First impressions

I'm currently staying in a small town in South Africa named Danielskuil. Although there is no internet at the ranch I am at, I may periodically be able to get internet in town (once a month, maybe less). The place I'm staying at is quite amazing, the farm is about 15,000 acres and there are fantastic animals and birds all over the place. There are two small dogs that seem to follow me everywhere I go as well, they make quite good companions when I'm on long hikes in the bush. I would probably describe the land as a bushy grassland, so it's quite dry but the farm gets water from an underground well and seems to have plenty - at least enough to sprinkler the back yard of the owners house! The people that come here are also very interesting, they are from all over the country, and from the US as well. Usually they will stay for about a week or so, always asking when I am taking off only to be surprised that I will be here for the next there months. It's a great time though, good opportunities to take photos, great local people that work here, and an exciting/different environment to spend some time at. All the locals are very kind, and very curious as well. They seem to enjoy playing with my camera equipment, I'm not sure they've ever seen the type of setup that I have. They are all very kind though, and at times it is hard to understand what they are saying but somehow we always manage to communicate OK - they speak several languages (the local dialect as well as Africans) and have a very strong accent when speaking english. The farm has a few blinds that I have tried sitting in, sometimes all day, and I have determined that animals will always be sitting around the blinds when I approach, but never come by when I'm actually inside. They are all very skittish so it is difficult to get close, but I'm hoping that if I hang out in the blinds long enough some may come around. It is, after all, only the first week I've been here, so I have plenty of time to burn. The days here are much different than back home, and for the better in my opinion. There is no technology, no internet, just living on the land. I usually wake up, eat a cornmeal type breakfast similar to grits, then walk out into the bush for the day. I bring some bread with me for lunch, and will usually find a nice spot on a rock or small hill and sit for a few hours, just watching what comes my way. It's almost like going back 200 years, simply exploring uncharted terrain and feeling the sense of adventure. Every bush I walk around, every hill I hike up, I never know what animal, or even herd, is on the other side. It is adventurous and exciting, in a very primal way - and that is what I like best about being here. It's very relaxing and peaceful to be on my own and away from the busy hustle of life back home. It's interesting because I have never considered myself to be a very patient person, but out here the most important quality one can have is patience. Or maybe it's not patience, rather an appreciation for the land and for nature. Either way, I find myself sitting and watching the birds, or thinking to myself, listening to the birds chirp and the animals call, or looking around at the landscape for hours on end. And back home I may have thought this would be boring, as it probably sounds to those reading this, it is actually a nice change of pace from American culture. A breath of fresh air. Sitting on a hilltop watching wildebeest run into the sunset, watching birds flitter here and there around the nearby bushes, and knowing the only thing I have is time - and plenty of it. It changes your mindset when you don't have a schedule to follow, you don’t expect anything or wait for anything to come your way, instead you live in the moment and observe your surroundings. You are here, now, and that's all that matters. It's a little difficult to explain, and even to comprehend when we are all so used to fast-paced society, something you cannot experience in just a week or two, but rather over the course of months or years. Obviously I haven’t spent that much time here yet, but I can already sense this notion beginning to develop as I get a better understanding of what it's like to live without computers, telephones, tv's or communication with the outside world. And it is for that reason that this may very well be the last posting for the next three months, as I do not have ready access to internet. So I will try to continue writing, and although I may not have the opportunity to post anything, I will do my best to write about the experiences when I am back home. Time to get lost in the bush!