Autumn is approaching with cooler nights and days. I love this time of year, which isn’t as spectacular as Autumn in Europe, but leaves fall from trees, and the long grass turns brownish yellow, thereby creating a fire risk until the summer rains appear in October. The recent bright autumn full moon heralded the increased nighttime ghostly calls of the roaming Black Backed Jackals, in contrast to the spring full moon which brought the cacophonous mating frogs and toads into the pool alongside my house.

It is with sadness that I have just heard of the passing of Ulrike Mueller-Glodde in Germany, who was very involved with TRC in the past when she lived in Botswana. She was on the TRC management committee for a few years and produced the early TRC newsletters. Here is the first TRC newsletter that Ulrike wrote almost 20 years ago.

The Green Tara retreat in March with Lama Rinchen Palmo was hugely inspiring and it was great to welcome a few new faces to the centre.

The Easter Tara Rokpa Therapy family weekend was small but fun, with morning activities for the adults led by Trish and Sharon, and a few teenagers were occupied with other activities that I guided.  One morning they joined in with the creative activities together with the adults.  Afternoons were spent with walks to the Waterfall and swimming in Die Oog, the wonderful local dolomitic water source of the Marico River.

The staff contingent which numbered six in December has shrunk to three, and it is with sadness that we are bidding farewell to Tanja, who has been managing the centre, at the end of the month. We wish both her and her son Percy well.

Things have been very quiet on the Training Centre side since it closed at the end of last year. We are still looking for the right person/people to take the project forward into the future in support of Akong Rinpoche’s vision of training people and providing TRC with organic produce. If you are interested in sustainable agricultural practices and empowering people – please get in touch.

The Rokpa Tirisano crèche in Rietvaly is still busy. It is supported financially by Rokpa International and some individual donors. There have been some staff changes over the last few months, which is a bit unsettling for the children. Martha, one of the teachers, was off for 3 months following the birth of her new baby in December. Keba, another teacher, is about to have a baby any day now, and  Anna the cook had to take off for three months following the death of her partner due to cultural beliefs. Some new people have been filling the positions temporarily. There are 24 children on the register and usually about 18 children attend daily. I visit the crèche on average once a week. At this time of year the road there is usually lined with a show of Cosmos flowers, but this year, due to unseasonal weather, there are few flowers.

The committed and hardworking duo of Jeannie and Brian of Mmutlwa wa Noko are endlessly busy challenging the ever-increasing mining prospecting applications in the vicinity. Hopefully, their efforts will bear fruit to keep mining out of this pristine Biosphere area with unusually clean air and water.

We are looking forward to welcoming more people here for future events, self-retreat or just for a break away from the city.

Pippa

April 2024