It truly started out as a blue Monday. Three o’clock this morning I woke up and went outside for a pee. As always the moment my door opens Liefert is right there and out he goes. When it just looks like I want to get up he’s there, ready, wagging his tail in excitement hoping we’ll go somewhere or I’ll let him outside, not just to pee but to play or visit his girlfriends. It can rain, hail, snow even severe electric storms does not stop him, he wants out. He loves thunder and lightning. The bigger the better. In fact storms annoy him sometimes, he will bark at the sky “not excessively thank goodness” and curse the heavens for disturbing his peaceful slumber. Brave little creature he is.
I on the other hand also don’t mind lightning storms but when it gets really hectic and I mean hectic, then I start looking for my thunder buddy. It is also this very reason why Liefert gets extra annoyed when it storms because pappa is now a little girl and needs to be comforted. Such a baby this human. I’ll grab lil kookalooks from his perch on top of my clothes and shove him into my sleeping bag, much to his dismay and me talking in a strange baby voice ‘yorkie talk,you’ll see what I mean when you have a little Yorkie’ and hugging him tight, ranting on about the storm. He hates it but I love it “Be strong for both of us Liefert, I’m sc sc sc scared”
Ok I wandered off topic a bit and to get back to the story there I’m standing outside at three in the morning while Liefert is also outside hopefully just taking a pee, but in actual fact he’s taken off already to narda’s house. She’s on the same grounds as me just a few units below. It is now 11:53am and he’s still M.I.A. But, I know exactly where he is. He’s got a girlfriend at maak n jol and this is the source of his disappearance. That little floosie is causing me stress and worry 🙂 I did go by earlier and the lady said he’s there. Its a problem and he’s done it many times. I can’t contain the little man he just wants go go go anywhere and everywhere. Drives me nuts, but I always pray and ask Jesus to look after the little guy. I love him dearly and so when he wanders off like that I leave him in God’s hands, soon he returns from his adventures and heads homeward for a cuddle, not a long one, but a cuddle non the less and I can see that he missed me and wants to be home.
So dealing with that I then set off to find wifi. Oh first I went to narda’s house to see if she needs a hand. She had a hip replacement recently and needs a lot of help to get things done around the house, cleaning, fetching water, cooking, shopping, washing dishes etc. Her kids are not there for her so she relies on me and other people to help. Few days ago I left without getting water, said I’ll get some early the next morning and then totally forgot. Jeepers did I get a scolding. She said I was selfish,chased me away like a rabid dog. That was not a nice feeling, I did do a selfish thing and only thought about myself so I maybe deserved that. And so since then I make a turn by her first thing to check that she’s happy and everything is alright, I then filled up her water bottles and left.
My data bundle ran out recently and I only have a hundred rand to my name so I have to get a wifi hotspot soon to do some work. I recently signed up Sodwana Spa and I’m busy with her website. She’s such a nice lady and I don’t want to mess this up. Its been two weeks now since we started her site and my designer is soo…fricken…..slow aaaaarrgh. He can be lucky he sits in Bangladesh. Its like he puts all my projects at the back of his priority list and when he finally does do something it is not nearly enough work done and then I wait another 5 days just for him to load something simple. I’m sure he’s permanently stoned or something because he does not understand what it is I want and that this is my business and I need to perform. I don’t like letting clients down because he decided to take his time to finish my projects. I have lost one client who had two sites because he took his time.
So I went to a few places and didn’t find a working wifi connection, luckily the lighthouse is open on Mondays for the Easter season and this is where I am now, but this wifi too is not working because of the storm and so I started to write this post.
I’m reluctant to show you where I live partly because I’m embarrassed. I do have a sense of pride and I’m not egotistic, but this is the first for me, low cost housing at its bare minimum, I feel that I should show you just so you can get a feel of what I’m talking about. I also want to let you know I am very grateful for this place I really am its cheap R350 a month, has one plug point and a light,has a door that locks and two 2 window’s which can open and also locks. It will do for now.
Sitting in church yesterday I thought about my writing and after the sermon a chatted to a lady and told her that back in 2015 when I was probably at the lowest point in my life. I asked God to please get me out of the mess I was in. I also asked Him something that would have a profound effect on my life. I asked God to break me, break this negative, sad, selfish person that I am and make me new. But I distinctly asked God to humble me, and so He did.
I had a very low self esteem and I developed a big ego. I challenged people face to face about their hypocrisy, all the while being a hypocrite myself and I generally rubbed people up the wrong way with my think I’m better than you attitude. I have been humiliated badly in life and looked for ways to find attention in the weirdest ways. I couldn’t help myself and just kept on with my strange embarrassing behavior. I was addicted to cigarettes and alcohol but never had enough money to sustain my addictions. I would let people order me around just to score a cigarette or a beer, generally there would be a trade off. I’ll be your puppet or sidekick for an x amount of time or until the friendship ends abruptly as long as you would feed me, pay for the things I can’t afford, give me cigarettes and alcohol and if there’s drugs, I want some too, that is the trade off.
Not spoken of course or in writing but that is how it is with a lot of beta males or poor guys. Alpha type males with lots of cash will sponsor them as long as they keep in line and be their loyal friend. I think they instinctively know this deep down that nobody really wants to hang out with them because they are trouble makers and so they buy the loyal services of a beta male or the down and out. Its the same with chicks and bad boys. It feels good rolling with an alpha in the underworld, and at times you truly are happy when your off your pickle on drugs or alcohol having a blast, but secretly we all want to live a better life and not have to deal with all this nonsense that comes with drugs and parties. And so in the spirit of tolerance we put up with their bad behavior and their control over us because they provide the sweeties we are addicted to, yum yum give me some. We back them up in fights and keep their name high in social circles. You don’t cross them either and they will put you in your place quickly, if you want to be the leader of this dog pack then you have to fight for it. Yeah didn’t think so, sit down, drink your beer and shut up.
I loathed this part of me and my self esteem was torn to pieces. People hated me as I hated myself, I was an irritation to them and I felt it. ‘Oh here comes x’s little stooge’ or ‘no not this guy again’.Yep that was me. But I didn’t care, I was the loyal friend to the popular guy and he’s opinion is all that matters. Thinking back on it now I knew that who ever wanted my loyal friendship for any period of time needed me just as I needed them. We were all on our way out, and acted accordingly.
So imagine asking God to humble you when you are caught in this lifestyle that you so desperately want to get out of and He starts to go to work on you, people start rejecting you even more than before, friends and family, enemy or acquaintance call you out on your obvious parasitic behavior, which is always justified and fiercely defended, your true colors are now shining for the world to see and your whole being is crushed week after week. Still you don’t want to break and hand your life over to Jesus.
God then continue to hammer on the shields you created, breaking them one by one, eventually your battleship has sunk and now in your most vulnerable state the enemy is attacking on all sides, there is no mercy, an unseen force wants to wipe you from this existence. Finally after what seems like an eternity you find yourself on your knees begging God to please please please put an end to this. Night after night day after day the prayers flow out to Jesus, save me please, my soul is dying and I’m withering away. I can’t take this anymore please just make it stop.
And so one day in the height of my desolate state, Jesus reaches down and says ‘Mannie, take my hand now it is time to build you up with a strong, solid foundation’. I was a stone block but God saw the stallion inside and cut away everything that isn’t horse 😉 It hurt but I stopped drinking and a job opening came at the ski boat club. I then stopped smoking and stopped drugs altogether. I made a choice and I chose Jesus and the goodness he brings.
The point I’m trying to make is that I have developed this big ego of myself and I then started thinking I’m better then everyone, I developed a selfish nature where I only think about my own needs. No one ever seemed to be needing me and so I just looked after myself, people only need me to do hard work and I don’t like that. So God keeps putting me in places or let me experience things where I am humbled or humiliated if need be and sometimes still confronted for my hypocritical behavior but thank God not nearly as bad as before.
Remember I asked Jesus to do this because it was the only way I could change. Some people changed seemingly easy or it seems easy to me but I guess the change for them was just as hard as it was for me and countless others. It needs to be hard otherwise its too easy and we slip back and forth into bad behavior never truly changing. And so I find myself here in sodwana, I think God wants to show me something. I’m not sure what but maybe he wants me to appreciate the things I take for granted like hot showers, aaahh hot shower that would be so nice. Haven’t had one in ages. I bath in the rain or in a bucket with cold water, too poor to buy a kettle.
Also not having a tap in your house. I have to fetch water in 5 liter bottles and its amazing to see just how depended we are on water and how much water is wasted in everyday life. Water is precious here and I need to look after it. I sleep on a mat with just a sleeping bag. I was sleeping in a tent but that tent was too small and I needed some space, plus it was more expensive where I camped.
I want to tell you something about sleeping on the ground. You will not believe how good it is for your back and spine. At first it takes time to get used to but instantaneously all the back and neck pain I had from sleeping on a comfortable expensive bed disappeared. My spine and neck straightened and my posture is not so slumped over anymore. I get a good nights sleep and I feel refreshed in the morning. Doesn’t matter which way you turn everything is always perfectly aligned and your body straightens out so aches and pains are gone. I’m telling you if you ever experience severe back or neck pain sleep on the ground, not a mattress on the ground, get a thin mat that insulates heat and protects you from the cold floor and get a small pillow and you’ll see, pain is gone within the first day.
So yes I’m being shown just how the other half of the world lives and I must say its tough, mentally too because you keep thinking ‘ I’m better than this, I’m better than this, why am I here’ but Jesus keeps you there until your eyes open and you see. Slowly you are humbled and built up a new being in Christ. Just remember this: you will never truly change no matter how much you pray, if you are not willing to step out in faith and take action towards a better life. You have to let go of your vices and trust me I know how hard it is, but you have to do it. There is always a way out and if you don’t take it then its your own fault. It may seem that Jesus does not help me looking by the way I live but God shapes everyone differently and this is my journey. Its my shaping, He knows what He’s doing. I just have to trust and go with it and learn along the way, which I battle with and don’t always understand.
We all have a choice in life and if you choose to spend your money on nonsense and things you don’t need then well you can’t complain when you don’t have money to buy what you need so I’m not really complaining,
“yes you are”
“no I’m not”
“yes you are”
Spending money on things like R20 coffee’s at a coffee shop, guilty, R95 pizza’s because your too lazy to cook, guilty 🙂 and buying things I really can go without, that’s me, I can’t work with money so well and I spend it on meaningless things sometimes. Plus I’m not always so keen to cook and I react on impulse when I’m out and about and just buy. Think of it the way smokers do when they are trying to quit. Instead of sitting there suffering in silence because they want to smoke so badly they just give into it and light one up. That is how I am, I would want something so much that I just say bugger this I’m buying, we’ll deal with the consequences later. So don’t pity me, I can make better use of my money but there really are times when the tough gets going and every penny you pinch just goes nowhere and you end up broke.
So below is the full Gallery of where I am currently living in Sodwana Bay. Its not much but you know what I have been homeless for 3 days before I started on this journey and slept behind a church. It sucks and you don’t get much sleep because you sleep with one eye open and the ground is hard and all sorts of creepy crawlies walk up your legs, you get used to it after a while. So this will do.
Welcome to my humble abode 😉