‘This Is Where I Belong'
Home South Africa|July 2021
Inspired by her travels, vivid colours and the inimitable Karoo landscape, Terry de Vries has created a retreat she is proud to call home.
Marian van Wyk

WHO LIVES HERE? Terry de Vries

WHERE Barrydale, Little Karoo

SIZE about 200m² (excluding front stoep), erf 1 115m²

The garden gate that welcomes you to Terry de Vries’s home in Barrydale seems to sit almost impertinently between beautiful hand-stacked slate walls. The slate may be an authentic Karoo touch, but the cobalt-blue gate is reminiscent of Mexico.

Terry, a former journalist and long-time Stellenbosch resident has been living in Barrydale since June 2018. She’s a bundle of energy, yet at the same time she’s also the picture of serenity. Although she has a BSc degree in agriculture, Terry is currently a transformation facilitator and offers yoga classes, labyrinth walks and meditation retreats at her residence, Kamala Retreat House.

In 1996, after lecturing at Stellenbosch University’s journalism department for two years, the desire to travel took hold. The year before her son, Joshua (now a 29-year-old filmmaker), started Grade R, she packed their bags and embarked on a journey through North America in a GMC van.

Their nine-month trip included a stint in New Mexico, where she was blown away by Santa Fé. “That whole environment reminded me of the Karoo: the vegetation, the arid earth, the rocks, the hills. That’s where I discovered my passion for blue in all its shades, as well as a love for the earthy tones of adobe (mud-brick) houses,” she says.

But that journey uncovered another turning point in the form of a labyrinth in Rhinebeck, New York where Terry studied yoga. “I saw how it changed Joshua’s disposition from a fractious five-year-old to a happy-go-lucky child. I immediately started doing research on labyrinths and why people walk them.”

‘This house was waiting forme’

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