After an unexpected trip back to Canada for a few weeks, I am once again in South Africa for Triwaters. The weather in Toronto at my departure was deteriorating from heavy snow to freezing rain. This resulted in a delay of 1 hour for boarding, 1 hour due to a power outage in the terminal preventing us from starting our engines, and another 1 hour waiting for the deicer to be free. The plane having been covered in a thick layer of green solution was ready for takeoff. I flew British Airways via London again. Turbulence leaving London was some of the best I’ve experienced yet. The wine flew up and out of my glass, hovered in the air directly across from my eyes, and then landed near the window sill.
Once safely landed in Johannesburg, I hit the ground running. I had to speak with a few media producers and our charitable partner WESSA. I then ran some errands for a few supplies and headed to Ermelo with Egon who had come to pick me up. After a short nap I was ready to go for the rest of the day to get some food and update social media etc.
Yesterday, I woke up early and headed to the Triwaters office at Franz’s family’s company. After a number of phone calls we had filled the days schedule with visits to local farmers whom we met either hiking or “paddling” (really dragging kayaks) through their land. I was warmly welcomed for a second time and shown around their properties as they explained just how severe the water shortage here is and how it is affecting their livelihoods.
Richard, one of the farmers, is an ex-military paraglider who served in a number of conflict sites having completed over 600 jumps. We had coffee in his 150+ year old house which served as a hospital during the Boer war in the late 1800’s. It is a beautiful home with a rich history. The walls are covered in unique South African artifacts, many of them South African animals, and photos from his time spent paragliding. On his property we saw hundreds of blesbok, a family of meerkats, a few fish eagles, and numerous species of water fowl.
Today will be spent doing some editing, scheduling the next week, and resting before a long drive across the country to meet up with Franz and Brett who are busy paddling down the Orange River. I very much look forward to reuniting with them and helping to document the story both in photos and video. Grant and Christiaan from Flyingfish Productions in Canada are joining us in a little over a week.