Our four day Easter meeting ended with a Sunrise service on Easter morning. We had a good crowd that attended the meeting and the church was packed everyday. We had a wonderful time of singing, dancing, preaching, lessons and celebrating the Resurrection.
After church we packed up and Rachel, Samantha and I left to my rural home in Batanai to spend the night with the Mereki family. The girls got to experience life in the bush from picking soybeans in the field to eating sadza, maize, drinking mahewu, and a big rain storm. We had a great time and got to sleep and relax over the holiday which extended until Monday here. Michael, Major's son drove us there and back and boy is the road terrible. Took us 70 minutes for 25 kms (19 miles)!
Tuesday we were back to work and then joined by 3 high school students from Chinhoyi: Evelyn, Hogan and Zane. Zane is the oldest son of Nick and Lindale Adams, fellow missionaries in Chinhoyi. All of these kids are interested in maybe pursuing medicine and so they stayed with us until Saturday. They enjoyed following on rounds, learning to do dressings and helping file medical records. All of them had great time and it seemed to help them decide this is what they want to pursue. We wish them well in their future studies and they all promised to come back in the future for more "fun."
With them came Janeece England. Janeece is from Indiana and helps to cover for missionaries when they are on furlough. She is helping in Chinhoyi until May. I have known her for many years as she and her late husband, Steve, used to cover several times for Ben and Karen Pennington in Masvingo. We put Janeece to work finding lost ART records.
On Wednesday we had a surprise visit by two of Shannon Kwatchnera's children and their children. Walter and his wife and 2 children live in London area and Ruth and her 3 children came who live in Johannesburg, South Africa. Mai Kwatch has worked at the hospital since the late 1970's and we have known these children since they grew up here. It was nice to see them with their children and hear about their lives.
On Thursday Janeece left with Rachel and Samantha for 3 nights and 4 days at Rhino Camp in Kariba on safari. They will be back Sunday night. I am sure they will have lots of stories to tell when they get back. Rachel and Janeece will leave on Tuesday and then just a couple of weeks left with Samantha.
The kids left this afternoon when Lindale came with their other 2 children, Trent and Serine came to pick them up and have lunch with us. I now have 24 hours all by myself--yeah! Watching some TV and napping as I came down with a terrible cold Wednesday. Hope it will be over soon.
Church meeting--Saturday night meeting
Sunrise Service Easter Sunday
Sunrise Service-- Singing
Easter baskets for Rachel and Samantha
Samantha washing for sadza in the village
Major bringing in the soybeans
Samantha and Rachel with Major in the kitchen at Baton
Mai Kwatch with daughter-in-law, son Walter and daughter Ruth and some of her grandchildren
Evelyn helping with vital signs for pregnant women
We welcomed a new visitor on the 25th of March, Rachel Marsh. She is from the UK and she is here to map out the mission, come up where water pipes and electrical lines are and then draw a map to help us with future planning on where to build and plan for future growth. She is busy measuring and walking the whole mission and putting it in her computer. She is also enjoying getting to help and observe at the hospital. She has helped with weights at an ART clinic and watched a C/Section and a normal delivery.
Samantha continues to help at the hospital and this week scrubbed in and helped out with a C/Section. We delivered twin girls which was fun. The youth group went and harvested my maize field at Batanai and brought some of it back a week ago and finished it last weekend. Just in time as this past week we have had rain almost every day. It is now drying and we will take it off the cobb and put in bags for cornmeal for the hospital. The youth do this as their fundraiser to go to the national youth conference each year.
We continue to barter for our services at the hospital and one afternoon I saw a goat that had come in on a bicycle to be traded!
Last night (Thursday) we started our church conference here at the meeting. We have preaching, lessons, singing, dancing and eating. A cow was killed and 12 different congregations have come to celebrate Easter. They are here until Sunday church. It is always a great and tiring time for all. We will end with sunrise church at 0600 on Sunday morning.
Our hospital has to continue to operate even with a 4 day Easter holiday. We have a closed outpatient clinic from today Friday through Monday to celebrate the Easter holidays. I am covering today and tomorrow and then Dr. Isala will cover Sunday and Monday. Hoping to take my visitors to my rural home at Batanai after church Sunday and spend the night until Monday there. Happy Easter as we celebrate now and every day the reason for Easter--He is Risen!
Samantha taking blood pressures for pregnant women