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Travelog for: Pinky Bear

Amanzimtoti, South Africa - 27th April 2008

By: MrsC

Hello people! I am back from the beach, where it was cold and grey, to Johannesburg where it is cold and grey! Okay, to be fair, we have blue skies today - BUT it is still cold! We are all huddled around the gas fire trying to keep our paws warm so we can type updates....

Let me tell you about my trip to the South Coast. We set off early in the morning because it is a loooooooooooong drive to Amanzimtoti, which is in the beautiful province of Kwa-Zulu Natal (which used to be just Natal - but you know the name change obsession...).

The naming of Amanzimtoti (which means 'sweetwaters' ) is generally attributed to Shaka, the famous King of the Zulus. During one of his campaigns, he and his army stopped to rest here and he was brought a calabash filled with water from the local river. He sipped the water and said “Kanti Amanz'amtoti' meaning ' the water is sweet'. Not a fat chance I was tasting it to verify this, let me tell you! He tasted it in the days BEFORE there were a million and one factories built up stream.

Anyway, the car was loaded up and we were ready to go! Umm, you are not leaving me in the boot are you? I can't see anything from here....


I rode up front and saw lots of farms along the way. Sunflowers and maize (they call corn 'mielies' ha ha what a funny name!) in the Free Sate, pine trees and sugar cane in KZN (my paws are too cold to type Kwa-Zulu etc). It is amazing how different the provinces look from each other. but you are just going to take my word for that because I was feeling to car sick to take photos... Fi found one in her collection....


It took forever to get there, I kept bouncing up and asking if we were there yet. Matt said if I didn't stop I was going to travel in the boot. That was just getting out of Johannesburg...

We stayed in a holiday flat. I found a sunny spot to sit and stretch my legs after the long journey...


All to brief that was, the weather turned grey a few minutes later... This is the view when I turned around to look at the sea...


Our first stop was a birthday party for a little boy. I found some interesting sweets and climbed up to reach them.


Then some clever person moved the other container away and just LEFT ME DANGLING THERE!!! Well, I could either drop down empty handed or climb up and stay in the bowl...my tummy was as round as anything, of course I stayed in the sweet bowl till it was time for cake!


I got the first slice...delicious!


We eventually got to the beach when it brightened up a bit. Look what I found, wild animals!




The sun disappeared again...


I gave up trying to get a tan and watched this cargo ship for  a bit...


Even that got boring, a beach with no sun is also no fun...except if you are a fisherman, they didn't seem bothered in the slightest....hmmm, fish fur supper!


The next day it just rained so we went to the nearest shopping mall. Retail therapy is good for cheering you up...

* Posted May 5, 2008, 9:43 am Last edited May 7, 2008, 12:37 am by MrsC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Ushaka Marine World, South Africa - 29th April 2008

By: MrsC

Yay! Another miserable day, but at least there is no rain! What is all this nonsense I hear about Sunny South Africa? Ha ha ha...
We went here:


We got to see a show, with a very clever seal...



And some very impressive dolphins. They can jump so high.




Then we went to the aquarium....






Hmmm, I am really, really hungry!


This ray looks hungry too, I'm outta here!


And not a minute too soon....I say!


No, no, no! Don't put me back! Those giant crabs are really scary when you are as small as me..


That was really interesting! But I am glad to be up here, where those big sharks aren't.


The aquarium is in a re-created ship wreck! This is the front of it:


And this is the side view:


Time to go home, the weather has turned again! We won't be able to go on any of the fun rides..

Thank you Matt and Yolanda for taking me on holiday with you... and thank you for NOT taking me diving!

* Posted May 5, 2008, 10:19 am Last edited May 7, 2008, 12:35 am by MrsC [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

School field, South Africa - 5th May 2008

By: MrsC

The weather was rotten in Johannesburg all weekend, we never got to go anywhere....

The children went back to school today. Of course it was a nice sunny day. It was very quiet around here..except for Fi doing the post holiday house restoration. It is hard to believe that two small people can create that much chaos. The three of us just sat around chatting, then Fi said we needed to get rid of some energy. We joined Shane and his football team on the  school field.... I scored a GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLL!


* Posted May 6, 2008, 11:36 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

SPCA, South Africa - 7th May 2008

By: MrsC

Yesterday, after the football match, I was so tired I went to sleep in Fi's handbag. Just as well I would have been so embarrassed at the pet shop yesterday with Dilbert and HitchaRideDooey and all their nonsense! I was blushing when I saw the photos today... they were all over the place and in everything, what must the shop owner have thought?

Today, fortunately, they redeemed themselves.

We all went to The SPCA (the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) so Dooey could achieve a life mission (Um, Fi, when exactly am I going to achieve  even ONE?)


We donated some food and two blankets for winter.


We signed the register, I will have signed my name all over this province before I leave this country! I could charge for autographs...


A very bossy, self important lady shouted at us and said we were not allowed to take photos of the dogs in the kennels. We said hello to the dogs and tried not to cry at all the sad ones or the ones that were whining to go home...

Then we went to the thrift shop that they have to raise extra funds and...... Dilbert and Dooey RESCUED a sad plush pup!


I rescued a whole bunch of bears!


This one is absolutely filthy... but very sweet...


This one is very old and very loved, and sadly very worn, she needs a lot of surgery to make her better...


This cheeky monkey followed us out the shop, he needs a few stitches too...


Fi has special plans for them all, starting with a bath tomorrow! Dilbert and Dooey are hiding away, they don't want a bath, I would love a bath I am getting very grubby from all my adventures...hmmm bubbles!


We were feeling rather proud of ourselves after all that!

Here we are, the RESCUERS!!!


* Posted May 7, 2008, 1:07 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Johannesburg, South Africa - 7th May 2008

By: MrsC

Hello, hello, hello! What a lovely sunny day! Perfect for washing dirty toys.... Pity none of them wanted to be cleaned. Most especially the really dirty ones! Fi got everything ready, thread, needles, scissors, warm water, sponge, delicate hand washing detergent, towels, hangers, pegs, HANGERS? PEGS? WHAT THE..... oh, they were in the bowl Fi was using and she just put them to the side, phew....I had visions of hanging on the line by my ears.....


I had to lead by example, so the others could see it wasn't so bad.... I was just surface washed with the sponge and the foam... once again, just for the benefit of the others; I usually take a nice long soak with bubbles up to my chin...BLISS!


Then I was dried off with a fluffy white towel....


Next was this little bear, who was actually white under all the dust and very fluffy!


This little guy just won't take anything seriously, he is always monkeying around! I think he was neglected for a long time, he just likes to hug everyone...he is very needy. He was also in need of surgery, his hand was falling off, but not any more!


This pup went mad! He shook himself all over the rest of us and then rolled around to get dry. Honestly, dogs have no manners....


This bear is very quiet, he spent a long time on the floor at the thrift shop because he had fallen off the back of the shelf and was trapped under a box of junk. He was absolutely filthy and Fi didn't know if the big black patch would come off his chest. Luckily it did and look how clean he turned out!


This sweet guy escaped the wash, he was so new he still had the store price tag on and he was inside a plastic bag...


We had to leave the room and go sit on the window ledge in the warm sun to dry... no pegs thank goodness... because Fi had to do a big job on the last bear and she didn't want us to watch because she had to do something very scary....


After a while she made us all turn around to dry on the other side... we felt a lot like chickens on a rotisserie... but it was lovely and warm in the sun and we were completely dry in an hour or so.


This is the bear that needed major surgery. He was split apart everywhere and he is very old and fragile. We thought he was a girl because of the lace around his neck. Poor bear, the lace was hiding the previous surgery he had to re attach his head.... ooh I feel faint just thinking about that... and the person who did that to him put his head on backwards!!!! That is why we had to leave the room. Fi thought we might be freaked out if we saw her taking his head off... boy was she right!


Here he is all fixed and cleaned up. Fi had to be extra gentle because his fur is brittle and falling apart. Doesn't he look much happier with his head on the right way round?


Tomorrow they all get new ribbons and accessories AND we find out what is to become of them all...

* Posted May 7, 2008, 10:06 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Garden center, South Africa - 14th May 2008

By: MrsC

What a boring time I've had lately! Everyone in this house has taken a turn to be sick, change of season I suppose...

The latest news around here is that the little pup got a new name! He is called Ambrosius and he is already on his way to the Netherlands to join the Dutch trail... Shame, he is squashed really tightly into an envelope, hope he gets there soon!


More news is that Dilbert and HitchaRideDooey left this week. I was really sad because I had made good friends with them and now I am the only ToyVoyager left in the house... here we are saying our goodbyes...


I'm just left with the raggle tag of rescued bears and that monkey who does nothing but cause trouble all day long. REALLY!!! Fi should just take him back or even better, release him into the wild (and I really mean the wild, like the bushes or something. ) He hangs off high places and then when you least expect it he falls down on your head. Very annoying. They all leave here next week - Fi says that will be an adventure too. Something to look forward to I suppose...

.....SIGH...... I'm so bored... Natalie is home too as she is just getting over a bad cold.... she is bored as well... Fi says if we don't all stop sighing she may just go mad, and we are all under her feet she can't get anything done....SIGH... oops!

Fi made us both get in the car...maybe she is taking Nats back to school..

Hang on this is not school! What is this place?


WOW! These trees are so weird! The trunk is green and the branches...


Fi says it is called a fever tree. The leaves are used in traditional medicine for coughs and fevers. It is a type of thorn tree. It only grows in wet areas, Fi says Jo'burg has definitely been a wet area this summer! The rain has hopefully ended now. Winter in Jo'burg is dry.

Enough of the Biology lesson already, can we please go inside to see what they have here?

Can you belive it? NO CAMERA'S ALLOWED!!! It's not a bank or the houses of parliament...it's a GARDEN CENTER! Sheesh, the people in this town are so paranoid...

Well you'll just have to use your imagnations to see all the interesting little shops and the restuarants and the plants...Oh! The beautiful plants...inside plants, outside plants, water plants, real plants, fake plants, little flowers, big trees, brightly coloured pansies everywhere ready for winter beds... too beautiful.

Oh ho ho! An outdoor play area and... another one! We went into the one where you pay by the hour, the first one was full of toddlers and their gossipy moms....boring.

We had the place to ourselves...wheeeeee!

Natalie and I made sure we went on EVERYTHING and used up every minute of the hour we had.



Jumping castle:




Wheeeeeeeeeee! I went flying off at the end because I was so small but Fi caught me in mid air! She said it was like being in a circus....


I climbed up the knotted rope, easy peasy lemon squeezy!


This one was a little more tricky because I was too small to reach the bottom, why don't these people think of small bears when they build these things?


I'm going to make it, I know I am!




All that climbing was thirsty work... Um... Nats? May I share? Thanks, you're a doll.


And Fi.... :p :p :p :p :p



Okay, okay, okay, I'm ready, what's next?

Hmmm, not sure that I would want to put my paws on those grubby handles even if I could reach them... Yuk!


Thank Nats! Let's go speed freak!


This is how they stop the kids escaping...


Just kidding! That's how they stop the MOM"S escaping and leaving the kids behind... ha ha ha... Okay, it's just a regular Jo'burg security feature...

Well our hour was up but not our energy... so we went on  a few rides. Nats thought I should be buckled in, I didn't think it was necessary... please, I'm a BEAR!!!


EEEEK! What an extreme ride, luckily Natalie came to my rescue...or I would have gone flying again!


Okay, enough of that - let's go buy some flowers... Wow! A little trolley - especially for children, how sweet. Natalie tells me that she usually climbs in it and Shane pushes her around. Speaking of Shane, I bet he will sulk when he hears that we were having fun whilst he was at school.


So, Fi, what are we doing with the plants hmm? A job for another day? What? How lazy are you? Okay, okay, tomorrow then....

* Posted May 15, 2008, 10:33 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Jungle Junkies, South Africa - 15th May 2008

By: MrsC

Oh my goodness, we ended up going to ANOTHER garden centre. This one is way more fun though. We were enclosed yet again (nothing in Jo'burg is open in case you haven't worked this out yet) but this place was MUCH nicer than the other one... it is a whole village for children, and TVs of course, to play in.
I started off on the bikes (much cleaner than that revolting pink one) though I couldn't decide which one to choose...


I chose a cool black one and off I whizzed around the race track, didn't need Natalie's help this time AND I obeyed all the traffic rules!


Can you tell what I'm doing up here?


No? How about from this side?


After I finished flying that plane I decided to blast off to outer space...just doing a final check to make sure the rocket is in order...


WHOOPS!!! The booster rockets set the hairdressers on fire, I had to rush and put out the flames...


Phew, that was scary! I thought the whole village would burn down but I saved it with my quick thinking and fire fighting skills. I think I'll phone home and let them know how I'm doing... where is the Post Office?


It's just ringing, no one seems to be home. Where can they be? Fi says they went on holiday...without me? How rude...

I'd better get a few groceries while I'm here. Fi is like Old Mother Hubbard...her cupboards are always bare...


Oh, how humiliating...please can we get out the nursery? I really am not a baby, get me out of here....


Just to prove that I'm all grown up I went to donate blood, I have a rare type P- . There is always a shortage so I donate every 56 days


OOOOhhh, I don't feel so well... the nurse said I had to sit and wait to see the doctor...


The doctor checked me out and said I was silly not to eat before donating blood. I had to go get something to eat immediately and I would be just fine.... can't think how I forgot to eat, must be all the excitement of exploring... He also said I was not to use the gym either so no photos in there...


Hmmm, chicken....


...and lots of healthy fruit and vegetables...


I feel much better now. Oh look a gardening trolley...that reminds me...Fi, we still haven't planted the flowers yet... Oh my, what a look she just gave me! She hasn't been feeling well so I suppose that is why she keeps putting it off. I wish everyone in this house would just get better so things can go back to normal...


Well that was a lovely afternoon, each section has a lady to look after the children and make sure they don't get hurt. They were all very curious about me, so I told them all about my adventures. You can tell they spend all day around children, they didn't think my story was strange at all!

We said our goodbyes and it was time to go home. OH DEAR, a flat tyre, just what we didn't need...how will we get home now?


* Posted May 17, 2008, 9:32 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Johannesburg, South Africa - 17th May 2008

By: MrsC

At last Fi got off her butt and decided to do a little bit of gardening... as you can see, the front entrance to her house has taken a bit of a beating from the extreme weather (high temperatures, low temperatures, relentless rain and hail storms). The hanging baskets looked particularly sad and the railway sleeper steps are starting to rot and become dangerous to walk on down the one side...


OOhhh! The sun is bright early in the morning, it is making me squint! How unattractive... and she still takes a photo!


Ah! That looks better. Fi says it will soon grow and fill up the empty spaces (if she remembers to water them - that is why she only plants indigenous plants, they are almost Fi proof  and can take a lot of neglect) They are also nice in that you just snap off a piece and plant it in soil and it grows another plant without much fuss...that's how it survives out in the veld.


Look carefully and you will see the buds on these ones. Fi says these plants are the best ones she has ever bought. She has not been able to kill them for years! They will open soon and they look like lobsters claws.


Fi decided the best way to stop someone breaking a limb falling off the stairs was to pull one sleeper forward and plant flowers in the space left behind.

That is when I truly knew I was in Africa, two lizards, one very large frog, lots and lots of worms, several unidentifiable bugs and a few spiders had made their home under that log. ALL of them disappeared before Fi could take her gloves off to take a photo. But I now know the gloves were not to protect her from the dirt!!!!


They look a bit droopy and insignificant here but they perked up with a bit of water. We ran out of soil so we couldn't finish... another day’s job.

It was hot by now so we went inside for a nice cool drink... and a biscuit or two...

* Posted May 19, 2008, 12:31 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Johannesburg, South Africa - 19th May 2008

By: MrsC

Today Fi went to visit her Mom, she was going to take photos of me but Fi's Mom's dog was sick and they thought she might have to be put down. Well I am sure you can imagine how Fi was crying because Rascal (the dog) was her childhood pet...okay, okay, the dog IS ancient... and she never took me OR her camera to the vet. The vet decided the pooch needed x-rays before he made any dramatic decisions because he said she was still happy and alert and full of beans. So Fi left her there smiling and promised to be back to fetch her at 1pm.

Oh dear, when she got back without the dog her Mom was terribly upset till she found out Rascal was still alive. We sat around reading magazines and chatting to Fi's 93 year old granny who is very confused but still very funny. Sometimes she is polite and tells Fi she is a 'little plump' and sometimes she forgets her manners and tells Fi she is 'very fat'. Fi is just happy that Granny B still remembers who she is.

Well it was soon time to fetch the pardoned - from - death - row - pooch...and...OH DEAR...my fault for joking about this the other day apparently...


That will definitely be the last time I make a joke like that...

Eventually Fi's husband came to her rescue, the dog was rescued, Granny B had a nap and Fi set of to help her friend Vicki become a fully fledge ToyVoyageress!

Later on Fi's sister phoned to tell her to look outside at the moon, it had a funny aura around it. She is a LUNAtic so she pays close attention to the moon...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

So of course we all traipsed outside in the middle of the night (it was so cold so I put my scarf on - another cold snap is on it's way)

Fi actually lay down on the floor to take the photo and the dogs came over and slobbered all over her. GROSS!!! Then they went off to drink water and CAME BACK! Great big slobbery beasts!

Oh bother! You can't see me OR the moon's aura in this photo... honestly Fi! It is time you went for photography lessons!


Fuzzy but here you can see the big ring around the moon..


Must be something to do with the cold and the clouds. We will check the paper tomorrow. There may be something in there about it.

* Posted May 19, 2008, 1:13 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Jo'burg, South africa - 19th May 2008

By: MrsC

Well there was nothing in the newspaper about the last night's moon. There are too many other terrible things going on in Johannesburg at the moment for anyone to notice the moon. Fi won't tell me what is happening, she says I am too small to understand, but she is very sad...

Anyway, one of the many strange things about Fi, is that she collects all her friend's post for them when she visits the post office. Today there was lots and lots crammed into the boxes as she has not emptied them for a few DAYS!!!

I helped her sort the post out.. she clearly has the most interesting mail... postcards!


Ah, but look what I found! I guess there is another TV waiting at the post office for collection. Who can it be? Fi says she has a good idea, it is someone she has been waiting for for a long time.


Oooohhhh! I can't wait for tomorrow.....

* Posted May 19, 2008, 8:26 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Jo'burg, South Africa - 20th May 2008

By: MrsC

Fi and I went back to the Post Office today. We were so excited to meet the new TV. But then the lady brought out the parcel and it was flat!!! That confused us both...hahaha! Fi could feel that it was a book of some sort, but she decided to save some of her dignity and wait till she got home to open the parcel... Can you see? More postcards...

And if you think Fi's desk is an untidy mess, let me just tell you that is the TIDIEST I have ever seen it!


Oh :D almost as exciting as a TV, it is MagicWomans travelling notebook... I hope Fi lets me help her fill it in.


Remember I said that something bad was happening in Johannesburg? Well, a lot of people have been left homeless and are sleeping in the garden of the Police Station, two roads up from Fi's house. Her friend MrsF asked her if she would go shopping to get some supplies for these poor people. So off we rushed, buckets to hold the supplies in and they can be used for storing water in too, disposable nappies for the babies (there is no place to launder cloth nappies), porridge and peanut butter for the children too.


MrsF had also organised blankets (it is bitterly cold at night without shelter) and toiletries. She delivered the whole lot this evening. I asked if I could go too, but Fi said it would not be dignified to take photos of a small bear amid people's suffering. She's right I suppose... I hope the situation ends soon.

* Posted May 21, 2008, 9:06 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Ideas Magazine, South Africa - 21st May 2008

By: MrsC

It would seem that Fi always has something on the go... Her favourite magazine is called Ideas. It has a section at the back called "social responsibility" where they highlight a charity organisation and ask for help with either voluntary work or donations. Well the April issue was a little different, they asked readers to knit, crotchet or sew items to help warm children or the elderly for three specific charities in different areas of the country as winter is fast approaching. Fi sent the request out to her friends and this is what she collected:


Today was the last day for submitting (again with the last minute thing!) so we, me, Fi and Threadbear hopped in the car and set of for Sandton, a very wealthy upmarket area where a lot of businesses moved to after central Jo'burg became to dangerous to work in.

Of course we got lost and drove around in circle for a bit until we found it. Threadbear was worried he would not make an important appointment but Fi told him to relax, we'd get it all done in time...

This is us at reception, the receptionist is hiding BEHIND the desk! She was very camera shy...hee hee hee!


Someone very creative was let loose in the reception area, all the furniture is painted on the wall!



Even the office cat was painted on, though he looked like he wanted to play!


We handed over the donations and left the poor receptionist in peace. Fi said whilst we were in the area we might as well stop at Sandton City, a very big, exclusive shopping centre where the rich & famous and tourists shop... bet she buys postcards...

But of course she did! And she took us into an African curio shop...wow! It's BRIGHT!


We met a lady in the shop who was very excited to hear about ToyVoyagers (if you are reading this: Hi!  :p). This is the shop manageress, who very kindly let us take photos in the shop. Do you think these dolls would last as TV's?


Sandton City links to the Nelson Mandela Square, so we took a walk across to it, on the way we popped into another curio shop (Fi, you have a postcard PROBLEM :() and we found these little guys...so cute! Just the right size for envelope travelling!


Then we bumped into Nelson Mandela himself! I never realised he was that tall!


Bye Madiba, nice to have met you, we'd love to stay and chat but ThreadBear has important business to deal with...

Man, why did we park the car so far away?

* Posted May 21, 2008, 9:50 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Teddy Bear Clinic, South Africa - 21st May 2008

By: MrsC

Threadbear is collecting Teddy Bears for the Teddy Bear Clinic and he wanted to visit it personally to see what it was all about...

Here we are getting closer, this is the famous Hillbrow Tower, situated in the infamous Hillbrow, which is pretty much a slum these days so this was as close as we were getting.


You may have noticed that  South Africans are very proud of their colourful flag...


Some more than others...


Here he is at Reception. Unfortunately the man we had come to see, Luke, was busy in training.  He is very, very busy as Child Protection Week is coming up soon. Never mind, I am sure Threadbear will get to meet him soon. The most important thing is that he knows what Threadbear is doing here on ToyVoyagers with the Teddy Drive and he is very excited about it too.


The Teddy Bear Clinic won a prestigious gold award, which recognises their contribution made to public life in South Africa. Well Done!


Threadbear and I join in a jacuzzi party! Just kidding, every available space is filled with Teddy Bears which is a lovely sight...


These ones do the filing..


These ones do admin...


These ones do general office work...


We made a friend on this desk...


Here is a peak into one of the rooms... people were busy in all the other rooms and we didn't want to intrude.


This bear is made from wire!


These poor girls need some TLC, someone tried to put a dress on the first one but it just got stuck because the bear was just too big. MrsC promised she would be back to make dresses (maybe she will take a sponge and some detergent with too)


Who is that I spot down the end of the passage?


Look, MrsC and MrsF did a good job two years ago fixing up this bear! The Gigantabearus still looks good, he just needs a little lip surgery and all will be well!


Maybe if we collect enough bears we can get ToyVoyagers up on the wall too?


Here's hoping!

Whilst we were in the building we went up to visit some of the other clinics Fi supports.

Here is the view out of the window. The tower again and the derelict looking building in front of it was once the esteemed Queen Victoria maternity home, where pretty much everyone in Johannesburg was born before the new Johannesburg General Hospital opened in the late 1970's. The building we are in at the moment used to be the children's hospital until that too was moved to the new Jo'burg Gen.


This is the Toy Library but children were busy having a play session so we didn't go in...


Then we went up to visit "BigShoes" which is a clinic for abandoned babies, orphaned or vulnerable children. Their mission is to aid these children so that they can grow up and fill big shoes! Isn't that sweet?

This is a lovely bright and beautifully decorated clinic.


In this room, the abandoned babies are assesed to establish how old they are. Blood is also taken for DNA testing and sadly, HIV testing.


These are some of the latest babies that have been adopted both locally or internationally.


If you can see on this poster, the little white stickers are all the children's homes just in Johannesburg alone. Scary.


All the people that work in this entire building, which is exclusively for children's clinics (all Non Government Organisations) do the most amazing job and I for one salute them.

On the way out we stopped at the canteen...isn't it sweet? The bears are down here too!


Well that was an emotionally draining experience but I can't wait to go back with Threadbear! It would be especially nice to take 500 bears back with us!

* Posted May 25, 2008, 8:55 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Happy Acres, South Africa - 23rd May 2008

By: MrsC

Vicki, Fi's friend, is new around here and her children are so excited about  ToyVoyagers that they can't WAIT for one to arrive (post to South Africa is SOOOOO slow!)
Fi let me stay over at their place last night so they can see what it is to have a TV in the house... Wow, very different from Fi's house where the children are younger and noisier! Lots and lots of homework and projects going on! And that includes Vicki who is studying too!

This morning Vicki's daughter took me with to school as she was going on a field trip. It was so cold early in the morning...

Here we are ready to leave the school field...


Then we got on the bus. Teenagers think they are so funny... look where they made me sit!


We arrived at Happy Acres, a nature reserve in Magaliesburg. Fi said it sounded more like an old age home! Ha, ha, ha!
The students went to learn about ecosystems, plant ecology, animal ecology, ecological pyramids, different types of soils and more...


If you ask me they need to look into housekeeping, that water looks revolting! Yuck....


Look at this funny tree I found, it is shedding it's bark!


I'm just going to look this way and pretend that I can't see that, that, that... shiver... huge dung beetle... Oh man, it is almost the same size as me. I don't care if it has a cute name - a Toktokkie is still as creepy!


We had to cross the stream so I hitched a ride in this back pack...


What a very sophisticated system, are there no engineers around here who can build bridges? I can see someone not making it across on this rope…


Yep, there's one in the water...


I caught a little nap in the sun...lovely and warm now, it has been so cold lately.


Heh, heh, this is the life! My little legs just can't keep up... it is much easier all round if someone carries me.


Time for lunch and a drink then we are off to another exciting place...


* Posted May 25, 2008, 9:38 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Maropeng, South Africa - 23rd May 2008

By: MrsC

We all hopped back on the bus and got driven to our next destination Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind.

South Africa has the earliest evidence of humanoid life. It is found in an area not to far from where Fi lives. A few years ago they opened a visitor centre to showcase the discoveries made in this area.

Two of the most famous discoveries are of the first complete Australopithecus skull to be discovered, in the Sterkfontein caves, nicknamed 'Mrs Ples' (of course, had she been one of Fi's friends she would just be Mrs P!) and 'Little Foot' a 4.17 million-year-old, almost complete ape-man skeleton which was also discovered in the same caves.


Maropeng starts off in a burial mound called a 'Tumulus' and the rest of it is underground... you go on a boat ride through an underground lake to experience  the four life giving elements that shaped the world into what it is today: earth, fire, water, and ice. Actually all the dark and noise and lightning and volcanoes just scared me out my wits... I see why little Natalie won't go back! Fi wanted to take us during the holidays and Natalie said NO WAY!

It was probably also all the bones and skulls that frightened her...


Look, a new face in the crowd!


This poster says 'Humans are the last surviving species in the genus Homo'...so where do I fit in then?


There are plenty of interactive displays throughout the centre...


People! Not THIS interactive...help!!!!


Why oh why must they put me right on top of the creepy stuff?


Oh very funny! Yes put me BEHIND it instead! FI! NO MORE TEENAGERS!!!!


As well as displays on ancient life, there are lots about modern life like this one...they made a mistake though, it should be 6610054281 - they left me off!


Well, South Africa is not doing TOO badly on the world literacy ratings, 85%..  I got held up to represent Germany but the kid wasn't tall enough!


I can't really tell you about me and the toxic spill, the less said about that the better...no more teenagers like I said!


I read this on the suggestion board... I agree…


Well that was an interesting journey, I saw all sorts of things I never knew before. Maybe if Natalie changes her mind we can go back again...

While we were waiting for the bus, I rested on this sign...then I looked down to read it....eeeeekkkkkk! Maybe, I won't be back!


I decided to change locations and asked J to hold me, she was too busy talking to her friends so she just popped me on her feet! What does she think I am: a penguin? Good grief...


Phew, made it safely home! Thanks J for looking after me and taking me with you...

Oh, Fi said I am going on another surprise journey! I'm travelling somewhere with her friend Tanya again, and we have already done Switzerland so it is not there... and this time I have a speciial travel companion called 'Hope', I can't wait to meet her!

* Posted May 25, 2008, 11:26 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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