Thursday 22 November 2018

Exploring St Helena - and getting exercise...

Brother clergy climb Sister's Hill.
Archbishop Thabo continues to blog from St Helena as a result of repeated postponements of the flight taking him, Bishop Stephen Diseko, Bishop Allan Kannemeyer and Fr. Mcebisi Pinyana back to Johannesburg after the consecration of Bishop Dale Bowers:

Wednesday November 20:

At 7:30 we joined the weekly Mass at St James, celebrated by Bishop Dale, then had breakfast. I had run out of hypertension medication so my chaplain, Mcebisi Pinyana, and I enjoyed a walk through light drizzle to the hospital pharmacy. On our way back, an old lady ran across the street and said Eric had books I was looking for. This is how news travels on the island.

The books were piano lessons for beginners. I borrowed them and went to St James to practise the piano. Joy, my teacher in Cape Town, will be happy to know that I fitted in about 30 minutes' practice! I know it's a schlep for her to teach an adult but she is the best teacher for me.

Back at my room I continued to read “Justice” by Michael Sandel, a recommended read indeed. Then I dozed off; I did not l know that I had so much sleep in me! My siesta was disturbed by a call from my university friend and brother-come-businessman, who had heard that we are stuck on St Helena and wanted to send a private plane to fetch us. I assured him that the islanders are hospitable and perhaps God is willing us to rest.

I fell back into siesta again and at 13:55 the reception called and woke me up. Joy – another wonderful ‘deacon’, not ordained but diaconal in her varied services – came to check if we wanted any help. She also brought us lovely thank-you notes. Jamestown and the island are small and we are now “known” around town. It takes longer to move from place to place than when we arrived, as everyone wants to say a word or two and inquire how we are.
Jamestown, with Jacob's Ladder in background.

The four of us re-grouped and decided to climb Sister's Hill as brothers. Sister's Hill is the hill on the opposite side of the Jamestown valley from the hill which we use Jacob's Ladder to climb. We walked to the top and could see the new Rupert's harbour not far from us in the adjoining valley. Our aim was to walk to Rupert's valley from Jamestown but at a dilapidated watchpost we decided to enjoy views of the ocean and the different view of Jamestown.

In the area - Munden's Point - three Bahraini dissidents were held by the British at the request of the rulers of Bahrain from 1957 to 1961 - the last prisoners to be exiled to St Helena.

After some while we descended. We had hoped to get something from the stores on our way back but they close early on Wednesdays, so we went to one which was still open and bought what we could. It has been cooler and the wind is gone.

Talk is that we might leave on Friday but I suspect it might be Saturday – or whenever!

We each have meal vouchers from the airline for 20 pounds a day. We eat sufficient breakfast for the day and use our vouchers at dinner. Lunch is siesta. For Wednesday dinner we across the Castle Gardens to eat at Anne's Place, where we had a delicious home-cooked meal. I enjoyed the yellowtail and vegetables. (Scrolldown the Castle Gardens page)

After  dinner, I still needed about 1430 steps to complete my aim to walk 10,000 steps a day on my mobile phone Stepz App. It monitors my daily activities and since being on St Helena my walking is in the green area on the App, meaning 10k or above. So I went up towards the Post Office and back towards the harbour and around the fountain at the gardens and reached my goal for the day.

More photos from our walk - and the vouchers which give us sustenance....


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