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Thursday, December 26, 2013

A day in the life of an ageing missionary. Ha!

NOmonde's son, Lita,  was 37, I think, about the same age as Jill?  The way I got it is that he had left the place where he stayed (one of the rooms he was renting, but didn't pay his rent, from his mother,  Nomonde, at the preschool) Christmas eve sometime. He came back, it seems, with some of his buddies, early on Christmas, after a night of drinking. I don't know after that but about 5am on christmas day he/they left his little flatlet and went out the driveway (seemingly walking) and it was there, on the street just outside the preschool, that he was stabbed and, it seems again, that he died instantly there in the street.  I got this from Nomonde's husband.
    The morning of the 26th (on the feast of Stephen), I was up early, said Mass and morning prayers, had some bran and muelsli for breakfast ( supposed to help the system but doesn't do much), and by 5:45am was out cutting the grass (dignifying the weeds by calling them grass). Just before 7am, I stopped to have a cup of coffee and watch the news. Shortly after 7:30, Nomonde phoned to ask if I could come and cut the grass (weeds) at her place to prepare it for the funeral and the people who would be coming now. I loaded the weed-eater into the car with the other stuff and went over to her place (about 15 minutes away, half tar and half dirt--remember MaMiya's road. Ha!) and started chopping away at the weeds. In the meantime, her two sisters, Vuyiswa and Nondumisa, arrived and I greeted them and, sometime later, two of her three brothers, Zola and Xolani, also arrived. I hadn't seen them  for many years now. They are all teachers and if they opened a school of their own it would probably be the best private school in the country. They all have the DNA of their mother who was also a school teacher and are fantastic. So I cut grass till around 12:30, having a glass of juice once in between, and  cup of coffee at the end. I am grateful to be able to still do stuff like that at my age. My back complained a bit but nothing serious. It was very encouraging for Nomonde to have the love and support of her family members around. Her eldest, Nomaza, was there with her husband, and she is a born enterpreneur so I asked her to give me a rundown of the expenses so that I could make a contribution. We talked about the tent to rent, along with chairs and  transport. It came to about R4000. So I said, at least as a start, I would go to the bank and get that money for them so that they could nail down that deal and that it would be one less worry for them. I am sure that I can add more later, especially for food to feed the hordes, now and at the funeral (When  I was living in Tsolo, I went to the Boer farmers and got a sheep for R80 to R100. That was back then. Now a bloody sheep costs R1500. Bloody greedy capitalists, milking the poor!!!) I was tired and hungry and very dirty and sweaty and turned down the invitation to have something to eat but just wanted to get back home and take a shower and have a siesta. But, by the time I got home and offloaded all the stuff and put it away, I was too tired to even think of a wash so I just brushed myself off and laid down for a rest. Maybe an hour later I got up and had a good shower and then got to work making a salad (lettuce, green pepper, tomatoe, celery, carrot, brocolli) and then took some of the meat out of the fridge (I had invited Nomonde and her husband, Luthando, and Siyamthanda to have a meal with me here in my flat at Beford, but now, Here I was stuck with all this food--the reason why I refused their offer) and made some gravy and stuck the meat in the gravy and warmed all up in the micro for a minute. In the meantime, I had put a lone potato in the micro for 6 minutes (you can remember this recipe), with the skin and all, mashed it and drowned it in the gravy and meat and gorged myself, along with the salad, with olive oil and Balsamic. It was a shame that I was all alone but what else??? It was early still, about 4:30 in the afternoon so I kept myself busy answering emails etc. and after the last news at 7:30 I had some Ice Cream and cold hot fudge for dessert. How's that for the poor missionary!! It was actually meant to be their dessert but would be totally out of place now. I think that I will have to take this stuff (meat and ice cream ) over to Fr. Guy for his guys.
    Although it was still early, about 8pm, I was tired so I decided to hit the sack but really couldn't sleep so early so here I am, (it's going on 11:30pm) writing a book late at night after having another look at the latese emails.
   Nomonde  had just enrolled Siyamthanda in a very prestigious school that was going to cost her R34,000 this year. Well, the funeral will make a serious dent in what she still has to pay for that child. But she is a stubborn and determined mother and will go into even more debt for her last born. That is another of my big concerns. She has no idea about finances and budgeting and when I try to talk to her and explain why this is impossible, she starts to shed tears and I lose again. Logic has nothing to do with her finances. She has helped all her siblings to get through school since she is the eldest and they needed her help so she never had more than a few cents in her account. Only now she begins to earn a bit more because of her bachelor's degree (what a triumph) but still not nearly enough to be able to afford the realization of her dreams for Siyamthanda (Siyamthanda, by the way, means, We love her) I can;t sleep still, but I will quit now because it will take you till new year's to read  this or you may even throw it away half way through   
     Thanks for the love and friendship over the years, through good times and bad and Mary  Love and Peace, Cas

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