Sometimes we need to just stop!

I recently created a visual journal page where I added the words “Sometimes we need to just stop”.  The stretched out arm of the lady on my page inspired the words.

I shared the picture with my visual journal friends and then received a phone call from one of them to ask me what exactly my thoughts were when choosing those words. Well, I honestly had no specific thoughts other than the fact that the stretched out hand reminded me of a “stop” hand signal.  The question posed by my dear friend, Renate Gombault, made me ponder the phrase which came to mind so spontaneously.

Is it not all about life being busy – very busy?!  We fulfill many different roles: mom, wife, friend, daughter, aunt, grandmother, colleague, employee, employer, business owner, encourager, confidante ….and so many more.

At night we fall down on our beds, either thinking of everything we did not get to do, or we pass out straight away – just to the hear the (@#$%) alarm clock go off a few hours (which feels like minutes only) later and do it all over again. Every day a rush, watching the clock, ticking the ‘to do’ list, adding to the ‘to do’ list, helping here, supporting there, trying to be everywhere and yet getting nowhere …nowhere near living a meaningful life, just being sucked up by the barrenness of a busy life!

So that is why we need to “sometimes just stop” – do a personal stock take.  Ask ourselves whether we are fulfilling our personal calling while being so busy?  Are we happy? Do we utilise and share our talents? Do we make time to fill our own ‘love cup’ so that we have enough to give to those who are in need of our care and support?  No, we don’t, because life’s too busy – there‘s no time for ‘me’!

A lady who lost her husband to suicide while her 4 children were still very small, shared her story on Radio CCFM.  To get her kids through school and university she had 3 jobs and somehow managed to cope.  Her answer to the question what her secret was for surviving this tough time in her life, was absolutely profound: “I had to look after myself first.  If I wasn’t ok, my children were not ok”.

So maybe, we need to just stop and start looking after ourselves, make time for ourselves, do something for ourselves …or at least reflect on how we can make our lives more meaningful!

This may not necessarily need lots of time or major changes, but perhaps small adjustments, a few minutes saved, minor changes …..challenge yourself to find a way to “just stop” now and then.

“ Never get so busy making a living, that you forget to make life”

 

SOMS MOET ONS NET STOP!

 Ek het onlangs ‘n bladsy in my visuele joernaal geskep waarby ek die woorde “Sometimes we need to just stop” gevoeg het.  Die uitgestrekte arm van die vroutjie op my bladsy het die woorde geinspireer.

Ek het die bladsy met my visuele joernaal vriendinne gedeel en kry toe ‘n oproep van een van hulle om te vra wat presies my gedagtes was toe ek daardie woorde gekies het.  Wel, ek het eerlikwaar geen gedagtes gehad behalwe dat die uitgestrekte hand my herinner het aan ‘n “stop” handgebaar nie.  Die vraag wat my dierbare vriendin, Renate Gombault, gevra het, het my laat nadink oor die frase wat so spontaan by my opgekom het.

Gaan dit nie alles oor ons lewe wat so besig is nie – baie besig is nie?!  Ons vervul vele verskillende rolle:  ma, vrou, vriendin, dogter, tannie, ouma, kollega, werknemer, werkgewer, besigheidseienaar, ondersteuner, vertroueling ….en soveel meer.

Saans val ons neer op ons beddens en dink óf aan alles wat ons nie gedoen gekry het nie, óf ons val onmiddellik aan die slaap – net om die (@#$%) alarm te hoor afgaan ‘n paar uur (wat slegs soos minute voel) later en alles weer oor te doen.  Elke dag ‘n gejaag, horlosie dophou, die “te doen” lysie afmerk, nog items by die lysie byvoeg, help hier, ondersteun daar, probeer oral wees en vorder met niks ….allermins met die leef van ‘n betekenisvolle lewe; ons word ingesluk deur die onbenulligheid van  ‘n besige lewe!

So dit is hoekom ons “somtyds net moet stop” – om ‘n persoonlike bestekopname te doen.  Om onsself af te vra of ons ons persoonlike roeping nastreef terwyl ons so besig is? Of ons gelukkig en vervuld is? Of ons ons talente gebruik en deel?  Of ons tydmaak om ons eie ‘liefdesbeker’ te vul sodat ons genoeg het om te deel met die wat omgee en ondersteuning nodig het?  Nee, ons doen nie, want die lewe is te besig – daar is geen tyd vir ‘my’ nie.

‘n Vrou wie se man selfmoord gepleeg het terwyl haar 4 kinders baie klein was, deel haar storie op Radio CCFM.  Om haar kinders deur die skool en universiteit te kry het sy op ‘n stadium 3 werke gehad en kry dit reg om op ‘n manier te oorleef. Haar antwoord of die vraag wat haar geheim was vir oorlewing in hierdie moeilike tyd van haar lewe, was verstommend:  “Ek moes eers na myself kyk.  As ek nie ‘ok’ was nie, was my kinders nie ‘ok’ nie.

So miskien moet ons net ‘n slag stop en na onsself begin kyk, tyd maak vir onsself, iets doen vir onsself ….of ten minste reflekteer en kyk hoe ons ons lewens meer betekenisvol kan maak!

Dit beteken nie noodwendig dat jy baie tyd nodig het, of groot veranderinge moet maak nie.  Dalk is dit klein aanpassings, ‘n paar minute te spaar, klein veranderinkies …. Daag jouself uit om ‘n manier te kry om af en toe “net te stop”!

“ Never get so busy making a living, that you forget to make life”

 

 

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Dress to Impress!

Dressing professionally does not necessarily mean wearing a suit anymore. That might be good news to most business people, but it also complicates matters.  The brand perception of your company, as well as the expectations created by the position you hold in your company, now determine the appropriate dress code for a lasting first impression.

For companies in informal industries, e.g. family restaurants, manufacturing and retail, professional wear means practical, casual outfits. An example of such an outfit for men is chino trousers and check shirt/golf shirt, or an overall if in manufacturing.

In formal industries, however, e.g. law and finance, professional wear entails conservative, formal outfits. For men, this means classic trousers and a lounge shirt with or without a tie.

Some companies have different business divisions and each division may require a different professional dress code.  Let’s take a company brewing and distributing beer as an example:  there’s a brewery where staff wear overalls; a laboratory to test the quality of beer where staff wear lab coats; a tasting venue where staff wear informal trousers and shirts, and perhaps aprons;  a distribution warehouse where most staff wear overalls  and a head office where business decisions are made where staff wear business wear (but not necessarily suits).

Inevitably various business situations may require different image messages.  This is where knowledge of the image game is helpful:  different combinations of clothing can project a more serious(authoritative) or less serious (approachable) appearance. One can choose the image depending on the situation and what message you want to project.

In preparation for practical clothing examples in our next article, familiarise yourself with your company’s brand perception and the expectations it create with your clients …and next we will start playing the image game!

 

Nice to meet you …. or not?

You enter the boardroom to meet a new client.  One look and you know: “this is going to be a tough meeting –  Mr Trouble ….unreasonable expectations, thinks he knows everything, money talks”…  You fake a professional smile, shake his hand with a “nice to meet you”, but all your guards are up and ready for the next 30 minutes of conversation.  It ends not being the best introductory meeting you have had, yet, you do realise you cannot NOT do business with this man.

What has happened?  You made an assumption about this prospective new client based on what you saw.  You probably compared his image with the expectation you formed about him – an expectation based on the little you know about his business. And maybe, to your disappointment, the two did not match?

The process of seeing and interpreting a person’s image and body language is called PERCEPTION and this perception is influenced by expectations!

Have you thought about your client and what he experienced when you entered the boardroom? Could it have been one of:  “Oh goodness! This man does not look as competent, knowledgeable and reliable as I thought he would be.  I am not so sure if he is the one I should do business with”?

So you too did not create a good impression!

Making assumptions about the professionalism and competence of people based on what we see (image and body language) is so unfair: we have no idea what the person’s qualifications are, how experienced he/she is, what his/her success stories are.  Yet perceptions influence people’s decisions on whether to do business with each other or not;  whether to trust each other or not.

Imagine you hire the best lawyer in town to defend you in a court case and on the day of the court hearing, your lawyer arrives in chino trousers and a check shirt.  How will you feel about your chances of winning the court case?  Probably not good?  Why?  The expectation is that a highly competent and professional lawyer wears a suit.  However, if you take your car for a service and your motor mechanic appears in a suit, you will probably be even more worried.  You expect a mechanic to wear an overall, or clothes covered with oil stains.

Perceptions also determine how people are treated.  I am reminded of a prospective caravan buyer who made an appointment with a salesman to view the latest luxury caravans.  On arrival of the buyer, the salesman could not believe his eyes and still voiced his upset to his colleague: “Look at that man! Does he look like someone who can afford a caravan, low and behold a luxury one?!  Filthy dirty clothes, broken shoes …. he’s wasting my time!”  Very impatiently and reluctantly the salesman took the prospective buyer (whom he classified as a “vagrant”) to the smallest, cheapest caravan and openly showed his dismay when the prospective buyer wanted to look at the bigger ones.  The buyer chose his preferred luxury caravan and in the office of the very irritated salesman, he presented rolls and rolls of notes, ready to pay cash for the luxury caravan!  Had the buyer been dressed smartly, he would certainly have received different treatment from the salesman!

Creating perceptions is an everyday phenomenon, whether we like it or not!  We create perceptions of people, and they create perceptions of us!

So, if you want to be taken seriously in your career and wish to earn the necessary respect for your position, competence and professionalism, it is important to create that perception through your appearance, which is your first avenue of communication.

The next challenge is knowing what kind of clothing will create the professional image you wish to project.  Professional dress in today’s terms does not necessarily imply a suit.  Professional dress is based on the branding of your company, the industry you work in and the position you hold in the company – the things which contribute to the expectation your clients create of you! A mouthful indeed. However, not difficult to achieve!

 

 

 

 

Soos Blits!!

English version below.

Teen 210 km/h om Killarney renbaan in ‘n BMW Z4M Coupe is daar geen beter beskrywing as “SOOS BLITS”!

Die oggend van 21 Maart breek aan en dis D-dag:  ‘n rit om Killarney renbaan saam met my boet Danie, die laaste van my “10-doendinge-voor-50”.

Ek was van die begin af effe senuagtig oor hierdie uitstappie.  Op hierdie ouderdom is ‘n mens mos meer bewus van alles wat kan verkeerd loop en het ek besluit om nie te veel vooraf te tob oor die detail van die dag nie.

Drie dae voor die tyd verneem ek met skok dat dit ‘n volwaardige resies gaan wees. Ek moet toe skoene dra, ‘n langbroek, langmou hemp EN ‘n helmet.  Dis nie wat ek verwag het nie!

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Ek sluk my motorsiekpil ‘n uur voor die tyd, staar met verwondering na al die vinnige motors soos hulle arriveer, luister na die inligtingsessie en al die reëls vir die resies, probeer nie te veel dink nie ….  Dan breek die oomblik aan!

Helmet op, sitplek verstel, veiligheidsgordel vas en daar gaan ons!  Vasgedruk teen die sitplek skiet ons weg uit die kuipe.  Die eerste draai is daar nog voor ek my sit gekry het.  Ek klou aan die deurhandvatsal vas met my linkerhand en aan die sitplek met my regterhand.  Ek herinner myself daaraan om asem te haal.  Kan ‘n mens so vinnig om ‘n draai gaan?!  Uit die draai uit jaag ons nog vinniger.  Ek weier om die spoedmeter raak te sien (wat ek nie weet nie, kan my nie ontstel nie).  Daar is motors voor ons, langs ons, agter ons en die volgende draai is alweer hier.  Danie slaan remme aan.  Ek onthou die inligtingsessie:  “apply your ABS brakes like squeezing a soft ball: slowly, brake 1-2-3-4…release 4-3-2-1…”.  Ek probeer elke oomblik in my geheue graveer – teen hierdie spoed gaan die oomblik vinnig verby.  “Sus is jy ok”, vra my bestuurder-broer;  “Ja, ek kan nie die padhouvermoë van die motor glo nie”, antwoord ek, maar eintlik wou ek sê,  “wow ouboet, jy weet hoe om jou motor te hanteer”….

Ons jaag voort. Steek motors verby. Trap rem 1-2-3-4 / 4-3-2-1. Jaag verby toeskouers. Ek probeer iemand erken, maar almal flits net verby.  Ek kan nie glo my hart het nog nie by my keel uitgespring nie

Met die waai van die swart-en-wit geruite vlag haal ek skielik weer asem – of nee, haal ek skielik weer NORMAAL asem.  Nou wil ek weet:  Hoe vinnig het ons gery? “210 km/h op die reguit stroke en 170 km/h net voor ons ‘n draai in is”. Hoekom het jy op ‘n stadium gesê dit raak nou morsig? “Want ek wou die motor agter my afskud”  Het ons met al 4 wiele om ‘n draai gegaan? (ek het toe nie hierdie vraag gevra nie; ek was bang die antwoord is ‘nee’)

Met bewerige bene klim ek uit die motor.  Ek het oorleef!  Onder die helmet is my glimlag groter as ooit.

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Wat ‘n ervaring!  Elke keer as ek terugdink, tref ‘n warboel van gedagtes en emosies my:

  • Ek is so dankbaar vir ‘n ouboet wat hierdie ongelooflike ervaring ge-inisieer en moontlik gemaak het. Dankie Danie!!
  • Ek het nie een oomblik onveilig gevoel nie – my broer Danie se bestuursvernuf is skitterend
  • Die padhouvermoë van die motor is verstommend
  • Ek het die wonderlikste toeskouers gehad! Dankie manlief Adrian, skoonsus Juanita, niggie Madri vir die fotos en videos wat sal sorg vir lewenslange herinneringe!

Nr 10 op my “doendinge-voor-50” was beslis ‘n hoogtepunt en ek is bly omstandighede het gesorg dat dit laaste moes gebeur.

Nou is ek reg vir die avonture van 50-wees!

 

LIKE LIGHTNING!!

 At 210 km/h around the Killarney Racetrack in a BMW Z4M Coupe there is no better description than “LIKE LIGHTNING”!!

The morning of 21 March dawned and it is D-day:  a ride around Killarney racetrack with my brother Danie – the last of my “10-things-to-do-before-50”.

From the beginning I was a bit nervous about this outing.  For at this age one is far more aware of things that can go wrong and therefore I decided to not think about the detail of the day too much.

Three days prior to the outing I discovered, with shock, that it is a full on race.  I have to wear closed shoes, trousers, long sleeve shirt AND a helmet.  This is not what I expected!

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I swallow my motion sickness pill an hour before the time, stare with amazement at all the fast cars as they arrive, listen to the drivers’ briefing and all the rules of the race, try to not think too much …… and then the moment arrives!

Helmet on, adjust seat, fasten seatbelt, and off we go!  Pressed against the seat we shoot out of the pits.  Before I can settle into my seat we are on the first bend! I cling  to my seat with my right hand and to the door handle with my left hand.  I remind myself to breathe. Can one go this fast into a bend? Out of the bend we race, faster and faster.  I refuse to look at the speedometer (that which I don’t know can’t upset me?!).  There are cars in front of us, next to us, behind us and then the next bend again.  Danie brakes. I remember the driver’s briefing “apply your ABS brakes like squeezing a soft ball: slowly, brake 1-2-3-4…release 4-3-2-1…”.  I try to impress every moment in my memory – at this speed the moment passes very quickly!  “Sister, are you ok”, my driver-brother asks;  “yes, I just cannot believe the road-holding ability of the car” I answer, but what I actually wanted to say is “wow brother, you know how to handle the traction of your car”…

We race ahead.  Overtake cars. Brake 1-2-3-4 / 4-3-2-1.  Race past spectators.  I try to recognise somebody, but everything just flashes past.  I cannot believe my heart has not jumped out my throat yet!

At the waving of the black-and-white chequered flag,  I suddenly start to breathe again – or no, I suddenly start to breathe NORMAL again.  Now I want to know:  How fast did we go? “210 km/h on the straights and we entered a bend at 170 km/h”.  Why did you mention things getting messy at one stage? “I wanted to get rid of the car behind us”.  Did we go around the bends on all 4 wheels? (I rather didn’t ask this question as I was scared for the answer would be ‘no’)

With shaky legs I climb out the car.  I survived!  Under the helmet my smile is bigger than ever before.

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What an experience!  Every time I think back a tangle of emotions and thoughts hit me:

  • I am so thankful for a big brother who was prepared to initiate and organise this amazing experience
  • Not once did I feel unsafe – my brother’s driving expertise is magnificent
  • The road-holding ability / traction of the BMW Z4(M) is unbelievable
  • I had the most amazing spectators! Thank you hubby Adrian, sister-in-law Juanita and niece Madri for the photos and video clips which will ensure lifelong memories!

Activity number 10 on my “to-do-list-before-50″ was indeed a highlight and I am glad circumstances allowed for it to happen last.

Now I am ready for the adventures after 50!

 

 

 

50 Bankies and more!

I have completed my bankie challenge (sit on 50 bankies before you turn 50) and managed to sit on 61 bankies! I am happy to share the pictures with you – each one telling its own story.

Without planning it that way, I sat on my first bankie on my 49th birthday with my bankie friend Liesl.  A special way to kick off the bankie year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my husband’s birthday in July we have spent time in Stellenbosch and visited the Lion Park near Klapmuts.  Not even the storm could prevent a bankie moment….and thankfully we found a huge sun umbrella to keep us dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the highlights on my “turning 50 to do list” was the visit to the house in Paarl where I spent the first 4 years of my life.  The bonus was to find a bankie in the beautiful back garden which runs into the Paarl Mountain reserve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A school friend, Jeff Rossouw, decided to celebrate his 50th birthday in Greyton.  The Sauve theme allowed for an opportunity to dress up and sit on a beautiful bankie. I could also add 2 more special bankies to this trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 10 October 2016, hubby and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary – indeed another highlight on my journey to turning 50. We took some time out and spent it in the beautiful Knysna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My dear bankie friend, Liesl, decided to spoil me with a bankie tour and introduced me to all her favourite bankies. This was a very special outing and I loved every moment of it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I visited the Strooidak Church in Paarl in which I was baptised.  Sitting on this particular bankie overlooking so many graves stirred something in my heart.

 

My visual journalling friend, also a Liezl (with a z 🙂 ) took me on a journalling trip to Gordonsbay. We took over a few tables in a restaurant and had lots of journalling fun.

 

Bankie number 50 happened at a very special place without it being planned that way.  I grew up with holidays in Still Bay and this picture is taken with the Still Bay harbour in the background – exactly where many precious childhood memories were created!

‘Tannie’ Doreen and her son, Danie – special friends I grew up with.

 

 

 

My favourite holiday place, Jongensfontein.  What a privilege it was to have dear friend Anneke visiting and have a bankie moment with her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a bankie in Blouberg and definitely my favourite. The bankie I escape to when I need quite time, time to think or write or pray or just ‘be’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then bankie number 60 happened!  Another special location with special people!

 

I ended the bankie journey on my birthday and will include those pictures in a separate post.

Looking at all these pictures I realise just how special this bankie journey was – so special that I plan to continue it.  I started to look at my environment differently: notice what is in front, behind and on the sides of me (as it was necessary to choose the best angle for the bankie pictures).  As this journey continues, I will appreciate every opportunity to sit on special bankies and share bankie moments with special people.  Bankies are adding tremendous value to my life!  Thank you for teaching me the bankie lesson, Liesl!

 

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I present to you …..a bankie!

My friend, Liesl van der Rede (on the photograph), has the perfect balance between work and play!  She knows how to enjoy life!!44b_boysdrive

Shortly after I met Liesl, it happened more than once that I would phone and ask if it was convenient for her to talk.  The response I received 80% of the time was “yes, I am sitting on a bankie in Sea Point reading a book”  or “I am on a bankie enjoying pizza” or “of course you can chat, I am on a bankie at the beach.”

Now this sounded like a good life to me and I, tongue in cheek, asked Liesl to teach me to sit on bankies as well.  After all, life is supposed to be fun and not all work – and she seemed to know exactly how to make time for fun.

So Liesl became my ‘bankie friend’!  Whenever I was out and about and spotted a bankie, I would sit on it, have myself photographed, send it to Liesl, jokingly telling her I am practising to sit on bankies (relaxing!).

In the process of working on my “turning 50 bucketlist”, I visited the French Huguenot monument in Franschoek and spotted a few bankies on which I could have myself photographed to prove to Liesl that I am really working on balancing work and play.  Very patiently hubby took all the Franschoek bankie pictures and then challenged me to sit on 50 bankies before I turn 50!  The only requirement: it has to be bankies that are ‘significant’; bankies I would come across while visiting special people or places.

This was the start of an amazing BANKIE JOURNEY!  Liesl even spoiled me with a bankie tour, sharing her favourite bankies with me!

I decided to conclude my bankie journey on my birthday and will therefore share all my bankie pictures after 25 February 2017.

Bankie greetings until then!

Drifting and Surfing …

Afrikaans verskyn onder die Engels

Dune surfing, 4×4 drifting, extreme driving …I had no idea what I let myself in for when my brother Danie offered 20161119_092834me an Atlantis Dune trip as part of my “turning-50 to do list”.

I am not an adrenaline junkie, I fear heights and (I forgot that) I get carsick very quickly. Yet I said “yes”. This might just turn out to be the “outrageous experience” I have on my to-do list.

After deflating tyres, Danie decided to take me on a joyride while we waited for the rest of the group.  He explained how difficult it can be to see dune slopes in the reflection off the sand, the lurking dangers when your approach angle to a dune  is wrong, how easily it is to get stuck when you misjudge the breakover angle of a dune and lots of other technical stuff I knew nothing about, but found very interesting. afgrondfoto

Then he stopped, just in time. We have reached a steep drop. I braked much harder than he did!  Danie got out for some sightseeing and mentioned how much the dunes have changed since he was last here. I sighed a HUGE sigh of relief “thank heavens he saw this drop; imagine he didn’t!” Back in the vehicle, my heart still pounded fast and then the total unexpected happened!!!  Danie did not reverse, he went forward ….and my heart almost stopped.  But alas, almost to my disappointment, nothing happened. We went down slowly, almost gracefully and reached the bottom safely!

driver-photoA day of extreme driving followed and I was “treated” to excellent technical driving skills, powerful engines, dune bashing, 4 x 4 drifting – and just as I thought there is no higher dune to race out, much higher and much steeper ones appeared.  At times I was warned that “this was going to feel awkward” and then it really was; at times I was told “this is nothing” and then it was terrible, yet I never felt unsafe.  The drivers knew exactly what they were doing and what their vehicles were capable of.20161119_104327

I also realised that some things look far worse than what they feel.  I was very sceptical about the dune surfing or 4×4 drifting, but actually enjoyed it despite the waves of sand that hit me through my open window.  The last, very high dune scared me somewhat.  I envisaged vehicles doing back flips when they reach the complete vertical slope at the summit of the dune.  “No, I’d rather sit this one out” I confidently said to expert O’Brian, who was especially invited along to ‘entertain’ me with his powerful vehicle and excellent driving skills. “After all, I have already proved my adrenaline-screaming-resistance, so I can sit this one out” I thought to myself.  But then O’Brian responded with “this outing was just for you; there is no way you are going to cop out now”.  I took a deep breath, told myself I can do this and climbed back in the vehicle.  The 17 year old son of O’Brian, also very skilled, was my chosen driver for this dune challenge.  With one try Juan took me over the summit and I heard myself say “that was so easy!”  It was not at all as bad as I thought it would be.

I have to admit, although dune bashing and extreme driving is not my idea of fun, and although I had to at times ask 20161119_142845for a few seconds of fresh air to combat my carsick feelings,  I had an amazing day.  It was indeed a day I will never ever forget!

What have I learned:  I have learned a lot about technical driving skills, abilities of vehicles in the sand, engine power, angles at which slopes and cliffs are approached, but what touched my heart the most  was the sacrifice to make this event possible.  The men involved cared enough about my to do list to sacrifice work (O’brian interrupted a job) and family time and they created a truly memorable and enjoyable experience for me!

Ps: And I just have to add that I gained new respect for the Isuzu Frontier.  The ability of these vehicles is amazing!

I plan to post a video or two to my Facebook page.20161119_101312

 

 

 

 

 

“DRIFTING” EN “SURFING”…..   (en daar is regtig nie Afrikaanse woorde wat hierdie Engelse woorde kan vervang nie!)

 “Dune surfing”, “4×4 drifting”, “extreme driving”… ek het geen idee gehad waarvoor ek myself inlaat toe my broer Danie, ‘n rit in Atlantis duine voorstel as deel van my 50-word-doenlys nie.

Ek is nie ‘n adrenalien “junkie” nie, ek het hoogtevrees en ek raak vinnig karsiek (waarvan ek vergeet het).  Nietemin se ek ‘ja’.  Hierdie mag dalk net die waaghalsige ervaring op my lys raak.

Nadat bande afgeblaas is, besluit Danie om my solank op ‘n plesierrit te neem terwyl ons vir die res van die groep wag.  Hy verduidelik hoe moeilik dit kan wees om duinhellings te sien in die refleksie van die son op die sand, die gevare as jy ‘n duin teen die verkeerde hoek nader, hoe maklik ‘n mens kan vasval as jy jou misgis met die die kruin van ‘n duin (breakover angle) en vele ander tegniese inligting waarvan ek niks weet nie, maar wat ek baie interessant vind.

Skielik stop hy, net betyds.  Ons het ‘n skerp afgrond bereik.  Ek het baie harder rem getrap as hy!  Danie klim uit om die omgewing te bekyk en noem hoeveel die duine verander het sedert hy laas hier was.  Ek sug ‘n GROOT sug van verligting ‘dankie tog hy het hierdie afgrond gesien, kan jy jou indink hy het nie!’  Terug in die voertuig klop my hart steeds in my keel en dan gebeur die totaal onverwagte!!! Danie ry nie agteruit nie, maar vorentoe …en my hart gaan amper staan!  Maar helaas, amper tot teleurstelling, het niks gebeur nie. Ons het stadig, amper statig, afgery en die onderkant van die duin veilig bereik!

‘n Dag waar uiterste bestuursvernuf toegepas word volg en ek word ‘bederf’ met tegniese uitmuntendheid agter die stuurwiel, die uitjaag van duine, “4 x 4 drifting” – en net soos ek dink daar is nie ‘n hoër duin om uit te jaag nie, verskyn ‘n nog hoër en veel steiler een.  Soms is ek gewaarsku dat ‘hierdie nie baie lekker gaan voel nie’ en dan was dit regtig so;  ander kere is daar gesê ‘hierdie is niks’ en dan was dit aaklig, maar ek het nooit onveilig gevoel nie.  Die bestuurders het presies geweet wat hulle doen en waartoe hulle voertuie in staat is.

Ek het ook besef dat dinge soms baie erger lyk as wat dit voel.  Ek was maar baie skepties oor die “dune surfing” of “4 x 4 drifting”, maar het dit tog geniet ten spyte van die golwe sand wat my deur ‘n oop venster getref het.  Die laaste, baie hoë duin het my effe afgeskrik.  Ek het in my geestesoog gesien hoe tuimel voertuie agteroor wanneer hulle die totaal vertikale kruin van die duin bereik.  “Nee, ek gaan hierdie een maar ‘n ‘skip’ gee” sê ek vir die ekspert O’Brian wat spesiaal genooi is om my te vermaak met sy kragtige voertuig en uitstekende bestuursvernuf.  “Buitendien, ek het reeds bewys dat ek my adrenalien-gil kan beheer” dink ek by myself.  Maar dan antwoord O’Brian my met “hierdie uitstappie is spesiaal vir jou;  daar is geen manier wat jy hierdie duin gaan uitsit nie.” Ek haal toe maar diep asem, vertel myself ek kan dit doen en klim terug in die voertuig.  Die 17 arige seun van O’Brian, self baie ervare, was die gekose bestuurder vir hierdie duin-uitdaging.  Met een poging jaag Juan met my oor die kruin en ek hoor myself ewe kalm se “so maklik!” Dit was toe nou nie so erg as wat ek gedink het dit gaan wees nie.

Ek moet erken, alhoewel die uitjaag van duine en “extreme driving” nie my idee van pret is nie, en alhoewel ek hier en daar moes vra vir ‘n paar sekondes vars lug om te herstel van my karsiek, het ek ‘n ongelooflike dag gehad. ‘n Ervaring wat ek beslis nooit sal vergeet nie!

Wat het ek geleer:  Ek het geweldig baie geleer oor tegniese bestuursvernuf, die vermoëns van voertuie in die sand, enjinkrag, hoeke waarteen hellings en afgronde genader word, maar wat my hart die meeste geraak het, was die opoffering wat hierdie ervaring moontlik gemaak het.  Die betrokke mans het genoeg vir my 50-doenlys omgegee om werk (O’brian het sy werk onderbreek)  en familietyd op te offer sodat ek ‘n heerlike, onvergeetlike dag kon geniet.

Ps:  En ek moet net byvoeg dat ek nuwe respek vir die Isuzu Frontier het!  Ongelooflik wat die vermoë van hierdie voertuie is!  Ek beplan om ‘n video of twee op my Facebook blad te plaas.

 

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