Tag Archives: children

Post 187. I’m back- I think

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I have been putting this moment off for three years.  Just in the past five minutes I have deleted this sentence at least six times.  Questioning and doubting.  I am also very aware of what’s coming if I start this again.

I need to get into my photo albums, diaries and scrappy script to add details of the past seventeen years to it (2000-2017).

I am going to need to be disciplined and creative and my memory is going to have to be shaken to it’s core.

Many of the events of the past seventeen years in Delhi have been painful.   I’m not sure I want to re-visit them or put them down for others to read but I will aim to do this slowly and with wisdom. These years have also been among our happiest.  It’s been quite a roller coaster ride.

So, my last and final excuse is that when it comes to writing,  I am lazy and need some major motivation.  I have recently had some lovely comments about my blog being inspiring and helpful, so I will start again.

Tony and I are leaving Delhi soon to start another community from scratch; for the first time without our kids.

Asha, Zoe and Jordan were 12, 11 and 5 when you last read about them.  It was the year 2000 and we had just moved to Delhi.  They are grown ups now. They are all married and we have two grandchildren.   It has been our greatest happiness to have them all within walking distance of our house in Delhi. I’m not sure I’m ready for this.

We are moving to Nagaland (Far North East India). The internet there can be quite unreliable and I’m not sure how often I will be able to post my posts.  Probably not every day. It may be erratic- so to you ladies who sat down with your cup of coffee and my blog every morning- you may be disappointed 🙂

I am learning (and I’m a slow learner) that if anything needs to be done, I need to do it, otherwise it won’t get done.  Profound, I know.

Thank you for following my story.  I hope I can keep it addictive and interesting and inspiring.  I love knowing who is reading and what you are thinking, so please let this be a two way thing ok?  I need all the encouragement and inspiration I can get 🙂IMG_0292

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Post 113. Confusion?

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In all the excitement, our visas were about to expire.  We booked tickets to go back to South Africa in December to renew them.  I was nervous.  I had so immersed myself in India; I hadn’t given much thought to our visas or South Africa.  When it hit me, there were a few things we had to do.

Wilf had always dreamed about having an old gramophone.  We wanted to get him one for his birthday.   Tony thought we should take an extra one to sell to help cover our air tickets.  We planned to get them in Delhi on the way out.

The other thing was to work on the girl’s eating habits.  A few weeks before we left, I watched them eating with their Indian and Nepali friends.  My thought was, “Oh my goodness, what will Val say?”  They ate with their hands, shared food from plates and learnt from their Nepali friends how to lick their plates clean.  I knew Val would be horrified.  I got out the knives and forks.  They needed a good cleaning.

The girls were upset.  They liked eating with their hands.  The food tasted better and it was more fun.  Poor things looked really awkward.   We didn’t push it too much, but made it clear that only Indian food could be eaten with hands; not spaghetti or any Chinese food.  They agreed.

Tony went to an NCMI conference in August and took our Tibetan friend, Sonam with him.  They had a great time but we really missed Tony.  While he was away, I was forced to drive.  I had avoided it up till then.  Ash had to go to school and there were things to do, people to see.

The roads were really steep and narrow.  In some places there was only room for one vehicle.  There was a lot of stopping and reversing and there were plenty of precarious edges and trenches to negotiate.   It wasn’t long before I got the hang of it and actually started to enjoy that kind of driving.

While Tony was away, Zoë got really confused and upset about something.  We were talking about marriage and I told her that one day she would get married and have her own husband and she wouldn’t live with us anymore.  BIG mistake.  She got into such frenzy and started crying about me getting old. “But who will hold my hand?  I want my own daddy back, not an old daddy.  The one who left us.  I want him!”  Oh my goodness.  She was so confused.  It took ages to calm her down.  When it was all over, we started talking about Jason and Ali and she asked me, “Mummy is marry Ali-ed?  She realised her mistake and we laughed and laughed.

Tony arrived back with the first five-year Indian visa ever granted from South Africa.  It was amazing.   The girls were on his visa and I would be given one at the end of the year.

He also came back with the things I had asked him to bring for us; things we couldn’t get in Mussoorie:

Coloured felt pens, tampons, tea towels, Marmite, ANY chocolates/sweets, vegetable peeler, choc chips, door runners, brewers yeast, good pens, contact lenses, kid’s videos and snacks.

It was like Christmas and daddy was back!  The old one.  The one that left us.  That one.

Post 30. Wisdom

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Going home was difficult.  It was small and tight.  I had just travelled all over Southern Africa.  I was used to lots of space.  Poor Wilf and Val did their best to help me settle but it didn’t really work.

The only thing I knew was that I wanted to work with children.  I was promised a job at a crèche which was being constructed and it was taking forever.  I was frustrated and bored.  After a year of non-stop activity I found it hard to sit still.  I poured out my heart to God and into my diaries.  The pages were full of disappointment and discouragement.  As the months went by I started to lack confidence.  I hated telling people I didn’t have a job.  It became more and more difficult for me to socialise for fear that someone would ask me.

Seven months later I signed up for a one year Child Care Course.   The institute was in a dodgy part of Durban city and I attended evening classes.  My subjects were Nutrition, Child Development,  Child Psychology and Business Knowledge (accounting).

I dreaded the thought of accounting.  All my math teacher nightmares came back to haunt me.  I walked into my first Business Knowledge class slightly nervous.  The lecturer took one look at me and said, “You, in the front row please.”  What did she see?  Did I look like trouble?

I did well and got my diploma.  My love for children grew and I began to feel a stronger tug in that direction.  I applied for a job in the worst part of Durban and got it.

Port Natal Child Care Centre was at the end of Point Road, Durban’s red light district.  It was for children of prostitutes and sailors.  They lived with their mothers who had many visitors for many sleepovers.  There was such turmoil in their little lives and they were experienced beyond their years.  Sleep time was the worst time of the day for us; for many of them, sleep was not a happy thing to do.

We worked shifts so we could stay sane.  It was demanding and exhausting.  When we had mornings off we went down to Addington Beach to tan and swim.  It was during one of those mornings that I learnt the need for wisdom.

I had made friends with a hermit looking guy who seemed lonely. I wanted to help him somehow.  He seemed interested in my faith and he asked good questions.  One day he asked me to go for a walk with him.  I had time, so off we went.  He led me into an isolated park and before I knew it, he grabbed me and tried to kiss me.  Only God knows how I got away from him.  I ran all the way back to work with my stomach in my throat and eyes burning with fear.  I knew what I had been saved from.

Wisdom started to teach me:

I was not the saviour of the world.

I could not be a friend to every lonely person I met.

I needed to set firm boundary lines around my life, to keep the good in and the bad out.

I should NEVER again allow myself to be led into such a dangerous place.

I needed others to be with me in my mission to help the disturbed and needy.

 

I needed wisdom more than I needed anything else in my life.