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Anne Thomson of St Saviours and Cheryl Nelson of All Saints, Kabega, shared a little bit of what it is like to work in another country looking after infirm people in their homes. Anne spent two years in England and Cheryl spent three months and both had gone through an agency called Country Cousins. Since returning home Anne has married so is not thinking of going over again, but Cheryl will be returning for two months in May, as one of the couples she had worked for phoned and asked her to please go over to care for them again.
Picture: Sharing some of their experiences - Anne Thomson and Cheryl Nelson spent an afternoon sharing some anecdotes about working in the UK.
Cheryl was placed with a couple in Trotton for five weeks and after that with a 95 year old woman in Woking. While she was in the UK she also managed to spend a weekend with a former rector of All Saints, Dave Scott and his wife Glennys. She shared some feelings with Iindaba, saying, During my time in the UK I learnt to depend on the Lord, and to draw on resources from deep within, strengths I never knew I had, just to get through the intense hurt of the separation from my family. I thank God for the love and support of my husband, Barry, and my two daughters. Without their encouragement and the love from my All Saints family, I truly dont know if I would have got through those first few weeks on my own.
Why did I do it? Partly because our youngest daughter, Kirsty (15) is doing so well with her music and was in dire need of a decent piano to play. Not having been active in the market place for many years left me with few options. Weve bought a good second-hand Otto Bach and the family have also enjoyed a holiday on the 'Rhapsody'. Now Kirsty has been invited to be part of a Euro Tour so Ive accepted this second stint with the old couple who have asked me to return for two months."
Anne spent two 'very different' years working overseas.
Caring work involves living in somebody elses home for 24 hours a day, being a companion, carer and housekeeper/cook. One of the first lessons I learnt was to try to remember that although I had been employed to run the home and care for the elderly person, I was nevertheless a guest in that home. It is not easy for someone to have to hand over the running of their home to a stranger and to see things being done differently! I kept thinking of the old Red Indian saying that until you have walked 14 moons in another mans moccasins, you cannot understand ... and when things got difficult, I only had to remind myself that I too might one day be in the position where I would have to rely on others to do for me.
It was lonely work, as I only had two hours off in the afternoons. Not much time to get out! I did however, have lots of time to read and pray! Most of my clients liked to have their mornings to themselves, with the result that I too had plenty of Quiet Time and that became my lifeline during some very lonely times. I certainly learned to rely on God in ways that I had never done before! Getting to church was usually a problem, and only two of my clients were agreeable to my taking my off times on a Sunday morning to enable me to attend services.
In my very first position, at a lovely little town called Oxted in Surrey, I was able to join an afternoon Mothers Union group, who made me most welcome. They have similar problems to ours ie mostly older women, and not being able to recruit the younger mothers! I also attended two MU meetings in a small market town of Abergavenny in Wales while I took some leave and stayed with friends there. For the last nine months of my stay in the UK, I worked privately that is, I left the agency and found my own client, a lady in North Walsham in the county of Norfolk, close to Norwich. That was a really special assignment, and despite having the odd cup of tea hurled my way - because you really can't make a decent cup of tea - and being shoved out of the way in the kitchen because thats not the way to brown the meat - I know that I was in the right place with the right person. I know that God wanted me with that dear old lady and I know that she and I were meant to spend those nine months together. Often after she had had one of her little tantrums, I would simply go to my room, shed a tear or two, wash my face and go back to the lounge and we would carry on as though nothing had happened!
I am thankful for the experience which I had - and I know that
although I was used by God to bring His love to those for whom I
cared, I know too that He used those same dear folk to teach me many lessons.
Called Heatherby by everyone at home, Heather was thrilled that this is the name chosen for her rose. She has been the chairlady of the Karoo Rose Society over many years and other than a 20 year break in East London, she has lived in the Somerset East area all her life. She had two hectare of roses growing on the family farm (eight generations of the family have lived on it) and when she moved into town she immediately started a rose garden and nursery there. Her passion is Heritage roses because she says, Their fragrance is to kill for. Many of the beautiful roses in the All Saints United church grounds were donated by her as were the roses around the museum and other buildings in the town.
Besides being very involved in church outreach projects, such as dressmaking, within the community, Heather has been the instigator and inspiration behind the setting up of a rose Heritage Route which the Karoo Rose Society is forming and which will include Grahamstown, Fort Beaufort, Adelaide, Somerset East and some other nearby towns.
>From the catalogue:
Picture: In the rose garden - Heather Lappan in her garden of Heritage roses in Somerset East.
House of Resurrection Haven
This includes training fee, handbooks, tea and lunch. Participants receive a certificate at the end of the course.
The course includes basic information about HIV/AIDS, hygiene, home care, nutrition, counselling and testing for HIV/AIDS, women and children issues, HIV/AIDS in the workplace and discrimination against People living with AIDS (PWAs). The trainers use experiential training techniques with small group work, discussion time and role plays to allow participants time to explore their own feelings and thoughts about the disease.
This course has been approved by the Departments of Health and Social Development who also monitor The Haven regularly.
Dates for the next five courses during 2005 are: 14-17 March, 4-7 April and 9-12 May .
For more information on the course, or to register: phone 041 481 5585.
For more information about Iindaba,
contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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