When you arrive in our little farming town you are met with beautiful surroundings, hills covered in wild Natal bush veld, bird life and farming lands, all thriving off the Bushman’s river.

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When you arrive in our little farming town you are met with beautiful surroundings, hills covered in wild Natal bush veld, bird life and farming lands, all thriving off the Bushman’s river.

Depending on which time of year or season you arrive in will also determine what colours the fields are offering. Be they bare soil or a variety of veggies and maize, either way you cannot help but think how wild or untouched our area is. Until you drive into the centre of our very old town and one would expect the flow of nature to continue. Alas one is welcomed by old unkept buildings that are weathered down by history and neglect from present day pressures. The old saying of don’t blink or you’ll miss it really is an exaggeration, so please blink and be pleasantly surprised. Beneath the ragged exterior, dusty roads and most days almost seemingly deserted streets, if not for our very colourful Nguni goats and cattle. When one delves closer and take the time to explore there is so much to see and experience.

Not only are we alive with thriving agriculture but our people are vibrant, alive and very much in the process of embracing change, even in the midst of what seems to be an economic slump. One of my most favourite times to lift my spirits is Pension day. This is actually a 3 day experience divided up into (as our local ladies say) WeWe Pension, small pension and big pension. The 3 day practice consists of vendors lining the main streets of town each selling their produce, clothing, meats, products and the like. I’ve watched this progress over the past 2 years and what seemed an incredible experience to begin with just grows more for me each time, There are people from all walks of life, looking to fill their pockets with riches. And to see all nationalities, creeds and colours all joined for 3 days putting whatever differences life imposes on them aaside. It really makes me smile. If you are not used to Africa or what our people offer this could be quite a daunting experience, initially even for myself who struggled and still struggles to communicate with non-English speaking people. Here Zulu is King and you can smell it in the air. Either way, when you put on a smile, show an interest and support our local people.,you are received with such grace and humility. The air is filled with laughter, the beeping of car horns and vendors shouting out to draw you in.

014I’m not big into bartering and here it is almost sacrilege to even attempt that. I find it mind blowing that you have 90% of all the vendors offering the same produce and all at the same price, yet each stall is busy and everybody seems happy and content with their day. I know this is not a confirmed statement, but to see and feel the energy in the air and the amount of vendors arriving month after month says a lot. In fact today, 10 July 2014 was the busiest pension I had seen to date, when I was in our neighbouring town of Colenso this morning, I heard and felt the terrible depression from the shop owners all moaning and complaining how serious it is that they are barely keeping their shop doors open. Yet a mere 35km away there was a thriving bustling market, pumping with people refusing to believe and accept anything other than a successful day. I’m not sure what to make of it, or if I should even try. but what I do know is that I always look forward to my Pension day. My boys and I love walking the streets staring at all the wonderful handmade merchandise , seeing the brightly coloured garments worn by traditional men and woman and the gratitude given to you when you show support. (it’s very rare that I’ll leave there without a free pair of socks, underpants or extra veg) And perhaps it is this kind of humanity and gratitude that is creating this successful monthly event.

I’ve even considered setting myself up there joining the other handful of white traders to sell something I know people would receive well. But until then I’ll stick to chewing my juicy sugar cane, meandering the streets and always showing my support.

For those who are interested in attending our pension days they are held the second week of every month. Dates are usually round the 7-12 of each month. Depends on when the days fall. But give us a call if you want to join us in what we truly believe is a true Weenen Experience.