News from Corhi – Safe house in Gansbaai

SONY DSC……………….FAMILY AND FRIENDS SEPTEMBER 2013……………

Dear friends,

Some days, like today, a smile, a face and even a smell reminds me of the time when we were all still together. My mother, father and family.

The other day I had a bad stain on my T shirt and had to wash it off with some green Sunlight soap. The stain’s gone, but the smell of my clean shirt reminded me of the times when we used to visit at my uncles farm in Vryheid. Kwazulu Natal.

Such long hot carefree days, twice a week the Zulu girls that worked on the farm would take the dirty washing bound up in the sheets, on their heads, of course, and we would go down to the Swartumfolozi  River with bars of blue or green soap  to do the washing.  A simple task for sure, but so much fun, fun, fun. The dirty washing would be spread on the rocks and the soap rubbed into it. Then rub rub rub, and rinse, in the clean flowing water. The washing line was the nearest thorn bush. We would spread the washing over it to dry.

With all that done, its playtime!!!!!! We would splash and play in the river until the dry clothes could be folded, then we started the long trek back to the farmhouse with my Zulu girlfriends each with a bucket of cool river water to use in the kitchen, and the clean washing bundles on their heads. Of course I also had a little bucket on my head but by the time I got home the bucket were empty and my clothes cool and damp.

I remember so well at the age of eight dancing with the music of the long grass in the soft breeze, turning and swirling with my beloved Jesus, laughing out loud when he would swing me in the air.  I would sing any gibberish words that came into my head, because my own words, so few.

My parents watching from the veranda did not see Jesus with me there, only me dancing and babbling in the long grass, they shook their heads saying what a little ball of energy I was. I grew up loving my family, my beautiful friends and Jesus with all my heart.

My parents have gone to be with Him, as well as my aunt and uncle, my childhood friends gone. The farm belongs to someone else now. But Jesus! He will always belong to me.  My deep love for the hardworking girls of my youth became a passion.

I was married at 19, widowed at 26 with 4 children. There started my dependency on my Zulu and Xhosa housekeepers. I had to go and find a job to sustain myself and my children.

They had proven themselves reliable and worthy looking after my four children as I went to work every morning and then come home late every night. Theirs were the aprons that wiped my beloved children’s tears; theirs were the hands that picked them up when they fell.  People ask me why I do what I do. That’s why; I am just paying it forward.

I  must confess that thus far 2013 is a very difficult year for me. I struggle with a few health related problems and still the end is not in sight. My constant prayer is that I will be able to keep on doing what my husband and I  have started. At least he is as strong as an ox.

Now, enough said about me.

All my children had chickenpox the last 4 weeks. All except Andi, he had fever but no blisters. Likho was very ill but also no blisters, so one night perplexed I gave him a Disperin and the next morning he was loaded with little blisters. He cleared up quickly and all of them are back at school. Jipppppeeeeee!!!!!

Colin had a Rugby match on Saturday; Piet went to watch and came back with stars in his eyes. We have a talented rugby player in the family and his daddy is going to coach him….

Colin is a very special little boy. The Gansbaai police brought him and his little brother Zakkie late one night. He was about two and a half years old Zakkie 6 months.  A Policeman carried little Zakkie and had Colin by the hand. When he walked into the door, he told the policeman ‘you can go home now; we are going to stay here’. And that they did. We quickly found out that Colin just loved meat. One night Piet helped prepare our evening meal and was slicing up a cabbage. Colin wanted to know what it was and Piet joked and said that it is meat. ‘njama’. Later that evening we saw that Zakkie was chewing on a piece of raw cabbage sitting in his playpen. Very surprised we started to watch Colin, lo and behold, we found out that every time we give Colin something to eat, he shared it with his baby brother. We would find little Zakkie sucking on a piece of bread or whatever Colin would give him. I started asking around. I spoke to some of their ex neighbors. Most of Masakhane knew Colin, they said he would wake up as soon as it is light enough to scavenge outside. He would walk from door to door to collect little scrapes of bread crusts, porridge that was scraped out of the cooking pots, anything that is edible. Then he would go home to share it with his baby brother, keeping little Zakkie alive. All Zakkie would get from his mommy was some of her ‘papsak’ wine or she would give him her breast milk diluted with wine and a very potent virus. When it started to get dark, he would dash back into the hut and go to sleep on the floor.

My youngest daughter Madelyn her husband and my two grandsons visited us last weekend. We had a wonderful time. With 7 boys all between 6 and 10 running in and out of the house I came to a shocking conclusion. We have outgrown our house. Our living space is much too small. We live in a two bedrooms (the one is my little office). The other is kept for emergency placing), small bathroom, kitchen and large living room. We added a Wendy house onto the house that serves as our two bedrooms. One for me and Piet and the other for the 5 boys. Very soon we will burst out of our seams as we jolly well are starting to do right now. We need extra space, extra cupboards, extra TOILET, as you can imagine.  The only thing I can think of is to add some more Wendy Homes onto the original house at the back of the yard. If there is anybody that would like to assist and help with funding this please contact us. We need all the help we can get. I also thought of selling the house, buy an empty plot and building a big shed type building and then divide it inside with dry walling. But the problem with that is this is Gansbaai, I will never be able to replace a home here, and property in Gansbaai is too expensive. I asked for some quotations for a 3 by 6 meter Wendy home, it will cost between eight and ten thousand rand. We can divide that into 2 bedrooms. I just need my house back into a living space, with rooms for the boys, cupboards for their clothes in every room.

In the meantime we are looking forward to my eldest son and his family, as well as my niece and her family to visit us at Christmas, I cannot wait. We will put up a tent in the back yard.  Jens is helping us at the moment with replacing our front door. Thanks again Jensie.

We are so fortunate to have many friends that want to lend a helping hand. I can really say that God has blessed us with wonderful people. To one and all, thank you very much, without you life would be so much harder. Sometimes the smallest things would be what we need the most. God bless you in abundance.

I was fortunate to go to my Brothers 60th birthday the weekend of the 6th to the 9th. It was such a blessing, Jens from Cape Studies paid for my plane ticket. The children were so exited; they wanted to know how I would get there. I said I will fly to Durban. How they asked. I could not resist answering that I will use the broom. The next morning Zakkie came into the kitchen where Piet was packing their lunches for school. He told his dad. Mom did not go to “Mermen” with a broom, because both brooms are still standing in the kitchen. He thinks I went with the mop, because he can’t find the mop… He is such a little funny bunny.

Blessings to every one of you.

Thank you for being part of our family,

you bring something to our family that no other person has.

Our family would not be complete without you

I pray that God and his angels will watch over each and every one of you and your family.

Much love

Piet Corhi and the Children.

By Jens

Easter holidays 2012 – 1

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African giggles – safe house

We are proud to support a safe house for neglected children. Our volunteers will get to know this project, help, play with the kids and get an insight into a life far from first world comforts.

Pictures and stories to follow soon

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Corhis´ safehouse in Gaansbai

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