On Sunday we had another enjoyable trip to the Walter Sisulu Botanic Garden with a group of Sterkfontein patients.
We had wonderful sunshine and open skies as we wandered down towards the waterfal. On the way De Waal told the guests things about the trees, the rocks, the plants, the birds, the soil and the sky.
He pointed out the Tamboti tree with its unusual shiny green leaves and warned against using the wood for braai purposes as the smoke is poisonous. The group admired the shiny bark of the wild parsley tree. They were surprised to hear that the grasses belong to the plant family most impotrant to human beings – maize, corn, barley etc. are all grasses.
On the way they came across small children enjoying the company of a large tortoise. On their way back they clustered around the sundial and were astounded about how accurate the instrument could indicate time.
After they all had tea and buns, there was a quiz and four quick-minded guests got a prize each. At the end of the day “L” stood up and thanked the Lions in a few moving words. He said that it would be difficult for an outsider to understand how important these outings were to patients. Not only is it a relief from the boredom and depression of the hospital environment, it is also a joy to experience a place as lovely as the Botanical Garden.