Monday, April 15, 2013

Elder Care

We spent the past week helping our young elders.  It just amazes me that things went so well while we were up in Grahamstown while the four elders up there seemed rather immature and in need of adult supervision.  Meanwhile our ten elders in P.E. took care of each other. We seldom had to do anything beyond inspecting their flats.   That changed last week.   

We had just repaired one bike for our Cleary Elders at Nugget when Elder Khoni crashed and bent the rim.   Elder Cossey, a greenie from Magna, arrived from Jo Berg's MTC on April 3rd and became Elder Moangare's companion.  Although Cossey is having had some adjustment problems.  First Moangare called to report that Cossey needed a new "chair" for his bike.  So Tom told him to have Cossey to pick out a new seat and we would pay for it. 

The next day we got another call explaining that Cossey was experiencing separation anxiety and needed some counselling.   Consequently the two of them have been to our flat several times so Cossey can get counselling via the Internet and Elder Moangare can work on his application to BYU-Hawaii.  Evidently Cossey had anxiety-separation issues as a child.  The malady returned when he came to P.E.  He also has stomach problems which is likely due to stress.  
Elder Cossey is doing well now
We do not want him to go home so we gave him some over the counter stomach medication and a bottle of Mountain Spring Water and advised him not to drink tap water.   We have yet to install the water filter system at Prospect.  It's been several months since four of our elders moved there and we can't find the right connector.  We have been to three different plumbing stores with no success.  Finally Elder Boyce brought one from East London but that did not work. 

As there are no threads inside the nozzel to secure it we must buy a new faucet in order to solve the problem.  Elder Cossey's stomach problems could be the result of drinking tap water.  Brother Faurie, the owner, has not put up the ceiling moulding up yet and when it rains, our elders get wet.  We need to resolve this before stormy weather sets in. 

We planned to meet our Lorraine Elders at the Frail Care Center to work in the garden, but they sent an SMS saying not to come.  The unseasonably cold weather killed everything which is too bad. The melons were plentiful and almost ready to harvest.  If I had realised that the recent cold spell would ruin them, I would have harvested and and allowed everything to ripen in our garage.    

Friday night Elder S. taught a "Planning for Success" class in Uitenhague and all seven of our students attended.  If they attend one more class they will certify and be able to apply for PEF loans.   Brian Afwanka teaches an Institute class which ends just before our workshop begins so everyone stays for our class.   Brian is blackest and the brightest PEF student we have ever had.  He currently works in air conditioning but has dreams of getting his degree and going into politics.  S.A. certainly needs his integrity and high ideals.  Brian replaced the Institute teacher from Uitenhague who was knifed and killed last year as he and his daughter walked to church.  

Our Kwanobuche students are also progressing.  One surprised me last week by asking for taxi money to come to P.E. to research schools. I told him to talk to Elder Stokoe.  The mission rule is never give anyone money.  If some asks refer them to their bishop.  This student is bright, speaks excellent English and has a weed wacking business.  He explained that as other people owed him money, he only had enough rand for a one way fare.  Elder S. reluctantly loaned him 30 Rand ($3.85) telling him that this was a loan which he needed to pay back.  Eight students took the first "Planning for Success class in Kwanobuche and there were nine there last week.   We attend but do not teach as Lwanda was set apart as workshop teacher for that building. 

Our wonderful tenor, Elder Moangare, has been trying to get his application off to BYU-Hawaii since March 2nd.  The deadline for admission in the fall is May 1st.  Moangare has been to our flat several times to use the Internet and our Vonage line.  He still needs to get his GPA from the high schools he attended.   The schools are not listed on the Internet. There is also a 12 hour time difference and when he finally called on our Vonage phone   lines on the other end were  both busy.    

Tom called BYU-Hawaii's admissions department on his behalf and talked with four different people.  He discovered that Moangare also needs a U.S. sponsor willing to deposit $10,000 into an account for him before he can get a student visa.  Also he passed the English proficiency test which costs $160 and will not be offered until May 5th.   As a result of these and other problems our young elders have been stopping in all week and we always feed them.

The "Joseph" scripts arrived last Wednesday.  Tom called Elders Slabbert and Moangare and told them to come by and pick them up. Elder Slabbert was so excited that he came immediately.  However he was unhappy to discover that the book contained no music. Only the words to each song.  We will find the sheet music to "Close Every Door" online so Slabbert can accompany Moangare when his sings this song at Zone Conference on Friday. This will be Moangare's last conference before he goes home May 15.  He is also practicing "Aloha Oi."  Tom will accompany him on the guitar. 

We got a call from the Bicycle Elders on King Street during the cold weather asking for blankets. Swacina and George have a broken windows which their landlord has decided not to fix since he expects to remodel that flat.  However with winter is coming on, his contractor out of town and plans yet to be approved by the city,  who knows when it will be done? I discovered that the broken pane is large enough for an intruder to crawl through and steal all their goods.  So we took the window frame into Builder's Supply and ordered new glass.   

I'm not happy with their old stained, mildewed curtains either.   So I bought a couple of sheers and a new curtain for the sliding glass door.  South African's love to use white paint in their flats but it makes me crazy.  I feel like l'm in a hospital.   So I took the paint which was left over after our flat was painted and spent most of the day Friday painting their walls and hanging curtains. They helped until the car elders picked them up for district meeting.   Their landlord's maid was doing the wash and hanging it out to dry, so I asked her to wash the Elder's curtains as well.  She did.  And then got out his Swedish iron and ironed one panel to demonstrate how to use it.  I kept thinking I should ask if I could pay her to do my ironing as well.    However I felt that I had already imposed on time owed the land lord.

Elder Stokoe noticed that our missionaries had only enough toilet paper for one wipe and and their cupboards were bare. Mission policy dictates that we buy their cleaning supplies and submit bills for reimbursement at the end of each monty.  We also make sure that their boarding is in good repair. 

Each elders buys his own food and covers the cost of his of personal expenses and the church posts money to each accounts (via a debit card deposit) on the 1st and 15th.   When Tom asked what they were eating, they said they had some pasta and hot pockets and would be able to get by until the 15th.  Thinking they might appreciate some potatoes, eggs, and ice cream he went shopping and also picked up eight rolls toilet paper.  They were excited to see all the toilet paper.  Elders Lekqoati and Hixson took a few rolls back to their flat when they dropped them off.  I noticed that George and Swacina hid the ice cream so they would not have to share.    Swacina showed his appreciation by giving us a large chocolate bar which looked like the one we gave him for Easter.   

Needless to say we have had a very busy week helping the elders and teaching classes but it's nice to be busy.

No comments:

Post a Comment