Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Know I Have Toes in my Boots - I Saw Them This Morning

Christmas 2007 - My kids think they are much too old for this sort of thing, but I made them do it anyway! Mom's still got the power....

What made me think of Christmas is today's weather and the state of my feet. As you can see from the picture above, a white Christmas is certainly not what we experience in this country. There the kids are in their summer gear, it's about 21h00 and the temperature has probably dropped from around 35 degrees (95 F) to around 18 degrees (64 F). Watching the Olympics on TV, with people sweating in the heat makes me wonder whether or not we are on the same planet, because of course it's now winter here. I started work this morning in a office that with two heaters on was a balmy 8 degrees (46.4 F), and if I'm lucky it will warm up to about 14 degrees (57.2 F) by midday (did I mention the two heaters we have on....).

For those who live in other, more developed countries, these temperatures may not seem like anything to complain about. But you all probably have airconditioning and central heating in your homes and offices. In this country, there is no such thing as central heating (unless it's a national secret that I'm not privy to), & airconditioners are only found in the more affluent homes (and then perhaps only in one or two rooms - not in the whole house).

Spare a thought for those of us who sit in our homes & offices wearing so many layers that we look like the Michelin man!

I suppose I shouldn't complain. At least it doesn't rain all winter like it does in some parts of the world - even in some parts of South Africa. We have beautiful winter days & even though it's cold the sun still shines most days. We don't have to shovel snow, which I imagine can get rather tedious even though it looks really pretty, and of course summer is just around the corner and soon I'll be seeing how high the thermometer will go instead of how low - But in the meantime, has anyone seen my toes?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

When Bullying Becomes Murder

I work as a secretary at a Christian School. Today we received the most terrible news. One of our pupils left our school last year to attend a special needs school as he had learning difficulties. Yesterday he was found dead on the train tracks. Why? Because he was bullied into doing something he didn't want to do. This was a shy, quiet, good boy. He was placed in a school with very little discipline, and many problem children. He told his mother recently that the bigger boys at school were trying to force him to "train surf". They were bullying him, and threatening him. Train surfing is a popular passtime of delinquent teenage boys in this country. It involves climbing on the roof of the train and standing there whilst the train is in motion. It is extremely dangerous, and many children have been killed as a result, including this boy.

One of the saddest things about this is that the bullies will never be brought to justice. The police will deem this to just be a horrible accident, and the children at the school will never tell anyone who was responsible because of fear. Another senseless death in South Africa - the death of a little boy who just wanted an education. A mother has lost her son because she couldn't afford a better school. When I contemplate the fear that little boy must have felt before he was killed I feel a rage inside me against every bully out there. You killed Solly Dikgale - and one day you will have to face his Father in heavan.
This is me, and over my right shoulder is Tyler.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Well this is it........finally I've decided to blog. I've never done anything like this before, so I'm not exactly sure what to write.
To the right is my family (minus me because somebody had to be behind the camera), my wonderful husband David, and my 3 gifts from God - my children Michael (17 - almost 18), Sherae (15) and Tyler (12). This picture is a little dated, January 2007 to be exact, but it's one of my favourites taken on holiday in Engelberg, Switzerland. This is certainly not scenery we see in South Africa!