Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Visit to the Lion Farm and Some Photos from Tweeling

This weekend we went to visit Darren and Karen Petersen, the other Fulbright teachers who live in Clocolan, about 2 hours south of Tweeling. They live in a lovely town and Darren gave us a tour of the school where he is teaching. His school is a former Model C school, which means that it was originally set up only for white students, but now the entire student body is black. The differences in the facilities from Refeng-Thabo, which was set up for Black students, were striking, and another reminder at the opportunities that were set aside for some in South Africa and denied to others.

On a much lighter note, Clocolan is located very close to a lion breeding farm, where lions are bred to be sold to private game reserves.

Darren and Karen took us to visit the lions and we were able to pat and hold the baby lions. The babies were very wary of us at first, but once they became comfortable with us being in their pen, they would follow us around and claw at us to pet them.

We happened to be visiting on the day that the lions are fed and we were able to watch their weekly feeding. The lions are fed chickens that are donated to the lion breeding farm from one of the egg farms.

Each lion was fed over 20 chickens and one growled at Kate when she walked too close to him when he was eating.

Back in Tweeling, Thokozile Motale, the mother of the family that we live with, graduated from University with an Honors B.A. degree in education and guidance. We celbrated her graduation the traditional South African way, by eating loads of meat.

It is starting to get very chilly here in Tweeling, so Kate has been knitting caps for all of the neighborhood kids. They get to pick their colors and she works on them during breaks at school and during long car rides. Vanessa chose her favorite shirt for her photo.

Daniel "Shakes" Motaung chose red and blue to match his school uniform at the town's primary school.

Little Mandla doesn't have a school uniform because he's too little.

Pontso wanted a hat like Kate's, but in green. For a while all of the girls wanted green hats and the boys wanted red.

Zambo was one of the first boys to get a hat, when it was still really too warm for knit caps. He wore his hat every day, to school, to play soccer, to watch T.V., all while it was still in the 70's outside.


irma said...

It's sad you honoured that lion breeder with your presence!
You certainly don't know that those lion breeders sell their lions to hunting - and mostly CANNED HUNTING! - farms.
It's a disgrace for all involved!

Anonymous said...

Agree completely with Irma. What a travesty.

wordsdiva said...

hi, I agree with Irma and Vos if these people sell their lions it is a disgrace!
But, I know a couple in the FREE STATE South Africa, who owns a wildlife estate for the purpose of saving Lions and other animals from maltreated conditions and abuse.
Bagamoya Wildlife Estate, my husband and I have been involved with them for years! they do it for the love of the animals!

But give her some slack girls! many of us have pure hearts and dont see the ugly that others are doing!

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