Hi Guys,

‘ Jambo, happy greeting you..... to get just West of Zanzibar.’

In June, Somebody gave us a gift certificate as an anniversary gift to buy something at a novelty store here. Yesterday,  on my way to the doctor’s, I saw the golden bicycle built for two ...25inches long...and couldn’t resist. This is our golden anniversary year remember? The wheels are still turning.

Precariously, I  made some  straw dolls...[.given my present limitations].... , dressed them up,  and voila, an East African Safari was recaptured. Like it? Ha. ...with room for improvement. Ha.

In June 1968, Mike and I gave up our Vespa scooter, Suzuki motor bike, and Austin mini, for a bicycle built for two, to follow our hearts and dreams via a Safari of all safaris to traverse the world.... and here we are half a century later....pains and bionics and all..... but most of all with all of you in our lives. ... in beautiful Canada....they call God’s Country.

`How lucky to be born free...born free to follow our hearts.’  We’re ready for another Safari. Care to join us? Come! Karibuni !

This Christmas is our 50th in Canada....I spent our first the New Waterford Hospital with surgery for a hernia, and I was three months pregnant with Aleixo. I thought I had come to Canada to die, but God in His goodness had another plan for me. I’m still in the land of nostalgia....and with a song in my joyful and grateful heart.

This is your advance Christmas card. Ha. There’s a mail strike in Canada right now. Enjoy.

Naku penda Malaika.

Yvette and Mike.

Song of the day:- “ Born Free “.

Hello again my dearest Family and Friends,
So, just in case you’re wondering about the sanity of your dear friend, moi, I am up-dating you on the situation here .... Not yet from the loony bin I can assure you. As you know, when my heart aches, I am compelled to write-a-sharing. .... ‘and then I don’t feel so bad....’ Ha! RABIZNAZ showed me the way to writing. Right? .... thank you for your kind patience and tlc.  

How can I explain it?

Last week I heard the church bells of the Anglican Church in Zanzibar wake me up .... it was early Sunday morning .... and I heard my Mum [ R.I.P. ] sing and explain ‘TODAY IS SUNDAY’ .... Perhaps if she hadn’t drawn my attention to this pretty one-liner when I was but a little tyke in far away Zanzibar, I would never have noticed or remembered the bells.... and I might not have been able to share the story with you, or even have the ability to be observant or creative, I’m sure.  Were these bells pealing for my dearest friends... of news yet to come last Tuesday?

Then came ‘ NICE PEOPLE ‘, on Wednesday, with my Dad[ R.I.P. ] leaving a treasure-throve of wealth beyond compare to capture my imagination.....was he reminding me of the NICE PEOPLE gone.... from my life? Help! 

I guess, as first born, I imbibed all the traits and gifts of my adoring parents, and I’ll attest that ‘pain’ of any sort was the dreaded equation in their lives, and thus, most honestly, in mine too. We became the true Cowards of the County. Now don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t have it any other way... not now. Not ever. So there. You’re stuck with me. Ha.

Yes. Yes. I know. I know.... or rather, I should know.

On further analysis, I am convinced that November 2018 has been a horrible month for me, as you will see. Over and above my physical shoulder pain since June, my heart has now been struck down with the loss of our dearest friends Judy and Jack who went to heaven within twenty-five  days of each other this past week. They were our best friends of fifty years, and the god-parents of our son Joseph. They were amongst the first  ones we met when we first landed in Antigonish half a century ago, and they became our forever-best-friends. All of you have met Judy and Jack at some point during the past fifty years.... hence this note to you.

News  of Judy’s passing came on Tuesday, the same day my dearest friend Yvonne buried her eldest son Vernon to a sudden heart attack in London England. What a terrible heart-ache for my dearest friend Yvonne whose parents were the principals at my parents’ wedding, in Zanzibar, and we were forever friends. And, in May I lost my dearest friend Shirley, my CWL friend par excellence. I was crushed with sorrow over the loss of my dearest friends.

The young ones have the right spin on this sad story. They will celebrate their parents through the Arts, for they , Judy and Jack, were true connoisseurs and contributors of the Arts, including magnificent works of charity and good-will....and they were our best friends. ....and we miss them dearly.  Bless them.

So on 2nd December, a celebration, of unequaled splendour is being planned for 7.00pm . at st. Ninian’s Cathedral. The Men of the Deeps , Jack’s Miner Choir of fifty years, together with many celebrities, will sing the praises of our dearest friends as we fondly remember the best of the past fifty years we knew them as friends. They are now heaven’s latest new residents brightening the night sky as never before. Way to go Judith and John [Jack].

S-ooooo let us wipe our tears, especially me, and let’s celebrate our dearly departed dearest friends, even as we commend them into the most welcoming Hands of God our Creator. 

But, coward as I am, my heart bleeds and will forever miss my dearest friends Judy and Jack, together with Shirley and All our dearly departed families and friends. I am very much saddened. May God bless them and keep them safe in the bosom of His Heart. And, having written this, I don’t feel like an orphan anymore for I know, He, is my Eternal Father who will ne’er abandon me.  Yes! 

 Yes, I came to Canada fifty years ago having bid family and friends adieu in East Africa to start a new life a continent and an ocean away, overcoming loneliness and vast distances sans the modern inventions of I-pads or I-phones ...etc........ and He stayed with me and carried me over the threshold with Mike and three beautiful children all these years to fill my heart with joy and unconditional love in beautiful Canada they call God’s Country Cape Breton.  How lucky I’ve been. Yes, I do know, and am forever grateful. I know....e’en as I share this with you my dearest family and friends. I know.

So there it is.... just in case you were wondering! .... now you too know! Ha.!

My daughter-in-law Debra sent me a lovely note when I informed my children of our sad news. She is my special Malaika.....she’s my anchor... just as Sophie Muise , my Bellemere , was , when first I met her upon my arriving in Canada in 1968. 

Yes , I understand the score, yet I still need your help. All my life I’ve been a pillar of strength, I think, even as I remember that label on the Golden Syrup bottle... .. ‘ Out of strength came forth sweetness ‘.... whatever that means. Now I feel like a basket-case.... but, instead,  I’ll wallow in the beatitudes and therein find consolation. Ha. 

Do say a prayer for me and my friends.....then hit the delete button. Ta. Now you know! Ha.

Take care All, and God bless.