When word did the rounds that we were taking residents to Winklespruit, excitement naturally hit sky high. The round Table group got their machinery going and accommodation and food was sorted in a flash. Staff at Pevensey worked around the clock to ensure every resident’s needs would be catered for. Everyone was doing the count down. Everything was adding up.
Except the weather!
During the few days leading to the 16th of November, rain pounded the South Coast. Reports of incessant rains flooded our phones from all over Durban as concerned parents joined us in worrying that the trip would maybe have to be postponed. Word from the venue was reassuringly positive though. They reported that all was not gloom, and they would be checking and updating us on a daily basis. By the 16th, the signals where still green, so we loaded our bags, and ourselves onto vehicles, and headed for the coast. We left on Saturday the 16th, at 8:00am, and arrived at the UCSA Camp site in Winklespruit by 11:30am. Residents where shown into their rooms, after which a sumptuous meal was served. Noticing the sunny weather, we decided to take the residents to the beach immediately after lunch, because noone was sure about the following day’s outlook. residents love the beach. we spent time playing games and watching the waves, as we were not allowed to swim due to strong waves.
The following day we went to a different beach soon after breakfast, and there, some residents managed to swim in a swimming pool which is a part of the attraction at this beach. Amanzimtoti and Sani Round Table members spent wonderful momments with the residents, engaging and chatting with those in wheel chairs, and playing cricket in the sand. amazing is a word we have learnt to associate with this group of selfless people. They went out of their way, as they always do, to make it a wonderful weekend for the residents. It was a joy to see the residents so joyful, smiling, chatting among each other and to people around them. Indeed, holidays can be a valuable well-being programme to help residents to unwind, physically and mentally. We live with them every day. The transformation is so huge and meaningful to them. We all need to unravel and regroup, once in a while, and we can not express our appreciation for their efforts well enough.
Taking a leaf from last year, the Toti Tablers again organised a quad bike and residents were taken on rides, which were a huge hit once again. As a result, our Sunday afternoon was punctuated by roars of engines and cheers from residents as they devoured this happy pastime. Aware of how much Darius loves quad bikes, we went to him with words of encouragement, for him to join in the ride. He flatly declined, and said he only rides when he goes home on holiday. And he only rides a blue one!
The evening sped on. And after our supper, the staff surprised residents by performing a short play for them. all gathered in the hall, and watched the other side of their revered staff members as they went through their lines. Life is not all serious business. The residents thoroughly enjoyed this and when it was over, chants of ” we want more!!!” rang all around the hall. Thank you staff members for putting this together, and thank you Ronel Power for such a wonderful script.
Monday morning after breakfast, we filed into our vehicles and meandered back to Underberg. Back to familiar walls and paths. Back to our comfort world. Back to our responsibilities, which had been condemned to the back seats of our minds while the beach had us in its embrace.
Where can we find words strong enough to express our huge thank you to Ronel Power, Sani Round Table, Toti Round Table, Kloof Round Table and Kokstad Round Table, for the roles they played in all this? We have come to accept that with these fantastic groups of people, we are more than friends. We are a small travel gang!! And we took precious memories from this, leaving only footprints all over the Durban South Coast!