A TALK GIVEN BY JILL TRAILL ON HER HUSBAND’S WORK WITH THE !XOO

Prof. Tony Traill and the !Xoo and a bit of Jill thrown in

This talk turned out to be popular as I gave the talk twice, once in my house, and then to a large audience at Rotary Hall. There is something about the San that intrigues people, perhaps because they have in their genes the roots of mankind's DNA. We had a look at their unique language, their artefacts, their interaction with "Tono" and their fun-loving ways.Tony worked with the !Xoo for close on forty years and developed a passion for these energetic and delightful people. He was able to speak the language, so, as far as it is possible, he got to know the community quite well. How long will the !Xoo last? It's anybody's guess but Tony was determined to record their language and stories for posterity.


A TALK ON ECOSOLUTIONS GIVEN BY JONATHAN HAW ENJOYED RECENTLY BY RANDJES BIRDERS OF U3A

(As reported by Carol Alexander)

20 of us were lucky enough to attend the talk given by Jonathan Haw and his owlproject.org. He came to talk to us about owls and how they use them in the “townships” for managing rats and for educating children about owls and the nurturing thereof. Their owl project has touched the lives of 90, 000 children and counting. And the children educate their parents.

We learnt about owl boxes and bat boxes and all the creatures that they find in these boxes, other than owls and bats, like bees, geese, genets etc.

When I told him that all of us present would far rather have owl boxes than rat poison boxes, he asked us whether the latter work? He asked us how many of us have seen dead or dying rats and the answer was none of us!!

His talk was warm and engaging with a good sense of humour and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We have asked him to do a proposal for us on installing owl boxes here again. He stressed that the most important thing is that the boxes must be serviced regularly.

He brought a baby Barn Owl for all of us to see, two weeks old and able to devour a whole adult rat over 45 minutes, and then another one 4 hours later.


AN AUGUST 2017 VISIT TO EMMARENTIA DAM BY THE RANDJES BIRDERS OF U3A

(As reported by Carol Alexander)

The weather was warm with a cool wind, but not unpleasant. The dreaded tummy bug laid a few of our members low, so only 12 of us set off to Emmarentia Dam on that Wednesday morning. We parked on the eastern side of the dam and had our tea there, but the water birds were disappointing. There were Egyptian Geese as far as the eye could see, with a few red knobbed coot in between and a lot of white domestic geese.

When we went to the Botanic Gardens, things looked up. We had lovely sightings of White Throated Swallows, who are intra Africa migrants and have just returned. We saw Southern Boubous, Karoo Thrushes, Speckled Mousebirds, Crowned Lapwings, African Olive Pigeons, Darkcaps, Cape Robin Chats, Black breasted Prinias, Southern Masked Weavers very busy making nests for their fussy females and the cutest baby Egyptian Geese with proud mama and papa.

So all enjoyed the outing.