Yesterday afternoon Jérémie and I went to visit The Chaeli Cottage, (his

second visit and my first). Talking to Zelda was nothing short of captivating.

 Seeing the real Chaeli smile... well I am yet to find the words to adequately

describe it... For someone who has been faced her whole life with the

challenges (but moreso the blessings I think) of being a child with a

disability, she is the personification of courage and ability.  I have a new

understanding of why children with disabilities are more aptly described as

differently-abled and not disabled.  Such warmth.. and while still glowing

with the innocence of being a teen, Chaeli is so marture and a real pleasure

to be around.  It truly makes you wonder if the able-bodied people of the

world are more not missing so much blessing of the wisdom that differently-

abled people have.

You can literally see, touch and feel the colour in the hearts of the people

who are at The Chaeli Cottage as you walk in the door.  It is apparent

everywhere, in the paintings and photographs on the walls, the smiles, the

giggles and the stories of courage and achievement.  Welcoming warmth. 

Zelda is a fountain of inspiring stories and memories.  One which is

particularly touching for me.  Chaeli, according to 'the experts' was never

going to be able to write.  On one of the walls are poems that she wrote, yes

wrote, and in handwriting that most children her age would not be able to

match.  She proved that Never is not in her vocabulary.  I dont think it is in

the vocabulary of any of the people who have been touched by the Chaeli


Walking into the kitchen which supplies the quaint little coffee shop area

they have at the cottage, I was enveloped with a smell which fondly reminded

me of my grandmother, whose kitchen was truly my favourite place in the house.

 Looking into the pot on the stove, bubbled fruit destined to become the

delicious jam they make at The Chaeli Cottage.  Stacked perfectly on a shelf

on the wall, little jars of differnt kinds of jam.  All at once I was grateful

for the brief conversation between the two Zeldas (Zelda is also the name of

the guru of the jam!), becuase I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

Literally 3 minutes earlier, I stepped into a world of colour, warmth,

character and nostalgia.  And there I stood silenced..

We sat and talked over coffees, until Chaeli came home and if I thought up

until then that the place could not get brighter, well I was mistaken, in came

Chaeli, in her Western Province plated wheels buzzing like a happy little bee!

Zelda truly is a mom-in-a-million.  In her blog writes about the start of her journey

to competing in the Argus, at first the plan was on a bicycle, but because of

problems with her knee, she improvised, and is now doing it with a hand cycle.

 Her description in the blog is not half as entertaining as listening to her

describe her training exercise, where the sound of the whirring of the wheels

was almost audible in her description!  She really is an inspiring person, I

think that anyone who is thinking of doing an Argus and who may have

trepidation in their hearts and questions in their minds as the date draws

closer, could really learn alot from her courage and determination to "beat

the hills" !!!! I know that it certainly gave me alot more courage to face the


I cannot describe with words the value which that visit had for me, there is

so much more to tell, but I would recommend one thing, go visit them, they are

at 18 Culm Road, Plumstead. 

If you are told that you will Never do something, remember that Chaeli was

'never' going to be able to do alot of things, and she will astound you with

what she is actually able to do.  Possible means achievable, even if your

journey to The Possible is different, more challenging and perhaps longer.  It

is nevertheless, Possible!