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.