The Journey Back to 100 year old grave yards at Salem Church

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Monday, 15th November 2021

I took some time off the other day to stroll through the grave yard at Salem Church.  Walking through tombstones of people who had died more than 100 years ago made me so aware of how short life can be.

I found myself wondering about the hardships they must have endured.  I recalled memories from my youth where we had outside ‘long drop’ toilets and no electricity. Where we had to slaughter our own animals for meat, and how we had a ‘meat larder’ made from a fine chicken wire on a box frame hung in a shady tree.  Chickens were kept for eggs and meat.  Turkeys were kept for meat and security – they fended off raptors who would prey on the chickens if given an opportunity.

There were fields of pumpkins, a vegetable garden with onions, beans, peas etc.

We also had a few cows for milk.  Although it was a much less civilised life than we enjoy now, we did have motor vehicles and could go to town for groceries (assuming there were funds). 

When these people were farming they only had animals for tilling and transport. A hard life indeed.

Blog contributed by Sanette Styn, a local resident, senior citizen and pasisonate about all things Makhanda.

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