Through the years we’ve been very appreciative in the way the “Homes To Grow” project has attracted support through many different sectors and we’re delighted now to introduce two intrepid adventurers, Nicole Morse and her partner Marelise Bardenhorst who are on a quest to scale the high mountains in Ecuador. Their trip is self-funded and they have kindly offered to champion our fundraising efforts in support of the “Homes to Grow” project.
Of all the requirements to ensure the children’s needs are covered, the cost of their education is the most pressing. We are aiming to raise R1.25 million through the long term and we have a very long way to go! The funds being raised through Nicole and Marelise’s endeavours are a promising start to this year’s target goal of R300,000 which will cover just the school fees.
Their departure is set for February 16 and they will spend their first days in Quito acclimatising to the altitude. The plan is to ease into the experience by hiking trails on the lesser mountains – Pasochoa (4200 m) Pichincha (4696 m), IlinazaNorte (5126 m) and then try to summit Cotopaxi (5,897 m). Prior to this undertaking they will undergo technical training on the glacier to hone ice-climbing techniques using crampons and ice axes. If all goes well they will attempt to reach the summit by starting the climb at midnight on the seventh day. This will give them time to descend before the sun warms the glacier making it unstable by possibly causing avalanches or ice and rock falls. Additional challenges for the climbers could be adverse weather and altitude sickness. Tackling this rugged and austere terrain is not for the feint hearted!
A steely determination shows through Nicole’s nonchalance when asked about the motivation for the adventure. She explains that it’s the challenge of wanting to climb big mountains and to experience glaciers that appeals as well as the quest for pushing oneself to the limit.
After they have achieved these initial goals and if time permits, they may even consider Mt Chimboraso, which is Ecuador’s highest mountain at an altitude of 6268 m. It has the added allure of being the tallest mountain in the world – that is not by elevation above sea level, but through its location along the equatorial bulge, making it’s summit the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from the Earth’s center.
The months of preparation and physical training is paying off. Nicole’s latest dash up Platteklip Gorge (Table Mountain) took an hour and six minutes and a rapid forty-eight minutes to come back down. While Marelise is presently studying in Amsterdam for a PhD in exercise science her training has involved a lot of gym work.
Their goals and aspirations are an inspiration to our young children and we’ll be eagerly following their experiences. What a way to learn about the geography of the lofty mountains of the Andes, right there on the equator clad in snow and juxtaposed between glaciers and volcanoes!
The St Francis trust members are grateful for the tremendous input and fellowship they have gained from partnering with their overseas associates. They inject a fulfillment of purpose and the “Homes to Grow” project benefits from their ongoing committment.
Dynamic in so many ways: in their giving, faith, support, compassion. This sums up the recent mission visit of the members of the St Peter’s Episcopal Church, from Arlington, Virginia. Volunteers came to be actively be involved in a ‘hands-on’ experience, as well as the committed team who contribute towards the Love Quilt project.
This year Gretchen Ginnerty, the co-ordinator of the “Love Quilts” came bearing another batch, this time one hundred precious handcrafted quilts. This follows the trip at the beginning of 2013 when 36 quilts were distributed to vulnerable or orphaned children in foster care.
The first stop was in Pretoria, where Diana Higgs organised the events and an exhibition of the quilts at the US Ambassador’s Waterkloof Embassy. Half of the quilts were distributed there to the needy children of the Tumelong Mission.
The remaining quilts were then brought to Cape Town and exhibited at the Baptist King of Kings Church in Sun Valley. Children from the “Home from Home” organisation are the recipients of these fifty heartfelt gifts.
Professor Boet Dommisse presented his latest book at a launch on the 26th March 2014, in St Francis Church, Simon’s Town.
“The Six Saints of Simon’s Town 1814 -2014” chronicles the 200 years of the first Anglican Church established in Southern Africa.’ St Georges Church’ as it was then called ,was built opposite Jubilee Square at the site of the present ‘Pescado Restaurant’ and a plaque will be unveiled by Bishop Margaret.Vertue on the 26thApril, followed by a procession to the present St Francis Church.
In 1819 torrential rains caused the original church to collapse and by the time the Simon’s Town Anglican congregation had collected enough funds to rebuild, Cape Town had started building the ‘St Georges Cathedral-so they had to rename their church ‘St Francis Church’ on it’s completion in 1837.
Boet’s book deals with the activities of this congregation with sensitivity and humour and also relates the happenings to current world history. A great read and we thank Professor Dommisse for his meticulous research. Furthermore he was able to get the MR Kingswell Charitable Trust and the Simon’s Town Cultural and Heritage Trust to fund the printing and publishing costs, so that the entire proceeds of the sale of this book are donated to the St Francis Outreach Trust. This group of caring people has been able to build and support the “Homes To Grow” foster homes that nurture orphaned, vulnerable and abandoned children in townships in the Cape Peninsula. These funds are most welcome towards the purchasing of another plot.