There we were, a big family getting into our bus ready to squeeze three fingers into a bowling ball at Lets Go Bowling in George. For some residents this was the very first time playing Ten Pin Bowling, in their entire lives! What a great time we all had! A gallery of photos couldn’t dream to give you an accurate feel of how much they enjoyed their day of bowling.


We arrived to find an old bowling player waiting to join our team, there to give us that extra nudge of expertise, the Jura Care bowling team needed.  Oom Chris came into our lives, and being a Ten Pin Bowling Champion, saw the opportunity to introduce the game to our residents.  Over a cup of tea the previous week at our home he told us about the game with the Big Balls! Game on!


Another dear new friend joined us, Poppie and gently pushed the elder ladies’ fingers into the right holes time after time.  “This is for fun!” I said, but after the second ball rolling down the alley, no one was happy with only a couple of pins dropping. They were rolling to drop all of them one by one as they began mastering the art of bowling.


And it didn’t matter if they stepped too far over the line, threw too much to the left or to the right. The stimulation of bowling is profound. From hand-eye coordination, to a sense of achievement, we were so pleased to see each one enjoying the bowling in their own way. As we left the home the morning, dear Uncle G, asked what if they are going to laugh at me? And I assured him that, Oh yes we are going to laugh at you, and at the others and at ourselves, because it is going to be so funny.  He gave me a naughty look and a hug, and said: ” Well, lets go then!”


Our dear Aunty M, so small and fragile promised me only one ball. ( I think just to get my mouth shut), but I kept her safe, held her body close to mine, stepped into her form. and together we counted and threw….and as the ball rolled slowly forward, we breathed it…together to drop a pin! And she grew stronger and more confident after every ball, and she finished the game with all the others, proud to see her name on the board.

And for some…they just sat and watched, Our cheerleaders! But we know next Monday we might just succeed in getting you rolling a ball.

After the lovely morning with shouting and cheering and laughing a lot, it was time to go, and Uncle G wanted to thank Oom Chris for his time with us. Spontaneously we formed a little circle, and we stood there, a couple of people, reaching out to each other, touching and loving, and believing that we are still so alive! Thank you, thank you, thank you….

I think the message is……Do not underestimate me, because you think I can’t!

And do not think this is where the fun ends for the day. After almost two hours, all of us could do with something sweet, and KFC ice cream is just around the corner. But today we went for a warm cup of coffee at my mother’s house.


Tonight after supper, the Home is quiet, very quiet…..after a wonderful day!

If you’d like to join us next Monday morning for the next Jura Care Bowling day, to join in the fun and to learn how to interact warmly with our people, or if you have a special loved one living with Dementia who needs to get out, RSVP with Marlene van Niekerk: 072 3902447.