I had itchy feet. Rigby and Sue had left for Bible College and I needed to get out. Youth for Christ was running a year programme called Y-1 so I decided to sign up.
I travelled with Rig and Sue to Half Way House, to a cute little farm called Moo Hills. That was to be my home for three months. There were 30 young people full of life and energy, ready to take on the world. I would be away from my home for a year. It sounded like a life time.
Our dorms were converted cow sheds and it was very earthy. Each room had 6 bunk beds so we lived in each other’s pockets and all kinds of lessons were learnt. It was there that I learnt how to hand wash and iron my clothes. I really missed Val.
We dreaded the 6 am morning trumpet call. It was loud and right outside our dorm. I had sung many songs about an angel with a trumpet and people disappearing. I was always relieved to see that it was just Johnny.
It was my first experience living with people who weren’t “white South Africans.” Alistair Lowe from Rhodesia was no relation but he was a brother to me. On our weekend off he came to stay with us at No 28. It was a first for my family too. He was hilarious.
We had rules at Moo Hills. Lobo the dog was not to be fed, lights out at 9, only one slice of bread after meals, no relationships between the sexes allowed and absolutely NO physical contact. All those rules were broken, but not much went unnoticed by Charlie and Wendy Paine and Sean Daly.
Lobo got fatter and fatter and so did we. We talked way into the night. One night we had a brilliant idea. We lay on our bunks with our feet up against the wall. On the count of three we stomped as hard as we could. The girls in the dorm next door thought it was an earthquake and ran out onto the field in their pyjamas. It was freezing.
The girls joked that if ever we wanted some physical contact, we could go to Sean for a haircut. Only if we were guilt free. Once he got us under the scissors he would ask how we were doing. We were convinced he could see right though us. We didn’t have haircuts that often. We heard that Alistair, when under the scissors and the stare, couldn’t take the guilt anymore and bellowed out, “Ok, ok, I fed Hobo!”
At the end of our three months of discipleship training, we were put into teams. The music team needed a sound mixer so I auditioned. Thanks to Wilf I had a pretty good ear and I got the “job.”
It was an intense three months of early mornings, excercise, study, kitchen duty, learning how to live and so much about loving God and others.
We packed our bags and jumped into minivans for our 9 months of road travel. What we had learnt at Moo Hills was going to be tested. We were going to find out if what we had learnt was going to work. Or not.