Sunset from top of Temple Hill

With mid-summer fast approaching, it is hard to believe that a globally challenging year is drawing to a close. Who knows what the future holds for us? We have certainly entered an ever-growing world of electronic communication with so much being offered on Zoom.  Wonderful opportunities for participating in home-based activities of choice, particularly if you have reliable internet, but somehow for me, these lack the important human contact when being with like-minded people.



A new era is shaping up at TRC with Tanja, the new TRC manager. She has had time to settle in and had her inaugural “ Fierce Compassion”  retreat to manage last weekend.  She ably demonstrated her management, people, and culinary skills with delicious nutritious meals which were appreciated by all the yogis attending.

The shade netting protecting the Tikologo gardens bowing with the weight of recent hail

The permaculture side of activity has kept going throughout the year, both on-site and in the Rietvaly community based on the Tirisano crèche site. Great support has come from SCD members of Michele Schiess and Thomas Linders who have been supporting environmental activates at TRC for many years, and their colleagues, particularly Leon Mdiya, their director, an experienced and inspiring community development worker.  A local four-day workshop focused on a permaculture design for the crèche site took place both here on-site and in Rietvaly in October. This includes needed buildings, an extended playground, and an organic vegetable growing area. We hope that early next year a funding proposal for the development will be finalised which will be submitted to Rokpa International and possible other funders.

Last week a group of seven young adults including Thabo and Soli who work here, and five Rietvaly residents who were involved with all the crèche planning activities, experienced a four-day urban trip to Gauteng  This was arranged by Michele and Leon.  They visited many different and varied permaculture focussed projects.  During our feedback meeting, both Soli and Thabo were positively glowing while recounting what they had seen and learned, and both seem inspired to bring some of the activities to Rietvaly and RPLC.

Toki refurbishing the old sash window

The renovations to the old farmhouse to be used for community support activities close to the Training Centre are nearing completion. A single worker Toki is now busy preparing the outside walls for painting after a challenging week of renovating a pair of old large sash windows that hadn’t opened for many years.  Toki and I had to go to Google for help on how to restore old sash windows.


Discussions at the Rietvaly creche



Next week the Rietvaly Tirisano crèche is closing for the December break and we are holding a year-end party for the kids on the crèche site, as we are unable to go for our usual outing to the Marico dam this year. Grateful thanks to those who donated funds, toys, and other items.

Jeanne and Brian on behalf of MWN and the Biosphere reserve have been working full-on trying to oppose new and resurrected prospecting and mining applications in the biosphere.  This is a challenging task with the SA economic development push to increase mining.

We invite people to join the Xmas period retreats on offer at TRC, or to escape into the bush here for a personal break during the festive season.


December 2020