Saturday, February 26, 2011

Let it rain and rain and rain

This is one our youth leaders who serves Communion every week in this shirt!

Sadza after church at Mukowe--we saw the chicken before he saw the pot!

The Headmaster receiving supplies from Major

Simra, Lindsay and Shavonne on the scotch cart!

Major check out how deep that river is! You can see part of the bridge is gone! We made it!

We have had rain and rain all night long and into the afternoon today! That may not seem like alot to you--but usually we have 1-2 hours a day--so for us to get so much rain at once is very unusual. We got 105 mls so far (4 inches). We really needed it because it hadn't rain much in February. In fact we had only had 58.5 mls up until yesterday for the whole month. Crops are looking good and this big rains has really helped us to keeps those crops going.

We were able to travel to one of our far away churches 2 weeks ago in an area called Mukowe. We took our 3 visitors Simra, Lindsay and Shavonne and took off on a 2 1/2 hour very bad road. At one part Major Mereki had to get out and roll up his suitpants to test how deep the water was in one river! Always an adventure when we go out.

We stopped a scotch cart (ox cart) on the way so that our visitors could have their "African bush picture." When we arrived we were greeted with singing and dancing. After church we were able to present the headmaster and school committee with exercise books, pens, and chalk for the students and teachers that had been provided by ZRSDP a group from the UK who are improving rural schools in Zimbabwe. We met for church in the classroom block they had just recently completed. We were also excited to tell them of further help to provide teachers with housing. Thank you to this great group that is helping us to improve schools in our area.

We are excited to report that so many of you, our wonderful supporters and friends went above and beyond to provide us a 40 foot container of medical supplies through MTI. Larry Gail ( headed this fundraiser and we are happy to report we have reached our goal and are in the process of co-ordinating our priorities for the medical supplies to be sent. Thank you, thank you! We will keep you informed on it's progress towards getting to us! You are the best!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The new generator has arrived!

The new generator being unloaded
Major is so happy!

Due to the generosity of many people especially, from Rotary Club of Sebastopol, Steve and Rosanne Prandini and friends, Larry Gail and Friends of Chidamoyo, a wonderful man in Ringwood, NJ and IDES we were able to purchase a new generator for the hospital. The last generator was brought 21 years ago and it was used then. For the past 2 years it has not been working well, eating up batteries (so we always had to have a car here to start it), not putting out more than 170 volts when we needed 220 and not allowing us to use it for X-rays, grinding mill and the air conditioner in theater. Through the generosity of so many donors we were able to purchase a new one and they delivered and set it up 6 days later! The generator arrived on Tuesday this week. It weighed about 3 tons and so they brought a lift on the truck to remove it with. Then we had 8 men to help roll it on poles and turn it to put it up on the stand that holds it! It took about 2 hours from start to finish moving it bit by bit. The company engineer hooked it up to our system and when we went to test it we actually had to turn ZESA off! We rarely have it and then when we try the generator it is there! We could take an X-ray and run the air conditioner and grinding mill at the same time—wow!
As soon as we finished testing it and turned back to ZESA, then ZESA went out 15 minutes later. I convinced Major we need to “make sure” the new generator continued to work and so we turned it back on for the 2 ½ hours that ZESA was out! I got to cook and eat with lights on—wow! Even my microwave work with it--yeah!
Thank you to so many people who helped us in so many ways. We know this will be a big help to us for years to come! This week so far ZESA has been better than most—go figure!
Thank you, thank you, thank you one and all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Off to South Africa

Kathy and her residents team and Buddy
Dr. Murenje and wife

Staff lunch to say goodbye to Dr. Murenje

Michael at Monte Casino in Joburg

Michael and Major in Joberg

Dinner with Zebedee Togarepi, Michael and Major in Polokwane

On January 23rd Major and his 17 year old son Michael and I went to Polokwane, South Africa (15 hour drive from here) to have our Land Rover worked on. The turbo had broken in it and the car smoked all the way down. We met up with Zebedee Togarepi , a minister friend who went with us in his car. I rode with him and we followed the “smoking gun.” We spent the week with the car in the shop and enjoyed running around and being in a “developed country” with a KFC on every corner and 2 McDonalds. What more can you ask for?
We enjoyed walking in a mall, window shopping, going to a movie and grocery shopping where they have everything and 10 brands of each. We spent a day driving to Johannesburg (2 hours from where we stayed) to show Michael a 10 lane highway and traffic jams! After 6 nights we drove home, crossed the boarder in an hour (that is a record almost) we arrived in Harare at 1 a.m. and left by 7 a.m. the next morning to get home.
We got home for the going away party for Dr. Murenje on January 31st—his last day with us. He has been with us for 2 years and has moved to Harare to take a job there. We had a great lunch and presented him with some nice clothes to wear to his new job—can’t wear his scrubs anymore!
This past week we were joined by 3 visitors, Family Practice residents from Ohio State. They are here with us for 3 weeks. They have had some good experiences so far from delivering babies, to do spinal taps to see patients in the wards and outpatients. They are Lindsey Konor, Shivonne Suttles and Simarpreet Vidwan. Dr. Zimudzi has been away for 4 days due to a death in his family and so they have been fun to have following me and doing a lot of my work for me!