Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thank you UK supporters

While I was in the US for medical care we received delivery of a brand new Holland tractor.  Donated by supporters of  our UK Trust we were overwhelmed by their generosity.

We have never had a brand new tractor to help us with the work here.  The tractor is so important in hauling water when we can't pump enough; in bringing firewood for cooking; in hauling pitsand and supplies for our building projects; and ploughing for our hospital field.

We are so thankful for this genrous donation and the big help to our work.  It has already been put to good use and working hard!

We have also finished up our Pediatric extension and our nurses station!  It seemed like it took a long time but we are so thankful for these new buildings which are already being put to good use.  One side of the nurses station is our new recovery room.  All patiens from theater come straight to here for more monitored care.

We are finishing up putting the ceiling board  in the Nurse's station and we will be done.

We finally have enough beds for all our pediatric patients and no one has been on a matress on the floor since we opened the ward in July.

We are thankful for AS HE IS USA and for UK Trust that put up most of the money for these projects.  We also are thankful to others who helped us to finish up the projects.  Sebastopol Rotary Club bought new beds for us and Sebastopol Christian Church VBS paid for all of the painting and boarder paper on the walls in both the Pediatric rooms and the Nurses station.  they also helped with beds!  Thank you to all of our generous donors and supporters!
The new tractor arriving on lorry

Mr. Mereki, Administrator taking delivery and trying it out!

The maintenance crew checking out the New Holland tractor
The new Pediatric extension
The new pediatric wards
 The Pediatric ward from outside
The new Nurses station building
 Recovery Room
 Nurses Desk and treatment room


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

On Monday Stephanie, Judy and Denise and Jordan (4 of our visitors) went out to help with Well Baby Clinic where we give vaccinations to under 5’s.  It turned out to be a very busy clinic and they did not get home until after 4 p.m.!  They were very exhausted and dirty!

On Tues Judy and Denise volunteered to go for ART outreach clinic.  This is a very busy clinic and they helped to do all the weights and handing out of medicines!  They got back about 5 p.m. very tired!

On Thursday Denise volunteered to go for an ART outreach clinic 2 hours from here.  She is a nursing student from Finland and getting lots of experience in community health.

On Thursday Sylvia and Chuck left for Gweru to say goodbyes to Sylvia’s family.  They meet up with the other 4 visitors on Sunday in Harare and the 6 of them go to The Hide on safari in Hwange Game Park and then 4 nights in Victoria Falls before they all leave for home.

John and Jim finished the shelving and desk units in the new nurses’ station.  It really looks great and the men have started on putting the ceiling in.  We are so thankful for this big addition. 

Living in a foreign country that doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving gives us a chance to celebrate when we choose.  Since Thursday the 22nd of November is not a holiday here we don’t have time to cook a big meal after work all day.  This year we all agreed to celebrate on the 16th—6 days early for the US but just the right day for us.

We had 7 American visitors( and 2 of us Americans who live here)  this year and we wanted to do it before 4 of them left.  We gave everyone an assignment to cook something, while my cook roasted 3 chickens and carrots and I made the dressing when I got home from work. Our final menu was 3 roasted chickens, green bean casserole, yams with marshmallows, roasted carrots,  dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and olives.  For dessert 4 pumpkin pies, 1 apple pie and 1 apple and peach pie!  We had 9 Zimbabweans and 1 Finnish citizen who shared our meal with us—so we had 19 for dinner.  We all ate and got very full!  The 3 medical students who are on rotation with us here from  University of Zimbabwe Medical School in Harare went back 3 times!  They can eat!  Not many leftovers!

Of course our electricity went out at 4 p.m. when it looked like a big storm was going to hit—so we did all with a gas stove and flashlights!  We are still out of electricity and it is Saturday afternoon and hot.  Looks like a good day to jump in the swimming pool!
Chuck and Sylvia Brown

Denise and Stephanie drawing CD4's

Stephanie and John drawing CD4's
 Stephanie, Jim and John sorting pills for ART clinic
 Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

On Safari with 12

On Sunday of this past week (4th of Nov) 11 of us left for Rhino Camp off Lake Kariba.  We drove to Kariba and took a boat for 1 hour to reach there.  Of course on the way one vehicle broke down and we waited an hour for another vehicle to come and change with us!

We enjoyed 3 nights at Rhino camp and yes some of the group saw a Rhino.  That is always exciting since it is an extremely endangered animal.  We spent time riding and in the boat to see animals.  Rick, Major, Sylvia and Jordan spent time fishing and getting some bream for us to eat for breakfast!

On Monday morning Denise Bloomqvist joined us.  Denise is a student nurse from Finland and flew in Sunday and our driver brought her from Harare on Monday morning to join us on the safari.  She found us by doing an internet search and we are happy to have her with us for the next 6 weeks.  She was so excited to see a lot of elephants up close!  Our last breakfast there one of the elephants decided to join us and came up right behind us while we were eating!  Everyone got a bit nervous and Major a lot nervous!

On the boat ride to Kariba going home—our boat broke down and the other one ran out of fuel.  We gave the other boat fuel and they continued on with 9 of the people while John, Jim and I stayed with the floating boat until they returned.  We got so hot we jumped into the lake and swam for awhile!  We felt safe from Crocs since we were out in the middle where it was deep!  The other boat returned and got us to shore and we travelled home.  It was 110 degrees that day in Kariba!

We got back on Wednesday evening in time to cook dinner and get to Bible Study.  Our electricity had come back on Sunday evening and was staying on almost 24 hours a day.  After hot Kariba with no fans and no ice it was great to be home and enjoy those things again!

We had a busy rest of the week and on Thursday night we had a powerful thunder and lightning storm with 12 mls of rain.  Of course our electricity kept going on and off and when the storm ended our electricity was at ½ power for about 8 hours until they got it going again.  We are thankful for a good week of power.  We caught up on the washing and our freezers are frozen—yeah--ice cubes!

I am now cooking for 12 for the next couple of weeks which keeps me busy planning and cooking with the help of my cook.  We are very dry and praying for more rain soon!  People are busy plowing but no one has planted yet as it is very dry.  Keep praying for good rains!
On Saturday afternoon we gave clothing to our ministers and their wives and children.  They make very little money and we try and help them  with clothing.  We are thankful for people who donate clothes to be sent in the container.  Sylvia Brown and Sue Hahn spent hours sorting through all the clothes and organizing and getting clothes ready for all of them.  We are thankful for their hard work.
 Elephants from our rooms
 Nothing better than a Kariba sunset
Sylvia and a Bream she caught!
 African lawnmower--a hippo!
 Mom and baby elephant
Our group with our guides

Ministers and families picking out their clothes

Sunday, November 11, 2012

ZESA where are you?

Well we finally got ZESA on  Day 11 at 1:40 p.m. We quickly cleaned freezers and fridges and went to get started again with new food. Then Thursday morning—46 hours later it went off. It got dark and rained a few drops here but closer to Karoi it rained hard and 2 power poles fell—so we went from 11 a.m. yesterday and it is Saturday night  and no power! They said they are working on it, but now we are on load shedding so not sure when load shedding will go off and if we get electricity back! Go figure! Maybe we need to send our electricity workers to NYC to help them get their power back (if they don’t mind waiting a month or so)!

Our 4 new visitors arrived at 11:10 p.m. Thursday night.   Stephanie and John Woodman and Jim and Judy Eaton. They are retired Americans who live in Panama. Stephanie is on OR nurse and has been with us several times and her husband John has been here before too. They had been delayed in Washington DC for 2 days due to Super storm Sandy. They finally made it Thursday afternoon and Major was there to pick them up. We are happy to have them with us.

Since yesterday it has been cloudy and much cooler with some wind. It got down to 73 last night so it made it easy to sleep when it is that cold! We had to pull up the blanket last night! We are so happy for the cool weather.

Jim and John (2 new visitors) got to work right away putting together the desks and shelves that Bob Coibion made for us in the US and sent in the container for our new nurses’ station. That should keep them busy for a few hours.

The hospital has been a bit quieter this week. People are busy in their fields. Major took off today to go plough in his field today and tomorrow. Everyone is anxious for the rainy season to start in full. Only the most sick come to the hospital except on Monday and Thursday when they must not plough in honour of the ancestors. Those days get very busy!

We leave early tomorrow morning for Kariba and 3 nights at Rhino Camp on safari with our visitors. There will be 11 of us and a 12th one will join us on Monday morning there. Major will be going and he and Rick and Sylvia are excited about fishing! We are excited about eating fresh bream! Hope they catch enough for dinner at least one night.

Sunday afternoon Denise Blomqvist, a nursing student from Finland arrives to be with us for 6 weeks. She is doing an elective for her nursing school. She will join us Monday at Rhino Camp. So 12 people to cook for during the next month! Hope the electricity comes back soon!

Jim and John working in the Nurses Station

 Judy and Stepohanie working with Dr. Kajese