Wouter Coetzer

Schoeman st., Hofmeyr, South Africa

2010 / 12 / 13 18:29

'I'm a teacher here at the school and my wife is a secretary - just around the corner. I usually walk to school and then cycle in the mornings or afternoons. If the wind is blowing that way you ride the other way out - so that if you turn around you have the wind with you. You know I've always loved cycling because as a young boy I used to deliver the newspaper, Die Burger - whilst I was growing up in Die Hel. At 5 in the mornings you get up with your bicycle - so I'm a natural cyclist and I like it. This is actually my sons bike - when he moved to Germany a few years ago I decided to start cycling again. We've been living here in Hofmeyr for about 25 years now. At the moment here in town it is only me that cycles. Hofmeyr originated because of the cross roads - there are about 5 or 6 roads that come together here. Look, it’s the Cradock main road, then the Schoombee road, Molteno road, the Queenstown road and the Middelburg road - they all cross here. Literally 6 roads from 6 directions into the town. This is also the shortest route from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg. My favorite thing is to just ride out about 20 kilometers out and then sometimes I ride around to some people then I come back. It is mostly just for exercise. You just got to make sure you have green slime and perma-tubes because these thorns go through anything - I've tried everything. At one stage we were using latex. We are about 350 kids at the school, going up to grade 9. About 18 teachers about half white and half black - it is going very well and I can't complain. I enjoy teaching, I only teach Afrikaans. All the years I've been teaching other subjects, but you know it is not any teacher that can teach Afrikaans. Teachers don't really like teaching Afrikaans, but I enjoy it. Our school is going along very well, everyone is getting the money they need. Our supplies we need for next year is already in the storerooms. The sports grounds are dilapidated though - there is a drought here. Currently we are reading ‘Die Dag van die Reuse’. It is a book about the border war in Mozambique. How everything gets wiped out and this one little boy survives. So it goes on with him meeting a girl who's bus was blown up and then how they dodge the soldiers and walk along. But it is actually about the elephants. The one elephant stepped on a land mine and then the boy takes cares of and nurses the elephant. Then he led all the elephants out on a path where there aren't any land mines. So the rebel groups saw this, saluting him - in their eyes he became a giant because the elephants listen to him. I've ordered Tin Tin for next year.'

Nic Grobler

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