How many people have spotted Eunice Tsikude waving frantically from the veranda of the Dargle Dealer as they whizzed past to Howick? Or had her dash over while they are ordering pizza, with an interesting looking parcel? Or even had a neighbour deliver an important package she suggested they bring up the hill for you urgently?
Eunice (or Thule as she is known by some of us) has been an integral part of the store and PO for the past 10 years. Starting out when Kathy Smith was the store owner. Since then the store has changed, expanded and contracted many times – Yvonne and Jay added a funky gallery, Mr Guerrera decided the ‘spaza corner’ was ideal and nowadays, Debbie Hayes has added her style and those comfortable couches. Eunice’s neighbours have changed often too. “I miss Liz Cuthbert, it was fun when she had her coffee shop next door. She always enjoyed chatting.” reminisces Eunice.
Eunice is full of surprises, speaking Portuguese as well as English, Zulu and Sotho. “I used to work in a Portuguese restaurant in Pietermaritzburg, where I learned to love grilled calamari and prawns.” she quips. Nowadays, her favourite meal is beef stew which she makes when she goes home on the weekends to see her daughter Portia. She loves playing with her grandchildren Alwande, Manelisi and Anele and their little puppy, Lucy.
It’s probably a good thing that her favourite colour is white as most of the post that needs sorting comes in plain white envelopes. “I really do love it here in Dargle,” she says, “I have many friends and have got to know people well.” She also knows the owner of every single PO Box number by heart – all 150 of them!
As you may know, the PO is not exactly a profit making enterprise – a small monthly subsidy hardly covers the rent for the space it occupies, let alone the kind and friendly service which Eunice provides. Keeping our post office going is an intergral part of keeping our community viable. Make sure you support it by posting all your letters there, buying stamps, filling your tank and getting supplies at the store too. What an incredible service many of us take for granted. Siyabonga Thule.