south of somewhere

Hi, our names are Sarah and Nathan Cooper. We are based in Sheffield in England, but are preparing to move to South Africa in September '06 to join a church planting team in the Western Cape. We hope that this blog will keep you up to date with our progress as we embark on this new adventure. Watch this space...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gesende Kersfees (I think that's how they say "Happy Christmas" in Afrikaans!)

We are now the proud owners of our own home! After several weeks the sale has gone through successfully, and we are still amazed at this answer to prayer and not just that, but a house which suits us and our needs so well too.

We are continuing to adjust to life in Africa. We’re getting used to buying seasonal produce – the supermarkets will be full of asparagus one week, so we dig out any recipes we can find using asparagus, go back to the supermarket the next week, and there’s not an asparagus in sight but the place is overflowing with melons! Things are in season for just a couple of weeks at most, and then it’s the next thing. It means you have to cook with whatever is available, but at least we get a varied diet, and ‘expensive’ things like avocado and asparagus are really cheap here when they’re in season.

We’re also still getting used to the plant and animal life. It feels like every day we see a new plant or insect that neither of us has ever seen before. We have butterflies in our garden the size of small birds – you’d pay to see those in England! Like the vegetables, the insects seem to come in waves as well. We had a huge moth outbreak that was pretty disgusting, (if you walked past any bushes they would all fly out in a cloud – horrible!) followed by an outbreak of millipedes (strange!) and then flies. They’ll be everywhere for a week or so, and then seem to disappear again. We also have huge beetles here that seem to like flying round our kitchen in the evenings, although Nathan’s discovered they make a satisfying ‘ping’ if you can hit them with a tennis racket.

We have been doing a lot of employment stuff with the youth this week – helping them to write CV’s, going with them to encourage them as they look for work in the shops, and accompanying them to confront managers who have not paid them their wages (common practice over here).

Happy Christmas to all our family, friends, supporters and devoted fans of the blog! We’ll be posting some pictures of our Christmas celebrations here in the sun...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas - but it seems unlikely...

It seems very strange to be drawing so close to Christmas when it's getting hotter by the day. It's not really the weather for mince pies and mulled wine! But we're still hearing "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas" wafting out of all the shops, which feels a bit surreal. Hope you are all enjoying the run up to Christmas, wherever you are in the world!

We held the last ever kinderbond last week, with around 700 children there to see the Christmas Muppet play and get their presents. After four years of Kinderbond every week, the team has decided to reach more children by taking the program on the road. So from January we'll be towing a mobile unit, complete with fold out stage, in to some of the most populated and poorest areas of Worcester. Children as young as four won't need to walk several kms, cos we'll come to them!

Thank you to every one who has prayed for Sarah's ear. After an infection that turned into abscesses (as painful as it sounds) it's now on the mend. Thank you also to everyone who attended the concert at the Foundry - it was a fantastic success!