Going walkabout

Little Unathi, adopted into the Netherlands from South Africa when she was one, also had a difficult start to life. She and her family were visiting the Wybrow-Oliver and Wandisa Teams - at the same time as Baby S was being rescued. Unathi is with her Dutch mom, Wendy Nijland.

Given the longer days, I’ve been walking twice, early morning and late afternoon, often just around the neighbourhood, to the various greenbelts and back home, and it’s a particularly lovely time to be perambulatory, because of the verdant backdrop of trees in full flush of spring foliage, bushes and shrubs, and flowers in glorious array everywhere.

The heady scents are intoxicating, and often I stop and smell the roses, quite literally, and any other bloom exuding its tantalising scent.

A couple of times I’ve almost inhaled a very surprised little insect, and had a brush or two with bees intent on visiting the same lavender sprigs, which given my allergy to them, could be problematice (but worth the risk, as far as I’m concerned).

My sister said to me the other day that we’re experiencing a “green drought”, as everything is still in a state of hydration after the winter rains.

But the dry months loom ahead, and the impending crisis of water shortages is the subject on everyone’s mind, and the conversation of the day.

And high time, too. As I write, the radio is playing a by-now regular ad, intoning “Every drop counts”. It does.

What is gratifying, is listening to so many people calling in with splendid ideas on how to capture, contain, preserve, distribute and dispose of water, potable and grey.

And, of course, there’s the trickle- down effect (ah, puns…) of the cleaning products we use in our homes, because if we want to save our water for potplants and gardens, the content of that water is critical.

Fortunately, there are a multitude of “green” alternatives to the ones that contain all the harmful bleaches and other toxins, and now, more than ever, is the time for discernment when making our consumer choices.

I’d like to thank Bolander readers for the robust dialogue on our letters pages in recent weeks, with regard to the Radloff Park off-leash issue.

It is gratifying to see such animation and public participation, and it is indicative of how prepared we are to engage with City officials, and one another, when subjects that are extremely close to our heart are in question.

I look forward with anticipation to other topics being tackled with equal vigour, like water-saving techniques, or sharing resources to alleviate the burdens carried by so many people who are involved and invested in the alleviation of poverty, or in the support of those in crisis.

If there’s anything I’ve learned, living in the Boland and Helderberg these many years, it’s that residents have huge hearts, and if we can be a conduit to the many orgnisations that need assistance, people readily step forward to lend a hand, or redistribute some of their unused items towards those who could utilise them better.

After our story last week about little “Baby S”, I visited with some of the stakeholders and volunteers in organisations that offer help, options and succour to women and children in very challenging circumstances, at Sandy Immelman’s home, and we had a wonderful afternoon exchanging ideas (see page 9 for Sandy’s article on Helderberg Baby Saver).

The next day, I visited adoption organisation Wandisa, in Somerset West, where I spent two hours with Debbie Wybrow and Rosemary de Kock (check out Bolander next week for their upcoming story), and I felt euphoric and joy-filled when I left.

They shared the exttraordinary co-
incidence with me, that one of their placements, Unathi, was visiting Wandisa with her mom, from the Netherlands, at precisely the moment they heard Baby S had been discovered (after I called Sandy to come down to Main Road, where I was with Cedric Titus, after he found her in the bin).

Unathi had brought gifts of clothes and a pink elephant, for babies who were waiting to be adopted, and told Debbie and her mom they must be given to Baby S, and everyone was simply elated at this good news story.

As for a little feedback on Baby S, she was visited constantly in hospital, and held and cuddled and loved, and is doing well, and now at a foster mom.

I give heartfelt thanks, for the enormous privilege of being a part of this wonderful community of carers.

Carolyn Frost: Editor