Susan’s blog: Letters

Hand delivering letters from our Vernon area grannies to their letter-writing gogo partners is a happy task. The gogos are always beaming, thrilled that someone so far away cares about them. 

Norah Mhlongo receives a letter from her Vernon granny partner, Kathy Pratt.

Norah Mhlongo receives a letter from her Vernon granny partner, Kathy Pratt.

I’ve delivered 7 of the 26 letters so far, and have met a range of gogos. One is a retired nursing assistant who now has a small station set up at the centre to regularly test the blood pressure, blood sugar, etc for those who need it. One is HIV+ and has lost two daughters and a granddaughter through AIDS. One lives in a rudimentary shack made of boards, dirt floor and tin roof, but has a beautiful vegetable and flower garden surrounding her place.  One is very elderly and isn’t able to walk to the centre now because of the pain in her feet. When I asked what she was doing to help her feet, Ruth translated that she puts a “rub-rub” lotion on them and takes pain killers.          

It takes time but the rewards are plenty for me – hugs and gratitude, a chance to peek inside their homes and assess the living conditions, to ask a few questions, usually through Ruth as interpreter. Back in the car, Ruth fills me in on further details about each and I scribble it in my journal, then send a short email to each Canadian partner.

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3 thoughts on “Susan’s blog: Letters

  1. Thank you for taking the time to blog, Susan. Many of us would love to be able to meet our gogos, first hand, but cannot at this time. You make it feel as if, indeed, we are meeting them. Your commentary communicates a very personal connection.

  2. Hello Susan. I have a letter writing partner in Sabie by the name of Ellen Mgwenya. I have not received a letter from Ellen since February 7, 2010. I am very concerned about her and her family. Can you please advise me if Ellen is okay ?? Thank you for your time.

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