Weekend Fun

We've had a lot of fun over the weekend despite the fact that Paula was unwell on Thursday evening and Dean was unwell on Sat evening. We think the cause is a dead animal in a newly installed storm drain outside our house. The stench drifts into our house and has been giving us headaches for a while now. Unfortunately, the developer who installed it says it's the Body Corporate's responsibility, the Body Corporate says the developer is responsible so we're stuck in the middle whilst they sort it out.

Table Mountain Fire

You should have heard on the news about the fire on the slopes of Table Mountain which is causing huge destruction to the Nature Reserve there. Sadly, the fire appears to have been started by an idiotic British tourist who flicked a cigarette end out of his car window. Thankfully a local guide saw him and made a note of his registration number and the police caught him.

More Photos

Here are some photos taken this morning before Joel went to nursery. Joel seems to love Eli more with each day that passes and currently really enjoys wheeling him around in his pushchair. Between doing this and playing his guitar Joel is as happy as it's possible to be! Despite this we are experiencing some behavioural challenges as Joel copes with going to nursery 5 mornings a week and getting less attention from Mum & Dad than he's used to. We're going to try and address this so at lunchtime today Paula & Joel will go out on their own for lunch, hopefully they'll have a lot of fun.

Reality Of Life

These last few days in Chris Nissen have been really good in terms of time spent with people, but also in terms of putting life into perspective.

On Thursday last week we started our men's Bible study again after a long break. It was really good to catch up and hear everybody's news. Sadly, Cyril's cousin died earlier during the week, they shared their house in CNP, and now Cyril concerned about what will happen to the house as his cousin's family don't like Cyril very much. Also, Danny has been thrown out of his house, this is all very sad, but you may remember some of our posts about Anna Bop who died last year. Danny's house belonged to her, but after her death he remained in the house, but now Anna Bop's mother has sold the house. This is illegal in CNP as the properties belong to the CNP Trust, so now we're involved in sorting out this mess. Meanwhile Danny is staying with friends in the community but can't stay for long as his host are already severely stretched! Despite the bad news, I was really encouraged by the group and their attitudes and faith that as I drove home I realised that this group alone make my time in CNP more than worth it!

Family Life

We've not posted much over the last week or so, partly because we've been very busy but also because we were feeling a bit demotivated after a number of events which haven't made 2006 the best start to a year we've ever had! Dean being robbed was awful, but at least he was unharmed, then the head gasket on his car blew leaving us with a hefty garage bill and then our Harddisk crashed and we lost 3 months worth of photos (yes dean does do weekly backups but still disaster struck!).

Helicopters & Fire

There have been lots of fires in the Western Cape this summer and things are set to get a lot worst as we've just entered another drought period, although the drought shouldn't be as bad as last year. Late last week there was a huge fire in Grabouw which is just the other side of the mountains and shortly before that there was one in Franschoek which apparently destroyed an area the size of 40,000 football pitches!

Another Week For Paula

Paula had another good morning in CNP today. Dina went with her to introduce her to some new people and she met 6 new women, which is great! Her Tuesday evening social evenings will now start to be held in the homes of these people. They are all keen to get to know her and spend more time with each other. It was interesting that half of them were sick to a varying degree, from eye infections to asthma to bad hip, and none will go to the doctor. This is not because of cost, but because they don't trust them and are either scared or embarassed or both to go. This is not surprising as people are often needlessly and publicly humiliated by the doctor at the clinic. It is a long, hard slog to convince people that they must go. Paula now goes into CNP with an obligatory pack of Ibuprofen to dish out, but this is really not good and certainly isn't a long term solution. One of the ladies was so sick we had to lift her up to take the pills. Please pray for God to move so that this stigma is removed. They all want Paula or Dean or someone to go with them to speak to the doctor, but this just isn't possible.

Paula Back On The Circuit

Paula went back in to Chris Nissen on Friday for the first time since Christmas week and all our activity collecting Eli and getting ourselves used to being new parents!! 'Her ladies' were so pleased to see her again, but can't really understand why she won't take Eli in to see them there yet. We are doing this purely for health reasons in that Eli's BCG jab takes 3 months to kick in and the TB rate in CNP is so high that we can't take the risk. Maybe, making this stand ourselves as a family will shake people up to take their medication and see what a serious problem TB is in the community.

Dad Bloggers

I've just come across a Blog entitled 'Dad Bloggers' and so far I like what I've seen, not to say I agree with it all (it's not a Christian Blog for starters) but it's worth taking some time to read through what has been written.

Chris Nissen Park

Dean was in CNP again yesterday after an almost 3 week break (he did comment towards the end of the break that he needed to get back to work to get some routine into his life!) in which he has really missed his friends in the community. Apparently they missed him too, but we'll have to take their word for that!

Christmas Card

In case you missed our 'e'Christmas card click on the image below to view it. We hope you enjoy it even if it is belated.

Squash And A Squeeze

Joel & Paula enjoying a 'squash & a squeeze', Joel does appear to have become a bit more affectionate since Eli's arrived which is lovely. To see more family photos have a look at our PhotoBlog

A Day On The Beach

On Friday the wind dropped significantly and we managed to enjoy one more day at the beach before Dean goes back to work on Monday. As you can see we had great fun, especially Joel playing 'Catch you' in the sea and then burying his legs in the sand. As ever, Eli happily snoozed his way through the whole adventure despite Joel's efforts to wake him up.

Here Joel's attempting to wake Eli up. Joel doesn't really understand why Eli is so boring at the moment, however we know that will change all too quickly.

Below is a comment which was left on our Blog by Pastor Troy of RAVEN in relation to a post entitled: Katrina - Christians Respond this was originally a BBC News article which can be seen at: BBC News | In Pictures | Bringing Slavation.

Check out Troy's Blog: RAVEN Team

I've been wanting to post about Katrina again for a while but didn't know what to write or how to go about it, so I'm really grateful to Troy for taking time out to comment on our Blog.

Let's Go Fly A Kite...

Dean has the rest of this week off so we're making sure we have lots of family time together, particularly making a point of spending time with Joel. So yesterday we went for a walk along the Lourensford River so Joel could throw some stones in (he loves doing that) and then we cut across to the sports fields so that Joel could try and fly his kite again. Thankfully the wind wasn't too strong so the kite flew really well. As you can see below, Joel really got the hang of the kite and he had a great time flying it.

New Year

Here's a quick snapshot of our New Year, we didn't stay up late as the kids were totally unaware of the fact that anything was going on and would be awake as usual in the morning. Dean cooked sirloin steaks with chips and salad, the steaks were marinated in a honey and mustard sauce which was lovely. We did allow Joel to stay up until about 9.30 to watch Stuart Little with us which he really enjoyed, otherwise it was just a normal evening.

Joel & Dad digging holes in the sand on Strand Beach. How else were we supposed to spend New year's Day?