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Friday, November 30, 2007

Our National Anthem Translated to English

The Original Version:

Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa la matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
Setjhaba sa South Afrika - South Afrika.

Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,

Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.

In English:
God bless Africa,
Lift her horn on high,
Hear our prayers.
God bless us

Who are Your people.
God save our nation,
End wars and strife.
South Africa, South Africa.

Ringing out from our blue heavens,
from our deep seas breaking round;
Over everlasting mountains
where the echoing crags resound.

Sounds the call to come toghether,
and united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom
in South Africa, our land.

Max Theiler

Max Theiler (January 30, 1899 – August 11, 1972) was a South African/Swiss virologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for developing a vaccine for yellow fever.

Theiler was born in Pretoria, South Africa, his father Arnold Theiler was a veterinary bacteriologist. He attended Pretoria Boys High School, Rhodes University College, and then University of Cape Town Medical School graduating in 1918. He left South Africa to study at St Thomas' Hospital Medical School and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 1922 he was awarded a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene and became a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians of London and a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Theiler wanted to pursue a career in research, so in 1922 he took a position at the Harvard University School of Tropical Medicine. He spent several years investigating amoebic dysentery and trying to develop a vaccine from rat-bite fever. He became assistant to Andrew Sellards and started working on yellow fever. In 1926 they disproved Hideyo Noguchi that yellow fever was caused by the bacterium Leptospira icteroides, and in 1928 the year after the disease was identified conclusively as a virus, they showed that the African and South American viruses are immunologically identical, after Adrian Stokes induced yellow fever in Rhesus monkeys from India. In the course of this research Theiler himself contracted yellow fever but survived and developed immunity.

In 1930 Theiler moved to the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, where he later became director of the Virus Laboratory and where he spent the rest of his career. After passing through laboratory mice, Theiler found that the weakened yellow fever virus conferred immunity on Rhesus monkeys. The stage was thus set for Theiler to develop a vaccine against the disease. However, it was only in 1937, after the particularly virulent Asibi strain from West Africa had gone through more than a hundred subcultures, that Theiler and his colleague Hugh Smith announced the development of the 17-D vaccine. Between 1940 and 1947 the Rockefeller Foundation produced more than 28 million doses of the vaccine and finally ended yellow fever as a major disease. For this work Theiler received the 1951 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine. Theiler was awarded the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's Chalmers Medal in 1939, Harvard University's Flattery Medal in 1945, and the American Public Health Association's Lasker Award in 1949. He died, having never become a U.S. citizen, in New Haven, Connecticut.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some Thoughts on Being a South African

Only the Free State has thunderclouds like this. When it's hot you just know these clouds will bring thunder rain and hail. Since I have not yet been to the American Midwest I cannot compare them to that area, but I think they could come close. Thank god we do not get many tornadoes in South Africa. Thinking of it we are actually quite lucky in this country. Almost no natural disasters, great weather, a growing economy, great beer, probably the most beautiful women in the world. Then we have a tremendously diverse natural habitat with millions (I think) species of Fauna and Flora. We have a country where we are also incredibly diverse in the people we have here. I think that diversity will become one of our major strengths. Our beaches are breathtaking, our people are friendly, our food is excellent and we are the World Champions in rugby; for the second time!

Thinking of it, even our national flag has been in space. By the way, is that not a beautiful flag we have. Of course we have Nelson Mandela who is a South African admired by the whole world and together with F.W. de Klerk, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Chief Albert Luthuli have won the Nobel Peace Prize. How many countries can say they have four Nobel Peace Laureates?

Is it not amazing how lucky we actually are? I have been to many African countries and believe you me we have very little to complain about. Thank you to all those South Africans who have given us what we have today and yes, things may not be perfect, but are things meant to be perfect?

Dedicated to my 40 million neighbours. May God bless you all.

We Fly

It was confirmed this morning that 1 SA Infantry Battalion will be flying to the DRC as from 03 December until 14 December. Although these are apparently the official dates they could change. We are very happy that at last we can start with the final stage of our preparations.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bon Voyage Parade

On Friday we had our Bon Voyage Parade. The only problem is we still are not sure when we begin to fly out.

Full Rainbow

A couple of days ago I took this photo after an afternoon thundershower. It was the first time in some time I saw a perfect rainbow.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back in De Brug

Yes, we are back in De Brug; a place for which I have developed a healthy dislike. We are staying in the weather havens in the photo until we fly out shortly to the DRC. For these last days in the country we may not leave the boundaries of the mobilisation area, which means we may not see civilisation again until we come back in six to seven months! The fortunate thing is that the whole battalion will be enjoying a final town pass this coming week end, but apparently it will be about three hours long.


Recently I was in Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay) and when Sonneke and I went onto the boardwalk for a photo moment these two Huskies were the main attraction. What beauties!

Nobel Square

Nobel Square at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town. The statues depict the four South Africans who have won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Cape Town

This photo kind of shows what Cape Town is all about for me. Great wine, a great atmosphere, rich history and Table Mountain. I took the photo when Ursula, Rosemary and I went to visit the De Grendel wine estate on my recent visit there.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

English Rugby

After the way the English tabloids treated our rugby players I thought I would post this joke and dedicate it to the English tabloids. May you guys have many years of sordid, humourless articles still to publish.

England rugby practice was delayed for two hours today after a player reported finding a white powdery substance on the practice ground. Head coach Ashton immediately suspended practice while the police were called to investigate. After a complete forensic search Scotland Yard determined that the white stuff which was unknown to the players was in fact the try line. Practice was continued as police were happy the players were unlikely to encounter the substance again.

Enjoy the rest of the following four years.