Sunday, June 30, 2013

National Arts Festival - June 25 - 27th

We are in Grahamstown for the National Arts Festival
On Thursday we drove up to Grahamstown to attend the Fine Arts Festival.  We stayed with Elder and Sister Chase who replaced us on March 3rd. It was fun comparing experiences.

Sister Chase, having raised nine children, is perfect for that assignment.  She does not believe in creating dependence and refuses to enable them.  Sister Chase has a "no nonsense" attitude about providing food for any and all occasions as we did when we were serving in Grahamstown.  Sister C. insists that all the money for branch activities must come out of church funds allocated for the various units.  Now that Grahamstown branch has an all black presidency Sister Chase feels that the branch must become self sustaining and should not expect the white member support missionaries to provide treats and always feed the black membership!

Of the five Grahamstown missionaries Elder Ndlela returned from Kenya this month.   He is on fire with enthusiasm and has been taking the Chases' to visit every member in Grahamstown branch.  Elder Sibalwe Ngqoyiya will be released in mid-July rather than late August so he can see his non member father who is on dialysis before he dies.  He is not expected to live much longer.  Elder Masixoli and Elder Aya, who we sent off during the holidays, are both doing well.  However Aya's mom, Sister Kewuti, expected the Chase's to cover all Aya's twin sister's expenses for her upcoming mission.   They have paid for Bulella's pass port and her medical and dental exams.  But Sister Chase told Sister Kewuti that either Bulella or her family must cover the balance of her expenses.  Last year both Aya and Maxixoli made muffins with the help of Sister Nye and sold them at the festival to earn money for their missions.  The rules dictate that every missionary or the family cover expenses incurred while preparing for the mission.  Then the church takes over when the elder or sister leaves for the MTC.

We already have the tickets for most of the productions Tom wants to see.  Grahmastown is a community made up mostly of boarding schools and several universities.   The students and/or boarders are currently enjoying winter recess so their rooms are rented out to theater goers and the auditoriums are used for the various venues.
College and boarding school students wear uniforms and they all look very nice.  Many youth from outlying areas are bussed into Grahamstown to attend the festival.  Elder Stokoe and I attended two outstanding plays: "Madonna of Excelsior" and "Blood Brothers" Thursday and on Friday.  The scripts were brilliant and the acting was suburb.

Vendors offer all kinds of goods for sale.  I bought these.

We enjoyed seeing "Bitter Sweet" a dance concert, put on by the Cape Academy of Performing Arts.

I like biographies but Tom does not care for one man shows.  So I attended, "My Name is Rachel Corrie" about a 23 year old American peace activist from Olympai, Washington, who was crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer on 16 March 2003, while undertaking nonviolent direct action to protect the home of a Palestine family from demolition.  This year, 2013,  marks the 10th anniversary of of her death.  That play was outstanding.

The following day I saw "Zulu," which was also a one man show.  Mbongeni Ngema, a popular and well known black actor, shared his great grandmother's stories about how his ancestors defeated the British in the Zulu War of 1879.  Both of these productions were sold out.  But I managed to manifest tickets by using Matrix Energetics.  So I saw these shows while Tom attended some native dances.    We returned to P.E. last night to cover our Motherwell assignments today.  However as I was coming down with a cold, Tom taught my Sunday School class today while I stayed in bed and/or caught up on face book, my e-mail & the blog.  Hopefully  I will be well enough to return to Grahamstown tomorrow morning.

Elder & Sister Chase hosted us for 3 days in Grahamstown

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