After all is said and done, no matter how beautiful a place is or what the towns status is or how grand the houses are, in my opinion, it’s the people who inhabit the space that give it it’s character.
Here cats sun themselves outside on the steps and the ancient Jack Russell is tolerated when he yaps and bares his teeth threateningly! Peanut Butter (the cat) had the greenest eyes, hauntingly beautiful.
The Karoo’s hay-day is long past, but, the people who live there are still amazing. They’re tenacious, hardy, friendly, kind and helpful. They are happy, uncomplicated, simple souls who each have their quirkiness’s, some are eccentric, others ordinary. People have compassion for the village idiot and tolerate the Sunday drunkard shouting at her husband from across the street.
As I walked those dusty streets after another hearty breakfast, my happy weight is changing by the day, I stopped to chat and I was stopped and asked to make a portrait or two too. A young mother sitting in the sun breastfeeding her baby had such a gorgeous smile I couldn’t resist her.
The old man walking with his stick and the small knapsack on his back reminded me of a lullaby. By simply observing him while catching up to him I could imagine the hard life he’d had.
The “trading store” was a surprise, there only the fresh produce and groceries are for sale. All the bric-a-brac has been labelled by the owner’s daughters in Cape Town; they’ve already staked their claim on their inheritance. She assured me her shop is famous and was a little shy when I asked her for her photograph. The last time she appeared in the Sunday Times her photo hadn’t done her justice at all!
There are more pedestrians and bicycles here, wheelbarrows rather than bakkies (pickup trucks) are loaded with wood stocking up before the real cold comes and children are still willing to work in the garden for pocket money! Traditional clay cattle are still made by children and two boys were just sitting down to get stuck into the mud when I passed them by.
It’s my hope that this never changes, we’ve heard the rumblings and talks about fracking in the Karoo, many lives will be affected and surely the simplicity will disappear too?