Wednesday, May 02, 2007

No More Festivals, Please

In America, Germany, and many other countries, festivals are fun for everyone, no matter what your background or native tongue. I wrongly assumed that this was a universal truth.

We have now been to two festivals in our region of the Garden Route that were the exact opposite of fun... unless of course you're a South African, or have lived here for a very, very long time. Let me explain...

The first festival, was the KKNK in Oudtshoorn. We thought it was just bad luck. The program was solely in Afrikaans, nearly every event was in Afrikaans, we got turned away from three different venues for various reasons, and it was a sweltering hot day. Surely, this was just a fluke?

A couple months later, we decide to try Prince Albert's annual "Olive Festival". Prince Albert is supposedly only a couple hours from Mossel Bay, but when one tries really hard, it IS possible to get terribly lost along the way, backtrack, try the same route again, and arrive in Price Albert four hours later (don't try this with children). Which is precisely what we did. Fortunately for us, it wasn't nearly as hot as in Oudtshoorn previously, but even in pleasant weather, I wouldn't recommend doing a 2-hour walking tour of the historic landmarks with a 1 year old (Oh, the things you learn as a first time parent).

Another point to remember: If you plan on ending the day with a yummy piece of Karoo lamb at a nice little restaurant, think again. Not without a reservation. And I can tell you from experience that it doesn't matter how much you beg and plead. There are only 3 restaurants in Price Albert, all of which were fully booked that evening. So we thought, "Gee, we have to drive through Oudtshoorn to get home anyway, let's just stop for dinner there." Silly us. It was a Sunday night, and after trying in vain to get a table at 3 different restaurants in Oudtshoorn, we gave up, and began our hour and a half journey back to Mossel Bay.

Yesterday we did another "family hike"; this time here in Mossel Bay. I know, I said we'd start a family tradition of Sunday hikes, but it was a long weekend here in South Africa, so we did our family hike on Tuesday. :-) We kept postponing it. Saturday didn't work, because the weather was bad and we had a lazy day at home; Sunday didn't work, because we did a road trip North to Price Albert; Monday didn't work, because Tobi had to go into the office; and so Tuesday HAD to work, despite the dense fog and constant blow of foghorns.

Anyhoo, Lukas really likes to hike. When he's riding in his little hiking backpack, he's all smiles. And Felix, well he just had a blast... splashing in big mud puddles, bouncing through the bush, and staring down at the surf pounding the rocks below, wondering how he could make it down for a quick swim (labs don't think about rip currents or getting smashed up against massive rocks... it's WATER!)

In parenting news, I have a separate website for Lukas now, but some recent highlights of include:

-Giving everyone kisses on the phone (Ga-ga, Oma, and Great Grandma & Grandpa Woodman)
-Quietly observing a big green praying mantis on his sleeve. When he noticed it, he just stayed very still and looked intriguingly at it, like, "isn't this an interesting little creature on my shirt?"
-Walking around with the phone to his ear, laughing into the phone, as if Ga-Ga's on the phone and she's telling a funny joke. No matter how often I see that, it always makes me laugh.

New phrases include:
-"Hello", "Hi", and "Bye" to everyone he sees
-"Hug" (and he loves hugging his stuffed animals now)
-"Goobagoo" for Peak-a-boo (which is also the name for Pooh Bear, but I guess those terms sound similar for him).
-"Drew" when he saw a photo of his friend Drew on the computer
-Calling cars "Toot, Toot"
-Mimicking Mama by saying "Uh-Oh" (note to self: No more naughty words!)
-Calling my breast "Diddle-doo"(when he wants to nurse). I have no idea how he came up with that, but it's so sweet!
-Saying "ComeBecca, ComeBecca, Come" to his little friend Becca.
-"Cheep, cheep, cheep" when he saw the "little chicks". He's so proud of himself. Now, when I ask, "Lukas, what do the Little Chicks say?" He answers, "Cheep, cheep, cheep!"

Well, I guess that's about it from our side. We only have a couple months left in South Africa, so we're trying to enjoy it as much as possible, and see as much as possible in our remaining time. On that note, I'm off to walk the dog and check out our neighborhood Springbok.

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