake se­cured, lit­tle Elmé crept un­der­neath it in her pret­ti­est dress (and veld­skoen shoes, of course) to get the crank in po­si­tion. That’s when I no­ticed a photo op­por­tu­nity. I hope the young man who takes her to be his bride some day knows what he’s get­ting into! LIZ-MARI MARAIS


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