Dear All, trust you are all well and not missing me too much.

I am just realising that I am are already half way through my “swallow” break, so I thought I better report a little bit about what I have been up to.

I did keep up to date with your weather pattern over the last couple of weeks and it looks like that there has been plenty of rain and even earlier on snow on the mountains.
After our departure in June we were off to Holland to spent a week or so to catch with our family. Then we were off to Germany to join 34 Erinvale swallows for a golf tournament in Donaueschingen, which is in the south of Germany, also called the Black Forest area, in Bavaria. The reason the village is called Donaueschingen is because there is where the river The Danube a.k.a. The Donau starts. It is the second longest river, in Europe, after The Volga. Approximately 20 million people depend on the Danube for their drinking water. It is blue, blue, blue as you can see from the photo no wonder it is called the “Blue Danube”. Then of course we also enjoyed the 3 day fun filled golf tournament. On day 4 we had an extensive sight seeing tour through the Black Forest itself with all its history. We stopped at a cuckoo’s clocks factory, as they originate from this area and at a bakery where they showed us how the Black Forest cake is made. Well all I remember from that experience is that there is a lot of kirsch in that cake!! After 10 days in Germany with beautiful weather all around we spent another week in Holland again. 


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We are now in Hong Kong since three weeks and are catching up on administration and of course catching up with the friends that are still left, as it is the major school holiday season here and a lot of friends have left overseas to see their families.

Thought I just share with you a few typical Hong Kong Style newspaper articles.

“Pansy Ho, daughter of Hong Kong business tycoon Stanley Ho, has bought the second-most expensive home in Asia, splashing out HK$900 million, which is equivalent to R1,526,053,691.51 on a mansion in one of Hong Kong’s most exclusive addresses.”
Now don’t worry, there are also flats for sale at a more reasonable price and can be bought by the average Hong Kong person for a fair sum of R8,244,848.42, sounds fair right? expect one snag “THE SIZE”…….which is 21.6 Sq meters. I think everybody’s garage in Somerset West is bigger.

By the way we are expecting more than 60 million tourists to pour into Hong Kong this year, a 3.6 % increase on last year as officials hope that the two cross-border links will help bring in visitors from mainland China when the two projects open later this year. Please remember Hong Kong is only 2,754 Sq meters with a population of 7.6 million people. So not much space to move around let alone breath. Yet the Tourism Board brushes aside fears that Hong Kong will become too congested and that Hong Kong’s’ animosity towards their Mainland Chinese counterparts would resurface, citing the increased number of hotel rooms, tour busses, over crowded public transport facilities and shopping centres. On top of it all, as you can see from the photo, the Mainland Chinese visitors also walk around everywhere with their suitcases for their shopping, as there is no VAT in Hong Kong therefore imported goods are must cheaper here than in the rest of China. 

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Now back to reality and the more important stuff, when Koert and I walked around somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Hong Kong guess what we saw. Yes you see it correctly a huge Rotary bus from District 3450, District 3450 is one of the leading districts in the Rotary family. It represents more than 90 Rotary clubs in Hong Kong, Macao, Mongolia and Guangdong. For decades, Rotary clubs in District 3450 have devoted their passion, energy and intelligence to improving the livelihood of millions of people in these regions through a wide spectrum of projects covering poverty alleviation, education and youth service, health andmedical care, and social inclusion.

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I thought this to be a nice touch to end my small contribution towards the always eventful and interesting HSRC newsletter and look forward to seeing you all soon.

Warm Greetings from Hong Kong