June 28, 2015
Well the cataract op went well. It was a new experience, local anesthetic. I could feel something happening to my eye but no pain. It was like I was on LSD. Lots of orange, and red and blue and green lights going around in that area. I was cold was afraid that my muscles would cramp up during the op, but it went well. I met with a Muslim lady who accompanied her relative for the op and we talked about ISIS and how they had nothing to do with Islam. She wound up inviting me and Katrina, my grand niece, to come sometime a and exchange thoughts. Nice. I arrived at the hospital at about 10:30 where we had to fill out a thousand papers and then was taken to the waiting room with the others for the op. That was 11:00 am. In the meantime, others came to put drops in the eyes, take blood pressure, put bracelets on your wrist, etc. to guarantee that they knew that it was OK, I agreed, and it was the left and not the right eye, etc. Ha! Just make sure that you get it right.
In the preparation room, the nurse asked which eye. Testing to see if I was still compos mentis. The anesthetist came to do his thing and, as I said, all went well.
I was finally taken there at 3pm and, after all the preparations, etc. and the operation, was taken back to the waiting room with a patch on my eye. I called it and Eye-pad. I was released at about 4pm and Lloyd, faithfully, came to fetch me and take me home. On Thursday I went back for the required checkup by the eye doctor who said it looked good and I must be sure to put the drops in the eye faithfully 4 times a day till the stuff is finished. I kept the patch on till Saturday when I took it off and since then haven’t been wearing it. No problem driving and even at night, (although I prefer to not drive at night) I am not blinded by the oncoming traffic. So on Sunday morning, after Mass in my room, I headed for Mthatha for the BOM meeting and for the sisters jubilees. Amen for now.
June 29, Sts. Peter and Paul
How silly of me. I packed everything so carefully and left so confidently for Mthatha yesterday, when we arrived, I realized that I had forgotten to put my mobile modem in so that I could get on the internet. Bad luck. So I just decided to keep a kind of journal for the time being. No one seems to have access to wi fi so I will just have to survive without it.So, on with the story. We traveled well (we—Lisa a volunteer who worked here for some time and will be returning to her home in Austria took advantage of a lift with me to say goodbye to Mthatha and her friends here), almost no traffic on Sunday morning. Got all the way here on one tank of petrol. I like this Hyundai!
I dropped her off at her former place at Ikwezi Lokusa, and went to Abbot Francis home. I offloaded all my stuff, took Sr. Steven’s prayer book to her, fetched Theresa Chisanga, and then went to Sabelani Home for the meeting of the BOM. We were early enough to see the new Sabelani Home. These guys have done very well. We waited for Jerome, the chairperson, to arrive but he never pitched up, so we started the meeting at 4pm on Sunday the 28th. Each of the boys who are part of the program, either still studying or now working, gave a report on how things were going for them. Good! Then we continued on, taking a look at possible new members of the BOM to replace those who had gone and then the finances, how they were going. A fuller report will be sent by email to the BOM members.
The meeting ended about 6:15pm. Thembisile Kanise took Theresa home and I was asked by Sebata to hang around for a bit, I think they just wanted to socialize for a while, as we used to do. Of course, in the middle of our meeting, the lights went out---load shedding. Just as we were beginning to have a sit down chat, the electricity came back on so they said I must stay till the cooked something to eat. It was like old times.
We chatted together after the meal and finally around 9:30pm I said it was now my bedtime and I would ask to be allowed to leave. They insisted on accompanying me back to AFH although it is only about 10 min. drive, one in front and one in back. Ha! They think that I am so old now that I will lose my way? It was very thoughtful of them.
June 30, 2015
We had morning prayers and Mass together and the first item on my list was to see Jerome Heunis, our lawyer. 8am sharp. His family is living with him again but they are wanting to move back to East London so that the grandchildren who are with them can get a good education. Stressful. I gave him, via a memory stick, the Guy/Sabelani Story, as well as the minutes of the first BOM meeting at the new Sabelani House. Next meeting will be on Sept. 24th, Heritage Day. People will be free probably for the weekend so it should be a full meeting. We still need two more members to take the place of Fr. Guy and Mr. Allen who have moved away.
On the way to Landsend, I popped in to see Phumeza and Sandra who are still in the employ of Mike McNamara. It was nice to see them hard at work as always. Sandra gave me some garlic cloves as I use garlic to ward off the cold and flu bad spirits.
Then, off to Landsend where I saw Nothemba and passed on some of the old clothes that people had collected for the “poor”. She was happy. She also needs some help to complete the plastering of her house so we will look into that. Then I saw Sinovuyuo, my tailor, and took my shorts that he had make specially for me to have the waist increased a bit. Ha! Since I no longer am out cutting grass and keeping my weight even, but still eating the same, my girth is increasing. Don’t laugh. I will get back to normal when spring comes again or when I find some physical work to do. I also helped him to fill in a “business plan” so that he can get help for his project. He wants to get one or two more machines so that he can start teaching others in the village how to sew. He is the most organized guy I have ever seen. He records everything. The government should hire him to start being efficient. I was able to greet a couple of other old parishioners while I was there. Then back to Abbot
Francis for lunch.
After lunch, I promised to hear a few confessions at the convent at 1pm and then go to see Nomonde at 2pm at Kwalindile, about a half hour’s drive from Mthatha. When I was almost there, she phoned to say she was stuck in town (you can’t believe the traffic problem in a little dorp like Mthatha) so I turned around and decided to visit the Indian sisters at Southridge Park (they are teaching at a Catholic School, Kanyisa, and are running an orphanage for little kids nearby). It was a nice visit with some Indian goodies as well. I also discovered that at Kanyisa when kids are caught with drugs, they are simply expelled. (you can’t do that in a government school. The process may drag on for a long time while the drug user continues to spread his/her poison) Because it is a private school, parents sign a document that allows them to do that. Sometimes they do have mercy but, if push comes to shove, they can, as a last resort, expel the child.
Then I popped in to see Raj and Liz and moaned in front of them about the lack of action on the part of our bishop when it comes to the protocol dealing with misbehaving priests, one of them being their former priest. No action taken. Ufortunate. Liz’s mom was there, an old time Catholic, 89 yrs. old so us old timers had a little natter for a while. I was invited to come for supper at 6:30 so left and went back to Abbot Francis to do some typing and reading. I didn’t have time to check and see if my modem arrived, brought by the sisters from Mariannhill, who promised to do that after I had phoned Br. Lloyd to check on my desk and give it to them to bring to me. We shall see today.
I heard quite a bit of noise outside my door and when I went to check, I found that Fr. Stephan Mandl had arrived from upcountry to be present at the sisters feast today. He is of a retirement age so I invited him to come and join us at Mater Dolorosa. But I don’t think he is ready yet.
After evening prayers I went back to Raj and Liz and met the two daughters, Anush and Jaysheree who were home for the school break. Anush just got a post at the University of the Western Cape (she already has her PhD) and will be moving to Cape Town soon, and Jaysheree has been appointed vice principal at the school where she has been working and teaching for about 20 yrs. now, or so it seems. I congratulated both of them. Of course because of the cooooold weather, Raj and I had something to warm us up from the inside while the others, including 89yr. old mom, used the outer heaters for their feet especially. Lovely Indian curry. (I am an addict ). After giving mom a special blessing (her health is not so good and she has just spent some time in the hospital), I headed back to AFH, about 9pm. I did a bit of reading before climbing under the covers again. So tomorrow we start a new day with item number one being the celebration of the sisters who have their 25 yrs. and 50 yr. celebrations of their vows, all local women. Encouraging. See you tomorrow.