My mind is empty. Normally I would receive that as a blessing. Although…, perhaps I need to make a distinct between empty and tidy. Tidy is not necessarily empty, but empty is alway tidy?! Anyway, my inspiration has been washed away. And know that inspiration is the fuel to set me in motion and keep me going. I can state that my intrinsic ideals need to be fed with extrinsic inspiration.

It’s slipping out of my hands. It is not only of the arrival of Covid 19 what is getting me down. My notes pile up but don’t cause it to turn into something tangible, something readable. It is a necessity for me to capture my “experience”. I must stay conscious and aware of what I feel and do. It helps me to add my personal value to me being and acting

Therefore, this post. There ar a few signs that have caused me to get behind my keyboard again. The fact that Andrea is writing again and even a post of hers has been translated and published. I have come to confront the consequences of my previous choices in life. (which is easy to do when in isolation) And… an answer from Athens to a simple question “let me know how you are doing”. 

As much as the above could be my own words, I realize that “sharing” is essential for me finding inspiration. It also ensures that I don’t have to change my name to “Remi”. This awareness gives me a boost to take my laptop on my lap and type.

The season is changing. Autumn is on the doorstep. Rain showers pass by a more often. And the ever-present wind attracts more and more. This wet period is not only noticeable outside! At Maranatha indoors it is also visible. Leaks in different rooms, including in the music room.

The hall is covered with cardboard on the floor to absorb the water. I noticed last year that here and there the ceilings show parchment tanned circles. The half-hanging softboard plates may also be enough indications that it is not always kept dry. These changing conditions require some of my energy and motivation.

The guitar lessons between the showers are actually fine on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Thando appears to have a predisposition to music and music instruments. I have set a goal for him to play the song “Let it be” for the community at Easter. (he doesn’t know that yet)

I got a call from ready4life asking if I can “house” two volunteers for a day. Because they can’t start their own project yet. Martie showed the girls around before leaving them with me. For me, this kind of “disruption” means switching again. I have to put the girls to work and make sure it’s not an activity therapy. It cost me some time in doing my own work.

Both have inventoried books that are still in crates, what they have done well. It took me less time than expected to get them to work. The app used for this is quite intuitive. They definitly are not afraid to use their hands and get things done so Perfect!

The workshops on Saturday seem to have been well received. The youngsters especially enjoy sitting with each other without strict rules. Rather than in rows behind and next to each other, they are in an “open” circle. It’s not something they’re used to in school.
The youth worker is happy to see how the youngsters can talk and share openly. How there was laughter and how serious they were. Express and sharing about how they experience, think and feel. Everyone listened to each other too. She found it refreshing to see how much dynamism there is.

The theme series is about ME (I). The youngsters start by introducing themselves, presenting and doing pitches. It promises to be a good series of workshops and they seem to find joy and pleasure in it. Due to technical issues we were forced to get behind a 12″ screen to see supporting video clips. It’s difficult to follow but the positive thing about it is that it results in a very focused group standing around my mini laptop.

Several start-up problems notwithstanding, people leaving, (read post Control ), waiting, delays and flooding, there are some results and progress in my work which pleases me, giving me energy. But… I need to pull hard to get things done, there are many deviations and adjustments in the projects. And that comes at the expense of my energy level. So my work drains more of me than charging me. Being flexible is good, but it does costs me a bit.

And it’s only going to get worse. It’s history when I write this, but Covid 19 is holding the world hostage. South Africa quickly picks up on locking the country. The schools closed, and the volunteers / interns of ready4life were called back to the Netherlands and Belgium. I’m the only volunteer left at ready4life. I don’t have a contract with R4L. I just work for them as volunteer.

So at that time no one was asking me to come back. It would be my own judgement to decide to do so.
For as long as I can, I work at Maranatha, but also they closed down leaving me out.
The children who normally go home or family during holiday were not allowed to go. It breaks my heart to see a mother come to pick up her child to come home, got stucked just hugging and holding, saying here child cannot come home. The child wasn’t allowed to go with! Mother left with grief and the child was left “motherless” in tears.
Regular visits were also no longer allowed. And with that, my presence! My daily life came to a standstill. All understandable, but I felt very empty. No work, no people around me. It’s a unknown feeling to me wanting to help but not being allowed to do so because of the risks. And that in a time where the demand for help is the highest.

From that moment on, I got into this rush to take care of business and close up as well as I can. I agreed with people about working from the Netherlands for the benefit of the current projects. Tuesday I made the decision to leave and Saturday 21 March I was flying home. Sad part was that I was forced to say goodbye to people who just came into my life.
That takes also lot of energy. Four days after I left, SA was locked down.

Now at the time of publishing, 2.5 months later I have only done limited things for the projects in PE. Once in the Netherlands, my energy level has decreased to zero. I forced my self to uphold my work arrangements and delivered, but I didn’t feel well about it due to lack of inspiration. It was my discipline which got me to do things. My inspiration has completely faded away. Empty. I may hope that the boost I have to publish this post, maintain and turn into inspiration. Hoping that I can close the leak.