Nov. 13, 2016
Just a quick update as to what has been happening since I got back from Mthatha and my retreat.
Oct. 29..I had a chance to visit my latest girlfriend, Chisanga, the one whose picture I sent you some time back. She is in the middle of the terrible twos and it is very noticeable.
Oct. 30th.. Left a list of the things needed for the church we are trying to get money to build with a friend to do a kind of cost assessment per item, e.g. so many windows as what price, so many doors at what price, how many bricks of blocks we need, and how much each, etc. The we can ask people to buy a door, or a window or a couple of bricks. I have my doubts that this will ever actually happen. The cost now has gone up to about R500,00. That is about $40,000. I don’t think in my life time. People are too poor and stressed out with ordinary financial demands on their meager salaries.
Nov. 1… Rajes, our travel agent, gives me the schedule for my visit to the States next year to conduct a wedding of a friend in Chicago in August.
Nov. 2… A friend helps me to understand why my cell phone is eating us so much data and how to control it. Very necessary.
Nov. 3…A visit by Dr. Harry and wife Sue Jergeson, a retired orthopedic surgeon who , for 14 yrs., volunteered his skills in the hospital at Bedford (in my parish) till the new administrator said he, and others, were not needed any more (stupid). I stayed overnight with them on my home leave in San Anselmo, CA, near the Golden Gate Bridge. We had lunch together and it was beautiful.
Nov, 4…visit Sr. Lucas Lenzen, one of our CPS sisters. She had breast cancer and it went into remission, but now has come back in her neck. Not good. I wore a collar because I came out of the usual visiting hours. I intended to intimidate anyone who might try to block me.
Nov. 5…Attended the wedding of Dr. Adam Carpenter. He was the only white kid who ever lived with Fr. Guy’s guys at Sabelani while he was studying medicine at the university medical school in Mthatha. His dad is also a doctor who donates his time 3 times a week at the clinic at the Denis Hurly Center in Durban, a free clinic for the street people. His mom is also an activist in her own right.
Nov. 7…it has been raining and raining and raining ( God answered out prayers for rain and is now laughing up his sleeve saying, you asked for it now you got it. Ha. Floods in Johannesburg) But today there was sunshine and I managed to get the stubborn weed eater running and did a lot of work out there, even though it was still pretty wet. But then, it was the last time because the rains started again.
Nov. 8… Attended a lecture at the Denis Hurley Center. Topic: Non Violence and Peace Making. Bishop Dowling has been everywhere where there is a need for peace (Sarajavo, South Sudan, DRC. You name it). Violence and more war is not the answer. Although I agreed, I asked who this mindset fit with ISIS. He said to look for alternatives to the violence. Who is supplying the arms that makes the violence possible. He has a point there. I suggest that, in the long term we try to find who is supplying the arms and try to persuade them (lots of money in the arms trade) to stop. But, my humble opinion, in the short term, go after those ISIS people before they kill everyone in Mosul and Raqqa and elsewhere.
Nov. 9…I had the experience of a life time as a guest of the Consul here in Durban, Frances Chisholm, to watch, live, the results of the election coming in that resulted in Trump’s victory. For me, a sad day, but also a revealing day, in that it was clear that we really are a deeply racist and senophobic society. Shame, shame, shame. I will have more to say about this later on in this blog.
Nov. 11…Checked at the school of nursing about Monanyane, one of Guy’s sons, who flunked his second year of nursing and had to write a re-exam. Whether he will be allowed to get in to a so-called bridging course to be able to continue his studies for another 2 yrs. and come out the other end as a full fledged nurse able to support himself and his family. Thin hope. We may have to go to plan B and get him into the university program in Mthatha, if the will accept the two years that he did already. It takes them forever to correct the exam papers and by the time he gets his results, he should have enrolled for the next course, which will have already started. What a stupid system.
Nov. 12…Graduation Mass for those Catholic teachers and principals who have been updating their faith at a special course. Because I gave several of their inputs, I was also invited, along with the Cardinal (Ahem!) and two other fine priests who are involved in working in the schools. When I mentioned that one of the American Cardinals, Burke by name, praised Trump as one who promoted Catholic values because he promotes respect for life from conception to birth, and said that I thought that he was mad to come to the conclusion that Trump upholds Catholic values (let’s say, Christian values), because he is a blatant racist, a bigot, anti-black, anti-Muslim, calling Mexicans thieves and rapitsts, etc. etc. etc. not to mention his mindset regarding women. I was stunned when our Cardinal said that he felt that the press had unfairly demonized him and didn’t bring into the open his good points. I thought that this is the time to keep my mouth shut and make a strategic and silent retreat. Holy Moses.
Now, the best for the last. I want to take this opportunity to thank, from the bottom of my heart, my Republican friends and family members for giving all of us Americans the gift of this great man Trump, as I said, bigot, racist, anti-black, anti-hispanic, accusing Mexicans of being thieves and rapists, wanting to build a wall between us and Mexico, and wanting to punish China by putting tariffs on our imports from China, and do away with NATO, and repeal the Obamacare Act. This is not to mention at all, the mindset he has regarding women…and I won’t go into the details which you already know. How so many women could vote for such a misogynist who sees women ad objects, don’t understand. But, to you all, my Republican friends and family, many many thanks for this great gift you just gave to the American people, and, for that matter, to the wider world.
It was interesting to see the hypocrisy of Paul Ryan and Mitch Mconnell, smiling happily as they accompanied him away for the election place, the very same one who repudiated him and rejected him some days earlier, and promised not to fund any of his events. Wow, what a turn around. It reminds me of a word we used to use when we were kids. Brown Noser. We shall see what happens now.
I have to praise Obama for his humble and genteel meeting with Trump who had a campaign going to discredit Obama as an non-American running for president. I could go on and on and on, but it is enough for you to realize how deeply grateful I am to you all for the tremendous gift you gave to all Americans and the rest of the world. I will try to convince people here in South Africa to understand this because it seems that they think otherwise.
I think that that is enough for now. Love to you all. Cas.