Our first opening . . .

by sandy on March 27, 2010

Saturday 27 March

We arrived last night to a very warm welcome and traditional Afrikaans dinner including delicious dishes of Tomato Bredie and Babotjie with our great friends Atucia and Frank Moxham in their beautiful resort estate, Bayete. Benjamin their son, lives in Australia and spent nearly 3 years with us when he first arrived and Kalai had lived with them for many years before that.

knit-a-square opening parcels

Then this morning Frank drove us to Ronda’s house about half an hour away and Zanny, Peter, Roger, Ronda and I have been photographing, unpacking and stacking ever since. I have to say we have nary made a dent. I certainly understand very clearly now why some of you would not have heard for months that your parcels are here. Believe me THEY ARE!

The very first thing we have decided to do is to find the parcels from Jacqui De Sousa which we know contain the Soweto Gospel Choir Blankets as we are hoping to visit Nkosi Haven on Monday to hand the blankets over. They are just glorious – we feel so proud of all of you who contributed to this effort and also to Debbie and Jacqui who organised the packing and posting. Thank you all.
knit-a-square parcel opening

knit-a-square parcel opening

We are still receiving squares for the Jabulani Khakibos Kids (in answer to Anne’s comments) and everything that has arrived to date is in the spare bedroom. You really have to be here to understand the logistics. Ronda has sensibly opted to not distribute until everything for one challenge is in place and the blankets have been made. At this point Ronda has been making the JKK blankets herself (there are 35 of them!).

It is immediately clear that challenges do make a lot more work at this end, but then as we are agreed you have to weigh up the benefit of the interest that challenges like the July Challenge and the JKK boys inpsire, especially knowing that you are working for a specific child.
knit-a-square opening

We are surrounded with piles dotted all around the lounge room, squares on the coffee table, baby clothes on the side table, toys in the corner of the couch, stationary in a box by the window, JKK stuff under the table, sweaters piled on the other end of the couch, GO-OVERS by the fire place.

Had we not got ourselves into a back log situation, then this opening would reasonable equate to a half a weeks collection. Bear this in mind as when we put in a full report, we should be able to work out what we need in resources.

Tomorrow all of us, (about 15) are off to Phiri Parish for a service organised by Lindiwe and afterwards to have tea in her house. We are looking forward to this enormously.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne March 27, 2010 at 18:08

How I wish we could all be there to help. Please tell Ronda that our current Feb/Mar challenge shouldn’t make too much extra work for her since things are “no assembly required” and with still 4 or 5 days to go, we have achieved the staggering totals of 79 GO-OVERS, 374 Hats and 53 SLIP-OVERS…… what an incredible group we have

Mary March 27, 2010 at 18:30

Hi Sandy!
I just finally got to look at this blog today. My – what a big job you all are up to! Like Anne, I wish I could be there to help, but I console myself knowing that I am doing my part over here in Italy by crocheting warm items for the children in South Africa. Spring is coming here, which means that Fall and Winter will be arriving in South Africa…
Please give a big hug to the whole crew there!

Dawne Smith-Sliming March 27, 2010 at 23:14

I continue to be impressed with what the South African operation can accomplish without a full support staff. It staggers the mind.

Thank you for bringing this experience right into our living rooms. It’s so nice to read the blog and see how things are going.

Say ‘hi’ to everyone there and a hearty ‘Thank You’.

kyla March 28, 2010 at 01:39

Sandy, your family has now become part of the ‘ladies at the other end,’ (I suppose ‘gents at the other end’ as well now too,) and all my blessings are with you all. I cannot express how much I wish I was able to be there with you to help out as much as I could.

Elizabeth March 28, 2010 at 08:06

The sheer volume of squares and other items continue to amaze me. All our thanks to all of you for your time, work, committment and willingness to live amongst all those boxes! How I wish I could be there to help.

jackie March 29, 2010 at 19:31

how wonderful to see some of the blankets have arrived. unfortunately i ran out of funds and had to d0 some quick fund raising to send the rest of them.. the balance of them only left USA last week. 11 boxes in all – i only see four boxes in the photo so keep watch for more. thanks for this experience – it truely is amazing!!

Andrea Palmatier March 29, 2010 at 19:34

You girls look just lovely holding those blankets! To echo Elizabeth, I wish I could be there to help with the back log. Thank you so much for keeping us updated and for all your hard work! :o )

Laurie Hake March 29, 2010 at 20:30

Awesome – wish I could help in some way. Enjoy!!!, and don’t overwork yourselves or Rhonda!!!

Jana March 30, 2010 at 06:16

WOW! Doesn’t look like there is much space in that room.
So lucky that someone gives you space for all that LOVE!

sandy March 30, 2010 at 07:51

Hi Jackie, I will post tomorrow about our delivery to Nkosi Haven, the blankets are going to be greatly loved and will have done their work in a multitude of ways.

Debbie Posmontier March 30, 2010 at 13:19

Wow! I’m so happy to see these pictures and know that the blankets are arriving. You are wonderful to keep us all informed. Many thanks…

Hanna Russo March 30, 2010 at 14:52

It’s nice to see our labor of love continue. I wish I was there to visit, assemble and to have tea with all of you too. Love the photos.

Jo Jasner March 30, 2010 at 19:24

At my stage of life (90) I have discoverd a new passion: knitting!
Am enjoying those 8 inch squares and some hats too by keeping those fingers moving and those needles clicking. Thank you all.

Jeni Nesbitt (Harrisons Mom) April 1, 2010 at 11:05

Lovely to see all that is happening there. I was delighted to see one of my Gospel Choir blankets has already reached you. I am so proud. I hope you eventually manage to make a bit of a dent in the parcel pile. Many hands…
Best wishes

Polly Talbot April 1, 2010 at 22:30

It is amazing how such a worthy charity is bringing together people of all ages from all over the world. I know there is a large number of school children who contribute squares, and I am thrilled that Jo Jasner at 90 years young has a new passion in knitting for these needy children. Well done Jo.

Pam Lee April 2, 2010 at 14:34

So glad to know you are still busy knitting. Such a worth while project we are involved in. I am crocheting my squares as it is a little easier on my fingers. I am using acrylic yarn as pure wool is very expensive here in the UK. Good bye for now. Pam Lee

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