The first day of spring was followed by a night where the temperature dropped to  -6 degrees. Such changing weather patterns we have to adjust to!

We have the welcome energy of volunteers at TRC offering their time and skills. Alex from Austria is a delightful energetic worker,  keen walker and gardener, and is busy with the preparation and early planting of the zone 1 garden. He is also doing the upkeep of the marked walking trails, as well as exploring other walks, while wishing he had the time to mark them! He is also busy with cutting invasive wood to construct screens around the utility area of the Brown House.

Annie from Germany, has just departed. She assisted in many areas, including the office, kitchen and working  alongside Alex. She helped in the community by visiting the Rietvaly crèche with me, and offered Priscilla her first lesson on an old donated laptop to help her with petty cash record keeping.

We have also recently been joined by 2 more volunteers: Jessica from Mozambique, and Masi from Johannesburg. They are busy finding their feet in their respective skills areas.

In Rietvaly, the developing Tirisano crèche with 26 registered children, is carrying on, and is in the process of becoming registered with the Social Welfare Department. We are hopeful that there might be some assistance in the future from the Department. The 3 mothers working with the children, and cooking, are establishing routines. A new fence has been erected to demarcate the site, and help keep the children safe. A small outside slate tiled area for playing and eating is under construction.


More Modibate residents are hoping to move to other settlements in the near future, so I am currently busy sourcing and buying the materials for basic tin huts.

The alien tree felling team from Working for Water have begun work, and are about to enter our property to tackle all the regrowth following their last tree felling service.

On site the ‘truth of impermanence’  is being brought home to us as Megan and Coen, after 5 inspiringly and productive years are sadly departing from Tikologo to begin their onward journey. They have been an invaluable asset to TRC and will be sorely missed. We are preparing to interview applicants for the steward position.

Alan who offers so much, and on whom we rely on for many things at the centre, will be away for a long period, to attend the teachings of Drupon Rinpoche at Samye Ling Monastery, as well as teaching commitments in Johannesburg, and then Zimbabwe.

For anyone who over the years has come to know George and Ina Svoboda,  living on our property at the Rok Shop, George (Jirka) after a few years of physical decline, has passed away recently. Ina, after years of caring for him, is slowly picking up the pieces after their 53 years of marriage.

We hope the spring weather inspires many to head this way for our future events or come as volunteers.

Pippa Cope

September 2019