|Sunday 7th October - South Africa - Dundee (Day 2)
We decided to stay an extra night in Dundee. That allowed us to find a church, see a few sights around here, watch todays rugby and get our laundry done.
The morning service at Dundee Methodist Church is at 8.30am. I dont think that service time would go down very well back home! We went along to the church and the girls went along to Sunday School. It was a busy, happy church and we enjoyed being there.
Dundee is in an area of Kwa Zulu Natal known as Battlefields. A casual look at a map confirms that this is an apt title for the region as it is peppered with historical battlefields.
Here is my 2 sentence, utterly over-simplified summary of the conflicts:-
In the late 1800s there were 3 main groups of people in this area of South Africa the Boers, the British and the Zulus. The other important things to be found here were diamonds and gold .. and these were worth fighting over, so everybody fought everybody.
Today we visited 2 of the battlefields - Rorkes Drift and Isandlawa. At Isandlawa the Zulus attacked the British and scored a bloody victory against an ill-prepared enemy. At Rorkes Drift a group of less than 100 British troops repelled 4000 Zulus and were awarded 11 Victoria Crosses for their efforts. Both of the battlefields were very interesting. We visited the little museum at Rorkes Drift, but just walked round the battlefield at Isandlawa. At Isandlawa, cairns of white stones are placed where the British troops fell and these cairns, combined with the beautiful setting, makes for a haunting place.
Visiting sites such as these with young kids is not ideal, but it is interesting. Keziah was intrigued by the museum and asked lots of questions. What has happened to that man? (pointing to a model of an injured sodier). Is that man killed? (pointing to a soldier in the background of a picture). Why is the roof of that house on fire?. etc etc. At Isandlawa we explained that the white cairns were where people had died. Standing in the middle of the battlefield there are white cairns dotted all around, spreading out into the distance. Keziah said They must have been very bad people to have killed all these people. Aahhh, well its not quite that simple Keziah. but what can you say to a 4 year old? We did try to bring a little more balance into her thinking, but its quite a complicated thing!
We got back to our B&B in perfect time to watch the rugby. Congratulations to our host country for winning today, but commiserations to Scotland on another brave defeat. We would have loved to be in South Africa watching a semi-final between South Africa and Scotland, but its not to be.