Last Wednesday we trekked across the Cascades to Eugene to fetch Ceili home from college for Spring Break. There’s nothing more delightful, in my estimation, than hitting the road with my Lady Love in the rain with Celtic music to accompany the journey up and over the Santiam Pass and through the misty mountains. Rather anomalously, it stopped raining when we arrived in Eugene, and we were spared a drop for the entire time we were there.
And we were there on a mission.
I insisted upon a couple of hours in the stacks at the University of Oregon Library. Oh, the glory. If I had brought along a bedroll, I’d still be there. You’d have to send out a search party. The collection on southern African history is the best I’ve seen anywhere. Since we were on foot, I confined myself to allowing Ceili to check out just four books:
• Craig Wilcox’s Australia’s Boer War.
• T.V. Bulpin’s To the Banks of the Zambezi
• The Afrikaaners: A Biography of a People
• A volume on the brilliant Boer guerrilla leader Christiaan de Wet.
I’m following a couple of trails across the veld — and you’ll get the full debrief on the recon in these pages over the coming weeks. At every turn and over every ridge I keep finding characters that I cannot resist writing about.
But, Oh! am I buried! My responsibilities in my day job have increased exponentially; Rullman and I are hammering away at building RIR into something worthwhile; and I’m wandering around the Transvaal and across the Limpopo River. Ah, yes, but this is the life I chose: I am Boered, but never bored…