Autumn is in the air with abundant seeding weeds, plants yellowing and nights cooling. After good late summer rains the valley is looking lush.

Ceiling repairs

This has not been a busy month for retreats, but endless building and grounds maintenance continue. Our employees are currently replacing an old collapsed ceiling in the dorm of the Main House which luckily fell while unoccupied. No easy task as the house grew in different stages over the years with each room built with different building materials and slightly different heights. In the garden nonstop trying to keep fast growth of grass and weeds down with old and weary lawn mowers and brush cutters which spend more time in repair shops in Zeerust than working here.

Brenda taming the overgrown garden

We are lucky enough to have volunteers to help. Gordon from Scotland has just departed, and Brenda has jus arrived to spend the month. She has great gardening skills and energy, is an amazing professional photographer and keen to assist where it is needed on housekeeping and catering. Her introduction on her first day was having to help remove an unwelcome snake from a house.

The animal family has grown with a large light-coloured dog with one blue and one brown eye walking in. We traced some new owners of his who collected him from their farm at least 8 kms away twice but each time he returned before dawn. They didn’t want him back. I tried to persuade a friend who had recently lost 2 of his old dogs to have him but failed so he is now resident. He has bonded with Brenda and been named Jock. The other animals are slowly getting used to him.

final block making

My compressed earth block eco retirement home is making slow progress under Coen’s amazing guidance. Much of the material is taken from the surroundings and is labour intensive and unpredictable as each bit of soil taken up has slightly different qualities.

Annie and Maria singing games

Tirisano Creche has 11 children on the register and is supported by Maria and Rebecca with some other needed help on occasions. Annika is offering new needed ideas. We are also assisting the residents of ‘Modibate’ to construct “mukukus’ in other locations pending promised RDP housing continues.

Trish and Kerileng baking time

I, on behalf of TRC , am still peripherally involved with supporting both the hoped for biosphere imitative  and trying to stave off mining in the surrounding area. Others both formally and informally are far more deeply involved.

We are looking forward to welcoming more people for the up and coming events, as volunteers or just to relax in our available accommodation. For the retreat list click here.

xx Pippa