Tony’s South Africa Daily Journal - 2019

On 10 November 2017, Laurie-Ann and Tony Copple set off from Canada for a three year mission to the townships of South Africa. This daily journal begins at a guest house in Cape Town prior to their arrival in Worcester, Western Cape. See the entries for 2018.
Latest postings are at the top.

Fri Jan 18

Thu Jan 17
Jan Buchanan phoned at about 5 to say she was 20 minutes from home, returning from East London. I said I would go to her house immediately, feed the animals, and be ready to let her in, which I did. Shortly after the beginning of tonight's CWCP broadcast, featuring Godfrey, L-A needed to pee. She had been lying on her front on the bed pretty constantly for two weeks, and because she wasn't moving much had made a unilateral decision not to take her Arthrotec. For the last couple of days, muscles in her back had been very painful when she slowly worked her way off the bed and into the toilet. This evening when she tried to get out of bed to use the toilet, the muscles round her rib cage and in her back put her in unbearable pain. Amid some screaming she did eventually make it. This was very concering to me because I hadn't realized she had stopped taking Arthrotec, and I thought this was a serious new development that was beyond my capabilities to deal with. I believed she should go into the Mediclinic emergency as soon as possible. We posted a message on her prayer supporters page to see if they had any advice and they all recommended hospital. I packed the things she would need into a suitcase. I placed a Tena pad to cover the carbuncle. Then I called Mediclinic. It was about 9 pm. They said that if she came in she would probably lie in a bed till morning and then would see a doctor. Furthermore, if she needed an ambulance I would need to arrange that separately and they gave me the number - 084124. L-A and I discussed this and decided that there was no benefit to her sleeping in a strange bed without expert treatment, and that we would take her in in the morning. She also took Arthrotec. In fact she slept through. I posted on the prayer group Whatsapp group that I wouldn't be with them in the morning, and asked for their prayers.

Wed Jan 16
Frog called from Pemba to say that he was out of hospital. However he has a major challenge to pay his school fees in a lump sum for the coming year and buy school uniform items. He is 19 but had returned to school. He has two more years there to earn an education certificate which is pre-requisite to getting any kind of real job. The total amount he needed was about 1400 MZN, or equivalent to $37; not a huge amount for us, but way out of his reach. It didn't take us very long to decide to send the money, so I re-acquainted mystelf with the not-user-friendly Mukuru, and was able to take the money from my on-line FNB account. He has other challenges after his mother's death. She had been renting the house where they lived (which L-A and I had visited in Pemba), so now he is homeless. He will have to scrounge around for accommodation and money for food. The fact that he placed his education as more important that these things endeared me to him, and I knew we should help.

Tue Jan 15
It's one week before regular school starts. I have enjoyed being less driven by my calendar, but something in me wants to get back to a more vigourous routine. I have been able to catch up on many outstanding actions. We had a great holiday trip, thanks entirely to Laurie-Ann who as organized every holiday we have ever had. The only blight has been L-A's health; primarily severe allergic reactions to something in the environment, and her personal plague of boils and the carbuncle, something I wouldn't wish on an enemy, if I have one. For her today was same new, same new, as between us we battled the seemingly endless stream of puss from her carbuncle. At 1:30 I left for Cape Town airport to pick up Andre and Janey. I had concerns about leaving L-A for several hours. Beside her she had our emergency button that would bring medical staff to her aid, and she also had a powerpack for her phone. Their flight was a half hour late. They had had a great time, particularly Nixon, who had swum every day. They were glad to be back in the better air quality and lower humidity of the Western Cape. When I went to pay for my parking, the machines wouldn't read my ticket. I called the parking number and was advised to press the help button on the pay console if the ticket wouldn't work there either. It didn't, but the help botton allowed us out without paying, saving about $15 since we had been there a while. We stopped at the Engen station for chocolate milks, which the Deventers swear is the best thirst quencher, and then proceded home, battling some rush-hour trafic. I was home shortly after seven. L-A had managed to 'hold it in' throughout. After getting her comfortable I went to Jan's to feed the animals. It's Lynn's birthday tomorrow, so I selected a Jacquie Lawson card intending have it ddelivered tomorrow, but I must have missed something because it went out immediately, so I sent an email apologizing for the premature delivery.

Mon Jan 14
I don't feel too good these mornings, but I feel a lot better than L-A. I usually take my pain meds and vitamins (NuSkin Life Essentials and Overdrive) as soon as I have some food in my body, but I sense the benefits are taking several hours to be apparent, instead of 15 minutes. During those hours I have felt 'flu symptoms and lethargy. Today I felt fine by about 1 pm, which is good because I was in Avian Park by 3. L-A needs my help to get to the toilet from the bed, because when she takes an upright position after being horizontal, the puss in her carbuncle tends to spurt out due to gravity. What we hope for but haven't yet seen is a time when there is no more puss to come out. I confirmed with Danielia that her house would be available for the Mailbox Club. At 3 I was taking Jamelia and Bella to Danielia's, and when we got there there were 9 children ready for their class! I decided to have some praise singing at the beginning of their class, and set up my guitar and amp while the new attendance sheet was being completed. The children - learners and teachers - all loved the singing and sang lustily. They then got started on 'Best Friends' I then left and drove to Mannikin. It was now around 3:30 and Chantelle had joined forces with Anthonica with about 9 kids. Again I led them all in music and they too had a great time singing. Chantelle and Anthonica told me they needed school supplies and had the Walton's discount forms offering 25% off. They thought the forms meant the supplies were free. I told them I would come back around 4, and went on to see how Chrizelle and Macayla were getting on. Macayla was teaching about seven children, who were clearly engaged. There wouldn't be time for music, so I prayed with them and returned to Mannikin. Neither Chantelle now Anthonica had their signed parental consent forms, and I could have used this as a reason not to take them out of the Park. But I didn't, and soon we were at Waltons. I realized this would cost us, but I felt that it could give them both a good start in school, so it was like an investment in their education, which both of them take seriously. So I let them gather up what they wanted. They were very happy and grateful, and we did get the discount. After returning them to their homes, I got back to L-A to make sure she was OK before going out to feed Jan's animals.

Sun Jan 13
L-A unable to come to church. I watched Brian Houston, then drove down to Avian Park. Picked up Jamelia, Anthonica, and for the first time Veronica, Bridney's mother. First thing she did was tell me they had no food in the house. Chantelle and a friend with a baby wanted a lift to the OVP (?) Centre. The church was full and I couldn't even see where my guests were. After worship, Jamelia and Anthonica went to the Sunday school, and Veronica stayed to listen to the sermon. It was a unique (to my memory) study of the similarities between the life of King David and the life of Jesus. It ended with a plea to us all not to wait till we are perfect to spread the Gospel. You may be divorced, bankrupt, but you can still tell others about Jesus. After coffee and quiche in Milk and Honey, where I gave Veronica R30, I took them home. They wanted iced lollies, which at OK turned out to be chock ices, and chips for Veronica. In the afternoon L-A suggested watching an episode of 'Victoria' lying on the bed. After 15 mins my back wasn't in good shape, and I wondered how she was able to lie like that all day reading her iPad. We did watch, and appreciate Victoria, which was focussed on the Irish potato famine, and the objections of parliament to giving them relief, since most of them were papists. This was most upsetting to the queen, who strongly advised her prime minister to be charitable, and he was.

Sat Jan 12
After helping L-A with what she needed while I would be out, and just managing to download the YouTube of Raise a Hallelujah, I drove to Brandvlei, on the way picking up a hitchhiker. Typical conversation: "Hello I can't take you all the way because I'm going to Brandvlei to tell the inmates how much Jesus loves them." Reply from middle aged man with tools - "Jesus must have arranged for you to pick me up. He is so good to me." Honestly, it's hard to find anyone here who doesn't either know the Lord well, or is quite happy to talk about him. People love to be prayed for, and we love praying for them. In the jail, Alrico was on duty making me very welcome. We had been moved next door, where there is more space, and Isaac had made sure I had the A/V techology I am used to. My guitar sounded great plugged into their audio amp and their singing was awesome. After the first two songs I showed them 'Raise a Hallelujah' and they loved it. Then we sang 'Father could you mend me.' 'What does the Holy Spirit do?' was today's video, which talks to our being adopted sons of God. At the end I told them the story of Jan's adoption of Joy. On the way home I stopped off at Avian Park and was able to confirm that we could use Chrizelle's house for our meeting in the afternoon, and was also able to find almost all the girls and tell them. At home I spent the intervening few hours before that meeting being a little stressed about it. How best to deal with the envy? And then I had a nudge from the Holy Spirit to talk about the ten commandments. I found a kid's version of them and printed it off. I arrived at 49 Nightingale where three girls were waiting. They bundled into the car and we went in search of the others, finding four of them. Back in No 49 I began the program with prayer for L-A, and them, then did the paperwork with my copies of the attendance sheets to switch from 'Storytime' to 'Best Friends.' Each club leader got 5 photocopies of Best Friends. At this point Chantelle arrived, so now we had all 8 leaders, which included Marsha and Bridney, who I reminded them would start a new club when they have had a little more training. When the admin was done I taught on the Ten Commandments. Saving the best till last, Do not Covet, I explained what coveting was and how some of them had a problem with it; how it included being jealous when something nice happened to someone else. I pointed to my paper and told them that was a sin, carefully not looking at Chantelle. They were all paying close attention, and not even playing with cell phones. I then gave out the (cold) hot cross buns I had buttered (Macayla scraped off her butter) and Pine drink. Then I took some pictures using flash which came out very well, and they of course wanted to see them. Bella is a little camera-shy after losing her front teeth. I foolishly mentioned that two of my favourite pictures were of her when she still had them. When we went outside for some group photos - the first with the whole group - she stood in the background looking away. Strangely this enhanced the overall shape of the composition. Apart from that faux pas by me, I was much encouraged by the meeting and the cooperation they had given me.

Fri Jan 11
I was back at the early morning prayer meeting at Carlo's house, and happy to be there, though only Marius and Hilton showed up. Good prayer; good company. I mentioned colloidal silver when telling them a little about L-A's condition, and Carlo said that it was marvellous stuff, either applied topically or injested. Apparently it was used in the first world war for quick healing of burns and wounds in the days before antibiotics. I am glad I listened to Dis-Chem and Carlo rather than taking too much notice of on-line information about colloidal silver, which is universally negative. It reminded me of on-line information about apple cider vinegar, which Laurie-Ann wouldn't be without. 10 years ago it was said to have no medical benefit whatsoever. Today it is promoted positively on line with multiple benefits. Go figure! Around 9:30 the carbuncle was oozing large amounts of water, puss and some blood, to the extent I had to hold a cloth on it when she walked to the toilet. I put colloidal silver on the carbuncle. Two hours later new smooth skin was in evidence in the central area, and there was no oozing! So at the next opportunity I also put it on the boils on her abdomen, one of which had started to bleed, probably as a result of rubbing on the bed sheet when she painfully got herself down from the bed. We now had two sheets badly soiled, plus all our towels, so I took them to the laundry. I also took a copy of 'Best Friends' to Rodlyn's, and they made 20 copies for R40 while I waited. I had a rest beside L-A from 2 - 3 pm, and then drove to Avian Park to try and organize our Saturday meeting to be in Chrizelle's hour like last Saturday, but her house was locked. The wind was blowing really hard so there weren't too many people on the street, but I spotted Macayla. I told her about L-A and asked if she would speak to Chrizelle to allow us to use her house. A little later I found Anthonica and told her. Apparently her opening days as a prefect at school had gone well. I didn't see any more of our girls so I decided to come by after prison tomorrow. Maggie called L-A and wanted to come over and bring food, but I asked her not to. It would need too much activity (eg dressing) for L-A at this time. So they had a good chat. Chantelle sent a FB message to L-A complaining that I had bought shoes for (her friend) Anthonica. This doesn't bode well for tomorrow's meeting. I replied using L-A's phone and posing as her, ignoring her comment and reminding her about the meeting.

Thu Jan 10
I was in a town somewhere in the South of France on a project with a colleague. The car got stuck in a cul de sac and I walked around to see if there was a way out - yes, but on a long narrow bridge across the bay. I returned to the car to put a large piece of art in the trunk. Scene shifts to several more men in the car and I wasn't driving. Instead of the narrow bridge they find a good road across the bay. We drive until we see the sea shore ahead, and they park on the beach, then walk towards the sea. Who are these men? One by one they turn and walk towards me. I feel nervous. Did they drive down here to kill me? I must take the initiative. I launch myself at the man in front. Next thing I know is a bang as my body lands on the floor beside my bed. But unlike the last time this happened, the cushions I had placed on my bedside table do their job and my head or face are not hit. The dream was very coherent and detailed, like my previous two dreams that knocked me out of bed. I will take a Sedatif PC homeopathic sleeping pill every night instead of every second or third. Don't get me wrong - I have no difficulty sleeping, but these pills, like Noctura in UK and Insomnia in Canada stop me sleepwalking. One result of this episode was that L-A took the opportunity to have a pee (it was about 4:30), which meant she didn't need to at normal waking up time, and was able to stay on her front until mid morning. Riana rang her to find our how she was, and L-A was comforted very much by her care and their conversation. She mentioned that she found worship to be a good antidote to times of difficulty. She had seen a new video from Bethel Music with a song that was inspired by a life-threatening medical issue for a young boy called Jackson, and how the worship leader had experienced a 'giant of unbelief' in his path as they prayed for Jackson, but then the Lord gave him this powerful song, 'Raise a Hallelujah.' Jackson recovered! I immediately decided to play the song as the finale for tonight's Worcester Report, and completed the mixdown. In the afternoon I visited the hospice. I don't remember seeing so many people just clinging on to life. One 37 year old with cancer looked like a skeleton. I prayed that either Jesus take him home, or totally cure him, but the status quo is unnacceptable. His sister was keeping watch in the same private room, and I chatted and comforted and prayed for her. I had messaged Gerhart Strydom yesterday about the next course, 'Best Friends' for the clubs, and he replied saying he had the materials just at 8 pm when The Worcester Report was starting. So I drove down to his school and brought them back. I will need to do some photocopying. The program went out fine, ending with the new Bethel song, Raise a Hallelujah. L-A complimented me on the reading of 'Legacy.'

Wed Jan 9
The pain from the carbuncle means that L-A is spending most of the day on the bed on her front. She can't use the computer for Ways to Grow in God, or for the accounts, and receipts are piling up. Instead of Ways to Grow tomorrow night, I had the idea to broadcast my readings of the start of 'Legacy,' by Jasper Cloete, and he was OK with it. I went to Vinkrivier, arriving about 4:30 before anyone else. Maggie arrived around 5, and the couple whom Kaysha thinks may take over the leadership of the kids' club, Flip and ....., arrived shortly after, so I had the chance to meet them. Flip went to run a soccer game for the boys, and I joined Maggie for the Alpha course. There were 3 guests including Jenny. Maggie set up the very sophisticated equipment, loaned by Mike. Battery powered everything, projector about the size of 2 cell phones with the video file on an SD card. The loudspeaker was a megaphone style piece of sh*t from a sound quality standpoint, connected with a proprietary mini 3-pin plug, so it would not be easy to substitute a better speaker. We ran 'How can I be sure of my faith?' and I think Lydia and Minmarie caught some of the concepts even if the voice track was very hard to distinguish. Afterwards we drove over to Francolin's (?) house to meet up with Kaysha. Now I have seen two of the farm cottages close up. Frog called from Pemba. He was in hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting, and his mother had died of D & V on Christmas Day. We had met her when we invited them to have a meal with us just outside the base main gate. I comforted him. Later I posted this news with pictures of him and his mother with us on the HS 24 FaceBook. I worked on the Worcester Report, finding a piece of music I had written for the intro and outro of the 'Legacy' segment. It was the beginning of Amptude #1 which I had extemporized on the keyboard back in 1991. If this by any chance winds up on the 'Legacy' audiobook, we won't have to worry about copyright. There's just 7 minutes left to complete the program, which I will do tomorrow. In the evening we watched 'Victoria' with L-A sitting partly on the 'donut' and with our one piece of plastic postioned to stop puss and blood oozing onto the couch. Every time she gets off the bed, pressure increases withing the carbuncle, forcing out more puss and blood. This is a good thing.

Tue Jan 8
Thank goodness I can be home most of the time because L-A needs me. She sometimes comes into the living room, but that is more and more difficult as the carbuncle flexes its muscles. I went to the doctor's office around 10 to collect the new prescriptions, and also got a 'Donut' from Boshoff Orthopedics which in theory should allow L-A to sit down without bad pain. Unfortunately the carbuncle is too close to the bottom of her back for this to work well. I drove to Rodlyn's and found that they do much more than refill ink cartridges, including photocopying. The CRA had sent me an email yesterday suggesting I check my messages on 'My Account.' This is usually a chore and inconsequential so I didn't get round to doing it till this evening. Bear in mind my work on the small amount of my tax rebate on New Year's Day. Imagine my surprize and delight therefore when the message informed me that they had reassessed my return, and had sent an additional $861.98 tax rebate! Lord, thank you. I shared the good news with L-A. Interestingly this is very close to the $846.65 that was due before the end of the year for our Calabogie maintenance fee. Seems like the Lord wanted to soften the blow.

Mon Jan 7
The mornings are bad. Getting out of bed for a pee involves L-A in major pain. The carbuncle is getting worse, and the boils are oozing puss and some water. So getting to the floor from the bed will either hurt her tummy or her backside. I am talking screaming-level pain. The Propolis from Simply Bee that we had bought yesterday was effective in treating the open boils, drawing out puss and watery blood. The doctor had said he would phone when he received the lab repot on the swab from one of her boils. L-A had the good idea that I should interview Jan about the story of Joy for this Thursday. I called Jan and arranged it for this evening after 5. She mentioned that there had been violence near the library in Avian Park, and recommended I call Danielia to see if she thought it safe to hold a Mailbox club there this afternoon. I tried but failed to reach Danielia, so left a message. At 5 to 3 I was at Chrizelle's house, delighted to find that she and Macayla already had about 7 children being taught outside her house. I drove down the street to Jamelia's and Bella's amd neither of them was there. The people who were there didn't know their whereabouts. I called Danielia and left a message that my earlier message was now mute, since we had no teachers for her Club. In Mannikin Street, Chantelle was not at home. Anthonica was there on her own but with no children. What she had was a nicely written letter to me begging for school clothes: shows, socks and a tie. She was now a prefect and on Wednesday school would start. She also needed R30 relating to the first day back. I noticed cigarette butts in the room suggesting that her mother was still smoking, although Anthonica said they were old. I felt for her because she had achieved the prefect status, and clearly had come to me as a last resort. I told her I would be back. I returned to Chrizelle's and got out the travel guitar (it was hot) and led the children in 4 songs. They loved it, and so did their teachers. This was the peak moment of my day. I went back to get Anthonica, and on the way Chantelle saw me and told me she had finished the Mailbox Storytime course with her children. Since she has been the first club to start, this is possible. I drove to Anthonica's house, and of course Chantelle wanted to come. I said no. Anthonica had not, or course, yet had her mother sign the parental permission slip, so I could have refused to take her. I decided to take the risk because the chance of her mother calling the police when she got home from work was small. I drove Anthonica to various stores and bought her the shoes, socks and tie she needed. She wanted a rucksack as well but I refused. I gave her R50. She bought a meat roll and a drink and still had R30 for school. She was actually pretty happy with the shopping trip. The problem will come later where the other girls expect the same. When I got home, Dr van der Merwe had called L-A with the results of the lab test. He prescribed Cloxin, a different penecillin, and I would be be able to collect it tomorrow morning. L-A had also discovered from Diane Blenkiron that colloidal silver could help with carbuncles, and that Dis-Chem sold it. I drove to Jan's with the mic and Marantz and soon Jan was telling the full story of Joy over the last 10 years. I had hoped that Joy herself would answer a few questions at the end, and Jan was able to persuade her! Jan asked if I could feed her dogs, cats, and garden vegetables next week when they are going to Port Elizabeth. Finally I brought her up to date with the Mailbox Clubs including today's shopping trip with Anthonica. Jan mentioned that I shouldn't have been out alone with her according to YWAM guidelines. We relaxed with Victoria.

Sun Jan 6
My alarm was set to 4:45. L-A was determined to make this trip and subjugated her pain. She managed to get out of bed and wash herself with my help. We had something to eat - mainly to allow us to take morning medications. Chantelle had confirmed that she was with Vodacom. I say she, but it is almost certainly her mothers phone that needs data. I sent her about 300 MB from Powertime. By 5:50 we were on our way to Andre and Janey's house. At 6, Nixon, Andre's guide dog, came out to welcome us. We embarked passengers, filled up with petrol at the Durbon Street Shell station (the subsidized petrol prices had kicked in), and Garmin told us we would arrive at the airport by 7:20. It was a gorgeous day and the trip went well. Amazingly. L-A wasn't complaining of pain. We arrived at the airport parking lot by 7:45 and they said their goodbyes to L-A as they left for their holiday in Margate. I accompanied them to help with luggage. They wanted to check 3 bags, but were only allowed 2, so Nixon's bag went in the cabin with them. Once they had their boarding passes, a disability helper took over my role and one of their bags, and I concentrated on getting a few photos as they went through the security gate. From the airport, L-A and I drove to our rendezvous with Kerleed X. He had been introduced to us a year ago via Nahia Haddad in Ottawa after he had approached Pastor Andrew, who has a ministry to Somalians who have converted to Christianity. At last we were to meet him. We found his temporary lodging on Athena Street easily enough. When I stopped the car, a man got up from working on the road and asked if we had come to visit someone. He then went inside the house and brought Kerleed out. It was an emotional meeting. We drove out of the township, a dangerous area, to a more open area the other side of the N1 highway and chatted. It had to be brief because he was depending on a lift back to Uppington sometime this day to see his wife and children. He said I was the the first Christian in South Africa that he had had contact from. A local church in Cape Town has offered to sponsor him in theological studies! He plans to bring his family here from Uppington. He also says he'll be able to visit us in Worcester. If he does, he has agreed to be interviewed for CWCP. He has always wanted to tell the story of his conversion. After half an hour we took him back, and got on our way to the Somerset West mall, where there is a store - Wellness Warehouse - that stocks Simply Bee products, and L-A believed that their Propolis can sooth her boils. I got their last bottle. Then we went for coffee at Hillsong before enjoying the 11:30 service. The original plan was to bring Kerleed here. Maybe later in the year. As we got back to Worcester it was clear that for whatever reason L-A had been spared the extreme discomfort she might have expected on this trip today. But the relief wasn't to last. Once we were home the pain and suffering returned. She had discovered that the thing on her butt was a carbuncle. The way to treat it is with hot compresses to draw out the poison, so we got busy. We weren't even able to squeeze in an episode of Victoria. During the night we were up several times attending to the boils and trying to help her get a little sleep.

Sat Jan 5
Although she had a better night than the previous night, L-A was too sore to come to Brandvlei. I brought a couple of hitch-hikers to the Brandvlei corner. I was able to plug my guitar into their amp again, so from now on I don't need to take the Blackstar. After music and jokes (which they loved), I explained how the Alpha Weekend is done outside jails, and then We had the Intro to the Weekend, and 'Who is the Holy Spirit.' This is one of my favourite pieces of Christian video. At home I prepared what I would be teaching the Mailbox leaders in the afternoon. L-A is a little better, but will she be well enough to come to Cape Town tomorrow when I (we?) take Andre and Janey to the airport? Following the altercation with police last Sunday evening on Mockingbird Street, I prepared some permission notes for Avian Park parents to sign if they were entrusting their children to me. Becuase of L-A's indisposition I had told our girls that we wouldn't be bringing them to our house this afternoon. Instead I met them as planned in Chrizelle's house. Actually I had to collect Chantelle, Bridney and Anthonica who hadn't got the message. Everyone was there except Jamelia. I had brought little cakes and a large fizzy orange. I first handed out the permission notes for their parents to sign. They all appreciated the need. Then I reinforced our mission with Mailbox Clubs, and I believe they took it in and appreciated the importance. The group was paying serious attention. Then I ran over the key parts of each Mailbox Club session. I confirmed that the clubs would re-start this coming Monday, and suggested that if they saw any of their learners in the streets they should remind them. I left them at about 3:45 - it had been a very good meeting. In the evening we watched another episode on 'Victoria' while I worked on L-A's feet as I do periodically. Chantelle messaged L-A about 9:45 and asked for some phone data. This was a first! I had L-A reply and ask how much she needed, and to say this one one emergency response; not the beginning of a regular source of supply. She needed R20 worth of data - somewhat less than I had envisaged. L-A then asked her which company had given her phone number. We went to bed about 10:30 after setting the alarm for 4:45, having not heard back from Chantelle. I still wasn't confident that L-A would be coming on tomorrow's trip to Cape Town with Andre and Janey ...

Fri Jan 4
L-A had a dreadful night with the painful boils, which do respond to Ibuprofen gel, of which, thank goodness, we have plenty. Around 9 am I called the doctor's office, and was put through direct to Dr van der Merwe. I told him she had a temperature of 103, and the boils were very painful. He assured me that the anti-biotic should have done its job by tomorrow and she'll feel better. L-A cancelled our Afrikaans lesson. There had been no reponse from Mella about Mpho's end of term report. Around 12:30 I drove to Zweletemba to Mandisa's house and gave her Mpho's report. He and Khanyo (and Mandisa) were very happy to see me and we spent some quality time. Kanyo did very well at Worcester Primary last term and has fitted in with the other students. Mpho thinks he will be going there this coming term. Mandisa had been suffering recently from the same boils as L-A, but after taking the anti-biotic she had recovered quickly and was fine now. She says it is caused by the heat. I went on to Kleinplasie to see Heather and pick up from her 3 more purses, one for Jamelia who has broken her phone screen. Back home there was a FaceBook message from Bella saying she was home if I wanted to bring her Christmas presents. So I took the Afrikaans Bible and the purse made by Heather and went to her house. She was very happy with the gifts. I told her and Jamelia I was planning to have our Saturday meeing in Chrizelle's house since l-A was unwell. I then went to Chriszelle's and she said we could indeed meet there. Shortly after I saw Anthonica and Chantelle and told them the same. This had been a good visit. In the evening we watched the second program in the second season of Victoria.

Thu Jan 3
We were in Dr van der Merwe's office, together, at 10:30. He examined her, and said that it was a blood condition, and may have originated by an infection in her nose (she has no pain there). He prescribed penicillin, Stilpane, and Naseptin for the nose. He took a swab of pus from one of the boils to send to the lab. After collecting the prescriptions (and more Tramacet for me) from Fairbain Pharmacy, we went to the Traffic Department, and successfully renewed the car licence disc in about 3 minutes, far less time that I had expected after my experiences a year ago. I spent the afternoon completing the editing of Alex and Kaysha's interview, and then working on the 20 minutes of time left to fill. My plan was to use a series of historical audio recordings from Tape B1, but when I plugges in the red disk, B1 was nowhere to be found. Either I had failed to digitize it, or it was misfiled. The time was now 6:30 and I needed a new plan, and fast. I searched for New Year's Day songs (there aren't many) and found Abba's from 1980, a nice tune. When I had done a back-up a few days ago, I had come across a recording made by L-A of me speaking to the children in Avian park library about what it means to be a Christian. I checked it out and felt it would do nicely, showing our audience exactly what is involved in preaching the Gospel in the townships. So I got the recording from the red disk and rapidly made three 'tonytalk' continuity pieces, and was soon doing the final mix-down. We were 15 minutes late in starting the prelude music, but that's OK. L-A got up around then, and we both listened to the show as it went out. Sounded good to me. During the Alex/Kaysha interview there were a peak of 6 people listening live, more than for any other program. Sadly all of them tuned out immediately the interview was done. Why do people do that? It's good quality radio. After the show I got the podcast ready and decided to put a link to my Falling in Love radio program from CKCU four years ago. We watched the first program in the second season of Victoria on the iPad.

Wed Jan 2
Laurie-Ann's rash is responding to the Quadriderm, but the boils - if that's what they are - are getting worse and multiplying. And they are painful. She has one on her backside that makes getting into bed very hard for her. We tried painting them with baking powder paste this morning. It is meant to draw out the pus. It did seem to give some relief. I picked up Janey about 1:30 and brought her to our home where she spent the afternoon praying with L-A and watching 'Loving Vincent.' My larger ink cartridge had run out yesterday, so I was using the emergency cartridge. My ink refilling company had been closed over the holiday season, and I called the number today to hear that he had shut up shop. However the lady who answered the phone told me about Rodlyn's in Fairy Glen who also refil cartridges. And that's closer to Hooggelegen. At about 3:00 I set out direction Robertson with L-A's four framed art pieces - Sintra among them - plus the three from Doxa. I wasn't expecting to be able to hang them this afternoon in the Fourie Vignerons cafe, but in fact it turned out successful. There was a wooden batten which Sintra went on with two picture hanging hooks, and is pretty secure. The other locations all were on hard plaster, but much to my surprize the small nails in the little hooks all went in well enough to take the weight. I gave the list of prices and commissions for the cafe to Rita, the lady who has served us coffee so many times as we went on to the Vinkrivier kids' club. I then joined Kaysha, Maggie and newly arrived from USA Karrie, and we discussed the future for the club when Kaysha has gone to Rwanda. We know that we need an Afrikaans speaking preferably male leader for the club to flourish, and we prayed for God to provide one. Neither Maggie nor I feel called to that role, but we would be happy to continue in supporting roles. Kaysha, Karrie and I then drove to club member Jenny's home to encourage her following her month in a Cape Town psychiatric ward. She looked and sounded fine. It was very interesting to visit this farmworkers home, with mother and original father (!) still present, plus 4 or 5 younger kids, including Keenan, whom we know from kids' club. They have a stone house on a hillside, reachable by climbing a dirt path from the road. The idea surfaced that Jenny could assume more of a leadership role. She is about 22 and speaks Aftikaans and English fluently. I was home by 7 and took Janey home. L-A and I dined at about 8 on turducken - very nice - then I started working on The Worcester Report.

New Year's Day
L-A asked if I would do some on-line searching for the rash she is experiencing. I faily soon found a condition called Hidradentitis Suppurativa, with photos very like her rash. Commercial holiday here, which I forgot when I went out to the chemist - so came home again. Have to be careful driving because my licence is out of date, so the less driving the better. For some months one of the more important items on my do-list has been to re-examine my income tax return and figure out why my rebate was a lot lower than UFile had predicted. I haven't tried to do this till now because I felt it would be a detailed forensic exercise and take much time. But when I looked at my notice of assessment and compared it with my tax return I saw immediately where the problem may be. The total income on the NoA was $9K more than on my return - which would translate into the lower tax rebate. I checked each figure carefully and finally it dawned on me that I hadn't included my CPP and OAS in the income that I had reported. So I checked the scans of T-forms that had been sent by Janet at IG, and there was no sign of a T4-CPP or T4-OAS. That was why I hadn't reported it. But I did know the exact amounts from my expenses and income spreadsheet, and the total exactly matched the discrepancy. QED. What is very interesting is that the CRA had corrected the error, since they would have had access to the T-forms. Strangely, though, they said nothng about the cause of the error in the NoA letter - just that there were errors in the income. The bad news is that I can't claim another $3,000 rebate, but the good news is that I don't have to claim another $3,000 rebate, which will save me a lot of time. I have been putting on L-A's prescription ointment three times a day, and I think that the rash is improving. However she is developing boils on her stomach, and today she has one on her finger. Are these connected with the Hidradentitis Suppurativa? I called the doctor's office and they were able to book her in for 10:30 on Thursday with Dr van der Merwe. Mandisa Whatsapped me asking if she could have Mpho's end-of-term report, and I Whatsapped Mella. I prepared the GNiTM archive broadcast for tomorrow, and the computer battery indicator was flashing oddly. The battery is shot, but could still cause problems. So I did a back up in case I am in trouble.


Copples in Western Cape