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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

It’s tomorrow (July 12th). One last thing to be noted. We have had a security company here for some time, patrolling the property at night and during the day. However, after we had a break in one night where kitchen things were stolen (microwaves, toaster, hot water kettles, the TV set and even , far down the hall, my beloved weed eater (That is R6 000  by itself). The thieves hide in the bush and when the guards go by, they know they have an hour before he does his rounds again and then they strike.
    So we decided to have beams put in  so that anyone approaching the building would set off the alarm before he has a chance to do anything. Well, we thought that we were secure until one night, as I was sleeping, something bothered my eyes (about 2am) and I woke up and there was some kind of a light that was flickering in my office, which is next to my bedroom. I thought that I must have left the computer on by mistake and it was going through its paces, so I got out of bed (I sleep like Adam) and was going next door when I noticed that the door to my room, leading out into the passage, was about 2/3 open and I could see through the crack that there were two guys, about my height (fairly short) shining a torch (flashlight) into my room. Well I jumped into the doorway and screamed at them (I woke up the whole house) and must have scared the hell out of them, this white ghost screaming at them, so they ran down the hall and I saw them just disappearing down the stairs. By this time lots of people were up and we all went down the stairs to see where they got out / in. Ha. They had removed the burglar bars from our aluminum windows (only held by a pop rivet in the middle---easy to do) and climbed in. The windows must have been open because they weren’t damaged at all. But they never set off the alarm. Ha. So here we were thinking that we were so secure.
Bishop Khumalo got the company and told them to come and bring technicians to find out how they could have gotten to the windows without setting off the alarm. They discovered that there were spaces that were not covered, and that was one of them, and the solution was to install two more beam poles to cover the whole area. Only R9000. Ha again. Why didn’t they find that out when they installed the system in the first place. They should pay us instead of us paying them making us think that we were now secure the first time.
    As a result, though, I found myself being a bit nervous the first night after the break in and the visitors shining their torches into my room, so, for the first time, I locked my door. I did that for a few nights but now I am back to just closing the door. I think that there must be some psychological left over from the detention that I don’t like to be locked in anywhere without being able to get out if I have to. Paranoia?

    Anyway, that concludes this blog. I am off now to do some work in the garden . It is cold and just right for working outside. Take care and lots of love. Cas. 

June 26th 
  (Good intentions but nothing happened)

It is now July 11th
    
This means that since May 29th I have been too bloody lazy to make entries into the blog. Now what must I do.
Regarding the final decision of the car, I decided to keep it and the insurance company would pay R15.600.00 to my account. The men from ACTS, a spin off from the Cursillo, who are mechanics and panel beaters, said that they would repair it. I transferred the R15.000 to their account so that they could get started on the work. Irt is now July 11th and it is still being repaired, but is almost ready. I reminded them that they had promised that they would take it to the place where it could get a certificate of road worthiness, so that I could then get it re-insured (for next time, which I hope doesn’t happen).
     In the meantime, Bishop Lobinger let me use his vehicle for the odd trips here and there and Bishop Khumalo also let me use his car to go to the hospital for Mass in the morning.
    I was given a loaner by Avis for three weeks, (part of the Insurance policy) and it is when I had to return it, the Hyundai still not fihished, the next sentence takes over.
     Finally, a friend who runs a road construction company, loaned me one of his bakkies (Bakkie = pickup truck, a huge Toyota Diesel. I have to climb up to get inside. Then I am like King Tut. Get out of my way. It is very powerful and really moves so you have to watch it. It is huge and takes up twice the space for parking as my little Hyundai. But I am getting used to it now.

    But I have jumped the gun. On the 30th of May, I had a colonoscopy. A week later at the meeting with the doctor, the outcome is that there is no further need for anything. I have lots of these little pockets but there is nothing one can do about it. They used to operate and take some of them out but others come back again so they don’t do anything now unless there is a problem. Up till now, the BM’s have been satisfactory which was the reason for the colonoscopy in the first place. Old men’s problems. Hmmmm.
( The preparation for the colonoscopy is thrilling. Ha. You can see how clean I was because the beautiful pictures he took of my innards, in Technicolor, were as clear as can be. Clean, Clean,Clean)

We are still trying to find people who will help us financially or otherwise, to be able to start building our new church. One advice that was given is to use the money already there to start, lay a foundation, start building the walls, till the money runs out. If willing people see that you are doing something they are more likely to contribute. The money, about R100,000.00 has been there for several years now and the longer you delay using it, the more it loses its value since the prices for material keep going up. Mike Pillay has been doing all the paper work, and now the last is to get the Bishop and the Parish priest to give the go ahead. No one will contribute unless they know that the proper authorities have given their approval. This all takes time, lots of it, and patience. I wouldn’t have it but Mike Pillay, the leader of the community seems to have it.

On the 18th of June, Nomonde drove up from Mthatha and stayed with us overnight so that w could leave early the next morning, Monday, to head for Jo’burg where her daughter was graduating. Media marketing. A great occasion. Siyamthanda, the daughter, had booked a room for her mom at the Holiday in for two nights. I wonder where she got the money. Quite expensive. I had gotten onto Google and looked for the nearest Catholic Church figuring that I might just be able to sleep there for two nights without causing a lot of bother. The Church was just up the road, maybe ten minutes away and on the same street. It would have been ideal.  But he wasn’t interested. OK. A friend who lives in Centurion, a suburb of Joburg, actually between Joburg and Pretoria, offered to put me up there but it is far away and the traffic in the morning is horrendous. So I graciously declined. But she then said that she would contact a friend how lived in Sandon (where the holiday Inn is ) to see if she would put me up for a couple of nights. It worked out better that I could have dreamed. Actually her condominium is just over the back wall from the Holiday Inn. I could actually walk there. It worked out well.
    We left at 6am from the Holiday Inn on Tuesday morning to make sure that we would be in time for Siyanthanda’s appointment at 8:30 in mid Joburg to get togged up etc. for the ceremony. We were in plenty of time since the really heavy traffic hadn’t started yet. It was a grand occasion for Siyamthanda and Nomonde was soooo proud of her daughter. Me too. I have known Nomonde since I went to Transkei in 1978 and we worked together as the youth team for the Mthatha Diocese for many years. She is the one that was arrested and put in jail so that they could squeeze her and get information about me to incriminate me. Ha. They don’t know a stubborn woman when they see on. They tortured her so that she almost died but she never said a word. When I was being interrogated the Security Police asked me to please ask her to tell them her name. Don’t mess with a determined woman.
     Since I didn’t know my way around Joburg, I had to ask Siyamthanda to take us to a restaurant for a celebratory meal after the ceremony. Ha. She is a student with a very limited income so her idea of a restaurant was a Wimpy in a local Mall. Anyway, we enjoyed.

I had the CPS postulants for Mass on Saturday (I don’t go to the hospital on Sat) and it is always refreshing because there are two or three young postulants who are very creative in their choosing of songs and who make the liturgy come alive with their youthful enthusiasm and skills.
On the 24th of June, I gave a mini-retreat to teens and up at a nearby parish. It was only a couple of hours but I gave them a chance to ask whatever questions they wanted to ask and I could also put  a few of my questions to them. It ended with a delicious curry meal at the leader’s house, prepared by his wife. (As you already know, I am addicted to curries_

I think that the grass cutting which is a big feature of my life finally stopped around the second week of June. It is winter here and the grass doesn’t grow (thank God). However, it is time to trim the bush and trees so there is still plenty of outside work to keep one fit, more of less.

In between, I do some counseling and help out at nearby parishes on Saturdays and Sundays when I am not at Savannah Park. I also had a funeral of  a man who was an outstanding leader of the German community in the neighborhood. He and his wife adopted two Black African children. They speak English and German but not Zulu. Hmmm

I took Fr. Macarius’ talking watch to get a new battery. When it came back the talking part didn’t work any more so I had to send it away to the South African society for the Blind to get it repaired. When he presses a button, it tells the time ( 10 minutes past 8, for example). Macarius feels more and more unsure of himself when he walks as the little eyesight that he had is also diminishing.
Being an American citizen, I was also invited to a kind of celebration of the 241st anniversary of our independence. The Consul, Frances Chisholm, is a real winner. She is one of the best representatives of the US that I have experienced in all  these years away from home. I was told by my friend who works at the Consulate that many of those who were invited never came so it was a comparatively small crowd. Call it the Trump effect.

I gave a 4 day retreat to an Anglican priest from Joburg who go to know us at Mariannhill through one of our brothers. I hope he survives.  He is a Civil Engineer by profession but felt the call to the priesthood after he was married and now has three children with his wife. They seem to have some of the same problems that we Catholics have. Nothing new under the sun.

That’s enough for tonight. It is getting close to my bed time. I will be up again at 4am to go to the hospital for Mass there and for communion to the patients. (I also visited a friend who had his right leg, up to the knee, amputated because of Diabetes. He is in a Durban hospital again. He says that the diabetes is doing its work and is now affecting his kidneys. He may have to have dialysis. I am forever grateful for my reasonable health.

This has not been a good day for me. Something has been bugging my stomach today and I did very little but lie down and sleep and rest. Not like me. I didn’t even have breakfast. Mpume had to come and check what was wrong as she was nervous when she noticed that I hadn’t come for breakfast. She is one of the house mothers. It is nice to be loved. Men don’t usually bother.


Good night. I will try to wrap it up tomorrow. Cas.