A report from two volunteers

Janne and Helle had many experiences during their week long stay with Zulufadder

  • Our good week is over and we (Janne and Helle) are reeling from all our experiences!
  • Our task/message this time was one of the acknowledgement/handling of children.  Using positive experience from “home” (Norway), we wished to teach massage techniques and games to children who lack “acknowledgement” at home.  Met with Popi, and her enthusiasm for the project was overwhelming.
  • Our “weather prediction” game soon became known as the “Popi game”.  She works confidently and skilfully with the children to teach them, with great empathy, how to “give and receive”.
  • To our great surprise Popi gathered together some 80 women, standing in a large circle to play the “Popi game”.  They had come to collect their monthly food ration but wanted to continue playing and were enjoying the session.
  • The Day Care game was also demonstrated to the children in Mhlatuzana, but their teacher had stepped on a rusty nail and had been to hospital to get some antibiotics.  She watched from the sidelines and Popi will follow up.
  • We have been on some emotionally charged home visits together with Siyabonga.  Too many tragic cases… but good to see how the organisation works and that we as sponsors can contribute.
  • Siyabonga and all the other staff are invaluable assets for Silvia and the organisation in their various areas.
  • We have been handing out glasses to “old” women that Janne had promised when she visited back in October.  They now have a completely new outlook on life!  (So send down any old glasses folks!)
  • Our contribution to the new boarding house was gardening/outdoor work…  The house will be wonderful for the children who are going to live there.
  • Sunday was an unforgettable day together with our two “god children”.  Went to a restaurant and for the first time used a knife and fork, cans of Fanta, chicken and French fries/chips , ice cubes and tooth picks.  Everything was new to them!
  • Their big eyes seeing the ocean for the first time made a big impression on us… the waves frightened them, but they quickly copied the games of the other children present.  We had to laugh a little when they filled up the 5 litre containers, that they had brought with them, with sea water because they wanted to share it with their families.   The days have been filled with experiences, “strong, stronger, strongest!”
  • The Blessing performed by the pastor in Mhlatuzana, included a two hour long revival ceremony that was amazing!
  • Driving on the left is going very well, despite huge potholes and punctures.  We nearly ran over a woman who had collapsed and was lying in the road… With some Zulu translation we understood that she had a heart problem and made sure that she was taken to hospital.  Unfortunately, South Africa is near the top in statistics for fatal accidents.
  • We went to Simunye to hand out woollen socks and scarves that Janne had promised back in October.  They ululated with joy in the village house.
  • The group of Chiropractors who visited in October, instructed the women how to perform simple strengthening exercises, and Helle repeated and added to them.
  • Homework for all those gathered, including Jabu, are morning exercises every day and group sessions every Sunday.  We are not surprised that so many suffer from various problems.  Hopefully, we have motivated them into action by saying that we will come back sometime in the future to check up on them.
  •  On our way down the mountain (in Norway) the car was half-full of soft toys, children’s toys and jewellery and that is when we decided that we would be “Santas” at the local hospital in Eshowe.  With permission from the security guard, responsible for intensive care and the children’s ward, we entered a very different hospital environment, compared to what we are used to… premature babies, AIDs victims and post operative patients lay side by side.  This made strong impressions on us!
  • We are humbled and grateful for the opportunity that this organisation has given us, to experience at first hand, the everyday existence of these people.
  • We will not desert the Zulu people…

A thousand hugs from Helle and Janne

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