I had the privilege to meet this lovely lady and her family, last weekend. Let’s just say this, I thought I was being brave, moving to Mozambique to a farm that is already developed, until I read Riekie’s story. I hope you enjoy this introduction and do yourself a favour and go and pop in on her blog, Farm Flavours, for a fuller version of their family’s story and their move to Mozambique.
Meet Riekie Pretorius from Toro Ranch
Where do you live?
There where google maps fear to explore! We have a Bonsmara Cattle Ranch near a small town named Mabote on route to Pafuri from Vilanculos.
Tell us a bit about yourself? Your life story, how did you end up where you are now?
I always pictured myself somewhere in the Bushveld, just did not think it would be this radical! Farming has always been a big part of my life, even when at University I was involved in cattle farming with my dad. I met my husband on a Bonsmara Bull AuctIon when both of us went to buy new breeding material.
We reached a point in SA where we realized we couldn’t expand our land or cattle because of land prices and mines in our area, a cattle farmer just cannot pay the same prices for land as mine owners and we started to explore other options.
What is your favourite part of living where you are?
Freedom, safety, the climate and the pace is slower than it was in SA so I can spend more time with my kids.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
We do not have typical days! The typical day in my head would be: Waking up at 5 to go for a jog with the dogs, getting the kids ready and getting the day started by 7:00 and then the chaos can give it a go. If the horses are around we go for a short ride or just groom them. Between 8h00 and 9h00 is breakfast time and then we visit the sheep, chickens and by 10h00 try to do an educational activity with the 2 toddlers. 12h00 is lunch time and also the hottest part of the day so after lunch, the kids can watch some TV and this is when I try and get some admin done or run errands with my husband around the farm. It never works out like this!!!
Any interesting story you would like to share?
Everyone can tell you an interesting story about Mozambique… at times little makes logical sense, but a week or two after we imported my two horses, they decided to run away. The bush telegraph reached us at 5 am that they were spotted about 14km from the farm on their way to Vilanculos. My husband and I immediately left to get them and the plan was to ride them back through the bush. About 20km from the farm they left the main road and ventured into the bush. We tracked them for about 5km when something scared them and send them running back the way they came. They were very happy to see us. By then we already informed our friends visiting from SA what was happening and asked them to bring us the horsebox. But our friend’s son was eager to ride with me back to the farm so we tacked them up and decided to proceed on this road because it should be about 4km to our border fences. It was a different road. Unintended Nathan and I explored the Mozambican bush on horseback. Our “help” found us about 4 /5 hours later after we’ve seen the most beautiful areas and had to drink water at old Russian boreholes with hand pumps The locals we came across were very friendly and helpful and in awe of the horses. The horses got into the horsebox and then we all got lost again!! We arrived back very late that afternoon. Luckily we never go anywhere without water bottles in the vehicles for emergencies just like these! You won’t believe how easy one can get lost on these networks of bush roads
Riekie’s closing thoughts on living in Rural Mozambique.
“Mozambique is a country filled with possibilities and challenges. If it was easy everybody would be here. The people I meet in Mozambique is a very special breed, they’ve got guts, perseverance and are very comfortable with who and what they are.”
You can follow Riekie on the following links:
Facebook/ Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ToroRanchMoz/