Jy blaai in die argief vir 2010 Desember.

Spreading the joy of Christmas

Desember 26, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

In the pics: TOP: These two gogo’s are both in their 90’s; This oupa couldn’t care less about us visiting and bringing gifts – he just wanted to sweep the place; This oupa is well into his 90’s and was dressed in a thick coat to ward off the eternal cold that follow an old person around.

BOTTOM: This couple recently lost their flat and would have been living on the street if it wasn’t for Ebenaezer; Ray has been with Ebenaezer for 12 years. He is an ex bank manager, and was veld in the veld, full of ticks and with open, festering sores. He now teaches the high school pupils at Ebenaezer and from the nearby squatter camp Maths after school; Baby Deborah was a week old with our visit.

And a very merry (albeit belated) Christmas to you all!

Remember I asked for help in creating a special Christmas for the people of Ebeneazer Care Centre? I put the same request to my friends (in the real world) as well as to my FB-friends, and in the end I raised about R5 000 from my virtual circle of friends. Between my dear friend Cornelia Louw, her sisters-in-law and myself we put together another R5 000 or so. This, combined with donations from yet more friends in the form of unused toys, clothing, books and brand new facecloths, soap and crocheted blankets for the babies and a huge donation of sweets, helped us to make up lucky packets for 500 children from a squatter camp near Ebeneazer (near Ennerdale on the outskirts of Joburg), as well as the almost 170 permanent residents of Ebenaezer.

The ten babies each received a crocheted blanket and a knitted bear. Depending on their ages, the kids got things ranging from colouring books and crayons to handknitted bears, marbles, small toys and miniature rubic cubes.

Next were the caregivers (which included people living in the centre who help to look after the children and old people, as well as ladies from the squatter camp who come and help out in exchange for food, a nominal amount of money every month – if there is enough money to pay them – and second hand clothing for their families.) Their packets included toiletries and sweets. 

The old people also received toiletries, sweets and biscuits.

In addition to this we bought 30kg of chicken breast, 500 viennas (for the squatter children’s hot dogs for Christmas day), 3 x 12, 5kg bread flour (Ebeneazer has a very good bakery up and running and baked the breadrolls for the hotdogs), and a trailer full of fresh vegetables. (Onions, potatoes, pumpkins, butternuts and carrots). A few kg sandwich ham, some pasta, 20 litres of Oros, biscuits and 25 litres of ice cream, as well as tea, coffee, milk and sugar (a HUGE luxury), 20kg rice (also a luxury), yeast (for bread), 20 kg dried beans (for soup), jam, peanutbutter and other foodstuffs hopefully provided enough to feed everybody in the centre between Christmas and New Year.

The day before we went to do the Christmas shopping, I phoned Shirley from Ebeneazer to get the final figures. She told me that their latest resident was a 3 day old baby dumped in the veld during one of the most severe storms we had in Gauteng (in the week before the big floods). They named the little girl Deborah, so we decided to include three pairs of brand new babygrows and three vests, and baby toiletries and different sizes disposable nappies in our gifts.

In another seperate box we included some emergency articles, like underpants and disposable nappies for adults, as well as disposable sheet covers for bed-wetting. After looking after my own incontinent dad for over a year, I know what a schlepp it is to constantly change an old persons sheets and clothing. Nappies saved my life, and even though we couldn’t give Ebenaezer a huge supply, we at least gave enough to provide for a few carefree, dry days over Christmas.

We also included big pots of camphor cream for rubbing the old people’s feet and legs for better circulation, plasters, 4 litres of Savlon and cottonwool.

A friend donated all her teenage children’s toys – almost two carloads full in brilliant condition. This will be used in the creche where Shirley and her team provides daycare for the centre’s own toddlers, as well as for kids from the squatter camp. (At the nominal fee of R1 a day, giving them three meals a day as well as safety and some stimulation.)

We were also able to donate some secondhand puzzles and games, as well as five brand new packets of Uno, to keep the kids busy on the rainy days. We tend to forget that these children and people also have some other needs, besides food and (secondhand) clothing. Ever thought that you can wear anything secondhand, but not a panty? And that you still need something as basic as deodorant even if you’re poor?

Anyhow, the whole project was a HUGE success thanks to those of you who donated. I phoned Shirley last night, and she said it was the best Christmas ever.

She sent me the following SMS very early this morning: (it’s in Afrikaans, sorry)

“Baie dankie vir die wonderlike Kersfees wat u aan 500 kinders voorsien het. Waardeer u vir elke lewe wat u aangeraak het deur die verskil wat u en u familie en vriende kom doen het. Die sentrum waardeer u ook. Mag u net God se glorie gewaar oral waar u beweeg. God seen u vir die res van die Kersgety.”

*If you want to get involved with Ebenaezer in 2011, even in a small way, please let me know. Every rand helps to make somebody’s life better.

Blonde joke

Desember 8, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

A young ventriloquist is touring the clubs and, one night, he’s doing a  show
 in a small town in  Tasmania.

 With his dummy on his knee, he starts going through his usual dumb blonde jokes.

 Suddenly, a blonde woman in the fourth row stands on her chair and starts
 shouting, “I’ve heard enough of your stupid blonde jokes. What makes you
 think you can stereotype women that way? What does the colour of a  person’s
 hair have to do with her worth as a human  being? It’s men like you who  keep
 women like me from being respected at work and in the community, and from
 reaching our full potential as people. You and your kind continue to
 perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes, but women in  general…

 pathetically all in the name of humour!”

 The embarrassed ventriloquist begins to apologize, and the blonde yells,
 “You stay out of this  mate! I’m talking to that little shit on your lap!”


Tannemys hasn’t quite left the building

Desember 6, 2010 in Sonder kategorie

Just battling a wee bit of bacterial infection in my lungs. It is called haemophillus influenza, and has been plaguing me for almost six weeks now.

If you have a baby of know of somebody who has, PLEASE tell them to NOT skip the HiB-immunisation, as it is the haemophillus influenza bacteria that causes things like meningitis, certain pneumonia and bronchitis (to name but a few).

It spreads like wildfire in poor communities, and especially attack those with compromised immune systems. Which made me think: we are probably ALL exposed to this on a daily basis in SA.

I have been through all the antibiotics on the market (finishing number five tomorrow), cortisone, nebulising, went to see an ENT, even had a CT-scan. Luckilly I insisted on a sputum and blood test, otherwise I would have been barking away inbetween having fevers and feeling TOTALLY drained of energy, and we still would have been none the wiser.

Next stop: pulmunologist. Or so my doctor says. However, the lung doctor can only see me in two weeks time, and I don’t know if I have the patience for that.

Tired of coughing and feeling tired. Therefore, off to bed. Must try to write two articles tomorrow, and will need all my energy for that.

PS: On the Ebenaezer-front we got R3200’s donations so far. A HUGE thank you to everyone who contributed so far. My friend Ludi also pledged a wonderful gift to each and every one of the old people to inspire them and make them feel appreciated and needed. I will tell you more real soon!