Our first term of school officially ended last Tuesday, so five of us teachers decided it was prime time to pack our bags and head to the coast of the Papuas. Our vehicle – pictured below in all its glory – was a trusty old fire truck:
And despite the never-ending trail of potholes along the way (which made the 125 mile trip take no less than four hours), it was a wondrously grand journey.
I wish pictures would do some justice to the landscape, but since they do not, perhaps the opening words of Cry, the Beloved Country will. It’s a book about South Africa, but the landscape it describes is almost identical to what we drove through this past weekend:
“There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it. The road climbs seven miles into them, to Carisbrooke; and from there, if there is no mist, you look down on one of the fairest valleys of Africa. About you there is grass and bracken and you may hear the forlorn crying of the titihoya, one of the birds of the veld…”
“The grass is rich and matted, you cannot see the soil. It holds the rain and the mist, and they seep into the ground, feeding the streams in every kloof. It is well-tended, and not too many cattle feed upon it; not too many fires burn it, laying bare the soil. Stand unshod upon it, for the ground is holy, being even as it came from the Creator. Keep it, guard it, care for it, for it keeps men, guards men, cares for men. Destroy it and man is destroyed.”