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Wash bag

In Msholozi there is a school for children who have no papers and therefore are not allowed to go to a government run school. There are about 24 children who attend and it is run by a local lady with one other helper. Two older ladies help one day a week, teaching English and crochet. These people are friends of Erin and attend the same church as we do. They work hard in difficult situation.


So Erin had little thought to make up a gift bag for each child. The local wisdom was not toys, but a wash bag. One of the nurses at the clinic where Erin assists said: 'most would have never owned a face cloth of their very own'.  Might be interesting to have a look in your bathroom and see how many face clothes you have, we have 16. 
So she is just finishing making up 24 wash bags, hand made with balloons on to signify that education can lift people out of the poverty they did not choose to be in. 
It's not much we know but it's a small significant gift to say you are loved and valu…
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Limpopo

Just trying to connect the dots of what we do here at Mercy Air.

This article is in a newspaper in South Africa it is talking about a place Limpopo., see map.  We at Mercy Air will be flying to in 2019 each month to a village there ans will be working in partnership with Flying for Life https://www.mafsa.co.za/index.php. We are seeking  to work with isolated people in need. I have been part of two flights this year to a place called Tshikondeni in Limpopo. more news to follow how we do up there.

how much ?

let’s get this out there now. We have a domestic to help us here in South Africa. After 33 years of marriage and having no paid help to assist us run our household and family and lots of visitors and Erin working full time we NOW have a domestic. Our old house was a 5-bedroom large house and we now live in a very comfortable 3 room Wendy house.  We have a lovely lady who helps us keep the house in order. not long after we arrived she came and asked if we had any work as she had a spare day and would like to be working, so we said yes. We were unsure what she was going to do in such a small house, but it is working fine. She comes to us each Wednesday, she is quiet as a mouse and listens to Jacaranda FM on the radio as she puts our house in lovely tidy order.    The reason I write about this is because I just found out what the minimum working hourly rate is for a domestic here in South Africa . But before that to give you that  something to contrast it to, the National Living Wage in th…

1st Road Trip to Mozambique

I recently took the opportunity to take my first long African road trip.
One of our mission partners who we have visited a number of times offered me the opportunity to go to their place for 10 days leaving Erin in South Africa! You can find them at  https://samministries.org/mozambique at their base in for 10 days. This trip would normally be a half day flight with a Mercy Air plane.



This time we travelled by car, a 3 day journey including two overnight stops with a friend who works at ASAM called Andy' who has made this trip many times. The first night we stayed in a very nice potting shed on a secure well-appointed site just outside Xai Xai. The second night we stayed in a lovely place on the beach at Vilankulos. Then on to the mission base.




The challenges on this sort of drive are; border crossing from South Africa to Mozambique, varying speed limits, (without signs) lots of police stops and speed traps, Narrow tarmac roads with lots of children waking to somewhere?, Tarmac with …

Free NHS?

It seems that when moving from one country to another it is inevitable there is a new normal. After all, why move if everything is still the same. Part of the experience of being here in South Africa is to discover new ways of living in comparison to the old ways.

As we left our home country of almost 60 years there was a debate raging aboutthe NHS (National Health Service). This is an institution close to our hearts as Erin worked in the Pathology service (Microbiology) for over 20 years. Like many we took for granted the 'free at the point of delivery' value it offered to all.I never really thought about the 6% of my stipend going to support the NHS. Like many I muttered under my breath when I had to wait too long in the doctors. I probably raised an eyebrow when I parted with my £8 something for a prescription. I had little thought to how much the medication cost to develop, make and dispense.In my old normal  I took all this for granted.
But the new normal here in South Afr…

The gift of sight!

Today, Saturday (the weekend!) I had the opportunity of getting up at 4.30 am, to be in a small (10-seat) plane for 5 am! I could have opted to stay in bed for a lie-in, and when the alarm went off, I confess, that just for a moment, I wished I had!
Nevertheless, here we are, Paul (pilot), Nigel and I, travelling South-West to a small airfield at Johannesburg. Why? We are going to pick up a small team of four, to take them for their Saturday activity - cataract surgery, in the Northern area of South Africa.
This is a trip made in partnership with FFL (Flying for Life); my first time to Limpopo, and to the area we are going to serve. As we at Mercy Air continue to check ‘the coordinates of our Vision’, I pray that this day will reveal more of Gods plan...
We arrive at Lanseria airport (Johannesburg) after just over an hour flight and take off again 30 mins later. We now have four extra passengers;  Sam (Flying for Life) has organized the trip,  Dr Maanda Mbogo, ophthalmologist, Dr Margare…

Favorite painting, Favorite child.

Having a favourite painting is like having a favourite child.
It’s a No No!  I was interested in this article:
The 15 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

Via Work + Money 

ttps://www.workandmoney.com/s/most-expensive-paintings-a7c5a09c57764f13


The headline of the article is all about the money, but I would encourage you to look beyond the money and the headlines to see what the artist is doing. I am now beginning to sound like someone who knows what he is talking about! Over the years, art has become important to me, and believe me that was a surprise.
I think my love of painting sprouted out of my passion for music. As some of you know my relationship to the painted canvas began with my encounter with Rothko’s work in the Tate Modern, a spiritual charismatic (moment.https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern/display/in-the-studio/mark-rothko)
So, back to: ‘favourite child, favourite painting’. Over the years Erin and I gathered a number of original canvases and prints, with all sorts of s…