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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Kudo’s to The Queen

Queen-Elizabeth-II-9286165-2-402mandela

zuma

Discussions are under way for a memorial service to be held at Westminster Abbey in honour of Nelson Mandela once he passes. This will make him the first non – Briton to be honoured.

Although the idea was not motivated or suggested by the Queen, she is apparently wanting to attend the service if it should take place.

As a lowly South African citizen I am overjoyed at the honour that would be bestowed on him through such a memorial.
Westminster Abbey has seen the coronation and burial of royals since the year dot.

Added to that it would be a breath of fresh air to those of us still reeling from the embarrassment of Zuma’s visit to England – our only relief being that he didn’t arrive dressed in furs and carrying a spear and shield as is apparently occassionally his wont when welcoming dignataries here.

We’re also hoping our officials won’t attempt to charge The Queen for the honour of holding  a memorial service…

Just saying….

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The Dance of the Bones

Mandla Mandela
There are times I think that a blood test should be automatically administered at birth to the children and grandchildren of famous people, so that when they act like tossers we have some reference point for their behaviour.

Idiot on point for now would be Mandla Mandela, grandson of Tata Nelson Mandela. Somewhere along the way he seems to have snuck into the grave-digging business and without permission, dug up the remains of his grandfathers’ deceased children and then secretly reburied them near his hometown of Mvezo where he is chief.

The family, perhaps wanting to prepare the ground for Mandela, opened the existing graves and found them empty! No less than 16 applications were submitted to the High Court by the family.
He has since been ordered to return the bodies to Nelson’s home village of Qunu.
It is suspected that he was attempting to ensure that Mandela’s remains would eventually have to be buried there.

In the 2 years since the remains were stolen Mandla has been constructing a museum and other facilities….

A Nice little ‘Not Nearly Nelson’ theme park perhaps?

Perhaps someone should remind him that when ‘Grandpa Nelson’ passes on he is going to be one of the ancestors ‘Little Mandla’ is calling on for help…Bummer!

 
 

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Forgive them for they know exactly what they do….

ill mandela

This is one of the most upsetting pictures I’ve seen in many a long year. A desperately ill Madiba being paraded like a puppet on a string.

I was so sadddened as I watched the news tonight. The country has gone beserk with the ‘Madiba death watch‘. The media have poured into South Africa and are crawling over everything vaguely connected with this great man. His hospital, previous homes, his church – even his family burial site! They’re like an army of red ants biting their way through every chunk of information available whether it’s relevant or not.

I get it, he’s not big news, he’s HUGE NEWS!
But seriously folks, a little restraint would be nice.

As to our own people, from the time the above picture was taken till now I have to wonder how we have allowed this wonderful man to suffer our greed and stupidity. 

He gave us more than anyone could or should rightfully expect from one human being. He should have been allowed to spend his last days peacefully, his privacy respected.

Soon, Tata, soon you’ll be free ….

 
 

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A Man of Dignity and Love – Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela is dying.

Not a strange or unexpected thing for an elderley statesman.
Not an event that should cause world-wide heartache.
Most countries are only too glad to see the backs of their former presidents.

They often organise a huge song and dance when they shuffle off to buffalo. The media descend like vultures, and all those inclined, make pots of money selling t-shirts and other useless junk.

I’m not expecting Madiba’s death to be any different in that respect.

Where it will differ, is that for the first time in forever we are preparing ourselves to say goodbye to someone we truly love and respect…..

Love? Respect?
Yes, odd that, unbelievable in fact, unless you live here…

Perhaps I`ll go into the deep dark details of why at some stage.

For now I just want to say this: We adore this man because we know for sure that more than anything else he wanted to unite us, we know for sure he actually gave a damn. We know this because of the extraordinary amount of effort that he put in to encouraging us to tolerate and forgive and for the sacrifices he made for the sake of this beautiful and often undeserving country.

Tata Madiba, in many ways, became the very best part of our conscience – he is the embodiment of the yearnings of our spirits. He taught, admonished, loved and lived by example – always.

It is this reflection that stands today as a constant source of torment for those who rule through greed and avarice – long may it continue…

For now The Father of our Hope lies dying. The media pound the pavements outside, people pour through his hospital trying desperately for a last glimpse of this great man.

I personally fear what will happen when his spirit leaves and the rabid replacements finally have the country to themselves. The small degree of restraint they exercise will be gone.

There will be only a bittersweet memory left behind to remind us of dignity, compassion, wisdom and love.

Perhaps God is feeling gracious. Perhaps the suffering and sacrifice and dedication of this great man will move the powers of the Universe to raise up another willing and able to lead us on.

It would be a fitting reward for a life given in service. It would probably make Madiba dance again.

Both thoughts make me smile.

Go in Peace Tata

 
 

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Would you like a Little Violence with your Coffee?

sa flagSouth Africa a land of breathtaking beauty, rich cultures, warm and loving people and impossible senseless violence.

I am as mad as hell today. Yesterday a person very dear to me was robbed at gunpoint. They are alive and only ‘slightly harmed’ physically – and in this country, that’s a miracle!

This makes 4 women in the last year, that I know personally, that have been violently attacked.

Now one may say that violence against women or violence in general is to be found all over the world so what makes South Africa different?

The difference is that with the amount and level of violence we should be at war – but we’re not, this is just how we live. There is no sense of restraint in the attacks of criminals in this country. Some of course are drug related, and because of that, violence almost makes sense – most however are not.

Rape, child rape, murders, muti killings, necklacing – these are everyday stories in our papers.

We live with electric fences, burglar bars, security guards, guns, alarm systems – all to no avail. We don’t walk around at night, can no longer enjoy mountain walks – too many muggings, and lock and bolt ourselves in our homes to keep safe. Very few of us are stupid enough to carry cash, and those that do are relived of their burden when going to ATM’s to withdraw.

There are very few places today where our kids can ride their bikes in safety. Gone are the days when parents waved their kids goodbye and they went out to explore the world. The amount of missing children in this country is staggering. Not only are they sexually assaulted by ‘normal’ predators but there is still in this day and age a strong belief that raping a child will cure people of aids to say nothing of being murdered by witchdoctors for tribal medicines!

The sad thing is that the average South African regardless of race or creed, is really warm and open and loving. The talent in this country in terms of art and culture and sport and literature is quite frankly awe-inspiring.

So where did we all go wrong?

Did the struggles of apartheid de-sensitize us? Are we just a brutal nation? Is it just a small element as the government would have us believe?

All I know for sure is that I have taken to avoiding the newspapers as much as humanly possible. I cannot bear to see another burnt body, murdered woman or broken child.

South Africa has so much to offer, so much passion and colour and life, but day by day we are surrounded by death and destruction – my heart breaks at the violence – truly.

I have no answers, but I’m still looking ….

 
 

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Close my eyes to remember

Read this and be grateful for your life and all the hardships you face. Another wonderful post by Steven.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Strings of Sentences

 

Could You Repeat That Please……..

My daughter does not have ADD or ADHD.…say what…?

This morning I went off to meet the psychologist for the feedback session on my daughter’s assessment.

For those of you who didn’t read the looong saga that went before – Her teacher and principal said she was ‘out of control’ and showing signs of ADD and started on about putting her on Ritalin. I refused – point blank, repeatedly.

They insisted on an assessment which I couldn’t afford and because they were ‘desperate’ they decided to foot the bill in an effort to get a professional on their side.

This chap has an office at the school which he uses part time. The first words out of his mouth were that he was an independent practitioner and although he works from the school he pays rent and is not beholden to their opinion in any way.

Things were looking up.

The assessment was fascinating. It’s quite a long and involved process of play therapy, story telling and writing, questions and IQ testing. I was also asked before the assessment to complete about a 10 page form with details from birth till now.

The short version of what we discovered was that she was very bright in all areas with the exception of story problems where she bombed completely, which frankly explained her attitude of rebellion when faced with maths work – she just didn’t understand.

The stories she wrote were incredible. We had both experienced trauma with the death of my father who died of cancer and the ‘Attack of the Hobbit’ and a variety of lesser upheavals. It all came out in her writing. I had no idea that she had experienced any of it so deeply.

Kids translate so differently to us and because I didn’t see the stress I assumed she was OK.

I was horribly wrong. The same themes were reproduced in all her stories over and over again. It was a real shocker. The theme of her mis-behaviour tied up perfectly with the trauma she had felt. Despite that, her stories also showed her own belief in her ability to handle difficulty, which was very interesting and encouraging to see in such a little person.

The end result is that I have agreed to send her for play therapy to allow her to work through the things that have knocked her off-course. My daughter took to ‘Psycho Bob’ immediately so he will continue working with her, not only to help her to resolve emotional issues but also to identify the areas where she needs extra assistance at school.

After chatting to him I have also discovered areas where I need to ‘ up my game’ so to speak. We identified areas where I need to connect more, we chatted about how I could help her get more organised. He explained that despite the fact that I was exhausted half the time, I still needed to ensure that she had one-on-one time every day, even if only for 15 minutes. In his words ’15 minutes giving her all the love and cuddles she needs sure beats hours of fighting and conflict because she’s looking for it.’

Good point that……

As to the school – they must be spitting nails by now!

No quick fix, no short route to salvation, just good old fashioned patience and understanding…and to think they paid for this advice – Bummer!

Added to that it’s not little o’l me alone against the system anymore. If they treat her badly my daughter now has an adult she can tell, an adult who is a position to hold them accountable.

So one journey ends, and another begins…

‘Psycho Bob’ reckons that from what he can see she’ll prob only need about 2 months of counselling – with my co-operation of course, to say nothing of her school’s…..

When all is said and done my daughter will be able to off-load the ‘junk in her trunk’ and I have no doubt she’ll be a lot less demanding once she does. But that said, she isn’t called ‘The Diva’ for nothing…

My babes personality will always be a vibrant palette made up of artistic, creative, independent, determined, and emotional hues…and truly those are all the things I love best about her.

They’re also the things the school hates the most…..

Sucks for them doesn’t it!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Adoption Journey

 

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