On Saturday the 19th of September we had our 3rd Benefit for Hope sponsored by Larry and Cheri Gail. We spent the whole day getting ready and had many volunteers who came to get everything ready.
The evening started at 6:30 p.m. and we didn't get home until close to midnight! There were silent auctions, raffle tickets, and live auctions as well as donations starting at $5,000 on down. Major and I and Cheri and Larry all spoke and it was just a wonderful experience. Dinner was a wonderful Mexican dinner.
We met up with many Chidamoyo alumni who live in the Seattle area and many we hadn't seen for many years. We had so much support from the community and friends it was just overwhelming to me. We were so thankful for the hard work that Larry and Cheri do for months in advance to get all the donations and food and drink. They are amazing supporters and we are so thankful to them.
As of today we raised $93,126.00 at the auction and more than $30,000 has been given by people who did not attend. Wow! How thankful we are for all this will provide: electricity and plumbing for the new Waiting Mother's Shelter that will be built in December and January; a new vehicle; expanding our solar power system for the hospital; fuel for our vehicles and tractor; and helping with a new Physical Therapy Room.
A big thank you to all who supported us and gave donations. It was overwhelming to us.
This week we have been busy speaking to classrooms of kids. We spoke ASB--a private Catholic school that donated school uniforms to our school this year. Then we spoke at an alternate high school where Cheri is the school nurse. Then we spoke at a private school, The Northwest School where Cheri and Larry's oldest son Ethan is in 7th grade. We spoke to 3 Eighth Grade classes this morning.
Yesterday we went to Portland to meet with Medical Teams International about supplies we want sent to us that they collect. Today we spoke to a Bike Company that helps provide bikes to developing countries, and then talked to the head of the Physical Therapy program at the University of Washington about our continuing program to bring students to help our Rehabilitation program.
Last night we enjoyed dinner with the Global Health Team from Presbyterian church that Larry and Cheri go to. We heard of work someone did in Malawi and shared our work.
We have been kept very busy and we are exhausted--but it has been fun and good for the hospital. We leave in the morning for a few days in Santa Rosa, my home, to rest before we head off for another 3 weeks on the road!
It has been so great seeing many supporters of Chidamoyo Hospital and seeing old friends and meeting new friends!
Some of the auction items at the fundraiser
Sue Beckstead cutting dessert for the fundraiser
Major and Jack Ward cooking the sadza
Jo and Samantha--Chidamoyo alumni
Checking out the auction items
Close to 250 people attended the event
Chidamoyo alumni Tina from 1999 with Kathy
Major serving sadza
The Auction begins
Larry and Cheri speaking
People bidding at the auction
Kathy and Major with J.L., Melissa and Laureen --P.T. students who came to Chidamoyo in December 2014
On September 3 Major and I left California for Wichita, Kansas to spend the weekend with Phil and Roxanna Smith and their sons Michael, Josh and Caleb. Phil is the Missions Minister at Countryside Christian Church in Wichita. We spoke at Roxanna's middle school to 2 classes and we had a wonderful time with them and were hosted by Bob and Carolyn Lapin for a memorable Chicken Friend Steak dinner which Major looks forward to every time he comes.
We also enjoyed a movie, dinner with the mission committee and speaking at two church services and after church. We enjoyed staying with the Smith's as we knew them when they were missionaries in South Africa for several years.
On Monday morning Jeff and Isaac Barringer came to pick us up and drove us to Carl Junction, MO to spend 3 days with them. We worked with Jeff and Debbie Barringer and their children at Chidamoyo from 1990-1997. The children Isaac, Sarah and Bethany are now all married with children.
While we were in Carl Junction we were able to have tea with Ziden and Helen Nutt, the first missionaries at Chidamoyo. We also had dinner with Dr. Mike and Robin Keralis who have worked several times with us at Chidamoyo. They were on their way from their home in Nebraska to see their older son Joel and his wife in Texas. Major also got a morning of fishing in.
On the 10th of September Jeff drove us to Tulsa, Oklahoma to fly to Las Vegas and then on to Seattle. In Seattle we were met by Kim Tozier and Jack Ward who welcomed us into their home for 3 nights. Kim is a Chidamoyo alumni as she came to visit her daughter Lindsay who spent 7 months with us in 2006-2007. Lindsay was married to Seth Storby on Saturday the 12th of September.
We had a mini-Chidamoyo reunion because 5 others who came to the wedding had been at Chidamoyo at least once and some several times. We spent time with Stephanie and John Woodman from Maine and Panama, Dr. Morgan MacKenzie from Halifax, Canada and Pam and Jack Johnson from Bainbridge Island, WA. We went hiking the day before the wedding in Olympia National Park with Jack as our guide. What a great time we had. Kim and Jack have a beautiful home in the hills overlooking the Hood Canal. Major did a small part of the ceremony.
The wedding was beautiful and we had so much fun. We ate and danced and just enjoyed ourselves. Morgan came on Sunday to pick us up and go out to Lindsay's dad's farm for a fabulous brunch with 2 big TV's showing the Seattle Seahawk games. Everyone dressed in their colors and cheered as they finally one. I asked if this was a good time to put on my 49er T-shirt, but no one seemed to answer!
We then left with Morgan to spend the night at Pam and Jack's in Bainbridge Island, WA. We enjoyed spending a night with them and all the good food they cooked for us. They took us to their local Art Museum and then took us on the ferry to Seattle to meet our next hosts Cheri and Larry Gail.
We are now in Seattle for 11 days and we are booked up to see lots of friends and organizations that have helped us over the year. On Saturday (the 19th) is our big fundraiser held every 2 years put on by Friends of Chidamoyo. Check out the event on their Facebook page and Like us too while you are there. Even if you can't come, buy a ticket to help us in our goal of $100,000 to raise for the hospital.
Last night we had dinner with Chidamoyo alumni, Jo and Derek, Pat and Rachael. We also met with 4 young women who are thinking of coming to Chidamoyo to volunteer.
Today we went to eat at Red Robin where Major could enjoy bottomless french fries and root beer with his hamburger and Jo joined us again for lunch. This afternoon we went to lunch with Rome and Ann who are coming to build our new Waiting Mother's shelter as we worked out some details about their 6 week building work.
Thank you for all your prayers and support during this busy time! Continue to pray for Chidamoyo as we are away. Thanks to all the people who are hosting and feeding us! Major is especially enjoying all that American food!
Congratulations to Dr. and Mrs. Kajese who had a beautiful baby girl born by C/Section on September 6th in Harare, Zimbabwe. New baby Alexis Kajese is welcomed!
Phil Smith and family
Bob and Carolyn Lappin with Kathy and Major
Barringer family with Kathy
Ziden and Helen Nutt
The view from Kim and Jack's house
Kim and Jack
Morgan with Major and I on our hike in Olympia Park
Jack, Morgan and Major on hike
John and Stephanie Woodman, Morgan, Pam Johnson and Kathy at the wedding
We travelled from Athens at 6:30 a.m. and arrived in San Francisco at 1 p.m. the same day. Amazing! We were very excited! My brother and sister-in-law had come to the airport to pick us up and were waiting in a cellphone waiting parking lot--where you can wait until the passenger calls to say they are there.
We got our phone at to call and it was dead. So we had to get the power back-up out of the luggage and charge the phone and then turn it on to find out there was no roaming in SF from our Zimbabwe phone! So I ran to a pay phone to call and you need 2 quarters! I had one but no other change because in Zimbabwe even though we are in US $ we don't use US change. I tried to call collect and cellphones can't except collect calls!! Now it is 45 minutes later and we are trying to figure out what to do!! Then we finally found a place selling US sim cards for $90 and we got that and 3 months free calls--so we were finally able to call them and they came to pick us! Wow--welcome to America!
That night we had dinner with my brother, sister, nephew and his wife and 2 kids, and my Zimbabwe sister Sylvia. The weather was warm in the mid-90's when we arrived so we liked that.
Thursday morning my forwarding agent Sue came by and took us shopping for the day--and we shopped! She took us to lunch and we had a wonderful time.
The next day we did more shopping and had Family Game night at my nephew's new house. They moved to a new house 2 months ago so we got a chance to see the new house. Then there were 12 of us to play games.
On Saturday we left for Sacramento about 100 miles away and we stayed with Rose and Bob Coibion. Our great friends who have been to Chidamoyo several times. We had a wonderful time with them and enjoyed swimming in their pool.
Sunday morning we were at Adventure Church of Natomos and enjoyed meeting many old friends and supporters. We had lunch with their team that came last year to visit us at Chidamoyo and the mission team. Major got a First Aid kit that had a case of Snicker bars in it for him! He loved that First Aid!
We came home on Monday and have been busy seeing friends and shopping! Yesterday we went to Sebastopol to participate in the telemedicine project that Rotary is doing. We met with fellow participants from DRC and Nigeria and talked about our experiences. We leave tomorrow for 3 1/2 weeks away as we leave for our weekend in Wichita, Kansas.
Keep praying for the hospital. They have been very busy! Pray for us as we travel. I came down with a bad cold the second day we were here--which has now moved down to a cough, but slowly I am feeling better. Hope to see you somewhere on the way!
We flew over the Alps on our way home
Great nephews Alec and Maximo with Sylvia's son Mapi
Major and Kathy with the minister from Adventure-Scott Matthews
Brandon, Linda and Else--our group who visited us in 2014