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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Actually it is now July 17the but I can't remember when I last included all this in my blog. Hey, try not to get old. Ha.
It is now July 2nd. Time flies. I think I have to fast forward to June 26th.(Then, if I have a chance, I will fill in before that).

    A funeral. On June 15th. One of our elderly sisters, Sr. Mary Paule, originally from Idaho, who joined the CPS (Precious Blood Sistrers) way back in the late 40’s, came out to South Africa around “52 and taught at one of our Catholic Schools, Mariazell, from ’55 to ’74. She was a great teacher teaching English. Then she came to Mthatha and got involved in social work and eventually started something like 21 NGO’s mostly for children and battered women. 82 yrs. old this yr. She was busy delivering goodies to Thembalihle Home (for abused children) when she was spotted by a couple of young gangsters who grabbed the keys from her, shoved  her into the back seat and drove off with her and one of them in the back seat and the other speeding off. A gun was pointed at her and she was trying to tell the driver to slow down, frightened to death. As a matter of fact, she tried to get them to stop the car because she felt that she was having a heart attack. They kept going and, yes, she passed away, probably literally frightened to death. They must have damaged the care somehow as they were driving kind of wild and eventually dumped her now dead body, fully clothed as a nun with a white habit, into a ditch with water and went on their way. They had been driving in one direction with the intention to rob some stores but it was Sunday and all the stores were closed and locked tight so they went back to town and were driving around with this now damaged car and were spotted by friends who knew her car and who gave chase after informing the police. The two crashed the car and fled. The others waited for the police to come. When they went into the car, they guys were in such a hurry that they left a cell phone and a gun. The cell phone led the police to their home and eventually to them and their arrest. The will be up for bail on July 4th.

     I swear that there were about 2000 people at the funeral, representing many NGO’s most of which she had started and supported up till her death. She was…


July 16, 2014

     I am so far behind I will never catch up. So much has been happening that It is hard to keep up. I can’t remember the date now but about a month ago, even before the funeral of Sr. Mary Paule, someone rear-ended me and after the police report and the insurance and the panel beaters  the final decision was that the car was a write off. In the meantime, thank goodness, the insurance covered a rent-a-car from Avis so I had some wheels to continue what things I had to do. I was offered R35,000 for the car or I could talk to the panel beaters and ask them to buy the wreck and try to fix it. But then the panel beaters would only offer me R14,000 for the wreck but wanted R27,00 to fix it (however it would be fixed!!!) I took the R35,000 but discovered that there are not many vehicles on the market for that low a price (it would be the equivalent of $3500) So you can imagine. In the meantime I was able to continue my visits to the sick as well as the Sunday commitments. Then I took another trip to Mthatha for several important meetings, one of them being with Fr. Guy and the lawyer, Jerome, about the appeal to the commission in Rome that deals with religious against the unilateral decision, taken without discussion or consultation (as is supposed to be the case according to our constitutions), to down grade our province to a ‘region”, including the appointment of a “ new” provincial and some councilors. What a rotten trick to get rid of Fr.Guy in a back –handed way.  In any case we also had a nice meal with Mike McNamara and Malcolm Grant who have helped us immensely in our Bedford Project. They are now having a huge project in Nigeria and were only here for that week and would be going away again soon and this was their only chance to get Fr.Guy and myself together before Guy heads back to Canada at the beginning of August. It gave me a chance, too, to check into the insurance of Nomonde’s new car to get a better deal, and to bring Nothemba (from Landsend) to town to connect her with our new IT man, one of Guy’s boys, so that she could get her printer fixed and maybe find out how to get on the internet. I also managed to see Sinovuyo who had just come back from Germany and was very happy and could connect him with someone who would help to market his goods (he is a self-made tailor and does beautiful stuff.) On the way back I stopped at the dealer where we got Nomonde’s  car as he had promised a good  used car (now it is euphemistically called “pre-owned”)  but the deal fell through when the guy asked more that I was able to give. To cut a long story short, on the 11th of July I got a confirmation from a guy I had contacted on the internet to sell his vehicle to me for R35,000. He wanted R38,000 but I said I didn’t have it so he agreed to R35,000. On Sunday, the 13th,  We clinched the deal and he brought the car (which we had seen and test-driven on Saturday with a friend who knows cars and approved) and left it here. That afternoon I returned the rent-a-car to Avis as it was the last day to use the car—the 30 days were up.

     This week I have been going up the hill to the Augustinian Sisters at Jacob’s Well, a retreat center overlooking a breathtaking view of the valley of a thousand hills each morning for Mass and 9am (not my usual time as you know). On Monday I went to get the roadworthy clearance and they found a few things wrong that needed fixing before I could take it for registering. On Tuesday, I took it to get those things fixed and got the COR as they call it. On Wednesday, today, I go the thing registered—two hours in the queue. Holy Moses. By the time I finally got to the window, I was ready to burst my bladder. Luckily I could rush out with the precious papers and find a tree just in time. Ha. Don’t laugh. You will get your turn one day.

     Then I had to get the new license plates this afternoon and now I am finished. Hooray. Tomorrow another trip up to the sisters and Friday and then Saturday an ordination here at Mariannhill—two of our young men. We have been waiting for them. Sunday I will be at Savannah Park again with the fledgling community so we are back on track. I think that that is enough for now. We have had another wi-fi installed today and at first it was working fine but then it just fell apart and there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. Nothing works now. I am writing this offline and, maybe tomorrow, if we manage to get back on line, I will send it out. So, for now, have a great day. Never a dull moment. Love and Peace, Cas

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