Monday, July 17, 2006


The Farm is called Dwaalfontein – literally translated as “wandering fountain”. To be in a dwaal can also mean to be "zoned out", to be elsewhere, or to be mentally in neutral.

Dwaalfontein is just outside of Hanover, exactly halfway between Johannesburg and Cape Town. And we were booked into the guest house. Van Zyl and Jolene Venter run the place. Van Zyl is a sheep farmer and is the seventh generation in his family to farm this land. Jolene runs the guest house, and loves this life. She spoke of the joy she finds in the business of sheep farming, and how she loves working with the meat, and making sausages, and making soap from animal fat, and the thrill of the auction. She tells of her love for her young son, and her contentment at the wide open spaces, and her four Labrador dogs, and the interaction with the wild game on the farm. The only word to describe this is "passion". Jolene, who lives without the ready comforts of a city, lives life passionately and joyfully.

And I wondered at myself, who lives with every modern amenity that the city life can offer. I wondered at how easily I can dwaal around in the city, and how Jolene can live with such passion in the middle of nowhere.


Wessel Bentley said...

Sounds like my days in Ventersdorp. Isn't it weird how people in the city are more lonely than those in places like Dwaalfontein?

Anonymous said...

Lovely, I could see the open plains and smell the animal fat soap. Good writing word-smous, keep dwaaling.