The barefoot bushdoctor
Hélène de Kok
The essence of barefoot bushdoctor lingers in challenges and adventures, humorous and tragic, for a woman, a doctor, on a farm in the ruthless, remote but rewarding world of the Kalahari over a period of forty years.
In the first few chapters of barefoot bushdoctor, she traces the return to Africa of her ancestors over a period of more than three centuries, giving the reader a brief glimpse of the Great Trek and miraculous survival of a great-grandmother from Matabele slaughter; the reckless escape from death of a possible successor to the Scottish throne; a chance encounter of his great-great grandson, Jacobus Stuart with the De Kok brothers, bringing the two families from Holland to Africa; and a first struggle: two small colonies, the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek and the Orange Free State pitted against the mighty British Empire.
Hélène de Kok spent her childhood in the leisurely and relaxed rural Free State (South Africa) during and after the Second World War. She went to school, initially in a horsecart, at a farm school with thirty children from Sub A to Standard Six in a single classroom and one teacher, her father, Stuart de Kok. She shares carefree experiences and hardships of childhood in the Free State (S. Africa) of the mid 20th century – a different time, a very different life.
The barefoot bushdoctor is a sparkling yet delicate narrative of a period of great change in southern Africa.