Back to Rufus Rufus Visits the Tselentis Family

The Tselentis Family, Bryanston, South Africa

Monday, 27 May 2002
Amidst great excitement, Panayioti (4 1/2), mom-Jenni, and baby brother Michael (13 months) collected Rufus from Jen Whittall, our diabetes nurse educator. Panayioti couldn't wait to take Rufus home to see his "cousins" Rufus and Ruby who we were lucky enough to have come and live with us in February 2000, 3 months after Panayioti was diagnosed. That night, Michael was ousted from his feeding chair to make room for the 3 bears who joined in a reunion dinner with Panayioti. Afterwards, Panayioti administered insulin to all 3, who took their injections very well.

Tuesday, 28 May 2002
Rufus helped Panayioti and our friend Driki paint posters for Promiseland, our church childrens' ministry.

Wednesday, 29 May 2002
Went to school with Panayioti. Started out at computer class and then had a wonderful time meeting all of Panayioti's friends and his wonderful teacher, Michelle. Panayioti told everyone about JDRF and how Rufus helps children with finger pricks and injections. When Michelle tested Panayioti at 11:45, his sugar was 2.8 mmol - OOOPS! - when is Panayioti going to recognize his lows? He looked and felt fine. Good thing Michelle tests at this time every day. Anyway she had the glucose and sandwich at the ready and by 12:30 when mom came to pick us up, his level was back to 8.3.

P.M. Panayioti had his first appointment with the opthalmologist to get a baseline for future reference. Panayioti was a real 'champ' and his eyes thus far are perfect.

Thursday, 30 May 2002
A.M. Went shopping with mom.
P.M. We had visitors! 1. Saskia (3 1/2), who was just diagnosed on 20 May, came with her mom and dad Jaqui and Kevin and her baby sister Dante. 2. Timmy (3), who was diagnosed in March 2000 at 11 months, came with his mom, Gill, and his little sister, Bronwyn. It was a chance for Kevin and Jaqui to chat with a couple of "experienced" moms, and the kids had a ball racing round the garden together.

Friday, 31 May 2002
A.M. Went to the hairdresser with Jenni. P.M. Collected Pikey from school and then took Mikey to the paediatrician-turns out he has an ear infection! Later we did more painting for Promiseland, and mom packed the cases for our trip to Durban. There was a HUGE hail storm which made everything look like it was covered in snow. Panayioti couldn't believe his eyes. It is definitely getting rather chilly here now.

Saturday, 01 June 2002
Left rather later than planned for our trip to Durban, a coastal city 580 km away in the province of KwaZulu Natal. Panayiotis' dad, Spiro, has a brother there. His mom passed away on 23rd April and we are going down to the 40 day memorial service.

The trip down went well. We thought we might see a bit of snow on the peaks of the Drakensberg mountains in the distance but no such luck. On arrival in Durban, the wind was howling and it was really cold-very unusual for one of the warmest places in South Africa.

Sunday, 02 June 2002
Went to the Greek Orthodox church for the service and afterwards Panayioti chose some lovely bright flowers to put on Yia Yias' "garden."

Monday, 03 June 2002
Today is Jennis' birthday! According to Panayioti, she is turning 24-and that's just fine by Jenni. After giving pressies and a rather lazy start to the day, we all went off to have lunch at the Roma Revolving Restaurant, an Italian restaurant at the top of a 20 story building right next to the harbour. It turns one revolution every hour and you get the most amazing views of the harbour, coastline and city. Panayioti thought it was really cool; so did I! Panayioti had his standard restaurant lunch of grilled calamari, rice, and veggies. He then went off and made friends with all the waiters. We were there till 4.00 pm.

Tuesday, 04 June 2002
A.M. Took Panayioti shopping for clothing at the Pavilion shopping mall. Panayioti, at the tender age of 4 1/2, is already very label concious. Spiro better start saving! We ended up with two pairs of LA Gear shoes, Dalmation and Buzz Lightyear undies and Action Man socks.

P.M. Went down to the beach to visit Uncle George at his surf wear shop. Although it was still quite cool, the sun was shining so after feeding the pigeons we went and built sandcastles. Panayioti let go of his bucket trying to collect water and fell in the water face first trying to rescue it. Got totally soaked, clothes and all. After that, he decided he may as well paddle-ended up going home in mom's jacket.

Nighttime : Went to dinner at Anne and Graemes' house, friends of Jenni and Spiro from when they were at varsity in Durban. Panayioti had already had supper but ended up having a second meal of rice and salad, choosing to have extra insulin.

Wednesday, 05 June 2002
The men of the family took the Greek priest out to lunch. The kids and I went with Jenni to take an old work friend of hers to lunch. It was great because they had bikes to ride and a toy house, so Jenni and Pat had a chance to chat. After lunch, we went to Corobrik, the company where Jenni used to work before getting married. There were lots of old colleagues who wanted to see Panayioti and Mikey. On our way out we drove through the factory because Panayioti wanted to see how bricks are made. Panayioti has now decided he is going to be a "brick baker" when he grows up.

Thursday, 06 June 2002
Left Durban around 1:30 pm. Stopped off for supper and got back to Johannesburg by 8:00 pm in time for bed!

Friday, 07 June 2002
A.M. Went to the dentist with Jenni.
P.M. Went to Panayiotis' school friends' birthday party at the Lego party place. It was great fun. Panayioti took along his fat free microwave popcorn and biltong (dried meat) and when the birthday cake was cut Jenni had a slice of sugar free carrot cake with blue cream cheese icing all ready for Panayioti.

Saturday, 08 June 2002
A.M. Did some work at the church for Promiseland. P.M. Went to another birthday party-this time at the South African Military Museum where all the kids got helmets and there were army helicopters, tanks and jeeps to play on. We also saw lots of planes and tanks from the 1st and 2nd World Wars.

Sunday, 09 June 2002
A.M Went to Promiseland with Panayioti. Learnt about sharing and about using the armour of God.
P.M. Jennis' brother Michael took us out to lunch (a belated birthday treat) to another great Italian restaurant. There was a jungle gym and swings and a scooter ramp, so Panayioti kept busy whilst the adults had another prolonged lunch. The chef specially prepared some plain pasta with chicken and mushrooms for Panayioti.

Monday, 10 June 2002
Back to school. Jenni and Spiro had their parent/teacher interview today. Other than having difficulty in settling for ringtime sometimes (particularly when the sugar is a bit high straight after snack), Panayioti is excelling in all fields. Well done, Panayioti!

Tuesday, 11 June 2002
Panayioti reluctantly says goodbye to Rufus. Enjoy the rest of your stay in South Africa!

The Tselentis Family, Bryanston, South Africa

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Copyright Notice:
Rufus and Ruby, the bears with diabetes, is the creation of Carol Cramer, who owns the copyright to Rufus and Ruby. The graphics of Rufus are from Rufus Come Home, written by Kim Gosselin and illustrated by Terry Ravenelli, and are used by permission of the author.

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Last Updated: Monday December 23, 2002 10:52:24
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