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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sept.25, 2016

I am doing this with the hunt and peck method since one of my fingers on the left had had some kind of abcess and has  Bandage on it which makes it awkward to type.
     On Monday the 19th I went to the Consulate and received the absentee ballot I had requested and gave it back. It was my vote for Nov. 4th. You can guess who I voted for!! I was told that it went into the diplomatic pouch and would arrive the next day and would be posted in the States. Hooray. I was having visions of it arriving by our SA post in mid Decmber. 
    Then I went to Newberry  to get the material that Sinovuyo needed to sew the skirts for the girls at Mpheko High. He is a local guy from my old parish at Landsend (Kwa Dlomo Village) who taught himself tailoring and I want to support him. I also picked up some hosts to bring to Mthatha as I was told that they are running low on them. I had an evening Mass in Pinetown and that is always nice because it is in English and I can tell jokes that will be understood.
On Tues, 20th, I headed for Mthatha and stopped to visit a few places along the way.
On Wed. the 21st, I met Sinovuyo in town and took him with me to Landsend where I gave him his material and where I gave Nothemba (who looks after the priest’s house---there has been no priest for a long time now, only occasionally) some clothing to distribute to those who could use something.
More visits here and there and back home to AFH. S
On Thursday I concelebrated with the present chaplain to the sisters at the convent and met all the sisters at breakfast who are old friends from way back. I then drove out to see Sr. Nokwanda who teaches nursing in Libode, about 30km. from Mthatha. She is working on hers PhD, the topic having something to do with the discovery that some of the anti-retroviral drugs that are used for AIDS patients, are, it seems, causing Diabetes. A good thing with a  bad side effect. When I got back to AFH I felt weak and had a fevers and could feel that the flu was coming on, so I hopped in bed under the blankets and it was there that I had a long conversation with Fr. Winfried, a confrere who is getting to retirement age. I then went off to visit another family and enjoy a lovely curry meal. I think it helped to keep the flu at bay.
Friday was a lazy day. I went with  Frater  Faustin (who will be ordained a deacon in December to DSTV to have the contract removed from my name and to put it in the name of the house rather than an individual since we are continually changing and are given new assignments. I also noticed that my little vehicle is leaking power steering fluid so I bought some and topped up the fluid. I then put the remainder in the boot next to the spare tire. (There is as bit of room on the side of the tire.)
Saturday, Nov. 24th, I had Mass at AFH celebrating the beatification of one of our priests who died giving his life for another in Dachau. He is considered to be a martyr. I also washed the car after a visit from my friend Nomonde who is busy correcting papers. In the afternoon we had our Board of Management meeting at Sabelani Home, Fr. Guys guys. We share a meal after that and then I took Theresa Chisanga (HOD of English at WUSU) home. She is  a member of the Board.
I noticed when I came back to Abbot Francis Home (AFH) that I had trouble using the lock on the car door and had to use the other door to lock the car. I thought that maybe someone had been tampering with the lock. But, Off I went to bed.
Sunday, 25th (today) After mass, I visited an old friend, Tim O’Sullivan, who put in the electricity in Landsend in 1992, and who made the cabinets we have in our dining room. I had asked him if he had some thin oil to put in the key hole, thinking that maybe that was the problem why it was not able to lock or be unlocked.
Then I remembered that there was a small container that I use to top up the oil from time to time and I had just done that the day before but there was a little bit of oil left in the bottom of the bottle. When I went to the boot (trunk) to fetch the container, (I kept it next to the spare tire as there was just room for it there), I saw that the spare tire had been stolen along with the jack. I was discouraged, and still am. I guess that I will have to buy a new rim and tire tomorrow, first thing, as I don’t want to take a chance on the long drive to Durban without a spare. I am not happy. I wanted to leave early as I have lots of catching up to do, but….
Enough for now. Cas.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Sept. 18, 2016
Today, Sept. 18, I went to Durban soon after the Mass at the hospital, about 7:10am. Traffic not too bad. Got there quite early, shortly after 7:30 and parked at the Cathedral. I had an 8:30 appointment at the consulate and after that I wanted to pick up some material for Sinovuyo which was half way to the Consulate. I wanted to stop in to visit a friend at the Hurley center but I discovered that it wasn’t open yet. So, I continued on to the Consulate at got there just about 8am, when it is supposed to open. Lots of security, and even though I am an American citizen, and they have a special office for citizen concerns, I got in the queue with everyone else. We got to the office (31st floor) at about 8:20am so there was still time before my appointment.
I know several people who are working there and one of them came over to say hi and give and receive a hug, to the amusement of the others who came to get a visa and wondered who this guy was who was speaking Zulu and seemed to know people. Then, my friend, Charmaine Redman came over also to greet and give and receive a hug after a log absence.  I have known here since her high school days back in the 60’s. She had organized for me my absentee ballot, which I dutifully filled out, voting for Trump, of course (impossible!!!), put it in the proper envelope and gave it back to her to put in the diplomatic bag. It will be posted in the States tomorrow. How’s that for service. I was afraid to wait for the ballot coming from the US in the post as it just might arrive in the middle of December.  I , then, happily walked out and went back to the Cathedral to visit my friend at the Hurley Center (there were hundreds of people waiting to get in the free clinic, which operates all days and is staffed by volunteer nurses and doctors for the homeless people mainly. I think it is unique in the world because they also have a soup kitchen, refugee offices, a place where people who have to sleep rough and take a shower and get cleaned up, and other kinds of help, like social workers, etc.  It is a multi-religious project, Muslims, Bhuddists, Jews, all varieties of Christians, and other concerned people.
After that I got back into the car and drove to the parking garage which was near where I wanted to get the material ( I have gotten material there before, and it seems to be the only place where this particular material is available). I have to wait around for about 10 minutes till he opened, at 10:30am, but I managed to get what I wanted (at least very close to the piece of fabric that I used to get a match. This is for Sinovuyo, the young man who does tailoring in Landsend, and is now making uniform skirts for the local school girls. I try to support him as much as possible because he really is very good but suffers from not being near a decent market to sell his goods.
I then drove back to Mariannhill (about a 20 to 25 min. ride) and stopped at the religious goods store to fetch some large hosts that I was asked to bring to Mthatha with me.
So, it was mission accomplished.
This afternoon, I was told that they also want small hosts, so I got some of those as well and then delivered a candle to one of the German volunteer workers, Paul, as I was asked to do by Katrina. They did lots of things together and enjoyed each other’s company. That was at the Hospital, where there is an AIDS outreach program that also sponsors health check ups in some of the village schools nearby so that they can pick up problems early rather than have to treat things once they have gotten out of hand.
I then went to the Orphanage where I was greeted mightily with a huge hug in and questions as to where Sisi Katrina is now. They were delighted to know that I came to deliver photos that she had taken while she was here for the various dorms, and staff and people, etc. I looked over the shoulder of the social worker while she looked at the photos for the boys. Wow, Katrina had taken them on different trips, to the sea or to a movie, or whatever and you could see all the smiling, happy faces. They will be delighted.
Tomorrow I head for Mthatha so today I went through some of my abundance of clothing and slimmed down my pile (way too much) and will give some T shirts, polo shirts, shorts, underwear, handkerchiefs, a jersey that I never use any more, and a pair of Levi’s ( I already have three pairs). She will be happy and will make others happy, I am sure.
Tonight I have a 6pm Mass at a nearby parish at 6pm. Then I am finished for the day.

Fr. Macarius, who is mostly blind, just came in to ask if we can send an email to his sister. He can’t do it himself and I am glad to do that for him.