Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Learning Curve with Yvonne

My 82-year-old friend, Yvonne writing down instructions on how to use the computer, while on the phone to her daughter in Melbourne

A while ago I posted about my dear friend, Yvonne, who is 82-years-old and with whom I watched movies every Saturday afternoon while in South Africa. You can read this post here.

Over the months I'd suggested to her that she acquire a computer. If she did, I would teach her how to use it. She spoke to her daughter in Australia, who has close contacts with the owner of a large cattle feedlot just outside our town. This gentleman then tasked Angus (my younger son) who is the IT manager of the company with the entire project, including teaching Yvonne how to use it.

When I told him on the 20th of December that I was teaching Yvonne on my laptop until hers was ready, he made it top priority to have it ready before Christmas. By the afternoon of the 24th of December, Angus had installed her desktop with the Wireless Internet connection. I had been teaching her for the past fourteen days. She is a bright student, and had earned her living as a typist before she was married. There was no "hunt and peck" method with Yvonne and soon she was totally confident on the keyboard. She wrote down every instruction I gave her, which I later typed out for clarity. Within a short time she was able to open her own e-mail account, read mails and reply to them. Angus also set her up with Skype which has opened up a whole new world for this gracious old lady. She now speaks to her daughter in Melbourne on a daily basis and actually sees her on the screen.

I have just had a Skype call from Yvonne and it was wonderful to see my dear old friend again. When I was delayed in Addis Ababa on Friday, Grant Skyped her and explained the situation. Speaking to her today, she wanted to know all about the day I spent in that city.

Yvonne came to Marquard in her twenties to marry Ronnie, a Jewish batchelor with a trading store on the corner of the main street. He had been born in the shop (originally his parents had had a house attached to the back of the premises) and we all said he would end his years there. Together they ran the business until Ronnie became ill at at eighty and had to close up shop. He still ran his business informally from his home at the top of town. My house is opposite the one they had occupied for fifty years.

Almost seven years ago Ronnie passed away and Yvonne moved to a neat little home in the retirement village.

I have written an article in the provincial newspaper about Yvonne and her new hobby. I know there are many bloggers out there who belong to the silver-haired brigade and are as good as, if not better than the youngsters on a computer. In our town, however, this is not the norm. To my knowledge, there are no other octogenarians in our town who use the computer, so Yvonne deserves an accolade for this amazing accomplishment. (Any local townsfolk reading this mail, please correct me if I'm wrong)

I wish her many hours of enjoyment on her computer. It is a wonderful stimulant for an elderly person and I am very proud of her achievement.


  1. You're never too old to learn. For the past few years I have helped many 'seasoned' citizens through the world of computers. My oldest student was 94.
    It is so delightful to see their joy in sending and receiving an email from family members.
    Good luck, Yvonne!
    Sunny :)

  2. Wonderful Sunny. It certainly opens a whole new world for them. The day Yvonne connected with her daughter on Skype for the first time (we'd practised previously by skyping my husband here in the Sudan) she said it was the most exciting day of her life. Now I can connect visually with her as well!

  3. This is GREAT - hadn't know that! Perhaps I must copy A. Yvonne's notes and teach my mum (80 years old)!! Skole het vandag begin, so dit sal nou begin rustiger gaan. Sal een of ander tyd by T. Yvonne gaan kuier en haar vertel hoe oulik sy is om dit te leer! Op die stadium is my ma nog te benoud om 'n rekenaar te gebuik. Dalk gee Tannie Y haar die nodige inspirasie! ♥de, Ida

  4. Yes, Ida, you are her neighbour so pop in there and ask for her email addy. Bly jou ma in Lewenslus of is sy nog in Bloem? Het ek dit heeltemal mis. Ja, Yvonne sal haar aanmoedig - sy geniet haar rekenaar geweldig baie. Gister was Debbie en my kleinkinders by haar toe Skype hulle my. Te pragtig ! Liefjou. (((J)))

  5. It's great to see an older person learning computer skills.
    Using Skype is great fun. We've been using it to see/hear our grandkids long distance.

  6. I agree Janie. To have Skype while you far from your grandchildren is also wonderful. I get to see my three little ones (and speak to the two older ones) I will also see our next grandbaby, due at the end of January as soon as mum comes out of the hospital. Bliss, Thanks for visiting. I hope you'r wrapping up warmly with your sub-zero temps! (((Hugs))) Jo

  7. Hi Jo
    How wonderful to have the calibre of my friends.
    Bless you all
    Ida paid me a surprise call and is with me right now again on a learning curve.
    Love toou both

  8. Hallo Yvonne! Well done on joining the comments of Blogger. Now you can see on a daily basis what I am up to! Thanks for your comment. BIG BIG Hugs - Jo (Ida is a precious lady and I'm so thrilled she popped over to show you how to log onto Blogger)


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo