Saturday, October 19, 2013

There’s a Time to Be Calm!

There’s a Time to Be Calm!

I do realize there’s quite a lot going on in South Africa at the moment -- real nasty stuff that one can write volumes of opinions on.  From the constant stream of bad news we’re receiving it is quite apparent that the majority in this country clearly do not understand the words of wisdom in Ecclesiastes chapter 3, and especially the part that speaks of, “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” – (Ecclesiastes 3:8)

Then again, we must not lose sight of the fact that there will always be violent storms in a world ruled by an evil force… The world’s history books have made this point frightfully clear! However, if we keep giving this force our undivided attention and thought it WILL eventually devour you. It is thus a wise move to take a break from it all once in a while.

The quickest route to serenity and calmness of mind is to ignore the bad news altogether, bearing in mind - there’s a difference in meaning between ignore and paying no attention whatsoever.

“How do you defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized.”
― Salman Rushdie

It’s easy to say, “Be calm!” to folks who are being terrorized, bullied, threatened, or intimidated – whether it be by their local supermarket with their ridiculous high prices, merciless criminals and murderous thugs, or by the hands of a useless and corrupt government on whom we all rely for our protection… BUT, under these circumstances motivation and encouragement will not help much if thought is not followed-up by decisive action. To retreat is also a course of action and especially so if it leads to serenity of mind and soul.

I’m quite sure readers know what message I’m trying to convey here so let’s get on with it, shall we?


Less than 2-hour’s drive from where I live there’s a tranquil bushveld sanctuary (retreat) called Weesgerus. The name is an Afrikaans word which translates to “Be Calm.” In Afrikaans it is written as one word because it is one concept.

Weesgerus was established in the early eighties as a holiday resort, mainly for members of the SA Police. It is situated 3 km outside Nylstroom (Modimolle) on the road to Vaalwater, in the Limpopo province.

Back in the old days we all contributed a monthly fee to the Widows and Orphans Fund… Actually, we didn’t really have much of a choice in the matter as the money was automatically deducted from our salaries every month – together with tax deductions, medical fees, policy fees, pension fund fees, etc. (Union membership fees came much later!)

I can recall how the policy-sharks pounced on us at a very early stage of our careers when we were still raw Student Constables in College - BEFORE we had even received our first pay checks - (The buggers!)  I can also recall how, for many years thereafter, many of us bitterly complained about ‘the peanuts’ we received every month, but at the end of the day we somehow managed to pull through – amidst all the drama and chaos of those bygone days.

For me, my low pay was a motivational factor that drove me to study harder and to move through the ranks as quickly as possible. It still took me 18 years though to get to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, where I remained stuck for 6 miserable years, due to government affirmative action policies. Today, in the new free South Africa… Oh never mind!

Access to the facilities at Weesgerus at extremely affordable rates, was one of the benefits we received for contributing to the Widows and Orphans Fund… Consequently, we 'retreated' to the resort on a regular basis where we could relax in the harmony of nature, and where the warm mineral waters of the resort’s pools (always sparkling clean) washed away our anxiety and worries. The visits to Weesgerus stopped when I was transferred to Durban, KwaZulu/Natal in 1994.

This past week I was blessed with an opportunity (out of the blue) to accompany friends to Weesgerus, who had booked 3 days in a chalet at out-of-season prices – making it an offer no sane person can refuse… (R275-00 per day for a stylish 4-bed chalet!)

Here’s some video footage of the resort, captured during my recent visit:

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Adrem said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Thank you for sharing this with your readers. It amazes me to see that something like this still exists in the South Africa of today.

And the Braii - what a mouthwatering, heavenly treat!

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

@Adrem – I was also amazed to see that nothing much had changed in the place since my last visit. It is still overwhelming (99%) Afrikaans-speaking. Even the staff, majority black Africans, speak Afrikaans. Wherever you happen to walk or drive in the resort people greet you with a friendly smile. Total strangers simply walk over and introduce themselves. By the time you leave you feel you’re left family behind. It was a wonderful experience -- I simply had to share with readers.

Anton said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Amazing!!! I went to this resort some time back, and we were privileged to enjoy the hospitality of the fancy block of rooms all sharing a common lounge and kitchen. My mate Andre Geyser and his cousins from the CCMA took us there. The bushveld is just something else and I miss it terribly. Enjoying a lekker fire on the concrete plinth, killing braincells with beer and other hooligan juice...

Thanks for the great vid, it brings back very pleasant memories.


Pops said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Hi Tia

You often touch my soul with your stuff.

To see the hoopoe, loerie, guinea fowl and hear the bulbuls gave me lot of heimwee and I miss those experiences terrible but I'm very happy here in Auckland, for very different reasons.


socrates said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Hi Tia,
That looks like an amazing place!
I did call them but the rate even for a 2 bed chalet was nowhere near what you got it for....
Does your uncle own the place or something? ;-)

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

@socrates, The rates differ depending on whether you’re booking for midweek or a weekend – in season or out of season. I reckon we got the cheap rates because it was midweek, and the chap who made the booking is still a member of the SA Police, and thus a contributor to the Police Widows and Orphans Fund.

socrates said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Thanks for the reply Tia, I will be going there soon anyway. Definitely looks like a place to relax and recharge the batteries. I think my daughter willl love the nature aspect as well.

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