Saturday, 13 July 2013

July 2013, Week 1

A bad start

Mandla Mdluli, about whom you have read before on this blog, had a wonderful three months visiting Clooney Parish in Londonderry. He was scheduled to travel back to Swaziland on the same flight as Jan and I. However when he tried to check in at Dublin Airport, Mandla was told he was on standby for the first flight. All three flights had been booked together, why Mandla? According to an airline official, “all flights are overbooked” in the belief that a percentage of people won’t show up. There followed lots of talking. We didn’t want to fly without Mandla, but since we had our seats allocated we couldn’t be put on standby. We wouldn’t be accommodated on another flight. 

When he was told there was definitely no seat the talking increased in volume and pitch. It might have been that, or Mandla’s prayers, but at the last minute Mandla was given a seat - in business class. Most annoying was the fact that there were several empty seats on the flight. The rest of the journey went smoothly.

Back to Brackenhill Lodge

Revd Arthur Barrett
After reuniting Mandla with Granny, Priscilla Skhosana (104), we met Revd Arthur Barret at Brackenhill Lodge. Brackenhill is a wonderful B&B run by Frances and Leon Takis, members of All Saints’ Cathedral Parish in Mbabane. They and their brilliant staff look after us very well. The weather was good, and we had our planning meeting on the veranda. Too cold to swim!  

Luyengo Farm
We hold our monthly Luyengo Fresh Produce board meetings by Skype: Tiekie and Robert in Luyengo, Jan in Dublin and Arthur in Enniskillen. It was good to meet face-to-face, and to have the chance to walk the farm. 
 Lindokuhle Siphephile
There is a good and growing relationship between LFP and the University of Swaziland Agriculture Dept, which is also in Luyengo. Lindokuhle (Lindo) is a 3rd year horticulture student and she is doing a 10-week internship on the farm. Lindo says, “I am learning a lot. It’s good to put the theory into practice. I would like to get a job in a place like this.” 

8am service in All Saints’ Cathedral, where the preacher Revd Percy Mngomezulu and his wife were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. Brilliant sermon on the fruits of the Spirit! It was good to be back and meet many friends. Good Anglican tea and buns afterwards too!

Today Arthur borrowed a diocesan car and went to visit Abraham Gama at Ingwempisana. Jan and Mandla (and I) set off for St Paul’s Anglican Primary School. It looks as if our plans for the Rathfarnham team will have to be changed.
Disappointing! This is Lydia - more later...

With the plans for a new kitchen at St Paul's School thwarted, a new project needed to be found, and quickly. 
Maureen Moss, from Limerick & Killaloe, had reported recently that Usuthu Mission School was in dire need of a new kitchen. A visit confirmed that the kitchen was falling down and full of smoke. The decision was taken to transfer the Rathfarnham team to Usuthu Mission. 

The first two photos show Jan and Archdeacon Bheki discussing plans with a meeting of approx 200 parents - and in the third photo preparatory work starts straight away. The site is cleared and levelled, and ready for work to start.

Members of the Diocesan Finance Committee: Ven Michael Dludlu, Mr Hamilton Curtis, Mr Humphrey Mavuso (Chair), Mrs Ethel Ndlela, Revd Dalcy Dlamini, Mrs Thembie Mavimbela, Rt Revd Ellinah Wamukoya, Linda Chambers (Us), Canon Orma Mavimbela.

We were very honoured to be invited by the Finance Committee to dinner in Thokoza Church Centre on Thursday evening. Humphrey and Hamilton both spoke of the Diocese’s appreciation of the support from Us. Linda said that the very positive developments in the diocese since Bishop Ellinah’s consecration helped partners to raise awareness of the situation of the diocese and to raise funds. 

Rathfarnham team on their way

Jan & Mandla left this evening to meet the team at Johannesburg airport at 4am tomorrow. They are expected at Thokoza Church Centre
between 9 and 10 for breakfast, a rest and then a drive through Mlilwane Game Park. Church tonight at St Matthias’.