NIEU-BETHESDA NEWS - Every year, Ian Alleman and Katrin Kundig of Nieu-Bethesda send out an open invitation to celebrate the Winter Solstice in Nieu-Bethesda.
This year was no different, and the Facebook invitation was accompanied by the words of explorer Apsley Cherry-Goddard who said, "If you march your winter journeys, you will have your reward, so long as all you want is a penguin's egg."
It is this kind of quirkiness which makes this event so memorable and keeps people coming back annually to celebrate the longest night of the year, hosted by the generosity of Ian and Katrin. This year the venue moved from the restaurant which the couple used to own, to the stoep of their home in Martin Street.
The formula is the same each year: a plethora of potjies is created by Ian and his team and includes an interesting array of Karoo ingredients – think banana curry, guinea-fowl, aromatic Karoo lamb and venison.
There is always beer, and this year Andre Cilliers of The Sneeuberg Brewery made and donated Winterbok brew to be enjoyed by all. It is always cold and those who attend are unidentifiable under scarves, large coats and beanies as they huddle around braziers under Karoo skies.
There is always camaraderie and laughter and the meeting of friends old and new. And there is always the most incredible music.
This year was no exception and Ampie Jordaan and DJ van Wyk and their sound team of Marius and Adrian van Niekerk– talented musicians from Graaff-Reinet entertained the crowds through the long night, which somehow didn't seem so long.
DJ van Wyk said:"What a privilege. I am amazed at these people who can leave their hearts and homes open to others. Thanks, Ian and Katrin. You are real people."
Those who attended the Midwinter Party would certainly agree that due to the generosity of this Bethesda couple, their reward was much more than a penguin's egg.
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