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Some musings by Annalie thinking back on our exciting history while sourcing minerals in Africa.

Watching time go by, few of us had the opportunity or time to sit and watch people passing by. In the pre Covid19 era we were all to busy to notice what is going on around us.  I am not referring only to a passerby, but to really have a good look at what is happening around us.

As I am sitting here in my study in Mauritius and typing this blog, I hear the different bird sounds of many birds chirping outside. Otherwise, it is very quiet but for the birds chattering in the trees! It is a bit windy today and all the huge tall palms in my garden and my neighbors’ gardens are swaying to and fro in the autumn wind.


Back in Zambia, Africa 2017, before this crazy pandemic, I experience this same calm, doing nothing, waiting for something to happen. We were there on a buying and collecting trip, collecting minerals and crystals for the international fairs that we used to attend.

Close to the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and on the main route to Tanzania there is this small town where we spend a few weeks waiting for the right crystals to come from the mines. Every morning we had a choice of two restaurants to have our morning meal. These places turned into rowdy bars at night. The favorite one was in the main street of the village. Back in South Africa, we have a franchise called Mug & Bean, well we named this eatery after M&B!

We sat there for a few hours in the morning sun with me sipping my tea and Gerdus finishing the coffee in the plunger that I brought along from my house in South Africa because I knew we were going to Africa. I would say we were well prepared with homemade preserves, coffee, biltong, dried boerewors, and a few other luxury essentials.

Now there we sat, we watched the traders and the buyers with their beaten up vehicles driving past, all at a slow and friendly pace. One morning a man came to me while we were sitting under the shaded veranda who was a basket seller. This friendly man weaved his baskets with the grass surrounding the villages. So I asked him if it is possible to make me a basket for my two flasks that I use for our coffee and tea while we are at the mining sites. I gave him the dimensions of the baskets and he said it will take him three days to complete the basket, he will meet me at the bus stop outside town on the road that is going to Tanzania, at nine in the morning. I was so pleased with my basket, I still treasure it and it is so special to me because it is custom made by Frank the Zambian.

This is life for me, honesty, friendliness and caring. To enjoy your surroundings, to use your senses, to share it and still believe that there are many good people out there.

Tell me about your people-watching experiences?