Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Independence Day #31!

Maize harvest from my field

Working on flats

Some of participants in our workshop in front of Inyangombe Falls

Gladys in her fur hat to keep warm!

Loading Peanuts--still a mound of peanuts in background!

Happy Independence Day Zimbabwe!

This week started with Independence Day on Monday (April 18)—Number 31 for Zimbabwe. Even though it was a holiday we were still at work at the hospital. I made rounds, saw problems and some outpatient emergencies, did the discharges and then got to go home. So I was home by 2 p.m. No electricity from 8 a.m. for the whole day until 8:30 p.m. so not much we could do—but take it easy!
Major and I spent last week at a conference for mission hospitals on building up our infrastructure. We were 1 of 10 hospitals chosen to participate. It was held at a casino hotel in Juliasdale. We had to keep pulling the nuns away from the slot machines! The hotel is only 6 kms from my friend Gladys’s house and at dinner we were given money so we bought groceries and had dinner with her each night! We enjoyed sitting by her big stone fireplace each night and eating dinner. She is very active and busy and doing well for her 74 years!
Juliasdale is in the eastern part of Zimbabwe and up in the mountains (about 9000 ft and higher) so we were very cold the whole 5 days! We woke up to weather in high 40’s and never got above 60’s even in the sun all day! This is getting us ready for winter here soon! We returned home Friday night—after a 9 hour drive from there to here!
We think we have a buyer for the peanuts (yippee!!!). We finally found a source who wants our peanuts unshelled and the team is busy putting them all in bags! They are on their second week and still stacking the bags. You can tell from the pictures how much we have!! We are beginning to see the floor of our chapel again. We are all holding our breath and praying the deal doesn’t fall through! More and more peanuts come each day to pay for hospital bills.
My acre of maize was harvested by the youth group on Monday and it is now on the floor of our library drying until they can start taking it off the cob. We have already started buying maize for use at the hospital this year—so my grainery in my yard is filling it!
We are working on finishing up the flats and the plumbers have been busy fitting toilets, showers, sinks, etc. The men are busy plastering the rooms. How nice it will be to have 4 flats ready soon.
My wish to all of you is to have a wonderful Easter holiday—it is a 4 day holiday here from Friday-Monday as holidays—so we hope to get a break from work. We have an Easter meeting for 4 churches here starting Friday night through Sunday morning! Our other churches are also meeting together for 3 day meetings—so we have to try and visit all. Should be a lot of fun with singing, dancing, preaching, lessons and no one sleeping (except me—I will sleep!)! Celebrate—He is Risen!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy April

Cellphone tower Pulling out trees to start the Pediatric ward extension--old ward on left
Inside flat
The new 4 roomed flat unit with roof on
Mbangani family with Kathy
Students studying on desks for the first time in 9 years! Unloading the desks
The lorry was full

We were excited this past week to be able to go to Harare and get 40 pupil desks and 2 teachers desks and deliver to Mukowe school. This school has been supported by ZRDSP a UK based group that helps to develop rural schools.

Mukowe is 2 hours from here on a very rough road with many streams to cross! This program built a 2 classroom block and provided exercise books, pens, chalk and now benches. We bought the benches in September last year but had no way to get them out here, But now our lorry is working and we were able to go and pick them up ourselves! These kids have been sitting on the ground for the 9 years the school has been operating! They were so excited to finally have desks! The teachers were also excited and even more so when they found out we are starting to build 4 new teacher houses for them. The supplies have been bought and will be delivered shortly. Major is in Harare this week buying textbooks for the classes. Up until now they have had 1 book for the teacher only in each class! Thank you to ZRDSP!

We are in the building mood at Chidamoyo and we have been busy finishing off a 4 room flat building across the street from the hospital. This is to provide us more housing for our nurses and 2 rooms to be furnished for medical students from the local university who come 2 times a year to learn. They would also be available for government officials who always "drop in" and need a place to stay. They finished the roof this week and plumbers are here putting in the water pipes and they are starting to plaster the insides.

We have also started clearing trees for the Pediatric extension and trauma/duty room. We are buying cement and supplies and will start when flats are done. It is always exciting to see building going on.

One other exciting piece of news is that a cellphone tower has been started and is almost done on the hill behind our hospital. They say within 1 month it may be working! that means we will have a phone! It seems impossible after so many years of no phone. Now we are already fighting with patients who play music from their phones and turn them on and off when we don't even have coverage--can you imagine when there is service--no cellphone allowed-ha!

This past Thursday night we got a surprise visit from Eva Mbangani and her kids and brother-in-law Desmond. Dr. Mbangani was our doctor from 2002-2005 and now lives in Katherine, Australia in the NW Territory. His wife and kids had to fly home unexpectedly for her brothers sudden funeral. While in the country they came to move furniture and things they had stored her for the past 6 years! They spent the night, got loaded up and left the next morning. It was a short trip but we were happy to see them.

We thought our rains ended when we went almost 8 days with no rain but a big storm hit last night and tonight. Lots of thunder and lightening and last night almost 2 inches of rain in 3 hours! It was a downpour. It is starting to get cooler during the early morning--got down to 66 last week and i had to wear a jacket for a couple of hours until I warmed up! Winter is on the way, brrr...

Both doctors are gone for 3 days this week so I am in charge and on call, so that will keep me busy! Malaria season is upon us and we have a shortage of medicine and so we really have to make sure people have it instead of just treating in case. Makes life a bit difficult. Thanks always for your thoughts and prayers.