Saturday, June 21, 2008



Ok, I am hitting a low point here.

Last night I woke several times with something biting me all over!! And there are no mosquitoes here, so, I have some company in my bed of either fleas or even bedbugs!!!!! This is really it – I tried my best to ignore the bathroom situation, actually getting pretty good in no-touch-anything shower acrobatics, but this is intolerable! I started to pull everything out of my room into the yard, took all the linnens and clothes I was wearing, and stuffed them into the little washing machine in the kitchen, only to discover that the machine too was so dirty, there were colorful things growing inside!!!! How can people live like this? So 40 min of cleaning out junks of black and green you-don’t-want-to-know-what, I finally started my laundry. At that point I could not stop anymore, and really wanted to clean at least my room, all the time thinking that Augustine told me I would be moving in 2 weeks (this is info as of yesterday), and would I have to start all over again in another cottage?

But there isn’t even a bucket around, so I went to the cottage that’s under renovation, stole an empty paint bucket, and started to clean that. Next I had to improvise with the cleaner, using laundry soap instead, and started to wash down the mold from the bathroom door and walls, hoping to improve the smell, so one does not have to gag taking a pee, not really getting into scrubbing the grime of the tiles…there is only so much one can do…..

Then on to my room: Pulled out the whole wooden bed frame, and hosed it down in the yard, washed down all the walls, door and furniture, and mobbed the floor.

I don’t know what to do with the mattress – really it should be burned - but then what will I sleep on…also the day went away from me, so now it is too late to get to a store to buy some insecticide and bomb the place.

Did I mention I also spend about 2 hours in the kitchen, sh..!

I really do not know what to do about all this. I could look for a room elsewhere, hoping for some more civilized conditions, but how would I get to Kirstenbosch everyday? I would have to look into renting or buying a car – and all this is really not in my budget, and also – I am giving this place 3 month of work for free, something does not add up well here.

And the weather is really lousy, rain coming down hard all day, and those days are really short! Actually I just realize, this is solstice today, so I am really at the low point, and everything will improve from tomorrow on! Promised!!


Work at the plant propagation is not so bad, as the people are really friendly once they warm up to you. There is lots of laughter, most of which I do not know what about as they mostly speak Afrikans, or tribal language, but laughter is a good thing anywhichway. 

I was mostly potting up restios, and doing cuttings the last two days. The restios are the real interesting thing here. In the pictures you see 3-year old, mature Elegia tectorum, ready for sale in about two month.

I will tell you more about these cape reeds soon, I am still learning just the basics of this really distinct family of Retionaceae.

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