The Minyan Buddies in South Africa

16 May 2002

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Jack and Natalie Shirman
Vermont - USA


Carole and Robert Wheeler
Massachusetts - USA


Elliot and Natalie Schulman
Connecticut - USA


Muriel and Robert Steinberg
Vermont - USA


Robert and I met the Minyan Buddies at the Cape Town airport and we immediately made our way to Avanti Guesthouse where Mari Smuts welcomed us all. After everybody had settled in we travelled to the Cape Town Waterfront where the below pictures were taken.


After the long plane flight lunch was our first priority.


Jack, Natalie, myself, Natalie and Robert in the Red Shed craft market


Elliot took this picture of us in the main courtyard of the Waterfront

After our lunch and shopping at the Waterfront we travelled back to Avanti where everyone had a 3 hour nap. Thereafter we went to the Africa Cafe for a wonderful African feast.


All the Minyan Buddies pose for the camera with Thabi of the Africa Cafe.


17 May 2002 (Wednesday)

Cape Peninsula Tour


We all met at 09h00 at Avanti guesthouse and started out on our Cape Peninsula tour.  Elliot, Natalie, Bob and Muriel travelled in my vehicle while Jack , Natalie, Bob and Carole travelled in Robert's vehicle.


Elliot, Natalie, Muriel and Bob with Muizenberg in the background


Elliot taking photographs in Kalk Bay

We all stopped for a picnic lunch on the rocks at Bordjiesrif on the Cape of Good Hope Reserve 
Please use your arrow keys to view this panoramic picture


The Minyan Buddies enjoying lunch.

The following 4 pictures prove that we made it to Cape Point  J

The Minyan Buddies enjoy the wonderful scenery at Cape Point



While leaving Cape Point we saw 3 zebras amongst the bushes and I took this photo of Muriel with a zebra behind her.


We took this fun picture at "The Statues"


From the statues we made our way back to Cape Town and Signal Hill where the following pictures were taken at sunset over a couple of tots of South African mampoer and champagne. 




Natalie sure had a fun time on Signal Hill as one can see from the below pictures.

In case you are confused this is Natalie LAUGHING at a hilarious story. 

Natalie in a first class fun mood. JJ

In the evening we went to the Au Jardin restaurant in Claremont

The Minyan Buddies and the cellar master of Au Jardin (Jaques) discuss the various wines in the restaurant cellar. 


We had an enjoyable dinner at Au Jardin.
Here we see all the Minyan Buddies as well as our wives Bette (SD) and Lee-Anne (RD) who joined us for the evening.

18 May 2002 (Thursday)


We started the day by packing up at Avanti and leaving for the city on a short city tour.


We stopped in and toured the Jewish Museum.


We travelled on to Hazendal winefarm where I took the above photo of the "Minyanettes".JJ


Robert led us through a fascinating winetasting experience at Hazendal

After our winetasting and lunch at Hazendal we travelled to Muratie winefarm where the below pictures were taken with original cellar cobwebs on the wall in the background.


We travelled on to our next place of stay viz. Cathbert Country Inn.

Our dinner table at Cathbert Country Inn.



19 May 2002 (Friday)

Winelands and Kayamandi experience

We started our day by traveling to Plaisir de Merle winefarm

Elliot, Natalie, Muriel and Bon enjoying the gardens at Plaisir de Merle


The Steinbergs and the Schulmans enjoy Plaisir de Merle


We then visited the town of Franschhoek and moved on to Rupert & Rothschild winefarm

We had a wonderful cheese & wine tasting at Rupert and Rothschild winefarm which was conducted by Verdi (seen standing next to Bob) and............


we bought LOTS of wine! J


To Jack and Elliot's delight J we stopped in at Hillcrest Berry Farm for berries

After our visit to the wine part of the winelands we paid a visit to the black township of Kayamandi where all the below pictures were taken.


We stopped in at Shumi Ndlebe who told us her life history and showed us the house from which the proceeds of chicken feet was built

The Minyan buddies share a lesson in how to cook chicken feet. J



Jack and Natalie pose with Umzwaki (Armstrong) and his rasta brother Banana


Elliot having fun with the kids of Kayamandi



At Nozandile (Maria) Bossie's squatter house the Minyan Buddies saw how a creche operated in the township and as can be seen below Jack made a presentation of pens to Nozandile 





After Kayamandi we went to Rozendal Restaurant where the inimitable Josef gave all some of the wonderful vinegar digestif before they started their meal. The following two pictures show the "acidic feelings" of the Minyan buddies to the great digestif.  JJ


The Minyan Buddies were an awesome group to tour and travel with. We had some pretty amazing times together sharing so much, in that we had so much in common to share. For both Robert and myself the whole tour was a fabulous experience that we will never forget, however if there is one photo that I feel captures the fun and joy of the whole tour then I want to repeat the below photo as I feel that it says it all viz. we had lots to share, enjoyed magnificent scenery, enjoyed good food and wine but most important had fabulous fun together.




The FABULOUS MINYAN BUDDIES at Rupert and Rothschild winefarm

Received 4 June 2002



Thanks again for showing us your lovely city. We never imagined it would be 
so beautiful and hospitable. You and Robert were great hosts and guides. Our 
only regret is that we didn't have more time to spend there. Thanks for all 
the pictures, we and our kids really got a big kick out of them.

The rest of our trip was also wonderful with new sights every day. Wilderness 
Safaris do a great job. 

Don't forget to send me the correct mailing address for the children's books.

Remember, that you and Robert are always welcome at our humble abode if you ever come to the US again.

Jack Shirman


Received 6 June 2002

Dear Selwyn & Rob,

We would like to thank you VERY MUCH for a wonderful tour of Cape Town and
wine country. Without you two we would have flown into Cape Town, stayed at a hotel and taken day tours that never even scratched the surface of your beautiful country. We were much impressed with Shumi "The chicken lady" and Kayamandi. 

I am going to receive a excess books from the local elementary school. These will cover roughly ages kindergarten to 5th grade. These may be to old for some of the children but I am certain you will be able to find a use for them. There are a number of shelves that I have to check into in the fall when school resumes. These are to be discarded but have not yet been processed.

Please sends me an address to which these boxes should be sent and also tell
us the best and least expensive way to send them out to you. I hope to box these books up next week just before school closes so whenever you send me the necessary info they will go out.

Thank you for your wonderful birthday wishes, I really loved getting your

Sincerely. Carole & Bob Wheeler

P.S. Please say hello and send out love to Lee-Anne and Betty - we were
delighted to meet them.


Received 6 June 2002

Selwyn and Robert,

Thanks for your lovely note. I assure you we all feel the same way. You and
Robert made the Cape Town part of our trip one of the more memorable events
in our traveling lives. We can't thank you enough for the wonderful time
we had in your great city. It was more than either Nat or myself expected.
There was a strong attachment formed between us, and one that Nat and I will
always cherish. There is no way that we could have learned so much about
Cape Town and its political history without you, as well as the great wines
available. ( In fact I went out to dinner last night and guess what was on
the wine list. None other than the Rupert and Rothschild Classique '98, for
$30 US, some difference. We purchased it and it brought back some great

I am attaching some of my digital photos that you might like to have. The
first is you on Signal Hill at sunset.  I hope you enjoy the rest of them.

Will you please send us your mailing address, as Nat and I would like to
send you some children's books for the kids at Kyamandi. That visit was a
wonderful and emotional experience and we are so glad that we spent the time
there. The children are just amazing and we are telling everyone back here
what a wrong impression of the blacks that they have and how beautiful and
friendly everyone was, especially the children. I don't think that Nat and
I will ever forget the time we spent there. Thank you so much for the

If you visit the US in the near future please get in touch so we can get
together for a visit. We would so much like to show the same kind of
hospitality that you showed us.......

HAMBA KAHLE from all of us.

Natalie and Elliot 

ps; Please keep in touch and say hello to Bette and Lee-Anne