Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"This is Africa"

   Today Elder S. is off driving the Toises around in an effort to finish their applications.  He will likely be gone most of the day.  So since I'm not yet comfortable with my new Apple, I have access to Tom's P.C.  The Toises showed up for our Planning for Success Workshop numbers 3 & 4 last August.  Then we had to go to Knownbuhle to help them make up lessons  1 & 2.  Tom drove them around before we left for East London in October.  But Sister Toise did not qualify for the nursing program and the welding school that Brother Toisie wanted to attend closed down.  We hope to get them both PEF loans and into programs before the new term begins in January.

   I e-mailed Drew Baker about my problems with the blog.  Today I’ve discovered that it isn't even showing up anywhere on the web.  No matter, I can have a successful mission without a blog.  I’ve been working with Picasa all morning trying to upload photos but the only thing I’ve be able to do is send a few photos out on my g-mail account.   Sister Flowers has an Apple.  Perhaps she can help me with my new MacBook Pro.  Maybe using an Apple will enable me to finally add some new posts.  But perhaps not.   After all, this is Africa where you never know if it's hardware,  soft wear, the Internet or you are just plain stupid.

   We  enjoyed a nice dinner Sunday night with the other senior couples and Janette Lake. The Sherberts hosted.  Sister Van Sickles made the spaghetti and a birthday cake for Janette.  Brother V. has health problems so he had a priesthood blessing.  Two weeks ago someone broke into the Van Sickles flat thru a back window they left open and stole two computers which is a huge loss as all his business records are on one hard drive.  There were no finger prints.  So the police think it was an inside job; perhaps the construction workers who were remodeling the flat next door.   Last week the Van Sickle’s cell phone and GPS were  stolen out of their locked car.  No sign of a forced entry.  The thieves likely used a device that blocks the automatic locking system.  I asked Elder V. if he was stressed over all this.  He said, “No.  This is Africa.  I’ve learned to just cope.” 

      Last week we were quite busy helping the young elders.  Monday night we went to family home evening with the Lorraine Elders.  Tuesday night we hosted a dinner for the Palmers.  Brother Palmer is 78 and just had knee surgery.   He is the Stake Patriarch and former President of the Johannesburg temple.  I offered to help Sister Palmer with her family history.  Brother Palmer was not at church yesterday so I asked his son how he was doing?  Leslie answered, “Not well.  He has the flu.”

     Wednesday night we visited the Clarkes.   Friday Tom and I went to District Meeting at Cleary Branch. The district meeting was on the Book of Mormon.  The elders also talked about how to get along with your companion which I thought was timely as there are many new elders in our mission now.  I’m so impressed with their district meetings.  This kind of information will really help them when they get married as well as in other relationships—business or personal.  I can certainly see how going on a mission helps these young African Elders become effective leaders in countries that need good strong leadership.

Monday I baked muffins for my neighbor across the street, and invited him to attend a meeting of the "Body Corporate for Stethan Place" since they need representatives to have a quorum.  Though I'm a renter, not an owner, Peter Clark, invited me to attend.  He is the chairman and the meetings are held at #14, his flat.  The seven member committee was pleased to have me participate.  Some of the problems:  1.  Will insurance pay for water damage to the flats because of the recent flooding?  The same thing happened in 2007 and in 2009.  When will the municipality do something about this?  2.  What about the illegal sewer hookup which the developer connected in 2007 and the city inspector approved?  Who do we sue?  The developer or the city?  3.  Why does the insurance/levy schedule total 77% rather than 100%?  How do we contact the absentee owners who need to sign the releases after the Body Corporate bought additional property because Mr. Meady, the developer, encroached several feet onto adjoining land?  It was interesting to observe this local governing board in action. Perhaps I can help.

    The Elders just stopped in to pick up seeds which they will plant in the garden at the Lorraine Frail Care Center tomorrow.  We will be on our way to East London.  As the N2 was washed out, it will take longer to get to Gonubie than it did last time we went.  The Fowers have invited us to dinner so we need to be there by 6:00 p.m.   
   Hope our 8 TA thumb drive works so we can follow the election.  I talked to Mandella, our boss in Johannesburg, who told me there are  big changes coming to PEF.  The age limit will be dropped and every worthy member will now be able to apply for PEF.  This program will merge with Employment Services so we will likely be working with the Van Sickles soon.   We will likely have  to fly to Johannesburg after the official announcement. This may be a problem as OneTime Airline has just gone bankrupt leaving many people scrambling for space on the only other airline that flies between P.E. to Johannesburg.  Stay tuned.  Love and Blessings, Sister S.

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