Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fire in Santa Rosa!

We were woken up early Monday morning by a call from Sylvia’s niece, Gloria, who told us she was evacuating her house due to a fire in the neighborhood, about 10 miles from us—she was on her way to join us at our house.  She lives North of us.   We got up and started listening to the radio.  Quickly we found out that more than 60 fires were burning in our county due to high winds that had started the afternoon before.

We quickly lost all internet and phone system but luckily we had electricity although the street next to us and before us did not. 

So we continued to listen to the news on the radio and within a few hours more than 20 neighborhoods and over 20,000 people had to be evacuated in Santa Rosa.  Gloria took over 1 ½ hours to reach us due to the traffic trying to leave.  She got on the freeway when the fire jumped from one side to the other (over 8 lanes) and she and others had to turn around on the freeway and headed to another road! 

When she got here her phone service was working and so I was able to call my brother and sister-in-law and Major and find out they had left and were sitting in a parking lot south of Santa Rosa in the next city.  They told me that my nephew and his family had to evacuate also.

About midday my brother and Major and all came back to their house and they had TV coverage so I went over there and stayed for the afternoon.  It was so amazing to see the damage that had been done with over 1500 houses and businesses destroyed by the fire.  Soon they had 2 friends who moved in because they had been evacuated so I went back to Sylvia’s.

Sylvia is a Public Health nurse working for the county so she had to work all day in the 2 main Evacuation Centers doing everything from serving food to doing vital signs and triaging patients.  She went back again today.

On Monday night Major and I had been invited to meet with several people who have been to Chidamoyo over the years at Dr. Stephanie Huang’s house.  She came to Chidamoyo in June this year as an ENT specialist.  With great grief we found out she totally lost her house to fire early on Monday morning.  Her whole neighborhood is just completely wiped out.  She had so little notice to get out and the fire was coming so fast, she couldn’t get even her cellphone out before they were forced to leave.  We are thankful that no one was hurt.

We also heard that my nephew’s brother-in-law and his wife completely lost their house.  They had a new baby just born 1 week ago.  My forwarding agent Sue's daughter and husband lost their whole house and barely had time to get out.

Everyone knows someone that has lost a house and it is so sad for the whole town.  Most stores are closed or limited due to people not being able to get to work.  There is also heavy smoke in the air and the air quality is at dangerous levels so people are encouraged to stay inside.  Many people are wearing N-95 masks if they go out.

We had to evacuate our house tonight at 5:30 p.m. (Tuesday)and it took and hour to go 5 miles!  We are spending the night with church friends.  My brother had to evacuate again too.  Keep praying!  

They are expecting high winds today (Wednesday) which will not help in controlling the fires.  

Friday, October 6, 2017

Back to Santa Rosa, CA

We had a wonderful progressive dinner on Friday the 29th of September in Seattle.  We went to 4 different houses in Wallingford neighborhood and enjoyed a home tour, history of the home and wonderful at each house along with 11 wonderful people to share it with.  Thank you to all the homeowners who donated the proceeds to Chidamoyo Hospital.

On the afternoon of the 30th of September we flew home from Seattle to my hometown of Santa Rosa, CA.  We arrived home to a wonderful sadza and oxtail dinner cooked by Sylvia Majoni-Brown.

We have spent the last week traveling and doing shopping--getting ready to go back to Zimbabwe.

Sunday morning we left with good friends and Chidamoyo board members, Patty and Gary LeDonne, for the final SF Giants baseball game of the season at ATT Park.  We enjoyed a fun game in beautiful weather and it was won in the bottom of the 9th by a home run from the Giants!  After the game they threw autographed balls into the seats and Patty got one for Major!  He was so excited!

After the game we went to meet up with our Stanford research team.  It was fun to meet with them on this side of the world and enjoyed a wonderful Chinese dinner out with Megan and Matt, Ben, Rachel, Dr. Katzenstein and Ben's wife.  It was great to catch up with everyone.  We spent the night in SF and then took the bus home the next morning.

We have been to Costco 2 times in 2 days and we are buying things to help us run the hospital better.  We also took things direct to the container which is just about ready to go--we are filling the rest up very quickly!

We also enjoyed seeing Great-nephew Maximo and his team playing soccer this week.

We are also enjoying eating out with friends and family.  I am trying not to put on weight and Major is trying to eat everything!  What a fun time we are having and feel so privilege to be here for a few weeks!

ATT Park

Gary and Major

Patty and Gary LeDonne with Major and Kathy

Stanford research team with us

 Taking things to container with Becksteads

 Great nephew Maximo playing goal keeper for soccer

 Major enjoying dinner

Dinner with the McCarty family

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Trip to US continues

On Sunday the 17th of September we left in the afternoon with Cindy Carson (a Chidamoyo alumni in 2006) and her husband up to their cabin near Mt. Baker in Washington.  We spent 2 days up in the mountains and they got their first snow of the season while we were there so Major enjoyed holding snow and I was freezing!!  We enjoyed the beautiful cabin and hospitality of Cindy and Cam.  We took the scenic route home and saw Deception Pass, and stopped in Oso, Washington where a housing development was covered by a landslide in 2014 and killed 43 people.  Very somber place.

On Wednesday the 20th of September Major and I and four of our good friends, Cheri and Larry Gail and Dr. Darik and Jo Taniguchi, (Chidamoyo alumni many times each) took off for 5 days in Alaska.   We spent the first night in Anchorage and then drove to Seward for 3 nights.  We went out on a boat to see Glaciers and it was cold, rainy and tall waves.  Some of us got sick on the boat--most of the boat but Major and Larry ran around a lot and enjoyed it more!

One day the boys went fishing and caught 4 salmon.  We ate one and gave the rest away!  The girls stayed behind and had massages and walked through the shops in town in the rain.

We had a wonderful time and enjoyed finally seeing Alaska--a first for all of us, but we voted for next trip to Hawaii where we will all enjoy the weather better!
We got back on the 24th and on Monday the 25th we had a fun day celebrating my birthday.  We went with Cheri to her alternative high school on the Seattle University campus.  Major told his life story and encouraged the kids to stay in school. 

We had lunch with a Zimbabwean, Dr. Jerry Zifodya who is in a Pulmonary Fellowship at University of Washington.  We then went to pick up a new ultrasound machine donated by Sono Site.  Then we went to Cheri and Larry's son's ice hockey practice and out to birthday dinner on the lake--which was beautiful!  Definitely a birthday to remember with great friends.

This week we have been visiting people and talking about our work.  We got to spend an afternoon on University of Washington campus and visited in the Nursing Department with the Chairman of Family and Child nursing who sponsored our UW Global health team that was with us in July and August this year.

Life has been busy and fun while we have been in Seattle.  The last 2 days it has warmed up to 70's so we are happy for that!

Our phone number is 415-799-6287 while we are in the US if you want to call us.

Major exploring around Mt. Baker

It's snowing!

Snowing in front of an ice cave

Major on Bridge at Deception Pass, Washington

Memorial at Oso, Washington

Hill that fell down and covered a housing development in Oso

Cindy, Kathy and Nellie

First dinner in Alaska

Major and Darik on the Glacier boat

Ice floating near glacier

Glacier we saw

Major in front of glacier

Our group--Darik, Jo, Larry, Major, Cheri and Kathy

Major on boat trip

Darik and Larry in front of boat they fished on

Major and Moose

Sunset in Alaska

Major in Seward

Larry and the Salmon he caught and we ate

Major fishing

 Kathy and Major with Dr. Zifodya

Major and Kathy getting the new ultrasound from SonoSite

Happy Birthday!

Eli Gail in red jersey practicing ice hockey

Major, Kathy and Cheri

More birthday celebrations

Gail from UW with Cheri, Kathy and Major

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hong Kong, US

Major and I left Zimbabwe on September 3 and flew to Johannesburg where we had a 3 hour lay over.  Good friends Russ and Carolyn McFarland and kids came to the airport to see us as well as Major's son Michael who is in college in SA.  We had a quick and short visit before we got on the plane and flew 12.5 hours to Hong Kong arriving at 0700 on the 4th.

  We checked into our hotel and then went on a 5 hour city tour visiting Victoria Peak which is a wonderful overlook of the city.  Unfortunately it was a very cloudy day with rain on and off so we saw a lot of clouds and not much city!

That evening we just walked a few blocks and found a traditional place to eat dinner--pointing at pictures and enjoying the outcome.

The next day we went on a 5 hour walking tour of the shopping areas.  We visited the Flower Market, Bird Market, Goldfish Market, Sneaker Street and 2 street markets.  No one else turned up for the tour so we had a private tour with Danny our tour guide.  Then we went down to see the light show of the city buildings with music and found another place to eat some traditional food.

The next morning we packed and left for the airport after breakfast to fly on to San Francisco.  We arrived 11.5 hours later.  My brother and sister-in-law Dennis and Kathy were there to meet us and bring us home to Santa Rosa.

We had 2 quick days at home before we left Friday night the 8th of September to fly to Portland, Oregon and rent a car to drive to Eugene, OR.  We arrived to pick up our rental car the same time as many Nebraska fans who had come out to see University of Oregon play Nebraska the next day--so we were in a queue for over an hour to get out car.  We arrived at 1:30 a.m. and Terry and Randall Dale's house who hosted us for the next 3 days.

We spoke at our supporting church in Eugene, Santa Clara Christian Church.  We were so happy to meet up with Linda Marshall who came over from Boise to see us.  Linda and her late husband Dale were missionaries in Chinhoyi for 40+ years and a big help to Chidamoyo.  It was so great to visit with her and catch up on all the news.  Her brother-in-law and sister-in-law live there and took us out to a wonderful Mexican restaurant  where we spent the afternoon visiting and catching up.

Monday morning Major was up at 5 a.m. to go fishing with Randall and another member from church.  He actually caught 4 fish before I picked him up to drive back to Portland and that evening we flew on to Seattle, Washington.

Larry Gail pick us up at the airport and we are here until the end of the month with his family and our good friends.

Tuesday morning we took our first Uber and went to the ferry to meet our friends Pam and Jack Johnson (alumni of Chidamoyo) and took the ferry to their home on Bainbridge Island.  We spend the night and next day with them.  Jack took us walking in a beautiful reserve that afternoon.  We left the next afternoon for Seattle.

That afternoon we met with Beth and her team from Drip Assist who hosted us to discuss their product that we use at Chidamoyo Hospital to control IV infusions.

The rest of the week we spent picking up and setting up for our big Fundraiser called Benefit for Hope that Larry and Cheri Gail sponsor every 2 years to help support our work at Chidamoyo Hospital.    They had many donations for the silent auction and live auction.

Saturday we spent the day setting up for the Benefit and picking up desserts for the Dessert Dash.  We had a wonderful evening with over 230 people showing up to help us and the work at Chidamoyo.

We saw many friends who have visited us at Chidamoyo--one from 1999!Through the ticket sales for the event, to the auction items to the desert dash--we raised over $130,000 in one night!  It was truly an extraordinary night and we are so thankful for all our "Friends of Chidamoyo" who made it possible!

Carolyn and Russ McFarland family with Michael

Kathy and Major at Tram Peak in Hong Kong

Kathy at the flower market in Hong Kong
In front of city street Hong Kong

Welcome home to Golden Gate Bridge

Home with family in Santa Rosa
Randal Dale and Major making wood pens in Eugene, Oregon

Major in Randall's Model T

Major in Seattle

Jack Johnson and Major on Bainbridge airline

Pam and Jack Johnson with Kathy

Drip Assist team with Major and Kathy and Larry

Major, Julie Harrison and Sylvia at the Fundraiser

Fundraiser in Seattle

Kathy and Major at Fundraiser with Tina, a 1999 Chidamoyo Alumni from Oregon State program