A letter to Ireland!

By Bridie Denning

Dumela to everyone from South Africa!

The past three weeks have gone by so fast and just one more to go.   It only seems like yesterday since we arrived here but I have actually got a year older since I left Ireland.   We have done a lot of work in Freedom Park on a container there.   It is now a very clean, inviting and pleasant place for the children to come and get a wholesome meal every day.   We also provided seating for them while they eat.   The other half of our group worked on another project at a different site.

I started a crochet class with the local ladies at Dishiudi on Wednesday last.   They were very interested and when I went back on Friday they had made a number of different items and were very excited and proud of their work.   I will have another class with them on Tuesday next.    The plan is that they sell their items and make money so they can buy more materials and sell them and therefore provide an income for themselves.   I do hope that it will be a success for them.   I will be keeping in touch with Brother Joe to find out how it is going for them.   I started another crochet class on Thursday with another lovely group of ladies in Nkaneng and will be going back again on Wednesday next.   I hope that they will show as much interest and the other group!   Fingers crossed!

One morning last week I was out with the Walking Club (each morning some of the early risers go for a short walk to wake up and warm up for the day ahead!) and we were lucky enough to see the sunrise.   It was spectacular.   I have never seen anything like it.   It was like a very large pink balloon rising slowly right there in front of us.   It didn’t seem to be as far away as the sunrise back home.   That same night I was sitting outside the kitchen after dinner on the phone, when I noticed the moon.   It was upside down.   Two amazing sights.   Apart from the amazing sunrise and the upside down moon, coming out here has been a real eye opener for me.

The amount of poverty and HIV/Aids here is very upsetting.   Children are left without parents and anything can happen to them.   This is a very rich country with the platinum mines everywhere, but very little of the profits is going back into improving it.

SERVE have been coming out here for the last ten years and it is lovely to see the work they have done at the different squatter camps to improve conditions for the children and residents alike.   I am very proud to be part of it all and would encourage anyone who is in a position to volunteer for one month to do so please.   Every little bit helps.   Our group is fantastic and I wish them all a very happy and successful stay here.

Sala sentle, (Stay Well)