Friday, March 16, 2012

All the way there and back again...

Hello Friends

While life is wonderful on the New Farm and we enjoy being there every possible minute, it has been a burden on my heart since December that I have not been able to check on how Similo and Nadia's mom is doing at her home in Kwa Zulu Natal. You'll remember I was unable to drive for 6 weeks between Christmas and late January due to the broken hand ordeal and after that we just never had a free day to go. But at last we were able to pack everything up, load all the Tigers in the bus and GO ON A ROAD TRIP!

I am so blessed to be the one who gets to see this side of TLC. There were so many people eager to go and wanting desperately to be included in the trip but unfortunately it was just not possible to take unlimited numbers, as it was I had reservations about how well my group of 13 kids was going to be received!

I needn't have worried because we were once again hailed as heros and treated like royalty!

It was like rediscovering a lost gem in the wilderness.

We unloaded food, gifts and sun umbrellas so that we could braai together.

The Reunion was a moving and wonderful thing to behold. Veronica could only squeal her excitement at seeing her kids again after so many months. She beamed and beamed all day long. 

We had a simple braai of boerwors (sausage) and rolls with some prepared salads. It was a contented and calm affair with some of the local villagers joining in the celebration.
Similo and Nadia enjouting some"down time" after an emotional morning
At about 2pm the clouds started to gather ~ it was a beautiful sight.

We had a quick adventure down to the railway line

And by 3:30 we had to pack up and head off.
We drove through a huge thunderstorm and we were all grateful for the cooling effect it had!
We got to stop for supper at a fast food restuarant which gave the kids a chance to stretch their legs and by the time we got home on Sunday night it was 9:30 and everyone just rolled into bed :-)

That was Sunday ... and why do you only get to hear about it now?

The biggest reason is that Kieran and Benjamin have been writing their first term exams. They needed the laptop every morning and of course morning is the only time I have free to do any type of computer work ~ very frustrating indeed! Thankfully they should be done early next week!

Besides that there have been all sorts of weird little interruptions and things ~ for example I had to drive to Vereeniging (about 40min away) to follow up on why I have yet to recieve the birth certificates for 3 of my kids despite having adopted  them in 2009! I was told 2 of them are recorded under my name but their names have not yet been changed and the 3rd they have no record of! So I had to reapply (which makes it 3 times since the first time!) Oi Oi Oi I am getting so frustrated with this department!

Finally the last and most stressful interruption to the week has been the horrible "CAR TROUBLE" that has reared its ugly head again.
Please bear with me as I explain one particular problem and appeal for anyone who might have a way to help!

This is the minibus we use at TLC. It seats 12 people. It has been a great help to us as we often have more people than can fit in a car but less than what make a bus necessary.

It is the same brand of vehicle that most Taxi's use in South Africa. As many of you know the Taxi industry in South Africa is more like a Cartel. The Taxi bosses control routes, fares and can bring the country to a standstill through their intimidation tactics during strike times.

In the last 3 months both TLC drivers have been forced off the road and assaulted by the "Taxi Association" security people who believe the drivers are operating taxis on routes that don't belong to them. Both times we had volunteers or children in the car who were severely traumatised by the episode and needless to say our drivers are very reluctant to drive the taxi now.

Both Mom and I have been forced into a blockade when taking the staff to the end of the road by the same people and made to wait up to 45minutes before being "allowed" to leave. It is terrifying and has the potential of getting out of hand quite quickly.

We did put some signage on the car to make it more obvious that we are a private vehicle and we never pick up any people asking for lifts but just the other day seperate taxi associations were shooting at each other because of a dispute in routes and we are terrified someone will shoot first and ask questions later when we are driving one day!

The vehicle has 50 000km on the clock but because of the cheapness of the brand of car we would not likely get much for a trade in and simply don't have the savings to afford to pay for something else.

We are using it as little as possible but that is still every day and I have to use it to get my kids, laundry, school bags etc. to and from the New Mainhouse.

 If anybody wants to start a new fundraising project and have a few "Meals for wheels" or the like we would be so grateful.

We have to find a solution for this before too long and so "a burden shared is a burden halved"   :-)

We Love You All

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hello Friends!

So I kind of feel like this...

The last few weeks have been indelibly etched on my "lets not repeat THIS! list"
We have had the mumps or rather ... my house has had the mumps since it hasn't seem to really affect too much of the main house or the nursery.
But we have now had it for 15days and counting! Two by two like some weird Noah's ark thing my kids have been coming down with chipmunk cheeks and fiery fevers ... oi vey!
Mighty Mumps

That combined with a ridiculously slow internet connection at my house and a government workshop for most of last week have conspired to make it impossible to blog!
But here I am, I'll quickly post some pics so you can see what's been going on ...

This is my household. We were recently joined by the wonderful Josh, a previous TLC volunteer who was specifically recruited for the New Farm. It is such a blessing to have another grownup around and the kids are loving having a man to rough house with.

We were treated to a special dinner at the fabulous La Scala restuarant. It is at the big indoor, italian themed casino called MonteCasino.
We were treated like royalty and it was loads of fun and ... we stayed out WAY past our bedtimes!

It Murphy's Birthday today!

Our fabulous ever returning volunteers Becky and Hannah Johnson visited for a week and brought with them many treats! In particular tehre were these amazing "Vegan" bath packs from a company called Lush and they literally smell good enough to eat! The girls ... and a few boys just loved them and I must say I was rather sad to use the last piece of my soap this morning too!

We were thrilled and blessed to be able to get a solar geyser installed in one of the bathrooms at the New Farm. This bathroom had had no hot water and St John's Prep raised some "Love" for us on Valentine's day to make this possible! So THANK YOU!!!

Lastly, I happened upon some Lion Fun in the Nursery the other day ... one of the volunteers had arranged a morning out to a fun park and two others thought they'd have a laugh and instead of dressing the children in "regular" clothes they made for a fancy dress ... here we have ...

and our very own and ever sweet
Robin Hood!

We thank you all for the days we get to enjoy the children at TLC. After so many precarious moments over the last few years it has been a welcome respite to have a month or two without wondering if we were facing the end of the road or not!
We are so grateful for each and every contribution that makes its way to TLC!

We Love You all