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Concerts at Bosky Dell

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Celebrating new beginnings

So why ‘new beginnings? Well, its spring!! And, not only nature, but the entire world is slowly unfurling its wings and returning to a new post-pandemic way of being. And the wonderful ripple effect of this tentative, new-found freedom, is that our musicians, artists, and places where we love to gather, are once again in operation.

Bosky Dell Pastorale

We were privileged to host two outstanding musical events during the annual Plett Arts Festival at Bosky Dell Farm. The first was held on the 3rd October in rather blustery conditions. Patrons were invited to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the gardens and thankfully the breezy day did nothing to dampen their spirits or enjoyment of the world-class entertainment. In keeping with the rural nature of the setting,

Plettenberg Bay local, Mike Bhayabhile (baritone) and Lisa Engelbrecht (soprano-pianist) enthralled us with a selection of pastoral music.
For Mike, the return to the stage heralded the approach of a postponed, double scholarship, season at the esteemed Berlin Opera Academy in 2022 . Being awarded not one, but two, scholarships is testament to his incredible talent and the work he and his teachers/sponsors have put into his craft over the years.

Lisa’s youthful appearance belies an incredibly experienced and highly acclaimed, international vocal artist and pianist. Consummate performer, teacher and scholar, Lisa’s credentials read like a musical ‘who’s who’ and we cannot emphasise enough what a privilege it is to have established a relationship with her. She has previously entertained us as one of the ‘Opera Angels’ and she joined Mike in last year’s virtual Plett Arts festival.

The programme featured well-known arias, duets, ballads, and lieder – a much needed celebration of love, nature, and life. Wonderful performances from both artists ensured that the hour flew past and even the wind was hushed into silence. My personal favourite? Hard to choose, but I do have penchant for “les Misérables” and Mike gave an exquisite rendition of “Stars”….

 


Magdalena de Vries on Marimba

The following Sunday, the 10th, we welcomed Magdalena de Vries, the odd early rose and much milder weather. Three years ago, almost to the day, Magdalena performed in Plett for the celebration of World Palliative Care and Hospice Day and blew our socks off with her absolute mastery of her classically tuned marimba. Who could dream that it was possible to coax such sweet, melodic, and nuanced tones from a percussion instrument? We were in for yet another treat. My admiration for the artist and enjoyment of the instrument went up yet another level. The selection of music was ‘driven’ by audience reaction and culminated in an unrehearsed, but virtuoso performance of Rimsky-Korsakov’s ever popular ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’. Magdalena also brought along a mystery “guest” – a charming Japanese music box and, when she opened it and its melody tinkled forth, I recalled how, like so many little girls, I had often listened to the marimba-like sounds of a music box while a ballerina twirled, or a canary sang – pure nostalgia!

Our grateful thanks to the musicians, Bosky Dell Farm, HumBee Flora and ecoSunergy Flowers for a beautiful afternoon.

And last, but most certainly not least, a very special thank you to Lady Conyngham without whom the Plett community would never get to experience the range of artistic endeavours she organises with such aplomb. Not only does the art lift our spirits, but the events give us a platform to engage with our donors and share the love and compassion that are the underpinning values of HospicePlett. Thank you, Annabelle!

US Travel School visits Hospice Plett

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Travel School, a US-based organisation made their annual visit to our organisation. The school takes students between ages of 15 -18 yrs on a 6-week tour to African countries. The aim is to expose the students to the perspectives of other countries. This enthusiastic group paid us a visit on 13 November to find out what we do, how we do it and our impact within the communities we serve. Our CEO Cecily van Heerden made a presentation, in attendance was Head of the Clinical Team, Professional Nurse Edward Muchenje and Professional Nurse Dorett Herbst and Homebased Carer Siphosethu Ndinisa attended.

Volunteer Appreciation Day

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Hospice Plett Charity Shop Volunteer Appreciation event 23rd October  –  We love to show how much we appreciate our volunteers and celebrate the successes they help bring to our organisation. The Charity Shop contributes 35% towards our annual income and in the first year of its operation brought in over R900 000! So we decided to have some snacks and drinks at fellow volunteer Gail Wall’s The Whaling Station B&B and Spar. Each volunteer received a small box of luxury artisanal chocolate from Shautany Chocolatiers. Volunteers also proudly wore clothing and accessories they purchased at the shop. Many thanks to Gail for the use of her beautiful venue.

Hospice Plett staff support #HATSON4CPC

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Support for #HATSON4CPC – Friday 11 October was a day for raising international awareness of the work of children’s hospices and children’s palliative care (CPC) services worldwide. So Hospice Plett staff and volunteers in the Hospice Plett Charity Shop showed off their support.

WHAT IS THE DAY ABOUT?

The day aims to raise funds for children’s palliative care, but more importantly, to raise awareness of the rights of very sick children with incurable and life-threatening illnesses to receive palliative care.

We know that there are in excess of 21 million children in the world who live with a life-limiting illness or condition that will or could drastically shorten their lives.

Existing services are mostly in the developed world. Those in the developing world are often underfunded and inadequate to meet the overwhelming need. As a result, millions of children have a poor quality of life and suffer from pain and other distressing symptoms which could be controlled and significantly improved with palliative care.

 

WHAT IS CHILDREN’S PALLIATIVE CARE?

Children’s palliative care (CPC) is holistic care that responds to the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of a child with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness as well as providing care for the child’s family. It aims to provide expert pain relief and symptom control and whatever emotional, social and spiritual support is required to enable the affected child to enjoy the best quality of life possible in the circumstances. When necessary, it supports the child at the end of life and continues to care for the bereaved family members for as long as is needed. This care is provided by a compassionate team of people who all wear different, and sometimes many, hats!

Visit http://www.icpcn.org/hatson4cpc/ for more information.

Annual Staff Team Building

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Once a year the organisation hosts a staff team building day and this year the staff decided to have it away from the office. We also wanted to spend the night away with our colleagues so that we can get to know each other better on a more personal level. Since we would be footing the bill ourselves, we had to find something affordable. During a visit to a patient in Covie, Bernie and Marie discovered Kingfisher B&B, a low-budget accommodation establishment situated just outside Nature’s Valley and run by Debbie and Llewellyn Dixon. It has two self-catering forest huts and two caravans with separate ablutions. It also has a large lapa equipped with cooking utensils, gas cookers, a fridge, a sink for washing dishes, and a fire-pit for a bonfire. So we booked it and started the preparations for the weekend.

After we arrived and settled in we went searching for firewood in the dense bush that surrounded the property. As the sun set and the cold wind blustered we gathered around the fire chatting and listening and dancing to music supplied by Delsie. Later Cecily brought out the board game 30 Seconds, a game which most of us had not played before. However, after the first round, we soon became masters at it roaring with laughter at each other’s clues and explanations of the words and the team members’ responses.

The following morning Cecily planned two activities for us. The first was planting an indigenous plant in a tin which we decorated. The aim was to create something for ourselves which would have special meaning and which would remind us of our weekend away. The second activity was creating a booklet for a work colleague with whom we have difficulties. This booklet would then be presented to the person the following week acknowledging that there are difficulties which we would like to work thru. Ribbon, crayons, koki pens and inspirational messages were supplied to decorate the tins and booklet. Everyone was completely absorbed in these two activities and the liveliness of the previous evening was replaced by a sense of earnestness.

Later that morning, after a sumptuous brunch, we drove back to Plett with lighter hearts and new found gratitude for one another.

Some of the staff’s comments of their experience:

“From the moment we left here for the weekend I was excited because we were going away as a team. Although we have differences with one another it was overlooked that weekend. I found closure with issues I had, whatever bothered me I buried there. I made peace with everything and everyone and am looking forward to a bright future.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and the highlight for me was the board game 30 Seconds. It was such fun. And watching people trying to explain the meaning of what was on those cards – priceless!

“It is something we definitely have to do more often. I found it extremely relaxing and wonderful to bond with my fellow work colleagues.”

“I found it very creative. It was a weekend where we discovered each other’s strengths and talents. I loved sitting around the fire and playing the games. We shared and bonded which was wonderful for all of us.”