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The Karoo, 1978
Snow, Uranium and Sheep

In 1978 I traveled down to the Karoo from Durban. I had got a job as an exploration geologist working for a mining company that was looking for uranium near the small town of Sutherland. This would be a culture shock for me. I was now very far away from my Swahili Coast roots. So far away that I was unprepared for the bitterly cold weather of the Sutherland plateau. For the first time in my life I found myself driving and walking in snow-covered terrain where most of the locals farmers did not understand English.

1/11 : Me looking down on the town of Sutherland in the Karoo in 1978.
An image of Paul Augustinus looking down  on a small town from a nearby hill. The scenery is desert-like.
2/11 : The alley being the 150 year old buildings where I was staying in Sutherland.
An image of old buildings, an alleyway and washing hanging on a line to dry.
3/11 : This was the view of the back alley from my room. No double glazing - so very cold.
An image of a old fashioned window looking out on a sunlit alleyway.
4/11 : Nearby was Sutherland Church. The foreground buildings were our outhouses!. The honey wagon emptied them weekly.
An image of  a church in sunlight with old buildings in the foreground and a very blue sky.
5/11 : My job was to walk along the escarpment looking for uranium with a geiger counter.
An image of Paul Augustinus standing on the edge of a rocky escarpment with the plains of the Karoo far below.
6/11 : The main street of Sutherland with snow covering everything!
An image of Paul Augustinus standing next to his Land Cruiser outside the buildings where he lived. The street scene is white from snow that covers everything and Paul Augustinus is huddled in ihs coat.
7/11 : These are Anglo Boer War graves of English soldiers. Very bleak looking when it was snowing!
An image of  some graves in a field of snow with the trees in the background almost invisible in the falling snow.
8/11 : It looks like we were having fun. Actually no - not me! I hated the cold and began to wonder if I was in the wrong profession.
An image of three people standing outside their vehicle in a snow storm that has hidden the road from view. A bitter wind is blowing as well.
9/11 : Often when I should have been working I was fooling around with my new Nikkornat Ftn camera.
An image of Paul Augustinus taking a picture of himself reflected in the rearview of his Land Cruiser.
10/11 : Together with some of my co-workers, boss, field assistants and geologists, we would occasionally go up to the famous Sutherland Observatory.
An image of a group of people standing in front of one of the Observatory telescopes on a beautiful sunny Karoo evening.
11/11 : But most of the time I walked the escarpment alone with my hammer and geiger counter. I decided this was not for me so I resigned when I had enough money to bankroll my artist ambitions.
Paul Augustinus standing on the edge of an escarpment. The Karoo lies hundreds of metres below him. Evening scene with a cold wind blowing.

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