Friday, 28 June 2013

Generating hope and healing...

We went to Ngcwanguba Clinic to hold our field eye clinic earlier this week. Ngcwanguba is one of our busier locations and we were able to see over forty patients - including a few cataract cases too. It was a very productive day. However, there was a power failure during the course of the morning - not an uncommon occurrence in a rural setting. Thankfully, we were able to continue our work. We always take with us a trusty petrol generator that provides more than enough power for our machines. Thanks to the generator we were able to continue generating hope and healing in this community!

 People waiting patiently to be seen by the Mercy Vision Zithulele team.
Our petrol generator sitting on top of the Land Rover.
 The generator powers the Auto Refractor, as well as the charger for some other eye devices.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Another Zithulele Sunrise...

Sunrise breakfasts are the best. This was the view from our kitchen while I munched my toast earlier this week. It was great to be awake and see this sunrise, because our Creator paints a masterpiece every morning!

 The moment just before sunrise.
 Beautiful moment!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

From one rural area to another: Our weekend in Rhodes...

Candace and I joined a group of new friends in visiting the picturesque village of Rhodes in the southern Drakensberg (South Africa's largest mountain range) over the long weekend. (14th - 17th July.) This town is just 16 kilometres south of the border with Lesotho, and is 1,821 metres (almost 6,000 feet) above sea-level. It was very cold!

Rhodes was built towards the end of the 1800s and was named after Cecil John Rhodes, a prominent statesman and mining magnate in South Africa's history. Walking through the town, there are many reminders that this town is a national heritage site. Many of the houses have remained unchanged since they were built over a century ago. It is almost like stepping back in time!

We spent the weekend enjoying the peace and quiet of the countryside, taking lovely walks in beautiful surroundings, browsing in interesting craft and pottery shops, and enjoying getting to know new friends. It was a much-needed weekend away!

On the drive back to Zithulele, we went over the pass of Naude's Nek. It links Rhodes with Maclear and is the highest dirt road in South Africa. The summit of the road is almost 2,600 metres or 8,500 feet above sea-level!
 Snow on the mountains as we approach Rhodes.
Sign welcoming us to Rhodes.
 The lovely house we stayed in for our weekend away.
 Quaint houses on either side of the street.
 Old phone booth outside the historic post office.
 The historic post office.
An antique cash register in the village's hotel.
Antique phones, also in the hotel.
Candace with an old farming implement.
Large chess set in the small park.
Interesting building - note the milk pails!
Here's a closer look!
Avenue of white trees.
 View towards the mountains.
 The valley in which Rhodes is situated is so beautiful.
 Bridge over the river.
 Man on horse.
 A tractor and hay stored under a rock overhang.
 Black-headed sheep.
 Turnip crop.
 Sheep being herded home for the night.
 Out to dinner with Zithulele friends.
 Frozen river bank.
Ice in the river.
 Farm worker's homes.
 Lovely rural scene just outside of Rhodes.
 Miniature Table Mountain on the drive home.
 Approaching Naude's Nek.
 Ice on the side of the road.
 View from the top.
 Impressive bird of prey keeps watch.
 Conical hill.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Wheelchair Basketball...

A wheelchair basketball game happens on the court just outside the Mercy Vision Zithulele unit once a month. It is organised by the hospital's physio department. It's awesome to see how wheelchairs and a basketball court can bring such fun and enjoyment. It's also very inspiring to watch!

 It's very inspiring to see the joy and laughter during the game.
It's played in a very good spirit and is great entertainment too.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Controlled burn...

Seeing a row of large flames approaching your home can be quite a scary moment! Thankfully, we discovered that it was just a controlled burn to get rid of some tall vegetation. Still a little unnerving though!

 Flames approaching the units.
 The aftermath of the blaze.
The ash from the fire reminded me of an oil slick on a beach.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

SA Agulhas...

I was very excited to spot the former South African National Antarctic Programme's ice-breaker SA Agulhas sailing along the coast a week or two ago. My grandfather, parents and sisters have all sailed to the Island of Tristan Da Cunha in the Southern Ocean on this ship. The SA Agulhas is now owned by the South African Maritime Safety Authority and is used as a training vessel. I made a model of this ship several years ago.

 SA Agulhas sails past the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape.
Close-up of the ship.