After a short trip from Johannesburg, Tiffany, Marina, and Carri arrive in Alan Paton's Beloved Country. Ixopo is derived from the Zulu eXobo, which refers to the sound made by feet in sticky mud.
Alan Paton's son Jonathan shares his insight with our Book Club travelers.
Carri, Marina, and Tiffany visit Alan Paton's Ixopo home, where he lived from 1925–1928.
While teaching at Ixopo School, Paton met and courted Dorrie Francis. Their home, Morningview, is located across the street from the school.
The people of Ixopo are phenomenal! They welcome our travelers with open arms and show us all the warmth of their homeland.
Alan Paton's home is now owned by Margie—who has turned it into a lovely bed and breakfast. Margie is a huge Oprah fan! She says everyone tells her how much she looks like Oprah.
The fireplace where Alan Paton and Dorrie's romance began.
Conrad, our guide from Abercrombie and Kent, explains the history of South Africa against the beautiful backdrop of Morningview's gardens.
All aboard the Paton Express! We take the same journey that Stephen Kumalo took in Cry, the Beloved Country. This is the maiden voyage of the new carriage—we're the first to take a ride!
Alan Paton's son Jonathan reads Marina, Tiffany and Carri passages from his father's novel.
The views from the train are breathtaking. The countryside is so lush.
Tiffany, enjoying the train ride, leans out the window!
Next, we arrive at the Carisbrooke School. For weeks, the community prepared for our visit. Some have walked for hours to get to school...
...But they are excited as they prepare for their show to start! Women in their traditional dress dance and sing as they approach the school.
The whole village, regardless of age, turn out for the children's performance and to welcome our viewers!
Marina, Carri and Tiffany speak with the Headmaster of Carisbrooke School.
The children teach us a few tribal dance steps. The children rehearsed for hours to perfect their songs and dance. They came to school on Saturday just for us!
Wherever you go, you can always find Oprah fans! After eating traditional foods and participating in traditional songs and dances, our travelers pose for one last picture at the Carisbrooke School. Thank you for an amazing afternoon!