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 Post subject: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 9:51 am 
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Location: Sydney and southern Africa
Hi all, I've never started a topic, so I hope this is the right place.

In December 2008 while staying at Malelane Camp in Kruger I was stupid enough to stab myself in my hand while trying to (foolishly) cut open a frozen plastic softdrink bottle to get the ice out. I drove the serrated blade of my leatherman into the palm of my hand.

A wonderful couple from Joburg came to my rescue (my wife can't drive) and drove me, bleeding, to a doctor in Malelane town and waited (on the sunday afternoon of a long weekend) while the doctor was summoned from his home. I ended up with four stitiches in my hand.

I'd like to say a public thank you to the these good samaritans and ask if they could PM me as I've lost their contact details and names. I recall the gentleman saying he was often on the SANPARKs forums.

Anyone else had a good experience with a good Samaritan in a park they'd like to mention?


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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 3:33 pm 
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OUCH!!!

Glad to hear there are still some good people around! I hope they get in touch with you Tony....let us know please :D


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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 4:52 am 
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Thanks Kathy, but I wonder if I'm the only person who's ever been helped by a good Samaritan in Kruger or one of the otiher parks? There must be stories out there about people who have been helped by fellow travellers.


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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 6:23 am 
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Well, way back in the mid-Nineties, I had an elderly Ford Sierra. Off one day to Shingwedzi, and the car breaks down! I am a member of the AA, but the nearest towing place is Letaba. The guy drives all the way out (over 100 km), and tows me back to Letaba, and even in those days, the towing bill alone was R600!
Car fixed and I drive back to Shingwedzi to continue my holiday. The next morning - guess what - the car overheats! Nothing to do but phone the guy again - another R600 looming. He comes out (this time it's about 150km x 2 because I drove almost up to Punda Maria!) again and tows me back to Letaba. He fixes my car and charges me R100. "What happened?", I asked. "You're a young guy and I know it's really expensive, but I can't charge you again for the towing!"
I've forgotten his name, and he is no longer in the Park, but I will never forget his kindness! It was at least a two-hour drive from Letaba then, and another two hours back; and he was extra kind!
Needless to say, I drove back to Punda Maria that day after he fixed it and, next morning (a few kilometres out of camp) my fan ruptured a gear and the car overheated again! This time I was able to limp out the 60 km to Thohoyandou in the old Venda and get that fixed. The mechanic there charged me R80 for fixing the fan!

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Last edited by onewithnature on Tue May 26, 2009 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 7:51 am 
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Great idea for a topic Tony.
Most of you have read my Trip Report where our car burnt out in the Kgalagadi in January 2009. Our good Samaritans were Charl and Suzie from Windhoek who found us and drove us to KK. The next good Samaritans were all the staff at TR who helped us with arrangements so that we could carry on with our trip. Following those good Samaritans were Gavin and Jenny from Zululand who offered good laughs and any help we needed. Someone else, unfortunately I never found out his name, from Swaziland, was a good Samaritan bringing us a bottle of wine to have with our dinner at Nossob. There are many good people out there although sometimes it is hard to remember this! Thanks Tony!

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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 10:53 am 
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onewithnature wrote:
He fixes my car and charges me R100. "What happened?", I asked. "You're a young guy and I know it's really expensive, but I can't charge uou again for the towing!"

I've forgotten his name, and he is no longer in the Park, but I will never forget his kindness! It was at least a two-hour drive from Letaba ther, and another two hours back; and he was extra kind!
[i]


Ai, what we do to stay in 'da Park' :lol: OWN, the guy did charge you a 2nd time, he was just glad to be in Kruger :lol:

Still, great story, great guy... 8) :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 3:33 pm 
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Yep, I do think some of the mechanics don't mind trips into Kruger. I forgot to mention the guy from White River who drove into the park to weld my gear lever back together after it snapped off near pretoriuskop!

As it turned out, it would have been quicker for me to get a new gear lever posted from Joburg to the camp, but I appreciated the "make-a-plan" service.


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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 2:32 am 
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Yes, G@mespotter - what we do to stay in the Park! :lol:
This was my very first long trip in Kruger (13 days) and I wasn't going to cancel for anything!
Another time, my exhaust almost fell off in Phalaborwa on a Saturday afternoon, and everything was closed. I popped into Midas just as it was closing, and a guy there said he was a mechanic and would help me. I followed him to his home and he did the repairs there on the spot, while his wife brought out lunch for me!! He also charged me a pittance, and I wish I had kept his name and address!
There are amazing people out there - even in big cities, although maybe scarcer there - and you just have to be lucky to cross their paths and be blown away by their kindness. It makes you want to do the same for others, and so the "Pay it Forward" movie concept propogates itself! Karma will always work, so the givers are always blessed ... ALWAYS!

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TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 2:50 am 
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Super topic TP and great stories guys.

It must be something in the SanParks water that makes humans of us city robots.....or maybe its the "smell of the SanParks thatch" :D

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Last edited by rusky on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 2:54 am 
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I think it is just the knowledge that we are in a place of primeval grandeur, and this is how we always were as humans until the last few hundred years. The natural sensory input also takes us subconsciously to that place of our roots. The city destroys most everything that humans were designed to be like in nature!

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TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 9:41 am 
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Nice thought, OWN, and if our natural state is to help each other out in times of trouble, then that's just another good reason to spend time in the parks and get back to basics.

I certainly haven't found too many other travel destinations around the world like the South African national parks where total strangers can become friends for life so quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:26 am 
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Hi All,

I just wanted to post another comment on this thread (that I started) to say that the people I mentioned in my original post who rushed me to the doctor in Malelane when I (stupidly) stabbed myself in the hand in Kruger last year have just been in touch with me.

I got an email from this terrific couple, from Joburg, out of the blue asking how I was doing.

My hand is fine and I feel even better now that we're back in touch.


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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:38 pm 
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Hope it was via the forum :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:11 pm 
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What wonderful stories of kindness here.

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 Post subject: Re: Good Samaritans
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 8:05 am 
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In March 1998, having driven up from Pietermaritzburg the night before, we are about half an hour into the Park when I notice that the temperature gauge is rising. This is a bit of a blow. We watch it carefully and realise that it goes up when we are going slowly, but returns to normal if we speed up to fifty. We debate what to do. Either we can return to Malelane village and hope to find a garage that can help, though it being a Sunday this is unlikely; or we can phone the AA from there - and again, their response time may not be good; or we can limp on to Skukuza and hope to get help there. We choose Skukuza, so we have to drive all the way there at 50kph, and apart from a few zebra, see very little in consequence. Once in the camp, Jess goes to Reception to ask if there is anywhere we can get help. They direct us to the workshop, where a solid, non-smiling man peers into the engine, wiggles a few wires, and tells us that the radiator thermostat has gone. We look devastated, and he says well perhaps he can wire up the battery to the fan so that it will keep going but I must remember to disconnect the fan every time we stop. We continue to look devastated. “We are birdwatchers” I explain. “We sometimes sit for a couple of hours or more at a waterhole”. He thinks for a minute or two and then says abruptly “I’m going to the other workshop to see if I can find a switch.”
“He’s made a plan” murmurs Jess. I feel obscurely comforted by this and we dig out the binoculars and fill in the time looking for birds, of which there is a surprising number and variety. We identify eight different species before he returns. It is hot and humid and we are edgy, with hope and despair inextricably mixed. “Well, if he can’t fix it, we shall have to go round and round the Park in circles at top speed for six days” eventually decides the optimistic Jess. This makes us both laugh and we feel better. However, our shining knight in armour DOES fix it! When he returns, he disappears into his workshop for ten minutes and then comes out with a light switch attached to two lengths of wire , one of which he winds round a battery terminal and the other goes to the fan. He then feeds the wire across under the bonnet and through between the post and the door and so onto the glove shelf. He shows us how we can switch the fan on and off at will. It’s magic! I could hug him! We chorus our thanks and appreciation of his ingenuity and his severe face cracks into a small sympathetic smile as he sees the radiance in ours. He will accept no remuneration whatsoever other than our thanks, and we drive off feeling like several million dollars, our holiday rescued by a SANParks Samaritan. Incidentally I still have the switch!


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