Many people have asked me where I come from, because of my unusual accent. I would not know any different as that is the way I grew up speaking. When I came to South Africa, I was taken by the very broad English accent. I had never learned or spoken Afrikaans and the language sounded very Dutch. The Afrikaans and Dutch language are both West Germanic. Afrikaans evolved from the Dutch vernacular of South Holland.
I was born in Africa in the country Northern Rhodesia, which is named Zambia. My days there were filled with learning about and enjoying the most beautiful nature and wildlife. The rivers are inhabited with hippos, crocs and Sharks, which are in the Zambezi River; the birthplace of the infamous and terribly dangerous Bull Shark better known as the Zambezi Shark. The species of birds are too numerous to name, approximately 779.
The various game parks were not enclosed and the wildlife had the freedom and liberty to visit the camps at night. I experienced a leopard once, walking in the camp. I was so relieved to be indoors. We camped at national game parks right up in the north of Zambia, on the banks of Lake Tanganyika; the longest lake in the world. It is approximately 400 miles long and 56 miles wide. Legavaans reside on the shores of the Tanganyika; they are similar to very big monitors. They reminded me of crocodiles. At night while sitting around the camp fire, you could hear the hyenas call and the roaring of lions in the far off caves. Early in the morning the fishermen loaded their small boats with rolls of fishing nets. About 4am in the morning, their little lamps lit and singing travelled across the auditorium of water. What a pretty sight!
Zambia boasts the most picturesque landscapes. One will forever stay in my memory, the beautiful and powerful Victoria Falls. Five miles away one feels the cool spray on your face and you need a raincoat to keep dry. That is on the Southern Rhodesia side, known today as Zimbabwe. One can truly appreciate the declaration of YaHUShA’s wonderful and glorious creation and His ownership thereof.
Psalms/ Tehillim 19:1 The heavens are proclaiming the esteem of El; And the expanse is declaring the work of His hand.
Psalms / Tehillim 24:1 The earth belongs to YHWH, And all that fills it – The world and those who dwell in it.
It is not a wonder that I dislike city life, heavy traffic, high-pitched and extreme noise levels. My parents were working in Zambia by transfer of their business in South Africa. I attended six different schools in my primary years. I was accustomed to the very simple things in life and we lived in fairly small towns. There were no fashion statements, neither was one expected, to perform in a ‘wordly’ and materialistic way. It was just wonderful to put on the first items of clothing that came to mind. Nothing matched and colours could scream at each other and no one would notice. Shoes unless very necessary, were never worn. My hair was regularly cut by my mom’s regimental scrutiny, wildly as the scissors snipped through my locks, hair would fly into my face, competing with the dust particles that I could count in the sunlit room.
I spent many weekends or weeks on my friends’ farms. What a glorious excitement came over me, the night before leaving. I lay in bed imagining myself running into the barn and climbing smelly tobacco bales and running out laughing at the pungent smell. I can still hear the distant noise of the generator burning up its night supply of fuel. Swimming with the ducks, in the water reservoir, was a date never missed. Of course having to climb that squeaky little wooden ladder was added percussion to my ears. Screaming wildly, as we all jumped in the water, the ducks glared at us, with a returned look of shock. Oh of course spending hours outdoors would get us in trouble with the farmer’s wife, “you had better be coming in for lunch she yelled” and of course, our response, unfailingly was the inevitable shout, “coming now ma’am.”
Many a time we would adventure down to the cattle dip, I will never forget some of their eyes, huge with frenzy and confusion, as they jumped into the dipping well. Mooing and splashing, they came out of their dilemma and returned to their quieter routine. The pig style was a delight, pinching our noses closed, of course! We watched those teeny little piglets suckling furiously as though the last drop of milk were in their mouths.
As we had moved town, I went to visit friends on a dairy farm. How fascinating to watch how they milked the cows and processed the milk. I helped churn butter and loved the experience, but was it very hard work! You put ice cubes into the cream and that helps to thicken the cream and to harden into butter. On this particular farm, they owned horses. I was delighted to learn horseback riding and schooled in a professional manner. I loved galloping across the fields and the horse literally ran away with itself and me in the process, as if home bound was the last thought. A wonderful experience indeed!
We relocated to different towns quite often, a total of eight moves, on account of the nature of my parents occupation. It proved quite distressing. The events during the time we lived there were not always happy events. I would not be telling the truth, to say everything was always perfect; neither would I be giving my Abba Father the Glory due His Name, for what He did for me.
One night when I was three years old, I was sitting on a bar stool in the kitchen where I was eating my dinner, unfortunately I fell off the chair falling on my back. The floor was concrete, the skin under my chin split open on impact. In pain, shock and hemorrhaging, shortly after, I was being taken to a far away hospital travelling on the dusty roads. My granny sat with me on the back seat, she had her arm around me and the other holding a towel under my chin. She was comforting me with her soft voice, telling me that Jesus died for me … overwhelmed with the thought; the tears began pouring down my face as I encountered an experience with the Set-apart Spirit.
Another accident experience occurred at the age of ten, whilst wearing a pair of socks; I slipped and fell backwards on a polished concrete floor, hitting the back of the head. I tried to stop the impact of the fall by using my elbows to soften the blow to the head. When I got up my elbows were weak, I was dizzy and feeling terrible.
A very similar incident happened about two years later, whilst jumping on a trampoline which was not ground level; a table trampoline. I lost balance, leaped in the air and fell on a concrete floor. A dreadful pain and feeling overwhelmed me.
Since then I cannot tolerate loud sounds and have tinnitus (constant ringing in my ears and head). As communication is very stressful for me; good communication helps me to understand and to be understood. Putting a sentence together is so difficult; I have to memorize what I am going to say, never mind making myself clear. Frustration has caused me to grow both mentally and spiritually.
Proverbs / Mishle 1:5 The wise one hears and increases learning, And the understanding one gets wise counsel,
At the age of nine years I had a new sibling and because of the circumstances, mom gave birth at home. I can still remember the cries as he made his entrance into the world. I became his second mother in his early years. Baby sitting became a full time profession. Making his milk formula, changing and washing nappies, became a daily routine. Being a middle child was so distressing. The older and younger siblings were the main focus and I just had to cope. It was fun taking him for walks and singing him to sleep.
As I grew older, I started to appreciate the bird songs and learned their names. In the late afternoons, the cooing of the doves was so calming and they were my queue to turning in for dinner and a hot bath. I remember falling asleep to the Night Jar’s song and the ponds carrying the sounds of the seasonal frogs, crickets and beetles. How peaceful were the nights and a pleasant tranquil sound to the ear at that. The later bringing to my mind, is the sound of little waves lapping on the sand shore of the Kariba dam. We lodged in very simple quarters when we stayed there. There were no window panes but mesh gauze neatly sealed in the window frames and protected us from the dreadful malaria mosquitoes. The heat was unbearable and by two in the morning; cool settled and gave us much needed relief. The kitchen was open plan and literally had a roof and a wall. We cooked pots of stew on the fire and enjoyed a good meal; while talking filled the volumes of air, with echoing voices bouncing off the water. There were many lights reflecting on the water as far as the eye could see. The many boat houses on the water illuminated the dark horizon on the lake at night. I learned to water ski on the dam and had my parents known they would have kept me out of the bilharzias infected water. It was after almost twenty years later, I was diagnosed with bilharzias. After being ill for so long, a doctor took extensive blood tests and positively found the parasites living in my body.
This beautiful scripture came to mind.
Tehillim / Psalms 34:19 Many are the evils of the righteous, But YaHUaH delivers him out of them all.
photo: sitting on the banks of the Zambezi River
On this day, we were having a picnic with our neighbours, about four years old. I was pushed into the river, as you can see the current is not very giving. I was grabbed and hauled out in a flash … no thanks hippos, crocs and sharks !!!
The Zambezi means “Great River” It is 2 700 miles long from its source to the sea. It is the fourth longest river in the continent of Africa. It is 1 300ft wide – 400m in the rainy season. This is the river that spills over the Victoria Falls 625 million litres per minute. This huge volume of water produces a spray that rises up to 1 650ft 500m into the air. Mid-April is the time when peek flood waters occur. I have flown over the Victoria Falls and what an amazing sight it is!