Author Archives: Boertjie

5 Life Lessons learnt in 2011

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn this year was on Journey and it was: “You don’t always have to be in control of a situation. I always somehow felt that I needed to be part of the decision making in the group for example when choosing a certain direction to walk or being in front with the map and looking for the next set of landmarks that we need to take. I felt responsible for trying to lead the group on the right path to get to the next camp. I became known as the walking GPS. At about day 16 I decided to resign from to the duty I created for myself and left it in someone else’s hands. It felt great not having to make decisions and to just go with the flow.

Knowing the unknown all the time, I think, would be boring because where would the fun be in? This I came to realize only after the Journey. We had the most fun not knowing what was going to happen during the day but just to embrace all that might happen. I would do the Journey again but with a whole new route because that is what made it exciting and memorable. The adventure lies in the unpredictable.

During the Journey you also learn to appreciate things you usually take for granted in life. Having a light to see in the dark, sleeping on a mattress, having shoes to walk in and sleeping in a sturdy house. It’s these things that make you realize that not everyone has them when you experience it yourself.

I have also learnt that people who have everything can also suffer. During the month I was in Germany I realised that most of these rich children that go to Schloss Neubeuern are just dropped off there so that their parents can go on with their own lives. The children care for each other like brothers and sisters. I have learnt to appreciate my loving parents and family.

My last lesson I learnt was that procrastination is just not good. It only causes more problems like studying for exams. Revising and learning your work for an upcoming exam is much less stressful than the day before. Right away, all the way, with the right attitude!

I have learnt some new lessons and have been reminded again of old ones which makes me see that you never really arrive.


The News

Paper used for reading material. It’s used to grab people’s attention on what’s going on in the world.  The problem is what the ink on the thin pieces paper show and tel.

Looking at this week’s headlines and the other news I wondered, “Why is there always so much negativity? Does this world only run on news that grabs your attention because it’s some horrific thing on the front page? Wouldn’t it change the world for the better if some good news could be added to the headlines?”  This is what constantly drifted in my head when looking back at the news of these past few days. Some of the sporting news was better. But there is nothing that could actually bring a smile.

A good example of something that was very horrific was the incident where a shark got hold of a man. Yes, he was warned not to go into the sea but why publish those pictures for everyone to see? Imagine this: lying on the sand after being dragged out of the sea and missing half his leg with its end part ripped to shreds with blood still spewing out of the knob where the leg should be. There are young minds everywhere that are affected by images like this. The same could be said for the other types of news. Be more mindful of what is published.

With today’s technology you can be linked 24/7 with news. It’s always nice to be informed of what going on in the world but in my opinion I feel it just needs a little bit more of good news. Even if there is nothing big, even a small thing of goodness could change the whole concept and vibe of a newspaper.

The media is very powerful and can be a wonderful tool to bring people together and to lift the moral of the citizens of our country. 

The Journey…

Day 1

I Woke up at 5, packed the bare necessities and took off to St Alban’s to begin my epic Journey.

I had mixed feelings. Feelings such as happiness mingled with sadness and on top of that I felt excited and exhilarated to begin.

After receiving our food and checking that we’re not overweight with our backpacks we headed for the bell. I came to be a little overweight but managed it by offloading some of my extra snacks. I knew somewhere along the line that I was going to regret doing that. Mr. Hamilton and the deputy headboy gave us their speeches and then we headed off into the wilderness. It was only when we were out of the school gate that the group realized that we needed a map. That was the moment I thought this was going to be a long and interesting journey.

The whole of day 1 was a hike just to get out of the city and I must say I think the group did pretty well for the first day. I already felt that we worked well as a group together to get through the’ spruit’. The stronger guys helped the guys that had a hard time.

We managed to get to our first campsite at five. I set up my tent and then it was time for supper. My cooking group decided that we’re going to have pasta, braai relish and peas for supper. In army style they would say, “that was some pretty nice grub” and it was excellent. I think making it by ourselves added to the flavour and of course that we were just very very hungry.

Looking back at my first day of journey I had fun but I’ve also realized that I’m starting to miss my family. One of the hardest things for most of my fellow men and I, was saying goodbye to our families for three weeks.  Looking at the brighter side I am already thinking more independently and will strive to see my group as my family for the next three weeks.

Our first debrief under the starts is something that I’ll always remember of journey and tomorrow is day 2- our first cycling day. Alex and I got elected for group leaders and received a map of four pages long. My first real challenge begins tomorrow!!

The Moment

My favourite moment on journey was on day 21 – the day we climbed “THE MOUNTAIN”.  The night before we had planned to get up at 3 o’clock but as it turned out we only left at 4 o’clock – a whole hour late.

I couldn’t believe how thick the mist was as we were walking. I could only see a meter in front of me. My shoes were already soaked when we reached the foot of the mountain. The biggest problem for us was that we couldn’t see the top of the mountain. Everything was covered in mist. We climbed a while and then we found a jeep track that was also on the map and followed it.

We finally got to a clearing and started to climb the mountain again, this time seeing where we were going.  My legs were burning and it sometimes felt as if I was going to fall over and tumble down. Luckily it didn’t happen to anyone. I finally got to the top, muscles on the verge of cramping, but I felt that I accomplished something. I proved to myself that anything can be done with the right attitude and the willingness to get it done. The view from up there was magnificent. I’ve also learnt that your eyes can deceive you, in this case, how far it is from the top of the mountain.


Now the journey is finished and I’m back to normal life, I feel that I’m closer to my friends. I’ve seen how they really are now as they have shown their true colours. The Journey has also helped a lot of us realize what is really important in our lives.  Family, friends, my bed, my toilet and proper food every day, is what I truly cherish and appreciate now.

The Journey has given me more patience in doing things and from here on I see life in a different way. I feel calmer, more collective and in more in control of my life. My parents have also acknowledged this. I feel empowered moving into the future. I know I will be able to cope with what life hands me.

Journey was intended to teach us lessons in life and it has done just that!

Group 5

Nature Has Humour!

The term flew past so fast. I can’t believe it was already half term. Looking back to this small holiday I can say I really relaxed and got lazy.

My parents took us to Mabula Lodge near Bela Bela and like I said, I really just did nothing. We just stayed there lazed around and swam in this little swimming pool. In the night we braaied and watched the rugby. But the thing that put some action into our bodies were the animals living near our home.

Lying on some of the sunbaked rocks were legewans and where you would sit they would move closer and closer to you. These monitor lizards are known to use their tails for defense by swinging and thrashing them at their attacker. My brother through a rock at one to chase it a away but instead of scurrying away it chased the rock. We got to the conclusion that people were feeding them and that is why they got so close to us. It was truly a site to see a half a meter long legewan two meters away from you.

One afternoon lying on my bed and almost falling asleep I heard a sudden thud near my room’s one window. Chilling on the railing was a vervet monkey. I suddenly realized why he came for a visit. The kitchen window was open. Running up the stairs to catch the little robber I only saw a pack of bananas disappear and a tail going out of the window. Mocking me he sat right below the living room window which was on the second floor, stuffing his face with the bananas. For some reason he ran off and we managed to save two bananas.

The last evening at Mabula, this mighty Franklin walked past my dad while he was braaiing a chicken, went up the stairs to our car and saw his reflection on the chrome bull bar. Feeling attracted to this other new, beautiful Franklin he started pecking the bull bar. My mom thought there was someone at the door and got quite annoyed not knowing what was making the sound. It was quite funny seeing the Franklin pecking at his own reflection and not getting any reaction back.

Doing nothing can be very entertaining and interesting when you go to nature in the bushveld.

Escape to Nature

The moment had arrived. The moment of  having a braai in the bush again. Sitting around a fire enjoying jokes, stories and the tranquility of nature.

Not knowing what we are going to do there my friend,his family and I went to this quiet and peaceful little farm. Arriving late the Friday night we started unpacking and building a fire. That night we stayed up until 1 o’clock watching the fire burning and listening to jackals howling to the full moon and the other sounds of the night.

The morning we decided to set of with the bikes to explore the farm. We saw eland, rooihartebees and two ostriches. After extreme crunching through thick sand on the mountain bikes we returned to get some brunch for our stomachs. The brunch his parents prepared for us, was truly a delicious meal with eggs, bacon and all the other ingredients to make a proper bushveld brunch. We went for a swim and set of with ketties hoping to get pot shot on an unsuspecting bird. We got nothing. We later got so bored that we used a cactus as target practice. Then the brightest idea came to our minds. We  are going to fish. The rest of the afternoon we sat around a little dam hoping to catch something. This is the where nature plays with you because you can’t see anything going on in the murky water of the dam and what is biting at your hook. We managed to catch everything except a fish in the dam including a  huge, slimy, yellowish frog and my friend a terrapin. A terrapin is fresh water turtle which looks a lot like a snapping turtle.

The rest of the night we did the usual routine of sitting around the fire and talking about the day’s events and jokes. We also managed to melt a glass bottle in the fire which is an indication of how extremely hot the fire was that night. It was just a perfect weekend. The Sunday we had  breakfast and a last swim and then set off back to the city of Pretoria.

I think once in while everyone needs to go for such a weekend in the bush. Nature teaches us patience – I experienced this first hand, and it brings the whole family together to have fun. It makes you calm, causes you to think of how fortunate you are for being alive and breathing and how short and precious life is.

For those who read this, try it and you will find out about what I mean.

Heaven’s White Dove

The morning, the sun, the night, the day

How hard it is for me in war

Your beautiful face, pleasure, grace

Thinking of you, my heart is sore

My brothers have come, fought and gone

The battle is nearing the final end

Yet I feel the path’s not done

In stories of  blood always a bend

So while I write, I long for you

For fear of sorrow and death

That if the war is my final clue

My last deep and gasping breath

If you see heaven’s white dove

Know that you are my only love

Inspired to Know!

I set my foot on this world knowing nothing. Only to eat and sleep. This was in my very early stages of my life and I have grown up to the age of sixteen.

I am growing up in an environment where everything is changing as is my perspective of life. I’m learning to see how everything in life is so unique in every way and how precious it is. How everything works is and how it is being  used. That was only a little bit of info on how I see life and how I experience it. My name is Hanno Muire and I’m inspired to know.

I grew up between city life and life on a farm. I love shooting, riding bike and just looking into a distant sunset. But the thing I love the most and cherish  because I can’t do it very often anymore is a braai in the bushveld of South Africa. Sitting around a fire, warm, smelling of smoke and enjoying socializing with friends. That is just the best.

Now that little haven of mine has disappeared and only the city life is left. The city life has it advantages though. I have been able to see the world in a different view  by my life being in the city and my education. This is where I learnt to appreciate everything and that the world is much bigger than I thought.

I’m a guy that is curious and wants to learn. My goal in life is to preserve my world and all its wonders for future generations. I’m  just at  the edge of what I think  the world is and what it can hold for me.

Life in short terms is, well short. Don’t waste it.