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