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My Clanwilliam

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My town is quiet. You can smell nature. Flowers come to my mind – lovely, but lots of pollen that makes me sneeze! The proteas are my favourites. We see them when we go up into the mountains. When you come back to Clanwilliam, over the Pakhuis Pass at night, you can see the town in the valley below, filled with yellow and orange lights.

Mountains, the river and the dam come to my mind when I think about my home. There are many trees. I love to sit in the cool shade under trees, especially in summer when it is very hot here.

Going over the Cederberg Mountains is the Pakhuis Pass. The mountains are beautiful – nice to climb, but not so nice to fall down! They change colour – greenish, purplish and with white on them when there is snow.

We also go swimming in the river in summer where it is deep. It is cool, relaxing and very nice. I go with my friends after school. The water is cold and lovely. Best of all is to go to the dam where it is deeper, and swim and eat and drink cool things.

The Nature Garden at Ramskop has arum lilies in spring – everybody’s favourite, and little pink and yellow gesigies*. We call them that because the flowers look like they have little faces. There are many species of plants and also pine trees growing at the back.

Bushman’s Cave is where we go, over the Pakhuis Pass, to watch riel dancing and other shows. It’s exciting when we go there when there are lots of people. There are also Bushman paintings in the mountains.

There are many old buildings, but no tall buildings in my town - only Spar has a second floor. Clanwilliam has lots of churches where we can go to learn about God and many schools – six schools counting the little children’s schools. There is also Die Ou Tronk, where there is a museum now, full of things you can look at from the old times.

We go to the Chinese shops to buy gifts and jewellery, clothes and underclothes, curtains and mats, suitcases, high heels, tiles … everything! At Pep stores we buy relaxer for our hair and school uniforms (except for the children that go to Augsburg),

Pizza World. Just thinking about pizza makes my mouth water – it smells so nice when you walk past the shop. Sometimes my family goes to Ramskop to buy biltong and droewors and other things. Sometimes we get take-aways at and McClans. Eating ice creams outside at Dam Bistro is also lovely. There are people selling boerewors rolls – but pizza tastes better±!

There are not too many people. It’s nice – mostly. We are good neighbours – mostly. There are lots (lots!) of cats and dogs. People rush about to go shopping. Many people are carrying bags home up the hill. People play rugby and all sorts of sports. People in Clanwilliam like to drink and have braais at the weekend and most people in Clanwilliam are very caring and good to children. They give you gifts of money when you least expect it!

But there are some problems too. A big problem is that some kids are having babies when they are too young. There are also some people in Clanwilliam who are hungry. I feel sad about that. Many children are using drugs and there are street children now that use glue and tik and dagga. It’s not right. They beg for money and the white people are sometimes rude to them – but, if you give them bread instead of money, they don’t want it!

The old people sometimes stay on the farms in the old way. We miss them. Thy tell us stories about the olden days when we see them

There is not much crime – and we don’t think there are many murders. But there are lots of accidents with fast, drunken driving – and a lot of alcohol! Some people even lie in the streets when they are too drunk to go home.

But ….we children are grateful for what we have. Maybe more people will come to Clanwilliam and it will expand. We want a mall!

Written by six Clanwilliam children during the Spring Workshops
*gesigie – Afrikaans for little face