Saturday, March 31, 2012

Typical week at Chidamoyo?

Stewart and Dez oainting in peds ward
The framing for roof completed on nurses station
Louise, Veronica and Gilly at work folding gauze
Bob on his way out the door to airport
Patrick and James Easen
Gilly Withers holding baby in theater

Well this past week was a busy week with people coming and going. People always ask me what a
typical day/week is like for me at Chidamoyo. I always reply there is nothing typical and you just go with the flow. This week the flow was more like a flood!

We started with 11 people for breakfast on Monday and thenMajor left with 3 visitors to Mukowe (2 hours away) to see one of the school programs that James sponsors with his organization ZRSDP (Zimbabwe Rural Schools Development Program). The rest of the group spent the day counting pills, doing statistics and the men painting the new windowsills in the new pediatric
extension. Bob was finishing up the frame for the roof on the new Nurses’ station/trauma room.
The school group wasgone all day until about 7:30 p.m. and came home very exhausted but talking excitedly about the “short” program that had been put on for them. They also stopped at one school for potential help and another that is finishing up on their project. Tuesday morning again started with 11 for breakfast and then the school people left to visit more of their projects and the rest of us went to the hospital to do our work. The women continued with statistics and the men with painting. Bob finished up the roof and reluctantly we said good bye to him at work.
After 3 months, 2 roofs and 1 building he worked on, it was hard to say good-bye. We appreciate the sacrifice he made to be with us so long and without his wife, kids and grandkids! We hope to get him back here again soon!

Tuesday evening we had dinner for 13 to say goodbye to Bob and James and Patrick. Wednesday the 3 came for breakfast at 5:30 a.m. and by 6:15 they were on their way to Harare! The next group of 8 came to eat at 0630 a.m. and we left for work at the hospital. That evening we had our Bible Study and we were all so tired we were in bed shortly after it finished.

Thursday morning we had breakfast for 8 and then the 6 people from the UK left for a special dinner that night in Harare, Seth and I were so busy in the hospital neither of us made it home for dinner and I came home by 6:30 p.m. and fell asleep in front of the TV. Seth heated
his own dinner and I finally woke up at 9:30 p.m. and went to bed! Major came back from Harare at 12:30 a.m.!

Friday we had a group of 3 from Chinhoyi who came out to assess our back up power needs. They
joined us for lunch with Major and so we had 6 for lunch. Then by afternoon the group from the UK was back from Harare and then for dinner we were back to 8 of us for Friday night Pizza!
Saturday the group was busy with men painting and women working on some statistics for me.
We had 7 mls of rain during the night so our rains continue but they are slowly getting further apart as our rainy season is almost over for another year.
We just finished lunch on Saturday and I started to work on some things and got called for a C/Section. So off Seth and I went to do a C/Section. Had a big beautiful baby Boy and Gilly one of the UK visitors sat in to see it and hold the baby after delivery. Her daughter, Michelle, is a doctor in Alice springs, Australia--so she was able to show her daughter by pictures that she saw a C/Section.
Today is April 1st and we started with sending Seth for a C/Section at the hospital--April 1st and then Dr. Kabanzi for another case! Then during breakfast a heavy rain started and looks like it might continue all morning! April showers!

I am feeling better now and working on getting my strength back. We look forward to another busy week up coming. Our UK friends leave onTuesday morning, our container arrived in Harare Thursday and should arrive early next week here. School is out on Tuesday for Major’s kids in Harare and Cheryl is joining us full time on Thursday! Seth has to go in to get his visitor’s permit renewed.
So much for typical in Zimbabwe! Stay tuned for more adventures of life at Chidamoyo!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

More visitors

Lifting up the trusses
Bob and his team working on the roof
Stewart getting window panes ready to paint
The UK ladies at work counting and bagging pills
The phone shop

Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick

I was able to spend last Sunday afternoon with a long time friend Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick from Washington, DC who came in to be a comsultant for a University of Colorado and University of Zimbabwe program held last week. It was great to catch up on things.

Another busy week and 6 more visitors joined us on the 19th from the UK. Mike and Gilly, Dez and Veronica and Lorraine and Stew all from the UK arrived to help us. Mike and Gilly run our UK Chidamoyo Trust who have helped us with many projects at the hospital. They were half partners on our new building project of the Pediatric extension and the Nurse Station/Trauma room. We quickly put the men to work painting and the ladies counting pills and doing some needed paperwork! They left Thursday early morning for 3 nights and 4 days at
Rhino Camp in Kariba—so we will welcome them back for another week on Sunday
night (tonight).

We have been busy trying to get the roof frame on before Bob leaves next week. We don’t have enough money to buy the tin to put on yet but the frame is the hardest part and needed
Bob to direct that before he left. So he is working flat out 6 days a week to get it done. We have threatened to not let him on the plane if it is not done-ha!

Cheryl is down to 5 days left at Chinhoyi Hospital and counting so she is happy—I think the word is ecstatic! She will be able to settle down her and we have many patients waiting for her needed services. I hope they appreciate the free labor they got from her for the last 3 months! The good part is she knows Chinhoyi better than the rest of us from all her time there. We are so thankful to the Nick and Lindale Adams family who kept her in their home and feed her. Their kids, Zane, Trent and Serene kept her well entertained by playing games with her!
Well last month our transformer for ZESA at the township blew up and so we have no electricity to our cell tower and no phone. Luckily our transformer here is still working. People have found a small corner outside of the hospital to make calls from. We call it the phone shop and all day and night there seems to be people there making calls!

I have been very sick for the past week with an inflamed gallbladder—no stones. Not much pain but a lot of fevers and chills, which really knock me out! I didn’t miss any work but several times
would break for a nap in the doctor’s office in order to keep going. They are treating it as an infection and hopefully it will settle down so that it doesn’t have to be removed! After 9 days I think I have finally broke my fevers and am getting some strength back! It’s hard to keep up with visitors and not feel well. They have been very understanding!

This week ZESA has been very generous. Right now we are working on a 45 hours
straight record! They were here to collect money on outstanding bills today and when I asked them why the electricity has been so good this week they said they have shut off massive
amount of customers for non-payment so now the amount needed is less—wow, are
we happy or what!

We welcomed 2 more visitors from London, James Eason and his father who are here to oversee their school programs that we help them run. They are here until Wednesday morning.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rhino Camp Kariba

Major touching the Rhino
Bob and Rhino mom and baby
Seth, Major, Kathy, Cheryl and Bob
Bob and Major elephant watching
Elephant greeting

So how does it feel to be able to not only see a black Rhino but touch one? Black Rhinos are on the extremely endangered list with less than about 200 in the world left. They have been pouched for their horns used for aphrodisiacs and dagger hangers for some years. We went this Friday 9th of March through Monday the 12th to Rhino Camp and wonderful safari camp on the shores of Lake Kariba about 46 miles down the lake. It is on the edge of Mutusadona National Park and there are 14 known Rhinos in this park which is over 200 miles long and wide. What was our chance of seeing Rhino? We hoped for the best!
Our second day out we woke up to hear the Rhino were near camp and after breakfast drove less than 500 feet and a mother and her baby were laying in the sand of the shore taking a nap. Wow—we were excited. Every time I have seen Rhino keep thinking this may be the last time as they are disappearing so fast from Zimbabwe and the world.
We sat for an over and hour watching as the baby nudged the mom awake she he could nurse. Then I came back to hang out at the camp while the others went on a longer ride. Within an hour a heard a snort and there was the mom and baby eating bushes outside of our room. I was able to sit 4 feet away on the steps of our room to watch as they proceeded to eat, then go under our room (it is built about 10 feet up in the air) and rest and then they took off towards the shore
line where elephants were.
Our group then appeared in their Land Rover and drove up next to the mom and baby and got to pet the mom! How exciting was that! What a wonderful day to enjoy all that God has created!
That evening we went on a boat ride to see more animals and especially enjoyed birds who were fishing for food with their beaks! Each do it a different way all giving them a chance to catch what they need to eat!
Major went fishing on Day 2 and caught 87 bream with the guide who went with him! Wow was he happy! He was talking for ages about it—the great fisherman! We enjoyed a fish dinner—my favorite! He brought home several for his wife who was so happy!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New visitors, old friends

Bob and crew working in new Pediatric addition
Breaking through from the old room into new addition
Kathy, Beth and Joyce Frasure
Dwain, Tammy, Marilyn, Bruce in back row and Jim, Kathy, Joyce and Beth in front
Jim preaching on Sunday morning
Our first X-ray patient with the new X-ray

It is always fun to have visitors we know and recently this past weekend we had 2 doctors and their wives who have worked here. Dr. Jim Frasure and his wife Joyce, a nurse worked here from 1972-1978. They returned with 2 of their daughters, Kathy and Beth who had lived here as young
children. Also Dr. Dwain Illman and his wife Marilyn worked here for 2 months in 1990.
We also welcomed a nurse from Indiana, Tammy and a man who works for FAME, Bruce. FAME is an organization in Indiana that collects medical equipment and sends it to many people throughout the world. We received a container from them several years back.
The group of 8 arrived in time for dinner on Friday evening. We had a wonderful reunion, had
our Friday night prayer time with them and then off to bed as they had only arrived the night before from the US!
Saturday morning after breakfast they went on an extended tour of the hospital. There were many changes from when they were here and even more patients are being seen now. We are so thankful to those who came before us and all they did and added to the work of the hospital.
At lunch the women went with me to a wedding shower for one of young church woman and nurse at the hospital, Bennie Munemo. She is marrying one of our minister’s, Last Nyamaharo on May 5th. We enjoyed lunch and some wild dancing!
Sunday we enjoyed church with Dr. Frasure preaching the morning service and Dr. Illman preaching the evening service.
One of the things they will remember is that we had no electricity from Thursday before they arrived Friday and it came back on in the afternoon on Monday after they left early Monday morning! Because we had no electricity we also had very little water. Our water pump for
our diesel borehole and not been working well and we haven’t had the money to
replace it, so without the electricity to run one of our boreholes we had little
water. So they hung in there with little
water (1 hour a day) for the whole time they were here!! They will remember their trip.
This week we got a new borehole engine for the diesel pump and we now have 2 big storage tanks full—yeah! How relieved we are! We are so thankful for our supporters! God provided the money just when we needed it.
This weekend another visitor from before came to spend a few days with us. Nura Isala was a third year medical school in 2008 when the University of Zimbabwe was closed. He decided to come and work with us so he would not be sitting and forgetting what he had learned. It turned out to be 7 months he stayed with us and became part of our family. We were happy to celebrate with him last month when he passed his exams and he is now officially Dr. Nura Isala!
He returned to thank us for helping him achieve his dream of becoming a doctor. He starts his housemanship in Mutare in April. He will be there for 2 years. We wish him well and maybe we
will see him back here as a doctor in the future.
Work continues on the Pediatric unit and this week they broke through the wall in the current Peds ward into the new one! The roof is on the plaster has been put on walls and they are starting on the ceiling this next week. A team from the UK arrives on March 19th to paint!
We were also happy this past week to get the new X-ray machine installed and up and working! This new X-ray machine has been donateded by AFC and we are so happy to have it up and working. What a blessing this beautiful new machine is!