Warm, hot, very hot! We are starting to feel the warmth of spring and summer nearing, although most of the country is still experiencing very cold weather. Some of the trees have already sprouted brand new buds, pushing their way through the branches to cover the trees with a whole new fashionable wardrobe for the season. It’s a lovely time of the year, with all the trees showing off their bright new colours, trying to out-compete one another with flashing pinks, reds, yellows and purples. After all, the tree with the brightest colours attracts the most attention from insects and birds. The morning air is amazing to breathe in. It has this moist, fresh feel, unlike the dry dusty air of winter. We also had an early thunder storm. It was very strange to have a thunder storm at the end of the winter. Normally they only start in October. The new sound that has come with the rain is the sound of the Classes Cuckoo, meaning that spring is just around the corner! Slowly, but surely, we are going to see the summer migrant birds making their long journey back to spend the warm summer months with us. The last of the summer migrants would be the Woodlands Kingfisher. The moment you hear the very long, loud call of the Woodlands, you know its summer!
We would like to wish Morné and Tersia all the best for next month. Their wedding day has finally arrived and they will tie the knot on the 14th of September.They have been doing hours of planning for this special day. As they met at the lodge four years ago when Tersia started working here, this is an extra special celebration for us! I am truly happy for them and wish them both a lovely future, filled with lots of love and laughter.
A big congratulation goes out to Pieter who passed his Trails Guide exam at the end of last month. As rangers make their way up the ladder, they need to first pass all their theory exams. Pieter has done these and would now be proceeding to the practical exams. Most people are under the impression that the theory part of being a guide is always more difficult. That’s where they are usually wrong. During a theory exam you have the chance to sit in the exam room and have a few minutes to think about how exactly you would walk your way out of a pride of lions. During practical exams, you are now out in the field and get evaluated on your exact modus operandi while walking into and out of a lion sighting. No more clicking your pen, thinking of a good answer. You only have a few seconds to react, ensuring that you get yourself and your guests out of a very dangerous situation. Ideally, when you are out in the bush with guests, you would try and use all the elements in your favourby using cover, wind, sound and the sun to view an animal, leaving without it ever knowing that you were there. When walking in Big 5 areas like EP, you always need to carry a rifle with you. The first mind-set that you should have is to walk as if you don’t have a weapon. This would make you far more aware of your surroundings.
To all our guests who celebrated their birthdays this month, we hope you had a fantastic day. May your future hold many more happy and joyful years! At the lodge we celebrated a lot of birthdays. Hilda, one of our housekeepers, who has worked at the lodge for years, celebrated her birthday on the 8th. Next, on the 9th came Dorris, who cleans the main lodge and also works in the scullery. Jeanette, one of our waiters, who is always gladly serving our guests, celebrated her birthday on the 12th. Precious, who also works as a housekeeper, turned 30 on the 14th. A special birthday this month was that of Pieter, who celebrated his 21st birthday. For a junior ranger this birthday opens up a whole new world of possibilities, as he can now apply for his Public Driver’s Permit and Firearm Competency Certificate. Braam, our maintenance manager, also celebrated his 21st birthday. Marlé, who works in accounts and reservations, celebrated her birthday on the 28th. Thanks for all your hard work, guys! May you spend many more birthdays here with us.
I now hand you over to our Head Chef Linda van Heerden, for the delicious recipe of the month.
This month we share one of our vegetarian dishes with you. This mouth-watering Chickpea Curry is a favourite with our vegetarian guests!
(2 full serving / 4 side servings)
Fry the onion together with the cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder and Turmeric, for 5 minutes in order for the flavours to develop. Add a little water if the mixture becomes too dry. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, honey and vegetable stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!
Well, that’s all from side this month. Have a good one!