I guess part of being an engineer is the travelling. But I must admit, I probably travel a bit more than the average engineer. Volunteering for my professional society has its perks – I am off to New Orleans, Louisiana. But most of the travelling I do is between our plant/ construction site in Mpumalanga and the offices of our design consultants in Johannesburg. The 4 hour drive isn’t much fun, but I’m glad to get away from the sticks once in a while and back to city life…

Living in the country grows on you though, and I find myself really feeling at home on those long, mountainous country roads, where the only traffic is the cows and the wildlife. I almost hit a Civit today (a type of large wild cat). This adds to my list of near-miss animals that I’ve seen on the roads since I moved into the wilderness…

  • Nguni cows (which EcoHawk mistook for wildebeest! Bless him, poor Yank!)
  • Kudu (a beautiful, large antelope – a gorgeous, adult male galloped alongside my car one morning)
  • Bushpig
  • Civet
  • Guinea Fowl (A stupid and annoying wild chicken)
  • Dogs – the domestic kind
  • Several birds, some of which I actually hit by accident (sorry!)
  • Goats
  • Baboons!!!! These guys collect in troops along the pass between my farm and Lydenburg town. It’s a wonder I haven’t hit any yet
  • Vervet Monkeys

It is like darkest Africa sometimes, but I really love it. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to travel much into actual darkest Africa yet. South Africa is quite developed but some of the older engineers at work tell stories of years of contracting projects in Nigeria, Angola, the Congo and Mozambique. Their stories put mine to shame – the shocking living conditions, potitical turmoil, bribing of police and military officials, and of course, large tax-free pay checks! Exploratory mining work seems extremely exciting, but completely wild! I am dying to get a chance to explore more African countries…what fun!