Lovely peachy clouds as we drew the curtains this morning.
Our walk today, allowed, was into town to collect the bread. It’s the last we’ll do in town for a few months. I spotted a new street art mask today on a tree outside the clock tower.
We have taken down our Christmas tree but we are leaving up all the twinkly lights, the greenery wreath on the front door and a small white tree filled with South African beaded decorations. They were made by the women, the gogos, the Grandmothers, in Mapoch where we did our volunteering in 2007. We helped build a new classroom and worked with the children and the teacher.
1 Sorting the bookshelves today, this precious piece of paper fell out. It is a beautiful note given to us as we left the village of Mapoch where we had been volunteering in 2007.
Message from Thabang
2 We used to keep in touch with the village through Voluntours, getting beaded decorations to sell each Christmas to help raise funds for the village. Very sadly, we have lost both Marnie of Voluntours and Pastor Peter to cancer in the last 15 months. They were each instrumental in making our time there a success and both must be sorely missed by the village. Now we have no contact, these are my last three decorations for sale.
Beaded decorations made by the Gogos of the village
3 At singing tonight, we learned a new Thomas Merritt carol, in one session! It is a wonderful one with the various parts coming in at intervals and sounding like peals of bells. I’ll try to get a recording of it to add here.
Opening Fb this morning I found the very sad news that the lovely young woman who organised Voluntours and through whom we did our Volunteering in Mapoch,S.A. died last night after a long illness. The very next thing I saw was Eleanor Roosevelt’s reminder to live our lives the best we can.
“The purpose of life, after all, is to love it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”
This is how Marnie lived her too-short life and what she encouraged everyone else to do. Meeting Marnie and her family and working in the community of Mapoch was one of the richest experiences of my life so far.
Last year we also lost the wonderful Pastor Peter Mbasa from the Mapoch community. Here’s what he said about Marnie and the Volunteers she organised.
” I personally believe that your continuous involvement in the upliftment of the people has finally come to fruition. It has sparked some sense of self worth in the people. It makes me think of an avocado seedling. It takes from five years to thirteen years to bear fruit. But once it starts to bear fruit, it’s good nutrition for the body. And you will want to plant more because you are proud of the fruit. Some people never live long enough to eat the fruit, but people will always remember who planted the tree. Sometimes it does not even matter who planted the tree, as long as it will feed others. And its shade is the best to rest under in sunny days. Thank you my friends.”
Here, you can see the always smiling Marnie in the middle. Sibongile, the teacher, is to the left and to the left of her, is the classroom we helped to build. The fence, funds raised by the pupils at the school I had just retired from, is here in the process of being erected by another volunteer.
‘Sisters under the skin.’ The sisters with whom I worked in the classroom took me to their hearts and called me their sister.
1 Walking into town about lunchtime today, I was delighted to hear the sounds of the nearby primary school children at play – such happy squeals and shrieks and laughter, sounds that we have heard all our working lives and since, in our travels around the world. All children at play, wherever they are, make the same happy sounds and we heard it in Mapoch, South Africa where we went to build a classroom the year after we retired.
Children on the climbing frame in Mapoch
2 I love the yellowness of this time of year but I also find the delicacy of this pale daffodil very beautiful. The specialness of this daffodil is for two very good friends who have each lost a parent in the last couple of weeks. This is just to tell them they are loved.
3 We Skyped with T for her 2nd birthday today as she opened her presents. How lucky we are with current technology that allows us to share such events from hundreds of miles away.
For those who would like the Nutella Cookies recipe, I’ve put it on my Recipe pages today. Enjoy!
1 Met a lovely man this morning whose daughter saw my ad for the brass sheets on Network Cornwall. He’s taken lots of the brass and is going to make me a weather vane. Even better, he mends instruments for Camborne Brass band so the material will be used in the way it used to be. That will please Charlie.
2 Sallie Grayson of People and Places, through whom we did our Voluntouring in Mapoch, South Africa, sent me this article about the over 50s volunteering and they used my photo!
1 We’ve booked our flights to Senegal for Daniel and Ami’s wedding!
2 Fabulous singing with the Inglehearts tonight and a super offer from the husband of a choir member. His firm have offered to sponsor the sending to Mapoch of all the balls I’ve collected from friends. I’ve been collecting balls from deodorant roll-ons and plastic rolls from printers since Mr S and I did our volunteering in 2007 (building a classroom) and sending them all out to the Gogos (Grannies) who bead them into the most beautiful decorations.
Beadwork by the Gogos of Mapoch, S.A.
This year no new volunteers were able to take them out for me as people have done in the past and they were going to cost about £90 to post! Consequently I only sent a few and the lovely people who’ve been collecting were very disappointed. Thanks to P, it seems as if all the rest might be able to be sent – brilliant!
3 I’ve been booked for a Baby Naming Ceremony in July! Delighted! They are such lovely individual ceremonies to do.