Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hot October is here!

As usual we have been very busy.  For the last 3 1/2 weeks we have medical students from the University of Zimbabwe with us.  They have just finishing their 3rd year of 5 years and so don't have a lot of clinical experience so far.  They do 2 clinical rotations in rural areas in their 5 years and so this was their first time "in the bush."  This group had someone we knew--Jonathan Fernades who came in June and July last year during his school holiday to do some clinical experience.  It was nice to have him back again and meet new students, futures doctors in our country.  They left on Wednesday and found out they all passed their end of year exams and now officially 4th year students.  Congrats to them!

Last weekend we had an area youth conference from Friday through Sunday morning.  The church was very full so over 500 youth attended.  We ended the church service on Sunday with 10 baptisms in my pool.

We have a new visitors that arrived on the 6th of October, Amy Heather.  She is nurse from Aukland, New Zealand.  She just finished a 6 month Tropical Diseases course in London and has now joined us for a couple of months of experience.  She is interested in full time mission work in developing countries.  She goes to a church in Auckaland where a missionary who used to work in Zimbabwe, Jill Shaw,  now works.  She put us together.  She hopes to be with us through early December.

On the 11th of October our surgeon from Harare,  Dr. Kundiona and Dr. Kajese joined us with his wife Nokuthaba to be our scrub nurse came and did 9 Major surgeries for us.  They did hernias and a hysterectomy.  Everyone was so happy they had their operations here.  They worked hard from 6:30 a.m. until they left at 6 p.m. to drive back to Harare!  We are so thankful for their willingness to give up  an off day and come and work with us.  Dr. Isala worked with them and is learning to do these surgeries.  We have planned their next visit for December and have started the surgery list already.

This week we started a countrywide program of HIV testing, involving the whole family.  A team of 6 people are going out each day from our hospital for the next 14 days to test people for HIV.  The country wants to determine the need for drugs to treat AIDS in the country.  Our teams have been busy covering 2 schools a day and one night didn't get back until 9 p.m.  Amy has been joining the teams and they have been so happy to have the extra help!  I am sure she is exhausted but she keeps going back for more!

Today we were happy to have a visit from Harare Dawn Rotary club.  They officially came to hand over the Laboratory machines that the Rotary Club in Sebastopol, CA provided for us earlier this year.  We have been working with them and after several months of planning got them to come.  We enjoyed having them here.  One of the members who came is Mr. Makarau, a neurosurgeon in Harare who taught Dr. Isala in medical student, so that was nice.  We enjoyed lunch together before their big ride back to Harare.

On Thursday evening we got our first drops of rain for the season.  We had quite a thunder and lightening storm, which of course blew out our electricity and it is still out tonight (Saturday!)  We are coping with our solar backup and it has been a bit cooler so we hope this is the start of a plentiful rainy season.  Most days it is up to 105 and a low of low 80's!  Hot October, otherwise known as suicide month is here!

 Kathy and the Medical Students and their driver

 Baptisms during the Youth Conference



Surgery day at Chidamoyo with Drs. Kundiona and Kajese

Amy Heather

Don McDonald from Rotary Harare presenting the machine to Kathy


Dr. Isala with her former professor Mr. Makarau from Rotary Harare

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Chicken project

Friends of Chidamoyo have financed a chicken laying project to bring in income for the hospital. We took arrival of 100 chickens on the 17th of September and by the beginning of October the eggs started coming.  We have built 2 chicken coops and all 100 chickens are doing very well.
We started with 5 eggs one day and a week later we are up to 65 eggs a day.  We sell the eggs to staff and at our Tuck Shop (Snack Bar).  We have encouraged our patients to eat eggs each day to get better and go home sooner (is this a conflict of interest?)!  We seem to be selling out each day and we are so thankful for this support.  Thank you to Friends of Chidamoyo for this help.  We plan to order 150 more chickens soon.


Chicken coup


Laying chickens


Saturday, October 4, 2014

More visitors and lots of travel and Happy 60th!

On Sunday the 7th of September we were joined here at Chidamoyo by Nicki, Justin and baby Noah and Tom came to visit to follow up on the schools program that Major is helping with in our area.  They spent 2 days visiting the projects they have in our area and dedicating a new school, Devare.  We have 4 schools in our area that their organization, ZRSDP, have helped with and we are thankful for their support and help to improve schools in are area.  We were happy to meet Nicki and Justin's first child Noah who was 4 1/2 months old.  Congratulations to them!
On Friday the 12th of September we welcomed Bart, Cathy and Jennifer Holdener when they landed from Sacramento, CA in Harare.  Cathy and I met in 1975 when we began our nursing program at University of California in San Francisco.  We both started work at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento when we graduated in 1977 and both bought houses in the same housing development in Sacramento.  All my years I have been in Zimbabwe I have been bugging her to come and visit and so I was so excited when her family finally said YES!
They arrived at 9:30 p.m. and the next morning we were up at 4 a.m. to leave at 7 a.m. for Victoria Falls.  Sue and Gene and Sylvia and her sister-in-law Mollie, the Holdeners and I spent 3 nights in Victoria Falls and then went on for 3 nights at The Hide for a safari.
We enjoyed so much our time together and seeing animals and just a relaxing, wonderful time together. We had our own private camp at The Hide and we all enjoyed it!  We flew home on the 19th of September and drove immediately home to Chidamoyo where we arrived at 1:30 a.m.!
Having only 1 day at Chidamoyo to show Cathy and family my home was quite a whirlwind.  They travelled with Major out to Batanai to see my rural village after seeing the hospital and the rest of us unpacked and repacked to get ready for our next adventure!
At 6 a.m. on Sunday the 21st of September we left for Kariba to begin a 7 night trip on a houseboat on Lake Kariba.  There were 14 of us--all my friends who were invited to celebrate my 60th birthday!  Cathy and family, Sylvia, Gene and Sue, Major and his wife Patience, Ben and Karen Pennington (missionary friends from Masvingo), Dave and Becky Altman who are teaching at the Bible College in Harare this term (they used to be missionaries here in the late 80's to late 90's), and Gladys Jongeling who celebrated her 77th birthday on the trip!
We had a 2 story houseboat with a small sitting pool, 2 smaller boats to go fishing and game viewing on, a cook and helper and a captain.  Off we went for our adventure.  We moved to a new place on the lake each day.  One night, 10 people left to spend the night at Rhino Camp and enjoy a 1 day safari.
Major and Sylvia and Jenny spend a lot of time fishing each day.  Jenny caught a 10 1/2 pound Tilapia (bream).  Everyone was so excited and we got to have fish 2 times to eat!  What fun!
We saw a lot of different animals and just enjoyed relaxing, talking and being together.  We ate plenty and played games and read.   Gladys and I enjoyed celebrating our birthdays while on board.  What a great time we all had and sad for it all to come to an end.
We received sad news on Monday the 22nd of September, that our fellow missionary, Marcia Kay Thomson died in the US after a year struggle with cancer.  Marcia was 76 and spent 51 years in Zimbabwe helping at Mashoko, the Bible College and our Print Shop at Masvingo.
After we got off the boat on the 28th of September we drove straight to Harare to see off the Holdeners on the 29th and Sue and Gene and Sylvia on the 29th.  We took everyone shopping at different places before they left.  Wow, the time went by so fast.  It was so great to have special friends here to celebrate my special birthday!

 Tom, Justin, Noah, Nicki and Major

Bart, Cathy and Jennifer Holdener


Group on boat cruise on the Zambezi River


Cathy and Kathy

Jennifer, Bart and Cathy at Vic Falls

Mollie and Sylvia in Vic Falls

Group on Safari at The Hide


Holdener's at Chidamoyo Hospital


 Group out game viewing on Lake Kariba

 Out game viewing at Kariba with Patience, Sylvia


Major fishing off the boat

Gene and Major and elephants in background



Group out fishing on Lake Kariba

Ben Pennington and Becky Altman on our party boat