Friday, June 2, 2017

OH LA LA!!! Oh Happy Day :)

After many years of being unable to travel, my beloved parents were finally able to visit! Thank you to our Heavenly Father for a miracle with their application for a travel visa being granted.  We had such a wonderful time catching up and it was all over too fast.  They are both fit, well, and looking
great!  I pray that they will be able to visit annually, like in the past.

Our Micaela is thoroughly submerged in her 'first year' Biological Sciences courses at the University of Pretoria, and managing to keep her head above water! Lots of new ropes to swing from, and she seems to be enjoying all of the challenges. This is certainly a new BALL GAME for her, and one she seems to be "playing" quite well.  JohnD is very glad to have his learners driver's licence.  I guess I'm getting "old" now, if "even my BABY is driving!!!" :( ... to quote Micaela!
BoyDog (AKA Camo) was very glad to start hunting again this month, and he certainly has a way of winning friends and influencing people! It's quite common for him to sit around the fire in the evening, enjoying the conversation, as if he were one of the 'boys'.... well, I guess he is! ;)  Al Finch and Skip Montgomery... so wonderful to have you here with us! :) Thank you for coming again. So good to have you back.
We had the 4th year Agricultural Students here from the University of Venda, for an information session and training hosted by the National Nguni Society.  Ken enjoyed showing off our beloved cows, and the students all seemed to enjoy the day.
With a full day in the bush at the corral, we were anxious about the need for ablutions, so Ken "made a plan" for them...  
And our David Hendrix from the USA has graduated SUMMA CUM LAUDE!  Having spent several summers here with us over the years, and many hours in our home and around our table, we feel awfully proud of him. With the amazing technology, we were able to watch him online, receive his degree. Well done YOU David. :) Standing ovation from this side. 
Our winter calving season has begun, and we have a few beautiful little ones!!! We never tire of them.  We also have 8 buffalo babies so far this year!  The herd is doing well.
We had the pleasure of Hendrik's group again in May, and especially the joy of these little ones, who certainly enjoyed the bush and the culture of campfire stories and songs.  The uniform look of these little guys in their hunting cammo with their big smiles and enthusiastic energy is quite special. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Shi-awela Marketing 2017 Ball Family News

Congratulations to all of you in the United States of America, on your new president. We surely stand in awe to see how your democracy works in the USA.  We certainly could do with our South African politicians taking note! We have had 12 years with the same government and up north in Zimbabwe they have had 37 years of the same president.  Surely ya’ll can celebrate in the way your system actually WORKS!!!  Change is always good, and somewhere between the two extremes is the balance that gives you the wonderful country that you have! GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Ken and I will be travelling to Grand Rapids this year, and we are so excited that we will both be able to attend the Grand Rapids SCI Chapter event in Holland MI. It has been YEARS since we were able to attend this event together. J We do hope that we will get to see you again?  We will also be heading to Charleston for SEWE like usual, and we are excited to catch up with everyone there too.  Please come and find us at our usual spot, inside the main large Sporting Village Tent at Brittle Bank Park.
Such wonderful news for us with our Micaela (now 19) graduating from high school with distinctions in all of her subjects. She worked incredibly hard, and finished on a very high note at Merensky!  She is enrolled at the University of Pretoria (four hours from here) for her next step in her education. She is planning to study to become a vet, and she will be doing the parallel BSc course this year at TUKS Hatfield Campus. She will be staying in residence to begin with, and we are excited for her next big step. She is busy packing and will be ‘leaving home’ next week!

JohnD is now 6’2” tall, our gentle giant. ;)  He towers over all of us, and it’s quite something to see him hug his Grandma!  He is now in Grade 11 at Merensky, and continues to love any time spent hunting or fishing, and would rather attend hunting and fishing classes than math (pity they are not available!!)  He has a busy year ahead of him, and we are so proud of him too. What a blessing he is to us all.
We had a wonderfully quiet Christmas, and were able to give most of our staff leave, as we took no Christmas bookings this year.  The lack of electricity and internet, it was quite interesting.  Our power supply is always challenging this time of the year when we get lots of rain. Yes, we have been blessed with amazing rains, and we are so grateful for the beautiful transformation of our bushveld. All of our summer Nguni calves have come and they are just as beautiful as always!  We also have the delight of baby blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, impala, blesbuck, and all of the other plains game!  We wait patiently for the first signs of when the buffalo will calve, although we suspect it will be closer to March before we see their young.
We had the incredible privilege of hiking in the northern Drakensburg mountain tip here in the Tzaneen area with a friend for four days over new year. What a blessing!
We had a very busy 2016, with lots of wonderful memories being made with new and repeat guests. Thank you to each and every one of you for your support. We certainly could never do what we do, without you!
Ken’s parents Dennis and Carol, are both very well, and continue to keep themselves active and involved. They are such a blessing to us, and like us, live for having the children home! Carol has been teaching us how to play Bridge. My what fun we have had!  My parents got the incredible news that they are allowed to remain in Australia! What a long story that was, and what a miracle. We are over the moon that they are able to finally leave the country, and come out to visit us in April, so we are all looking forward to seeing them again!
This comes with much love to you, and we are so grateful to have you as part of our lives. Thank you for your friendship, and God bless you and your family.    Ken, Jo, Micaela and JohnD xxx