20. April 2016
Church, crocodiles and a new home
The last day with the Hlengwa family: First we had a look the church of the Ekuthokozeni–congregation (Durban-South parish). This only some years old building is in the progress to be extended by several rooms for the pastors and service-helpers, for the Sunday school and confirmation class and for the congregation council plus some toilets. Everything is looking very practical and well planned. Khaya and Zama are leading the congregation and they are doing a wonderful job!
After the visit to the church, we picked up the young “men” of the family (Simi and Asha) to drive to the crocodile world south of Amanzimtoti. Having picnic-lunch under the trees, observed by a lot of monkeys was a special experience, the same like seeing the 4 forms of African and American crocodiles, many bird and finally snakes (not an amusement for everybody but for the boys).
Then we had to drive home to Umlazi, just to have a tearful God Bye to the family…
Shortly after 6 p.m. we arrived at MamaGcabas home in Westville: A big welcome and many hollos by the family members made us feeling home again in the well-known place. More about the first day you’ll find in the next re
19. April 2016
Another day in the South of Durban – or the endless search for chicken legs
The nights are hot and the humidity is high. Swatting is the daily experience of these days in South Africa. But this does not say we were spending our day at the beach or do nothing. It’s much more enjoyable to share friend’s life and the time we have together.
Let me tell what happened yesterday First I went with Zama to the local mall to get some bread and milk (the basics) for breakfast. To get unfrozen chicken legs we failed. Then after breakfast (coffee, boiled eggs, avocado, rolls, chees, sausage…) we started to have a tripp to the South including picking up SimingeZwi (called Simi, the first sun of Zama and Khaya).
In Amanzimtoti we had our lunch in one of the local malls, what has been a special experience for the two young boys including the playground in the mall while the ladies (Zama and Elke plus the baby) tried again to find some unfrozen chicken legs. They found brown European roll and finally the chicken legs.
Then we drove with the chicken legs and the three children to Umgababa South of Amanzimtoti, where Khaya’s mother Maggie is living. There we stayed in a lovely surrounding (Mgababa river, the near ocean, silence, very hospitable people) for the final supper, which was prepared by all family members: mountains of meet, bred, salads and the home-made (by Maggie) tarte, mode of several layers of marie biscuits and granadilla cream – sweet and wonderful. The driving home in the night was the final activity of this day. The chicken legs were wonderful.
18. April 2016
Sunday in Pietermaritzburg and driving to Durban circuit
The first to do was a wonderful breakfast in the home of the Mbuyisa family where we had the pleasure to be accommodated the last two days. We say “Thank you” for giving us this chance to experience the feeling of being welcomed!
Our Sunday service we had in the church of Sobanto. The service was conducted by the Young Aldult’s League supported by Rev. Magdalene Nzama, one of the self-supporting pastors of PMB-North parish. What a lively service. We were happy to convey the greetings of Pirna circuit.
After the service we drove towards Durban. First stay was and still is the home of Zama and Khaya Hlengwa in Section K of Umlazi township. Even we arrived a little late we were able parts of the guest to the baptising ceremony for their last born daughter. There have been Rhosta Gcaba and her daughter in law as well as other friends we know from meetings years ago, what made us feeling home again.
18. April 2016
Butterflies, a “white elefant” and a revived friendship
Our Saturday started very relaxing at “Butterflies for Africa”. This small place present various butterflies mainly from Africa, but also some insects and newly some very small monkeys.
In the afternoon we had the chance to visit Ingrid Thompson. This lady, member of Eastwood congregation (PMB-North parish) had been a delegation member from Durban and Umgeni circuits to Melle and Pirna circuits in 1995. It has been a blessing to exchange our remembering to those times. She reminds me to my words, that we as Germans don’t like so see “white elephants” (oversized projects) but well planned projects which are realistic and easier to handle.
Lastly, we had a meeting with MaDlamini (Ncami), member of a social worker’s delegation in2009 and nowadays “chief of communication” for the Farming Project in Bischopstowe. Together with her husband Bongani, she introduced us to their parents families and relatives in Henley east from Pietermaritzburg.
In the evening we had a “work supper” which revived our friendship. We were able to exchange our opinions about the latest changes in Germany and find a solid basis to continue our work for the project.
15. April 2016
A Friday in Pietermaritzburg
Children in Makhebiza Kindergarten, hiding under a bed
Friday smells like: The weekend is near. People have to their last work before the free days are coming. Elke and myself were busy, as the last days in Umgeni circuit are ending on Sunday: We said Goodbye to our host for the last two day, Rev. Magdalene Nzama. We met Mrs Rejoyce Mfeka for an hour to share memories of Thulazizwe and my Mom Dorothea and to hear about the fundraising of the women league for the new deanery in Bishopstowe. The following stop was to hand over a donation from Rev. Duscha for the kindergarten in Makhebiza, he collected in services in Bad Eilsen. Then we were welcomed in Pius Mbuyisas new home, where we are accommodated for the next two nights. Pius also took us to town and showed is his new business, a big bookmaker office. (See photos and klick on to get a bigger version.
Please excuse, that today’s blog is short. It has been hot again (32°C= and will be even hotter the next days: 35°C are expected!
14. April 2016
The Project is on the Run
What a surprise when we came to the Bishopstowe Project today, which is now called “Farming Project Churches Agape Foods”. We met two of the workers, Philip Nsibande and Zithobile Mkhize in the project (both from Imbali congregation, PMB-South parish), who showed us some of the animal and some of the planting projects. First of all: The production of hens and chicken is successful and make a profit of 1,900 Rand per month alone. The same, the production of salads and other vegetables has been successful. Dean Myaka told us two evenings before that the production and selling has been so good, that they are now improving to optimize the plots for plantings to offer everything the whole year and not only seasonal. It seems as if the market is very much in favour of the products. We hope to meet members of the project board the next days to speek about the future plans of the project.
At the project site we also met 10 Student of theology. As the LTI (Lutheran Theological Institute) in Pietermaritzburg has been closed town two weeks ago, as one of the stakeholder escaped, the student got a shelter at the plot in Bishopstowe. They are studying as a group and get lessons by Rev. Sibiya. The future of the LTI is very open but unclear.
Finally I have to report, that the new deanery beside the project site is growing. Two weeks ago, we got photos sent by Pius Mbuyisa. They were showing the digging for the fundaments. When we arrived today, the first brick layers were done and the workers were busy to fill in the basic flor with concret. (See photo).
13. April 2016
Heat in Pietermaritzburg
The day was hot – 31°C! So we relaxed together with Happy Mzila at the veranda of her home and spoke about lot of things in our personal history. Happy showed us her big garden and explained the details they took over from the first owner and how they changed some things. Today some geese, chicken, ducks, goats and turkeys have space to live, and many trees are spending their fruits to feeds the family the same like different vegies. And the dog Sammy has his eyes and his nose to observe everyone and everything.
After midday we went on with our (his)stories until it was time to say goodbye. We drove toward another part of Pietermaritzburg where Rev. Magdalene Nzama is living together with many people she is giving a shelter. After the welcoming with “Hallo” and laughter the ladies in the kitchen where busy to prepare a wonderful supper we had together with “Maggy”. Finally again the kitchen crew was in action…
12. April 2016
A happy day with Happy Mzila and her family
The day started with an opulent breakfast together with Happy, followed by a walk through the location she is living in. Thereafter, we drove to the Liberty Mall, Pietermaritzburg biggest shopping centre, to buy some food for the evening.
Furthermore, we visited the church at the small preaching place Sweetwater, where Happy and Bongani Mzila are serving as lay preachers. With their engagement they try to bring up this preaching place to a status of a congregation. This means there are at least 50 active members in need.
Thereafter, I got a nice lesson in modern computer made music, composed by Ndunduso, the sun of Happy. He is working parttime as a DJ (see photo).
Finally we had a wunderfull supper, and Dean Nathi Myaka jumpt in to welcome us. We will meet him again the next days. Tomorrow we will change again our accommodation: Magdalene Nzama will be our new host. Read more about this the next days.
12. April 2016
From Midrand to Pietermaritzburg
Todays program was simply travelling – from Midrand to Pietermaritzburg. This means to make the distance of 600 km from Gauteng Province to KwaZulu-Natal.
We started in the morning at 8.30 a.m. with tearser in our when saying goodbye to Nolwazi, Mohlanka and the twin ladys. the tour has been unspectular, not much traffic, a brown to yellow landscape under a deep blue sky. Finally we arrived at 5.30 p.m. headly wellcomed by Happy Mzila.
10. April 2016
Visit to a museum in Maropeng
This Sunday we had a visit to the museum “Cradle of humankind” in Maropeng, about 60 km North-West from Midway. Nolwazi was with us.
The museum shows the development of life from the birth of our Earth to the modern humans including their problems to protect god’s creation. The place in Maropeng was chosen as the oldest bones of humans were found here in the 1990s.
The museums is not stopping with celebrating this sensation, but put the main spot on the development of what make us human: our multi-talented body, our usage of tools, our various ways of communication. And also the human made dangers for the survival of humans on Earth are shown by multiple usages of media including try-out-stations to test senses and knowledge.
We enjoyed this day very much. Tomorrow we’ll drive to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of the South-Eastern province KwaZulu-Natal. This will take the whole day. We are glade to find our next beds at Happy Mzilas home, who invited us to stay with her.