Last Thursday at around 4:30, a huge sandstorm enveloped Joburg! No one has taken responsibility for it yet, but the folks at the laundromat were blaming the Free State.
And when all else fails, go for more bureaucracy!
Last week, the Minister (Lindiwe Sisulu) held a housing Indaba, a big picture consultation with all interested parties. The Minister feels that the housing issue needs to be ramped up and that the results need to be seen, and soon.
NASHO’s ED, Malcolm McCarthy, made a presentation and felt that spending a couple of days there was worthwhile on the network front. The Minister promised him lunch soon. All the presenters, including NASHO, had to sign a promise to achieve certain goals.
Coming out of this , the Minister said: “We have agreed that the department of human settlements will establish the ombudsman office for the housing sector by 14 November 2014 to monitor the implementation of all policies and the resolution of this indaba.”
I can see it now. Another layer of bureaucracy will no doubt lead to demands for whatever is the equivalent of a Royal Commission!
Oh, and she also announced that there will be priorities to address the housing needs of “pensioners, orphans and veterans”. Augh! What about women, most of them holding up the hard end of the world here, and looking after orphans and pensioners while they’re at it!
What’s in a name, you say?
Well, if you were born Zulu, it usually means quite a bit. My teacher, who changed her name to Cynthia from Ntombizanele, brought a list of over 120 names for me to learn about. Here are a few of my favourites:
Dingane (m) – one who is searching
Khanyisile (f) – bringer of light
Lwazi (m) – the one with knowledge
Nobuntu (f) – mother of kindness/humanity
Nomvula (f) – mother of rain
Most names reflect something that was going on for the family, a wish for someone to provide or just a statement about things as they are. Some early form of birth control names like:
Sanele (m) – we are satisfied/have enough
Siphelele (m) – we are complete
And, as expected, some names speak to how girls are regarded, like
Ntombizanele (f) – enough girls
My homework this week is about learning times of day and practicing my verbs. I have to make sentences and came up with a few, including: “Ngiphuze kakhulu no Sisifo izolo ebusuku”, which I think means “I drank too much last night with Sisifo”.
Water, bringer of life.
Rooftops Canada’s campaign this year will help bring water to our housing cooperative partners in Kenya. Imagine yourself coming home after a day at work and then having to walk a couple of kilometres to get water for your family, carrying a pail of it on your shoulder in the dark before being able to make supper.
Our Kenyan partner, the National Association of Coop Housing Union (NACHU) helps its members build boreholes and wells so that women’s lives are improved. The ability to have enough accessible water to grow food, cook, bathe and do laundry is life changing.
Please watch this short video, then go to the link to donate. You will see a list of fundraisers in a box on the right hand side and may recognize some names (Jo Ferris-Davies, Barry Pinsky, Janet Kreda, Calinda Brown, Hugh Lawson).
Link to Rooftops Campaign page:
Speaking of the power of water….
Water and metal sometimes meet in unusual ways and the results can be amazing. My oldest friend Marie-Té, who is a long time west coast hippie, sent me a picture of something she found on the beach in Kaslo. I’d like someone to use it as a book cover someday….
That’s all for now folks!