Monday, August 9, 2010

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

From Durban we took a toll road to Pietermaritzburg to visit our friend Stuart's brother Rodney and his wife Elaine. Outside of Durban we saw the cell phone towers that are disguised as either palms or pine trees.
Rodney and Elaine have a cosmetic outlet store and were gearing up for a busy time as the upcoming public holiday is Womens' Day, so they were expecting a rush on gift sets. Elaine is a talented artist and we enjoyed seeing her art in the house. Rodney is in training for an international masters' hockey tournament so he is pretty fit. We had a lot to chat about and enjoyed our time together and felt we had known each other for years rather than hours.

Elaine supports a group that helps children who have been left homeless by their parents having died from AIDS. The group fundraise to get funds to give the children what they need.

We have met quite a few of Stuart's family so we were able to catch up on their news and look at some photos of family events from the family albums.

The poinsettia in Elaine's garden
I am not a dog lover, but I was taken with Elaine and Rodney's little dog, Rusty. Their son bought a car from a lady who was going overseas and she asked them if they would also like her two dogs as well as the car. Rusty stands on his back legs and waves his paw at you. He also has a cute habit of pointing one leg behind him rather than his tail. Sometimes you could even swear he smiles as he curls his lip up to show some of his teeth.

John was able to get an optician appointment and have the glaucoma in his left eye checked. It all seemed healthy although the pressure was a little high so he was able to report to the ophthalmologist back home.

We were able to get some advice on places to visit in the Drakenburgs from Rodney and Elaine, so have made some plans to stay and hike in different parts of the mountain area. We have heard these mountains talked about so often by our South African friends- Sue and Stuart, Colleen and Derek, Evan and Fiona, and Gill and Choc - that we cannot visit Africa without visiting them.