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Dear Alan. the time went away too quickly!! Thanks for your generosity and many Swanage firsts. thanks for the wonderful welcome of the new years lunch with friends, taking us shopping and just making us feel at home. Thanks for the trip to Pilanesberg, it was amazing - but you still owe me some wild dogs and a leopard. Thanks for organizing the trip to Tsephong hospital and your ward rounds. I can honestly stay Ive never learnt so much in a short period so thanks. Your generosity, kindness and professionalism are impressive and inspiring. I look forward to catching up in the future. Cheers Jaime
Dearest Father Alan This is a message that should have been planned because our journey, our home together in Swanage has been so special and a memory I will hold close to my heart for ever. Thank you so much for everything, for the life lessons, the Safari to Pilanesberg. For hosting my brother Paras and for the friendly banter sessions. You truly shared your home with us and for that iam truly grateful and hope you will come visit in New Zealand. Best Wishes, Manshu. (Paras: - Alan you made our stay a home away from home and made me feel so safe even though I was only here for a few days. Thank you so much for everything. I had the best steak ever at your favourite restaurant. You must visit New Zealand
Dear Swan Commander. First of all thank you for having me to stay in your beautiful home for the past 6 weeks. It is a truly wonderful retreat, a place to relax and get away from the stresses of hospital life and also a place to make friends and explore South Africa from. I'd like to thank you for providing me with such a warm welcome; it was wonderful surprise to be greeted with a hug rather than the usual awkward handshake. I felt this set a precedent for the rest of our stay and is symbolic of Swanage itself; warm friendly and completely different to any accommodation I've stayed in before. It has been a fantastic place to stay I do hope to return in the future to enjoy it once again. I'd like to also thank you for providing me with some of the most brilliant memories of the natural world I have to date. the trip to the Pilanesberg was my first Safari experience and boy was it one to remember! From the meticulous planning of the meals to Bernie's Pride (4x4 trailer) to the two way radios, I found myself falling in love with the whole experience and am so envious that this forms such a part of your life! The experience we shared with the lions at the fence (at night on foot) was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen or heard not to mention your spine tingling and blood curdling roar when the lion rushed at you! Thank you so much for having the enthusiasm to run to the fence when we heard the lions' roars, then enabling me to witness such beautiful animals up close. I's also like to say thank you for introducing me to your beautiful fried rice recipe which I hope will be a crowd pleaser when I cook it back at home! This will remind me of my brilliant time at Swanage. It is with some sadness that we leave Swanage and this community but we look forward to the next adventure knowing we shall return. I hope nothing changes in that time because it is perfect as it is!! James Noble Johnson (JNJ) UCL - the Actual chess master of Swanage.
Dear Alan. Thank you for a truly unforgettable 6 weeks with you at Swanage. I have come to really love the city of Johannesburg and will certainly be returning as soon as I get the chance. I take away with me some memories that will last a lifetime - in particular our trip to the Pilanesberg together (using the radio to call in Disco 4 from Bateleur; sometimes unfortunately on other channels too). and the time we spent playing the piano together - you play Chopin's fantasia impromptu with such amazing passion and elegance that I can only hope one day to emulate, and our brief session playing Taize together (such a pity we never managed to form a Swanage Choir. I hope you and future Swans make good use of the hammock we gave you - we felt it a perfect addition to both the lovely post night shift memories here and for the Pilanesberg base-camp. Much Love Professor Mackrill (Sam)
Dear Alan Since arriving in South Africa 6 weeks ago and first meeting you with your trademark embrace, I have struggled to convey who Alan Peter is and what makes him such a special person. Sometimes it's the conversations over dinner, most memorable for your story-telling and hilarious and sometimes just weird turn of phrase or other times it has been days out in the bush in Pilanesberg, followed by braai's in the evenings punctuated by the sounds of a lion roaring around the campground. For some reason one snippet of my time here in Swanage seems to me to highlight one of the many things I'll take away from you. The night before heading to Pilanesberg I popped down to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. You were sitting in your office and excitedly invited me in to take a look at the excel spread sheet you'd been busily preparing for our time in the bush. you had noted down 3 courses and 3 meals for each day including every fine detail and your excitement for the trip (despite having done it countless times before) was infectious. This enthusiasm for life, friendships and the natural world is something I have never seen anyone possess in such quantities. I have loved my time here at Swanage and in J'oburg. I'm pleased to be a Swan for life and I look forward to my next visit! Best Wishes James Steckelmacher (London UK) Swanage chess champion 2017
Alan, big man. Wow what an experience. Thank you so much for welcoming me into the Swanage family. The very thought of being a trauma registrar at Bara gave me nightmares, but I made it, 3 months, no doubt in part to your wise words and positive attitude. From our trip to Pilanesberg and your advice about all the spots to stop on my trip of your beautiful country I cannot thank you enough. You're enthusiasm for life is infectious and I admire it greatly. Keep offering this wonderful service of yours to come. I am sure many more students and doctors will love what your home has to offer. Cheers Ryan
Dear Alan. I will never be able to thank you enough for saving me in Johannesburg from Mondeor, your endless hospitality enthusiasm, wisdom, advice, giving us an extraordinarily enjoyable and memorable Christmas of of course who could forget Pilanesburg! What an incredible experience from start to finish! I will deinitely be back for more of bara and when I am this Swan will be returning to it's nest here at Swanage. You've got an extraordinary ability to create a family environment here across cultural barriers and I'll definitely be sending all my friends coming your way for an extra special SA experience. This is a see you soon, not a goodbye my friend. If you're ever in Melbourne you have accommodation as long as you like. Nicholas Goulding
Dear Alan, I cannot express my gratitude for you or the home that you have provided for me. From the very minute of arriving a Swanage I knew that I was in the right place. I started off quite tentative about the Bara experience and the city, but now I can truly call Johannesburg a city that I love and adore. I even grew the balls to go out drinking on my last night. Even though it was in one of the safest areas....I just want to say that you are one extraordinary man and that you have taught ma a whole lot in a short 5 weeks. Thank you so much for setting up Swanage and giving me the chance to make life-long friends from all around the world. For any future Swans reading this, you are in for a real treat and your time will fly by. I will definitely be back my friend, and I will definitely be staying at Swanage with 100 of my family members for their three free nights accommodation::)) Thanks for everything Alan. James (Editor: Once you have stayed at Swanage you get three free nights whenever you return).
Dear Alan, Thanks for providing a home that I felt like part of a family. I have made some great friends and had wonderful experiences. your incredibly knowledgeable guide through the Pilanesberg game reserve is an experience I shall never forget.. Thanks also for the great group of guys that I met while here at Swanage. Most of all, thank you for making me feel welcome. i can only imagine how hard it may be to make people from different nationalities and backgrounds feel at home, yet somehow it seems easy here. My stay at Swanage has made me a better person, which is all I could have hoped for. Cheers Sam.
Dear Alan, when I was planning my trip to Jhb one year a ago and I asked around for good accommodation I got to hear tons of stories about this strange multi-talented doctor-priest and his student home (thanks to Eva Roels who came to Swanage earleir) I was so unsure what to expect. After 3 months I can say that Swanage has been a big and unforgettable part of my South African experience. To start the day with a cup of coffe in your lovely garden listening to your waterfalls into the koi pond watching the koi fish jump made the days at bara much easier and enjoyable. Thanks for showing me around Joburg, the Pilanesberg and providing me with such helpful advice to plan our weekend trip and to survive in general. You have such an amazing ability to welcome people of different nationalities, ages and interests at you house and make them feel comfortable. I'm glad and a bit proud that I have been one of them. Cheers Oliver.