On the 19th of October we flew from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Indianapolis, Indiana. We arrived and picked up our rental car and drove to Mooresville, Indiana where we met our friends Carolyn DeLauighter and Marylee Fletchner who had driven down from Crown Point to see us. We met at Mt. Giliad Christian Church and met up with Dave Thurman, one of the ministers there who comes to Zimbabwe frequently with teams to visit the Chiredzi orphanage. They have stayed several times in my flat in Harare as they come and go--so it was nice to see him.
Marylee served at Chidamoyo from 1977-79 and helped at the hospital and taught the missionary kids.
Carolyn and her husband Bill were our nearest missionaries in Karoi for many years when we had no phone or electricity. We stayed many times with them. Bill recently died in March and we were anxious to see Carolyn before she left for 3 months with her son Billy and family in Tanzania and 3 months with her son David and family in India. We ate an early dinner and had a great time of fellowship. Where else but Indiana can you get fried biscuits??
After dinner we left for Salem, Indiana to spend 2 days with fellow missionaries Ben and Karen Pennington who work in Masvingo in Zimbabwe. They have bought a home to retire in there and are home celebrating the birth of a new granddaughter and visiting their children and other granddaughter. We went one day to Louisville, Kentucky to shop and eat at The Cheesecake Factory. The next day we went to Nashville, Indiana to see the fall colors and shop in the unique shops there. From there we left Ben and Karen and drove to Bloomington, Indiana to stay with Dr. Dwain and Mrs. Marilyn Illman. They invited over for dinner several ex-Zim missionaries we had worked with in the past. We saw Dr. and Mrs. Jim Frasure and their daughter Kathy, Dr. Mike Bishop and his wife, Dr. Sally Sperring and her husband Lynn Johnson. We had a great time of dinner and fellowship.
On Thursday we went to Indianapolis, and spent the day in downtown seeing the capital and went to a movie where they had recliner chairs in the movie theater. It was hard to keep awake--but we enjoyed it! Friday we drove on to Veedersburg, Indiana where we spent 2 enjoyable days with friends Ed and Pat Crumrin. They live in a farming area and on a farm. Major got to ride on his first combine and he loved that! Just being in the farms made Major very anxious to return home to start plowing! Ed took us on a wonderful ride through the area to see the fall colors and sights. We enjoyed down home country cooking from Pat and boy we enjoyed those biscuits every meal!
Sunday we spoke four 2 services at Veedersburg Christian Church and went out for lunch with the minister and his family. We then took off for Moorseville, IN again to spend the night their with Pat Stewart--a friend we had met as she has come on several trips with Dave Thurman.
She was so generous to put us up for the night, gave us some clothing and shoes to take to Zimbabwe as well as some coke memorabilia (for Major) and served us delicious food. We left from Moorseville this afternoon to fly home to CA and we are in the airport now waiting to go!
Major and Dave Thurman
Maryleah, Carolyn and Kathy and Major
Ben and Karen in front of their home
Major and friend in Nashville, Indiana
Marilyn and Dwain Illman with Major
Major and Kathy with missionary group in Bloomington
Major eating his Indiana breakfast (grits, sausage and biscuits, eggs, chicken friend chicken, hash brown and friend apples!)
We flew on the 5th of October to Long Beach to spend several days with our Ma and Pa Minnis. They were my forwarding agents for a time and have been to Chidamoyo 5 times over the years we have known them. They are now retired and living with their daughter Laura and family in Los Alamitos.
During our time there we went to the Long Beach Aquarium and enjoyed seeing all of the sights with their granddaughter, Laurenrachel.
We also drove to San Diego and visited with another Chidamoyo alumni, Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick from Washington, D.C. She was in San Diego for an Infectious Disease Convention. She lived in my flat for 6 months one time in Harare and we all meet there. Ma and Pa really wanted to see her, so we were happy to drive the 2 hours and spend the afternoon with her.
On the 11th of October we spoke in Lemon Grove Christian Church and enjoyed services and lunch with them. They have supported our work for about 17 years and we were happy to be with them to thank them for their help in our work.
On the way back to Los Alamitos we were able to visit in San Diego with Wendy and Chaim Avraham and 2 of their children were there, Daphna from NYC and Gabe from San Francisco--so it was a special time since the last time we saw them was in 2009 when thier oldest son, Raphael was married in Jerusalem and Major and I were privileged to be at the wedding. Wendy and I commuted to SF from Sacramento to our Masters in Nursing program for 1979-1981 together. How great it was to see them!
On Monday evening (the 12th) we went to Manefree, CA to visit with Chidamoyo alumni Carolyn Honaker Savage (1983) her mom Pat who has been a long time financial supporter of Chidamoyo and Carolyn's niece Jennifer (formerly Wittenborn) her husband Randall and their daughter Annalee. Jennifer was a Chidamoyo alumni in 2004 and is now a Labor and Delivery nurse in San Diego. I first met this family when I shared a house with Jennifer's parents, Dave and Anne Wittenborn--Ann was a Honaker! We enjoyed sharing dinner and remembering lots of old times! We kept laughing the whole meal.
That morning we treated Major to a pedicure--the first in his life! He wasn't sure about it, but afterwards he loved it! He didn't know why people went to get that done and now he knows!
On Tuesday (the 13th) we went to Disneyland in Anaheim. We went with Laurenrachel and her mom Laura joined us in the afternoon. We went to both Disneyland and California Adventure. We were on the move and did all the rides we wanted in that time and saw one parade! It was so fun and very crowded--but we loved it! We are so thankful for their Aunt Jeannie who provided us the tickets to go! We made Major try on many hats throughout the park and on the last blog people voted that the Goofy hat was the best! Does that mean something? We went home after 14 hours on the run--very exhausted. Major wanted to leave 2 hours before and we all said--NO! We gave him some root beer and food and he made it!!
Wednesday (the 14th) we talked at the Minnis's church in Long Beach to a group of faithful ladies who pray for missionaries each month! We had a great time and met up with a missionary woman from Zimbabwe who had spent 40+ years with her husband and family in Zimbabwe and at one time worked at Kapfunde Mission (a TEAM mission) before the war--only 40 minutes from us! How great it was to meet her and Major was so shocked when she came in and greeted him in Shona!
That evening we had a wonderful dinner with JoAnn and Jim's friend Lillian who has been a part of their lives for years. She has been a part of our lives for many years now too!
Thursday (the 15th) we had to leave Ma and Pa with heavy hearts and fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico. We were met at the airport by Dr. Dale Erickson, our first doctor at Chidamoyo Hospital in 1968. We have stayed with Dale and his wife, Sue Alice since Thursday night.
On Friday (the 16th) Dale drove us to Santa Fe (the capital) to walk the streets and have lunch. A nice town with lots of history and Indian marketplace.
We had a special dinner last night (the 16th) and Dale invited several friends of ours to meet us. We were able to see several Chidamoyo alumni: Dr. Bill and Kaylyn Holloman from Tuscan, Arizona came up to see us and Dr. Megan ( a resident in OB/GYN in Albuquerque and Dr. Jeff (a resident in Psychiatry) from Phoenix, Arizona and Gabby, a pre-med from Albuquerque. Bill and Kaylyn came in Nov last year to Chidamoyo and Megan and Jeff came in February this year and Gabby in July/August this year! We also met up with a former missionary kid from Zimbabwe, Lauren Brewer and her husband Rusty who have just recently married and moved to Albuquerque. I had last seen Lauren in 2000 when she was a young girl and came to Chidamoyo with her family to celebrate the millennium!
Some new friends to us of Dale and Sue Alice also came which we met and it was such a great time. We got to sit around and each tell our special connection to Chidamoyo--what great fun! How God has blessed Major and I with so many friends throughout the world who have come into our life at Chidamoyo!
This morning (Saturday the 17th) we left for Durango, Colorado--4 hours away, where we will speaking to our supporting church in the morning. We had Zimbabwe tea time with a doctor that Dale used to work with in Albuquerque Dr. Mark Saddler and his wife Mandy who now live in Durango. We had Tanganda tea and scones--wow! Made us homesick for Zimbabwe.
Tomorrow after church we leave to go back to Albuquerque and then leave early in the morning for a week in Indiana! On the road again...
Major and Laurenrachel with the penguins at the Aquarium in Long Beach!
Major and Kathy with Ma and Pa Minnis at the Aquarium
Dr. Lisa and Major in San Diego
Major with Avraham family in San Diego
Wendy Avraham with Kathy--friends for 36 years!
Kathy with Honaker family
Mom Pat Honaker with daughter Carolyn and granddaughter Jennifer and great grand-daughter Annually
Buzz Lightyear Ride at Disneyland
Starting the day at Disneyland
Riding Splash Mountain--we got soaked!
Major acting scary for Halloween
Laurenrachel and Major with characters from Aladdin
Happy Halloween Hat from Disneyland!
Kathy, Major, Laurenrachel and Laura as tombstone heads!
We are being eaten by a dinosaur!
Major getting his pedicure!
JoAnn and Jim Minnis with friend Lillian
Major at the oldest church in NM--established in 1600's
We flew home to Santa Rosa on the 24th of September and on the 25th it was my 61st birthday! We had lunch at Rotary Club in Sebastopol to thank them for all their support.
That night we had a family dinner with 13 of my relatives at a wonderful steak restaurant in Santa Rosa. We went for cake and presents at my brother Dennis and sister-in-law Kathy's house where Major is staying.
Saturday Major spoke at a men's breakfast at Sebastopol Christian Church, my home church. We then spoke together for church services on Saturday night and 2 services on Sunday. After church my forwarding agents, took Major and me out to lunch to again celebrate my birthday. I had a lovely shrimp dinner to celebrate!
Monday Sylvia and Major and I drove to Reno with my brother Dennis and sister-in-law Kathy to visit my brother-in-law Mike who lives in Reno, Nevada. I had not seen him since my sister Carol died in 2012. It was a sad reunion but also lots of laughs and good memories. We spent 2 nights there and then drove home.
We got home in time to trade cars and go to a surprise party put on by the missions committee at Sebastopol Christian Church. They invited several people who had been to Chidamoyo and had a wonderful BBQ for me and a birthday party with more cake! It was great to visit with so many familiar faces.
Thursday we continued my birthday celebrations when Patty and Gary LeDonne from Sebastopol, Chidamoyo board members and alumni, took us to see a San Francisco Giants baseball game. We played against their rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers. We lost 3-2, but it was a beautiful sunny and warm day in San Francisco and a wonderful time!
While at the game we found out another friend from Roseville, CA had come to the same game and we met up with Rose Cobion--another Chidamoyo alumni when she came over to our seats during the game!
We continue to visit with friends and family and on Monday start our next 3 weeks on the road. So sometime we need to find to pack-ha! This weekend we are with Westview church in Santa Rosa.
My family for birthday dinner
More birthday cakes!
Brother-in-law Mile with Sylvia
Another birthday cake in Sebastopol with church--notice the Turkey BD hat!
In front of the Willie Mays statue at ATT Park
Patty and Gary with Major and me--Giant supporters