This article is sponsored by

We have seen the power of this village coming together to make a difference and so we appeal to you to not only save water but also spare a thought for the many farmer;s wives in the Eastern Cape suffering a devastating drought..

If you had opened yesterday’s St Francis Today you could not have missed that much of the Eastern Cape news was about the drought. The Eastern Cape is in dire straits and none more so than the farmers of the Karoo.

A Facebook project called “Boks vir ‘n Boervrou” (Box for a Farmers Wife) was stared recently and Seeff St Francis Bay has chosen to join the initiative and assist by opening their office in the Village (behind the pharmacy) as a drop-off point for boxes donated by St Francis residents.

Here is a wonderful opportunity, in true ‘village’ generosity, to make the lives of the many farmer’s wives a little more tolerable with some much needed pampering giving them the strength to face another day, a week, another month, until the drought finally releases them from these terrible times.

 If you would like to take part and send a Farmer’s Wife a box of treats, you are welcome to drop your box off at the Seeff St Francis Bay office (behind the Pharmacy). Seeff will send the boxes on to the distribution centre from where they will then be distributed to the many farmer’s wives suffering the hardships of this crippling drought..

Below is the original article posted on the “Box for a Farmer’s Wife” Facebook page. It is written in Afrikaans so if you don’t have Facebook or cannot read Afrikaans here is the article reproduced in both Afrikaans and in English (We ask that you excuse the translation from Afrikaans to English but the Editor was Natal schooled and his Afrikaans, embarrassingly  is not what it should be so we trust it is accurate enough to convey the plight the farmers are suffering..

Original Article translated

Close your eyes. Imagine, you are a Karoo farmer’s wife. You stand in the kitchen overlooking the farmyard. There once were tractors and implements. Everything has gone now. Everything has been sold. Now search for something green, even just a dot. But you see nothing. Two of the enormous old eucalyptus trees are dead. You see the river and lucerne filelds in the distance, dry and dull. The river has not run for 5 years. You feel the tears start and look away quickly

Out the corner of my eye I see the kettle, oh how I wish for a cuppuchino and to a chance to sit on the sofa to read my Rooi Rose. Oh, why didn’t I appreciate when could? But no. I can’t drink coffee right now. The Ricoffy is almost empty and I’m saving it for my husband so I walk to the tap and pour a glass of water. After 25 years on the farm I still haven’t got used to the brackish borehole water.

The kids, Attie and Lisa are in Worcester in high school, 400km from here. Lisa’s matric farewell is around the corner. I managed to borrow a dress from a girlfriend … but what about next year? I get a tightness on my chest. How are we going to pay for her studies? We’re not even going to be able to get a loan. Attie informed that his sneakers were done. The tennis matches start next week.

I watch the farm road. Johan, my husband, comes home today. He went to work on a farm in the Boland for two weeks to earn a few bags of feed. Johan is so courageous and hopeful. He would stopped off at the cooperative in town on the way home to hear if they couldn’t make a plan. The sheep short of feed even though we only have a third of our herd left, the rest sold or rather, given away.

There is hardly anything for them to eat. I rub my hands in despair. It has been a rough two weeks physically and emotionally. I have to feed the sheep myself and also fixed the fence. We had to let our workers go two years ago. The water troughs are so full of sludge and need to be cleaned but I can’t waste that water. The windmill only provides just a dribble of water. The sheep are lean, very lean. My heart breaks. The ewes push their lambs away. Kernels, the neighbor’s worker, told us yesterday that the foxes were busy with them again.

I look at the kitchen table, set with the our meal for tonight: eggs and bread. I so enjoy cooking but now with an empty pantry, it feels like part of me is dead. Our gas bottle is long gone so there is not a hot shower waiting for my husband. Dear Lord, how will I support my husband if my heart is already so heavy. Tears are shallow.

I can see the cloud of dust in the distance getting closer. I say to myself: Come woman! Stand up! Be strong! But my legs are numb and I fall to my knees and ask the Lord for strength, for the right words to encourage my husband. I watch him download a few bags of feed he bought at the co-op. Enough for a week. From his body language I can see he is tired. He has grown old the last few years. He did not get good news from the cooperative.

He stops and I see him watching the cloudless sunset … with a deep hope that the rain will come tomorrow. I see he unloads a shoe box and I wonder what could it be? I salute my husband and I see my name on the box. Something special for me ?! With excitement I open it. Two bags of cappuccino, shampoo, conditioner and cream! A letter addressed, “Dear Karoo Woman” and the most beautiful red scarf. I immediately put the scarf around my neck and it felt like I was blooming. Thank you Lord! I know my husband would like to buy the stuff for me, but the last few years every available cent has been used for livestock feed.

With a hop in my step and a heart full of gratitude and hope, I cook the eggs and look forward to a cappuccino that my husband and I will now share. Thank God someone cares.

Juanita en Karen (+27 (82) 448-0690). One of the numbers will work. Contact us for more detail.

 

Oorspronklike artikel

Maak jou oë toe. Dink jou in, jy is ‘n Karoo boervrou. Jy staan in die kombuis en kyk uit oor die plaaswerf. Daar waar eens trekkers en implemente gestaan het. Als is nou leeg. Als is verkoop. Soek ietsie groen, net ‘n kolletjie. Maar sien niks. Twee van die enorme ou bloekombome is dood. In die verte sien ek die rivierloop en die lande vir lusern… droog en vaal. Die rivier het 5 jaar laas geloop. Ek voel hoe die trane wil begin en kyk vinnig weg.

My oog vang die ketel…so lus vir ‘n lekker sakkie cuppuchino en om ‘n Rooi Rose op die bank te lees. Ai, hoekom het ek nie daai dae meer waardeer nie? Maar nee. Ek kan nie nou koffie drink nie. Die ricoffy-blik is amper leeg. Ek spaar dit vir my man. Stap na die kraan en skink ‘n glas water. Na 25 jaar op die plaas is ek steeds nie gewoond aan hierdie brak boorgatwater nie.

Attie en Lisa is in Worcester in die hoërskool, 400km van hier. Lisa se matriekafskeid is om die draai. Darem ‘n rok geleen gekry by ‘n vriendin…maar wat van volgende jaar? Ek kry ‘n beklemming op my bors. Hoe gaan ons vir haar studies betaal? Ons gaan nie eers ‘n lening kan kry nie. Attie het laat weet sy tekkies is gedaan. Die tenniswedstryde begin volgende week.

Ek hou die plaaspad dop. Johan, my man, kom vandag huis toe. Hy het vir 2 weke op ‘n plaas gaan werk in die Boland. Dis darem ‘n paar sakkies voer werd. My man, so moedig en hoopvol. Hy sou oppad terug by die koöperasie op die dorp stop, hoor of hul nie ‘n plan kan maak nie. Die skape kort voer. Ons het nou ‘n derde van die skape oor. Res reeds verkoop, nee, eintlik weggegee. Amper niks vir hulle gekry nie. Ek vryf oor my rug en kyk na my hande. Dit was fisies en emosioneel ‘n rowwe 2 weke. Ek het self die skape gaan voer gee en lyndrade gestap. Ons moes 2 jaar gelede noodgedwonge ons werkers laat gaan. Ek sien die waterkrippies is so vol slyk, wil dit so graag skoonmaak, maar ek kan nie daardie water mors nie. Die windpomp gee net drupsgewys water. Die skape is maer, baie maer. My hart breek. Die ooie stoot hul lammers weg. Kerneels, die buurman se werker, het gister laat weet die jakkalse was weer doenig by hulle.

Ek kyk na die tafel in die kombuis, mooi gedek. Ons eet vanaand die gewone: eiers en brood. My kombuis was altyd my hartsplek. So geniet om te kook. Nou, met hierdie leë koskaste, voel dit of ‘n deel van my dood is. Ons gasbottel is lankal reeds op, daar is nie ‘n warm stort wat vir my man wag nie. Liewe Here, hoe gaan ek my man ondersteun as my hart reeds so swaar is. Trane lê vlak.

Ek sien die stofwolkie in die verte aankom. Sê vir myself: Kom vrou! Staan op! Wees sterk! Maar my bene is lam en ek sak op my knieë en vra die Here vir krag. Vir die regte woorde om my man te bemoedig. Ek sien my man laai ‘n paar sakkies voer af by die stoor. Seker genoeg vir ‘n week. Uit sy lyftaal kan ek sien hy is moeg. Hy het oud geword die laaste paar jaar. Hy het nie goeie nuus by die koöperasie gekry nie.

Hy stop by die huis. Ek sien hoe hy kyk na die wolklose sonsondergang…met ‘n diepe hoop dat die reën more sal kom. Ek sien hy laai ‘n skoenboksie uit en ek wonder wat kan dit wees? Ek groet my man en ek sien my naam staan op die boksie. Iets spesiaal vir my?! Met opgewondenheid maak ek dit oop. Twee sakkies cuppuchino, sjampoe, conditioner en room! ‘n Briefie wat begin met: “Liewe Karoo Vrou” en die mooiste rooi serp. Ek sit dadelik die serp om my nek en dit voel of ek blom. Dankie Here! Ek weet my man sou graag die goedjies vir my wou koop, maar die laaste paar jaar is elke beskikbare geldjie gebruik vir veevoer.

Met ‘n huppel in my stap en ‘n hart vol dankbaarheid en hoop, gaan bak ek die eiers en sien uit na die pakkie cuppuchino wat ek en my man nou-nou gaan deel. Dankie Here, iemand gee om.

Juanita en Karen (+27 (82) 448-0690). Een van die nommers sal werk. Kontak gerus vir meer detail of as julle iets stuur vir hierdie projek.

Cut off date: All boxes must be in by Friday 25 October 2019

Ideas for items that can be included:

Bathroom items, Shampoo, Toothpaste, Deodorant for him and her, Sweeties that won’t break or melt, Jelly, Spices, Noodles, Tuna, Condensed milk, Pens, Pencils, Magazine, Plasters, Panado, Coffee, Cappuccino Sicks, Sugar, Rice, Soup Powder, Non-Perishable canned foods, Lipstick, Pretty Scarf, Dishcloth, Dishtowel, Oven Mitts, Tissues, Hairbands, Mascara, Shaving Razors – or whatever you can afford that would be a thoughtful gift or treat.

Place items in a shoebox, wrap well with newspaper or brown paper and put a ribbon around the wrapped box. No names on the box, but a note of encouragement, bible verse, prayer or well wishes are welcome! Boxes will be distributed as is so give a little thought to your contribution..