Captain’s Log: Plaas Date 3 April 2018

It’s time for another short post to bring light to things as they happen, but also to keep a respectfully committed timeframe on writing logs here 🙂

We approached a point in the last few weeks, where we pretty realised that our homestead property would not be happening as we planned. The property that Alexia put the offer on, was posted to all the banks for a bond approval, and they all started coming back to us – one at a time. Outright rejections from most, with some pre-approvals from the rest. As time went on, the pre-approvals turned to rejections based on the fact that the property was unserviced (meaning: no municipal services were in place, and thus was unbondable). This was quite a blow to us, because it is imperative that we do this as off-grid as possible, that is the dream and it’s frankly, ideal. Anything else would not be possible.

Then the last bank came back to us this morning. ABSA agreed on financing 50% of the property, as is, which exceeded our expectations and rekindles the dream! I am confirming with the agent today, to make sure that there is no hidden small-print that implies we have to build and connect services later… we do NOT want services, can not afford them and do not want to rely on them.

Be as it may, the bond seems to be approved for Alexia now, and she will be owning her first property very soon. Of course, we have some hard-pressing issues to deal with now and in coming months. I am not talking about settling, fencing and other important aspects right now, but the immediate ones. Making sure the hard earned savings can get released now, the 50% deposit which family is helping with, all of these being funds that are not easily picked up. Those who are helping and getting into it with us, are scratching around and making it work where possible, to get it all together. The lawyers and bank just need to be patient for a bit while we do this.

Does this mean my Karoo project is gone? Short answer, no.

I don’t see myself “homesteading” in the Karoo, and I have no inclination or passion for managing animals and crops there. The realisation of this homestead property means that my life-long Karoo dream can actually be more realistic and possible than ever before.

What I want in the Karoo is a lost, wilderness cabin, built from the resources of the land, to sustain itself as a lost-cabin in the mountains, a survival hut… a place to disappear in. It will have nothing but the safety and warmth of its own walls, fires in the day will cook the food, fires in the night will keep it warm. It will be a refuge, a wood and stone hide-out… hard to reach, hard to see, hard to find. Because we wanted to do the homestead, the Karoo had to be “everything”… which it’s not good at.

As the homestead project re-ignites, it means we can have the real homestead, in the right area (we hope) and do what we need with it; closer to home. This leaves the Karoo as my spirit home, intended to be as it was in my mind years ago. So sure, I probably won’t have time or resources to invest into the Karoo cabin now, as we build up the homestead, but it will come. I am excited to admit excitement for the homestead land.

Elephant in the room? Politics and safety…

Well, not going to let clueless fanatics run our lives. If the bank thinks it’s ok, we do. What happens in the future, is a different story, an unknown and likely nothing that will upset the balance of life as we know. Safety is always a concern, and that is something we will deal with by putting strategies, plans, actions and devices in place. I am by no means a junior here, and will handle that as I should. Besides, we are going to inhabit the property with enough people to help each other out – not to mention, it is a tiny property. Just the right size to work with.

Stay tuned for more news as we progress down this path.

 

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