Filed under: church, dogs, food, friends, house, Kwazamohkuhle, South Africa, travel, weather | Tags: ELCA, ELCSA, friends, Kwazamokuhle, South Africa, travel, weather
Fifteen people from the Shetek conference of the ELCA flew to South Africa on an agricultural mission that departed on January 31, 2011. We were based out of the Kwazamokuhle Diaconic Centre near Loskop in the Zulu Midlands. The centre has a guest house that can be used in many different ways.
Josh, who was there for a year had a small suite on the east side that gave him a kitchen as well as toilet and sleeping area. The rest of us had access to a kitchen, a small indoor sitting room, and several bed rooms from a common hallway. We had one toilet and tub at the end of that hall. All of the bedrooms were about 12 foot by 12 foot. What was in them determined their use.
There were three bedrooms off of the hall, with two having two beds in them and one with three. These rooms were for the couples. Their windows faced north.
The sitting area was rarely used in the evening since leaving the light on drew mosquitos. It did do duty during the morning hours if you did not want to sit outside. It also became planning central when projects were being planned.
The girls room had a bunk in one corner, a bed under the window and two bunks in another corner. this made a total of 7 beds. The bunks were make of dimensional lumber and were fastened to the walls so that only 3 legs were needed for 4 beds and one leg for the two person bunk. This corner 4 some was built right across the door to the sitting room. They also had an outside door facing south that they kept locked so that they ended up crawling across a bed to get out. Outside their room was a room with a tub in it. Their window faced west.
The guys room had it’s own door around the back on the north side of the building.
The mens room had 2 bunks secured to the east wall and another on the south wall. Thus only three legs were needed for 6 beds. It had one bed under the west window and another in the middle of the room for a total of 8 beds. We slid the one in the middle of the room under my bunk to make more room. The mattresses were thin and you could feel every slat. I doubled my mattress after the first night. We also had a wardrobe in the corner and a table by it on the north wall. Several small benches were available and I used one for a nightstand. Two ladders were standing in the corner, we used them for towel racks.
On the south side of the building next to the veranda was the door to a toilet and to a shower/wash room. There were three showers and two sinks in this area.
Most of our evenings were spent on the veranda and it was here that we entertained guests and held our evening decompression sessions and devotions as well as our planning sessions for the next day.
Sometimes our guests had 4 legs. Sometimes more. Here lady and the tramp came in to see how we were doing. Lady usually held back and was quiet, the Tramp was pushy and insistent on getting attention. When one dog came alone there would be quite a battle as they vied for our attention if the other showed up. We figured they were both just puppies. Most of the time they stayed over by the other houses in the office area.
We spent our evenings by candle and flash light to keep unwanted insects away. We drank a beer or two, ate popcorn, mangos and pineapple, caught up on our journals and shared the day. Frustrations and joys were shared and a lot of laughter made the evening go fast.
The kitchen was small but useable, since all of our meals were prepared in another building, we didn’t need much. It was the hub of our mornings and evenings.
This was our home for most of the two weeks we were in South Africa. It was humble but it was very comfortable. Since the weather is always near perfect there was no heat in the building. There were also no screens, but there were bars on the doors and windows to keep large animals and intruders out. We learned to live South African style quite quickly.
My next post will be about our bible school experience. Stay tuned
Filed under: church, garden, Kwazamohkuhle, South Africa, travel, weather, Wildlife | Tags: caterpillar, centipede, ELCA, garden, harvest, insects, moth, South Africa, weather
Fifteen people from the Shetek conference of the ELCA flew to South Africa on an agricultural mission that departed on January 31, 2011. The weather has been hot and humid as the rainy season continues in the Zulu midlands. Since it is rare that the temperatures drop below freezing the plants and animals are never stopped by the cold, that includes the insects.
This bright fellow was found while we were digging potatoes. Measuring over 3 inches in length it is sure that he will be a large butterfly or moth when he matures. I did see one large moth while I was there but he eluded my camera. His wingspan was nearly 6 inches. Also in evidence were many types of butterflies.
We saw several centipedes like this in our stay at Kwazamokuhle. They really crunched if you stepped on them.
We also saw beetles of various sizes as well as a scorpion. Flies were around whenever you had something rotting around. Mosquitos were a nightly presence which baffled the returnees in our group since they had never been a problem before. The chance of malaria had several of us on pills for the whole trip. A least one mattress in our building had bed bugs so everyone was careful about how their clothing was reintroduced to Minnesota.
Keep reading. There’s plenty more to tell about our trip.
Filed under: church, food, garden, harvest, Kwazamohkuhle, repairs, South Africa, travel | Tags: children, Corn, ELCA, ELCSA, Food, friends, harvest, South Africa, tomatoes
Fifteen people from the Shetek conference of the ELCA flew to South Africa on an agricultural mission that departed on January 31, 2011. Today we start our work at the Kwazamokuhle center.
Up with the sun, what else is new. I get some journal time in as I wait for breakfast. I’m used to doing breakfast alone, so I go bother the cooks for some hot water for tea. I’m not a coffee drinker, and the juice is not yet on the table, so it will have to be tea.
Breakfast is tea, coffee, Milo (the South African version of hot chocolate), scrambled eggs, bread, oatmeal and corn flakes. What a spread.
Breakfast at 7:00, chapel at 8:00, then we get a tour of the place.
The chapel is a round cinder block building with a grass roof and lots of windows. With us plus the staff in it, it was quite cozy. The staff enjoyed having us there. Some other visitors would go to chapel on their own, but we charged right in, tried to follow along in Zulu, and experienced the local way of doing things.
The high tunnel greenhouse is a special project of Paul and Barb’s. It was supposed to be put up last time they were here but did not arrive on time. An inspection of the high tunnel showed that some things had not been done right. Paul would spend as much of his time as possible getting it ready while we were there.
A tour of the sewing area got Ted interested in the gear for clergy.
Producing communion wafers for area churches is one way that the center helps pay it’s way. We took what they had on hand home for our congregations. Price, R50 for 500 wafers, about $6.90 a box.
The beadwork caught the eye of the ladies.
The large supply of basket work caught everyones eye. They even had a basket work baptismal font.
After tea we dug a few potatoes and helped put up a trampoline. Selling garden produce is one way the center helps to pay the salaries of local preachers.
Our lunch was rice, potatoes, a chicken stew which we used like a gravy, lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad, squash cubes, tea and coffee.
When you are halfway around the globe, and out in a remote area, the last thing you expect is to see someone you know. The only other American in the guest house was a classmate of Amanda’s. Josh was spending the year working at the Kwazamokuhle center and in the schools nearby. He is part of a program of Lutheran Youth in World Mission. Of course they had to have a picture of the Gustavus college alumni.
Ted and Marcia were also Gusties. Josh had the GAC flag in his stuff.
The day was turning out to be a hot, humid one but we still had lots to do.
At 4:00 we went to the official welcome service. We sang our song, and got to try lots of Zulu music.
We went outside for the Zulu singing greeting.
After the welcome we went to visit the Kwazamokuhle School for the disabled where we would be doing a bible school program on Saturday.
We also got to meet our helpers for the program. It was really great to have some Zulu speakers there to help out.
Dinner was rice, potatoes, mutton stew, bread, a lettuce, tomato, carrot and cucumber salad, tea and coffee.
We spent the evening tending to our sunburns, talking about the day and getting ready for tomorrow. After popcorn and devotions we went off to fight mosquitos and the hot humid night to try and get some sleep. Tomorrow the real work would begin.
I hope you will continue to follow our South African journey as we get to know the wonderful people of the Ondini circuit of the ELCSA.