1.10.2017

Surprise and Hecticness

Surprise and hecticness

now following step by step.

During our vacation we got a SMS from “Home Affairs” to collect the result of our permanent residence application.

We ended our holidays one day earlier and just arrived in time to get our papers before office closing at 15:00.

Richard is now South African resident and I have been rejected. Speechless? That’s what we have been.The next days I had a nervous breakdown and only wanted to go back home. Home to Germany, to our kids and grand kids and to our house. Poor Richard. For sure it was a hard time for him because he couldn’t handle me anymore and was fully busy to prepare all my papers I needed for the appeal and the application for a new 4 years pensioner visa.

Sven brought first time a laughter into it asking: “Dad, what are you doing now? Sending Mam home? Super, she can start immediately as my secretary. And how many women will you have then?”

What happened? Home Affairs didn’t check my application according the requirements valid at the day of handing in my papers at which a certain gross salary income was to proof. Meanwhile requirements have been exacerbated substantially and the regular income is checked net. And this at a day with a very strong Rand – and I was about less than 100 Euro below the threshold.

That’s the strategy, the ordered company explained us and no single case at all: Unfair assessments and rejections because they don’t want white people in the country. Many pensioners demoralized from waiting over years, ill or meanwhile out of financial means for appealing or applying for renewal of 4 years visa. So only few appeal applications come back, what’s in the sense of government.

We proofed again my meanwhile even raised pension and added the rental income of our house. And now I’m well above the official requirements even as net amounts.

And now again: waiting, waiting, waiting! For at least 6 months, consider it 12 to 18 months.

But meanwhile my 4-years-visa has been extended to September 2021.

Richard already applied for his SA ID Card and got his SA driver licence. This reads so easy, but again was a long and time consuming process with preparations of paper at the computer and waiting hours in queues in front of different office counters.

Coming back from holidays, of course none of the agreed, bespoken and promised works on board of Camaheto were done, which gave me the remaining rest. So we started again, as happened two years ago with open construction places. We must try not to bother too much, which isn’t hardly possible any more, as after all I long for a cosy home, not marked by black shoe prints, silver metal shavings or wood chippings, Sikaflex imprints, …

I just try to get on my feet again, play my music, and live a normal routine day. Both of us are still involved with Sea Rescue and I had to do a controllers training the last weeks. Meanwhile I had my first self responsible rescue mission in the control room, lasting from in the morning to midnight. I managed it, could understand all English conversations, write them down, answer and minute them. Work the log books and papers as well as the computer work. I was really proud of myself.

Early this year we again had fierce fires in and around Simon’s Town. The complete mountain slope was a blaze until to the houses. Several families lost all their belongings. We had fear that all our camping gear, stored in a garage at the upper edge from the mountain slope also would be consumed by the flames. A couple of meters away from the plot the fire could be stopped.

Sea Rescue doesn’t help and support only at sea, but also in cases of accidents and nature catastrophes. This time I could accompany a mission direct at the fires to save camping houses. Never in my live I have seen blazing fires like this. Fire crawling up a tree trunk and the complete tree crown explodes. The fire can jump over great distances and starts at another spot a new fire storm.

Even days later I had to battle with tearing eyes. Richard took care those days only of our boat. The offshore wind blew still glowing ashes over the bay onto our boat. Still weeks later we had to cope with ash rain and our Camaheto was covered in black soot.

Autumn and winter is the time supposed to rain heavily to fill again the dams. In the last two years rain was falling more and more scarcely and weaker. Instead of feared mud slides down from the burned mountain slopes due to heavy rain this year we battle with a very special and serious problem: There is no water in our complete area any more! The dams are nearly empty. The last 10% of the dams cannot be used for drinking water as too muddy. After some storms in the last weeks dam levels have risen to meanwhile about nearly 40%, meaning effective 30% for drinking water. Comprehensive water restrictions are in place. Drinking water only for drinking, cooking, washing, body care. Washing water is collected and used for cleaning, watering and flushing of toilets. Outlet pipes from washing machines or kitchen drains were let outside into water barrels to water the garden. Water bottles are placed next to plants into the earth so that the raw water gets drop by drop to the roots.

After our sport training we shower standing in a pot. Water is turned on and off permanently. Water on to wet oneself – water off. Soap and shampoo – water on for a quick rinse – water off. Long showering isn’t possible any more. Richard and I just need one bucket water for us together.

Water on our marina jetty is available only on two days for one hour to top up our water tanks. Our washing machine is now connected to our onboard water tanks and we wash maximum one machine per week.

It will need at least 3 winters with substantial rain falls to fill up the dams.

The last big storm a couple of weeks ago brought again only little water and the strong winds blew the rain away from the dams.

Instead the storm with gusts up to 65 knots caused lots of havoc to the marina. All bridges to the marinas were broken and we had to use our dinghy and outboard to get on land or take during daytimes a ferry shuttle service.

This storm announced the winter season. Temperatures fell by nearly 10 degrees and the mountain tops were covered with white powder of snow. The raise of the dam levels is attributed to the melting of this thin snow blanket.

 

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