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Friday, January 31, 2014

This is what I wrote this morning.
  I can’t imagine a worse disaster. The cable that leads to the transformer has been stolen by thieves. We have had no electricity for three days and three nights. To top that off there is no water coming from the mains. That means that we rely on the water in the tanks. But it is inaccessible because it depends on electricity to pump it to the taps. What it means practically is that: can’t cook, can’t boil water (especially for babies and we have a few), can’t bathe, can’t flush the toilet, etc. It makes like totally impossible.Also, because there is no electricity, out security has been compromised because I had to disengage the gears of the electric gate so that it can be operated by hand. That means that anyone can do it, including thieves,  If people decide to move away it will be a financial disaster for Mariannhill because this is our only local source of income. And it comes at a time when I have already mostly packed and am ready to leave in a few days time for my new home at Mariannhill. I have already organized other things that side like my niece and her husband who have come on a visit to South Africa.
    If I could have planned a total disaster, I don’t think I could have thought of something worse except, perhaps, a Tsunami or hurricane.
    I am frustrated and demoralized right now. We were on the verge of solving a long standing problem. Now this.

I started this day at 3:30 because I couldn't sleep any more. I was frustrated because the modem wasn't allowing me  to send or receive emails so I left about 4:45 and drove up to the Ultra Save Petrol statiion and tried to send some messages out from there because there was a better signal. Then I went off to have Mass for some sisters and after Mass went back home to change into some old clothes so that I could walk through the bush to the transformer so that I could take pictures of the damage that had been done and to prove that it was Eskom itself that had to replace the cable not us. To make a long story short, I visited the offices of Eskom three times and came back and checked the transformer twice to make sure that we had electrcity, Finally at 2:30pm it came back. Everyone has to throw out all the stuff that was in the fridge and freezer but we can wash again, and cook again, and charge our cell phones again, all the things that one takes so for granted. 
     I am super tired and will hit the sack very early tonight. Time is flying and in 5 days I will be on my way to my new life. We shall take it a day at a time, and let everyithing up to you know who. Love and Peace, Cas

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dear Everyone,
     It is January 20th and a lot of things have happened since the last entry. Yesterday I had Mass at a parish where I could speak English. Not my normal Sunday fare. In the  homily I recalled that I had just experienced 4 funerals. Mandela's, last month, then Nomonde's son on Jan. 4th (Lita was stabbed to death on Christmas day); Benny Ntumbane (who was raised by the Holy Cross Sisters in an orphanage since his mother died a month after he was born and his father had already died before he was born). He worked for the land affairs department and tried to see to it that those people whose land was stolen under the apartheid regime, got it back, and also to prevent profiteers from making false claims so that they could get some land that they really weren't entitled to and make some money.; The last one was last Saturday, Nothemba who succumbed to a long illness being in her early 40's. She tried to raise, single handedly, her 4 children, and struggled against all odds, moving here and there wherever she was able to find a job (she was a good chef) but wound up unemployed, like so many others,. The common denominator for all these funerals was that all those who attended these funerals witnessed to the fact that all of them were loving, caring, giving, generous people who touched the lives of all around them, in spite of their own difficulties.

At Benny's funeral, one of the young women who grew up with him (along with others who were also present) challenged the participants in the funeral with the words : What are people going to say about you when you die. Willl they say how grateful they were to have been touched my your life? Will you feel that, really, your life was worth living?

In the readings for last Sunday, the first reading was from the Prophet Isaiya, who was handpicked by God to do a specific job in his time being the spokesperson for God and reminding the Isrealites of what it was that God expected of them. The second reading was from Paul, who also had a special job, going to the pagans and reminding them and the Israelites that God doesn't pick favorites, God's love is boundless and for everyone, us too. The Gospel had John the Baptist announcing that the one they had been writing for had finally come. He had that special job. And what about us. I can't, as a priest go into a factory or an office or a school or in every family home to do what God expects of me. Each of us in unique and is given a job to do that no one else can do, in our home, work, school or wherever or whatever. If we listen to God, and respond, we will also hear ( we will be out of the body by that time and smiling at the people who will come to our funeral, probably some surprises too..) the nice words that  people will say about us (hopefully), how they felt that they were better persons because we (you) had touched their lives.
     I guess that's the message as we step well into 2014. The response after the first reading was " Yes, Lord, I come to do your will!" God has great expectations for each of us. Love and Peace, Fr. Cas