Joel On The Farm

Paula and Joel went to the farm in Weald with Joel's Godparents, Richard & Sal (Richard's family have been farmers for many years in the village) to see the animals and have a ride in a real tractor. Joel is just a little bit obsessed with tractors and 'scoops'. As well as riding the tractor and seeing the animals, Joel also watched the cows being milked which was very exciting for him.

Thank you so much Richard, Sal, Josh & Issac for taking Joel to the farm and for lending Joel so many toys whilst he's in the UK. You are such STARS!

Hope you all enjoy the photos below...

14 Days To Go...

Paula & Joel have been gone for a week now and I'm counting the days until their return. I know I shouldn't wish time away, but I'm really missing them!!!

Contrary to popular conception, there is no pile of washing up to be done, I haven't run out of mugs or teaspoons and I've only had one Pizza since being on my own! I am house trained and quite nifty in the domestic department when I put my mind to it, since I've been on my own the washing has all been done and there is only a small pile of ironing awaiting my attention. There's not much chance of me losing weight either as I seem to be cooking for two and then spreading the meal over 2 days - which is good.

Owl

Paula and I chatted on the internet last night (we've been using voice conferencing for almost 5 years, well before Skype) and Paula was telling me about a diaster involving Joel, a tube of toothpaste and Granddad's carpet, Oh Dear! Unfortunately this was followed up a bit later with poo - nice. It would appear from Joel's behaviour that he's missing Dad and dad is certainly missing Paula & Joel!!!

Nature Reserve

That wasn't the best weekend I've ever had, particularly being on my own for Sunday lunch, never mind. In the afternoon I went to the Nature Reserve armed with my camera and went on one of the longer walks (don't normally get a chance with Joel), the weather was stunning (very cold overnight) with cloudless skies and I took some lovely piccys, I hope you enjoy the ones below.

We've posted a photo of the Cape Sugarbird before, but this shot is particularly nice as it shows the bird on top of South Africa's national flower, the Protea.

Mixed Day

Dean has had a mixed day which started with a trip to the magistrates court to support Dina as Donovan appeared on two charges of assault. Unfortunately Dina was very angry and was complaining about ho so many people in CNP (especially our church members) were gossiping about her, however Dina proceeded to do exactly the same to the crowd of Rastas who were also there to support Donovan. Dina is so angry at the moment that she can't listen to reason, please pray for her as she said she is going to give up on church. This would be really sad and a real backward step in her life.

Billy No Mates

Paula was really fed up yesterday as Dina failed to make herself available despite the fact that she had agreed to meet Paula. Dean will try and catch up with Dina during the week. Please pray for Dina as she's really struggling with the situation at the moment and as a fairly young Christian she needs a lot of help in dealing with her emotions and how she handles other people. Pray too that Dean will catch up with Dina at some point this week.

Arrested!

As we said in our post on Tuesday 16th 'Interesting Afternoon', Dina's husband, Donovan has been arrested for allegedly assaulting two young men in CNP. Unfortunately, one of the alleged victims is the son of another church member; Aletta, who until this incident was good friends with Dina. Sadly, things are very tense between them now with Dina refusing to speak to Aletta. We really need you to join with us in prayer over this situation. We want to see Dina & Aletta maintain their friendship and to be able to support each other through this messy situation.

Table Mountain

We finally made it up Table Mountain on Sunday afternoon, we were on our way to Stellenbosch when we saw the the mountain was clear of cloud even though the weather was wet and cold. A quick detour home to get some waterproofs and we shot into Cape Town and up the mountain. There were very few people around which was great as it can get quite crowded on the top. Afterwards we decamped to the Mount Nelson for High Tea which was very civlillised, although Joel isn't quite ready for such activities!

Table Mountain

Paula & Joel in the cable car on our way up Table Mountain.

Cape Town

On Friday we arranged for Joel to be looked after and headed of to Cape Town. Unfortunately the cloud was hanging around Table Mountain so we weren't able to go up, but we managed to have some fun before heading off over Chapman's Peak to Simon's Town to see the penguins at Boulders Beach.

This photo is of Paula & Susannah in front of Table Mountain. As you can see the 'tablecloth' is obscuring the top of the mountain.

Hermanus

A delayed second part of the 'Cape Agulhas' post:

On our way home from Cape Agulhas we drove along the coast road to Hermanus in the hope of seeing some whales. There were a few in the bay but due to the grim weather they were quite a way out and certainly not performing for us. Never mind, we continued on the coast road and as we got to Gordon's Bay we saw several whales enjoying themselves and they were very close to the shore. As you can see from the photos below, we had a great view of the whales.

Cape Agulhas

We've just been to Cape Agulhas and then Hermanus with Susannah. When we arrived at Cape Agulhas the weather was truly appalling and the guy we got to take the photo of us nearly got blown off his feet, hence the lack of focus in the picture!

Interesting Afternoon

Dean had one of his more interesting afternoons in CNP today. Initially he took Tyrone and his mother to Hottentots Holland hospital and then returned to CNP for a meeting with the Social Worker from ACVV the Afrikaans Christian social service. Whilst Dean & Dina waited for the social worker Dina received news that her husband Donovan had been arrested. As the social worker was late we decided to go to the police station but passed the social worker on the way so had the meeting. This was a constructive session and although Dina has some issues with the social worker, she calmed down towards the end of the meeting and hopefully we can start working together a bit more.

CNP

Susannah went into Chris Nissen yesterday afternoon with Dean but unfortunately the weather was gross so they couldn't stay for very long. Susannah met Henna, mama Jane and Rosie who are members of Paula's cell and then had a brief guided tour of the community before being accosted by the kids to push them on the roundabout (see photo below). In the evening we went to Lorna's for an Indian which was very nice!

Today Dean will be taking Tyrone to the hospital at 13.30 for his corrective eye surgery, please pray that all goes well and that his eyes are restored 100%

Susannah Arrived

As you can see from the photo above, Susannah has arrived safe & sound, we appreciate your prayers in getting her through, it sounds like Heathrow was still in chaos as she left. Sadly the weather has been horrific since Susannah's arrival and the forecast is not looking too good for the rest of the week. We're really hoping for good weather on Wed and Thur as we're traveling to Cape Agulhas (the Southern most point of Africa) and the driving back through Hermanus in the hope of seeing some more whales (see post: Whale Watching below).

Joel Drumming

Well the good news is that Susannah is due to fly out tonight so we'll pick her up from the airport in the morning. We can't wait to see her as we've got quite an itinerary lined up including going back to Hermanus to see more whales!

As you can see from the whale photos we've had a great day. Over lunch we wandered around the craft market in Hermanus and Joel had a drum with some of the guys there. Joel enjoyed this and the guys were really accommodating!

Whale Watching

We drove out to Hermanus this morning as the weather was so bad (it's been raining for days!) thinking we'd just have a nice drive, but as you can see from the photos below we were blessed with an amazing morning! Joel was so excited to see the whales and exclaimed: "I can see it, whale" on several occasions. These whales are all 'Southern Right Whales' so called as they were regarded as the 'right' whale to catch back in the bad days of whaling.

Strike Chaos

We're quite gutted this morning as our oldest Niece (Susannah) should have arrived for a ten day stay before returning home with Paula, but due to the catering strike at Heathrow, her flight has been cancelled and we're not sure whether or not she'll make it. Please pray that Susannah can get a flight either tonight or tomorrow (Saturday). We'd love to see her and we're sure she'll be really upset if she can't come.

Clinic Visit

Dean took Basil to Ikhwezi clinic in Nomzamo yesterday morning as Basil has been in a lot of pain for the last few weeks with some large growths on his chest and back. Basil was diagnosed as being asthmatic, suspected diabetic(he has to go back in a month for further checks) and as for the lumps Dean couldn't really ascertain what they were!

Letter To The Editor

The following is an extract from a letter in the current 'Weekly Telegraph' and to a certain extent sums up all that is wrong with contemporary Christianity and the church:

"SIR - I am a white, British moderate Christian who never goes to church. ..." (The Weekly Telegraph Issue No. 732)

Bubbles

Today is Women's Day so we're enjoying a public holiday (SA has several more 'Bank Holidays than the UK does!) and the weather has even brightened up a little, with the rain stopping and the wind easing up. It's been great to have an extra day together and Joel has really enjoyed the extra attention. This afternoon we went to the Nature Reserve and met up briefly with some friends, Joel enjoyed playing with Sean.

Zapiro Cartoon

Ordinarily we tend to avoid politics in this Blog, but we thought this cartoon by Zapiro was quite poignant with regard to the current situation in Zimbabwe and the fact that Mugabe has approached SA for a loan. The cartoon is a spoof of a series of posters in SA published by the local tax office.


Thursday Mornings

We both run small groups on Thursday mornings and have done for a little while now. Dean leads a men's Bible Study group in Chris Nissen Park between 10.30 and 12pm whilst Paula leads a Cell Group at the church building which is intentionally cross cultural, attracting some whites and 6 ladies from CNP.

Good & Bad

Dean had an excellent afternoon on Chris Nissen although he encountered both good and bad news. Firstly, Michael told Dean that the police had arrested three men for the rape and murder of his daughter Michelle (see post: May 17). This has really encouraged Michael and he's now looking forward to going to court to see the trial.

Christine

Dina rang Dean yesterday morning in tears to tell us that her good friend Christine had died. We knew Christine reasonably well and had visited her a number of times in hospital. Christine was very open about her HIV status and was a great role model to others in CNP, she was also a lovely lady with a heart of compassion for others in CNP. When Dean first met Christine, she was looking after a man called Michael aka. Rasta, who was in the latter stages of AIDS and died shortly afterwards (see post: Oct 7th) .

Ronco's Visit

Cape Sugarbird - maleWe've had a lovely week with David & Jacqueline Ronco and thought we'd post some photographs of our last day together on Sunday. We went to the Helderberg Nature Reserve after lunch and had a lovely afternoon with Joel watching the wildlife and enjoying the scenery. This morning they left to go to Mossell Bay where they will spend a week before returning to Cape Town to fly home. We've enjoyed their company and Joel has had a ball playing with david & Jacqueline!

Ronco's Visit (2)

Here are some more photos of out time in the Helderberg Nature Reserve on Sunday with David & Jacqueline.