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Archive for the tag “Africa”

Keagan Larry Goldberg turns 21!

Keagan, being my first child, was the love of my life!
I woke up one morning to begin a new job at the Department of National Health and Population Development, South Africa, only to discover at the end of the week, that I was pregnant with ‘yours truly’.
Larry and I were ‘over-the-moon’ at this fantastic news, however I had to try and hide this pregnancy from my new employers.  This was not easy as Keagan had a voracious appetite in my tummy! 
Keagan was born through caesarean section at Parklands hospital on 30th October 1991.
Our first child and the first grand-child of Hugh and Nadine James. 
Keagan delighted us with his achievement of every milestone, with a head full of blonde ringlets, he was a beautiful, good child.
Being somewhat of an opportunist, when Rolf Offerman vacated his flat in Cumberland I saw the perfect opportunity to sell our house and move in next door to my mother who could then be a 24/7 babysitter!
Keagan grew up with both Piet and Nadine’s full attention.  Sunday morning ‘sleep in’s’ were paradise for Larry and I as I would shove Keagan into their flat and tell him to “go and find Dinie”!
Keagan was given every educational toy conceivable made by the two retired, devoted educationalists, Piet and Nadine. 
Keagan ate his first ‘solid’, said his first ‘word’ and indeed took his first ‘step’ in 71 Cumberland which has been home to him until very recently.
I did not return to work for many years and enjoyed Keagan’s development, watching this gorgeous toddler grow into the loving, sensitive, kind gentleman he is today.
A year and a half after Keagan was born darling Chesney came along.  
At first Keagan did not enjoy the ‘shared attention’ and I remember at Chesney’s bris when my sister, Merida, was holding him, in Cumberland, Keagan wanted Mer to take Chesney back with her to Cape Town!!
It has filled me with such pride to see how Keagan and Chesney have grown up together as ‘brothers’ in the full sense of the word.
Both are them are sociable with many friends but their love and loyalty to each other reminds me of “He ain’t heavy he’s my brother!” (and he IS quite heavy, no offense Ches! ha ha)
Keagan, Chesney and I have a ‘special bond’ and have gone through some ‘challenging times’ and I have always been an advocate of ‘what doesn’t break you makes you stronger’.
In 2002 Eothan came along and both Keagan and Chesney made way for a little ‘bro’ who they nurtured.
I am sad that I cannot be with you all today and wish you a wonderful celebration to this outstanding young man.
Keagan, you have been and always will be ‘my best friend’. 
Distance shores do not effect the ‘real, honest’ relationship that we share and for that I thank you.  
You make me proud.
I love you. 
Kerry-Lynn Bouman



The Owl House – Nieu-Bethesda, South Africa

Helen Martins

Helen Martins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most fascinating places that I have ever been to visit has most

definitely been The Owl House in Nieu-Bethesda in the

Eastern Cape in South Africa.


The mesmerizing story of Helen Martins who began, in 1945, to

obsess with cement, glass and wire is revealed in this little museum kept in her honour.


Helen Martins was born on 23rd December in 1897 and inherited the

quaint little house after her parents died.


As you enter the house you can feel the atmosphere of ‘strangeness’, an eerie experience as you view glass crushed on the walls, glass of every conceivable colour and shape in every room, hanging, catching the natural light of the sun.

You can feel the loneliness and persecution of this lady’s ‘stifled’ spirit in her time in the small conservative town, Nieu-Bethesda, where conformity was the order of the day.

There are camels, owls, cats,sphinxes and people, many with bulbous protruding eyes, all made of glass bottles.

Helen’s fascination with the Orient is evident in all the statues pointing and some desperately ‘reaching out’ in one direction, all facing the same way; Eastwards.

Helen drew her inspiration from Christian biblical texts, poetry of Omar Khayyam and works of William Blake.  In 1964 she was assisted by Koos Malgas, a Coloured man; this drew considerable suspicion in the apartheid-era of South Africa.

Helen’s eyesight began to fail from excessive exposure to fine crushed glass which led her to commit suicide at the age of 78 on August 8th 1976.  The Owl House was declared a provisional national monument in 1991.

South African playwright Athol Fugard drew inspiration from her story in his play The Road to Mecca in 1985, this was later made into a film.

It was an amazing experience where I actually felt her pain and anguish as portrayed in her many statues in the backyard.  A remarkable lady!

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