Tuesday, May 31, 2016

How much can you get done in 4 hours before church?

A week ago Sunday I went into hyper-drive to get things done before church started at 11 a.m.  I got up at 0700 a.m. thinking I would have a leisurely cup of tea and do some internet before breakfast.  Within 2 minutes there was a call to get to the hospital for a C/Section.  I had 2 coming for breakfast at 0900! I took one, Julie, with me to help with the C/Section!

I rushed home by 8:20 a.m. and got the coffee perking and started breakfast.  Got a load of wash in the washer and ran to get a shower and dressed for church.  By 9 a.m. I had breakfast on the table as my guests came strolling in!

After breakfast I started peeling carrots, got the chicken ready and in the oven and started cooking the potatoes and carrots.  Since church is not usually over until 1 p.m. I need to have lunch ready to warm when we get home.

I ran to get the clothes hung on the line so they could be drying during church.  Then I ran inside to get a cake in the oven since our Bible College students, teacher and Major, and visitor Julie would be coming for snacks after night church (10 people).  Got it out and cooling.  Did some email catch-up and at 11 a.m. walked out of the door with Julie for church..whew!

On the 25th of May we welcomed Caleb Smith and his girlfriend Amanda.  Julie and I had gone in the evening before to Harare and had all day to do some flea market shopping, have lunch out and stay warm in Harare in winter!  We welcomed Caleb and Amanda at 9:30 p.m. and got back to the townhouse by 10:15 p.m. and all ran for the covers!  It was getting down to mid-40's at night in Harare.  

Our houses in Zimbabwe are built for heat and so when winter comes it is just like you are sleeping outside!  Chidamoyo is about 10+ degrees warmer then Harare and so we are always so cold in Harare.  I do love my electric under blanket on my bed in Harare!

On Saturday we left after lunch and took my 3 visitors, Julie, Caleb and Amanda for an overnighter at Major's  and my village in Batanai!  We were celebrating Patience's (Major's wife) 50th birthday.  The visitors got the experience of being in a village and see how our patients live.  

Saturday night we had a braii (BBQ) with lots of meat and sadza.  Then we had a cake and presents for Patience and then the party began!  The smell of the meat brought several visitors from the surrounding villages to join us.  Then they began the music and dancing!  Everyone danced and had so much fun.  I went to sit by the fire and watch the stars while the music continued.  Major had fixed lights and the stereo to run by his generator and finally about 10 p.m. he was ready to turn it off and go to bed!

The next morning we got up to tea by the fire and then we had some peanut butter porridge.  I brought and then they made hot water in buckets for our showers!  They had welcomed a new bride in the family that weekend so she had to make water and help cook for all of us.  We then left some $ in the bucket when we were done for her!

Then we ate a breakfast of boiled eggs, pumpkin bread, chimodo ( traditional soy and maize bread) and more tea and drinks.  We enjoyed sitting in my tsaka  (open living area) and eating.

At 11 a.m. we drove off for church.  I stood in the back with my visitors in the bed of the truck and we picked people on the road.  There were over 12 of us, in the back, and 5 in the front by the time we reached the church.  We had to wait another 45 minutes to start church as people started coming in.

We had a great service and finished just after 2.  A woman and a young man came forward to be baptized.  Then we went back to the village for some sadza, rice and pork.  Then we packed up and came home in time for most of Sunday night church at the hospital.  Then home for some popcorn for dinner and a movie.  We watched my Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and enjoyed it!

Work started busy this week and Julie got her wish for 1 more C/Section to help with when we did an emergency one this morning.  She got to assist and was very happy!  We finally finished work at 6 p.m.!  

Julie leaves after devotions in the morning.  I have so enjoyed having her here.  She has been a big help and a lot of fun!  We wish her well as she goes to start Medical School at the University of Florida in July.  We hope to see her again her someday!

Birthday dinner at Batanai


Braii for dinner



Church at Batanai

Greeting people after church

Caleb and Amanda greeting people at church

 Julie helping with the C/Section





Julie Gibson


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Back on Line!


We went into withdrawal when our Internet service went off on the 8th of May through the 18th of May!  We enjoyed having nothing to do for several days, but then knew when it came back we would be busy--catching up! Praise the Lord we got it sorted out with a new company and we are back on line!

Last weekend on Friday the 13th our surgeon from Harare came with Dr. Kajese and his wife and baby and we started surgeries at 9:20 p.m. and went until 1:45 a.m. and then they came for dinner.  We went to bed at 2:30 a.m. and up by 6 a.m. Saturday to get started at 7 a.m.  They went all day until 4:00 p.m.  They did 11 cases!

They left and we made up the beds in the guesthouse for the next visitors who arrived 2 hours later, Paul and Melanie Fudge from Florida and Dr. Kris Singh from Florida.  Paul and Melanie have been here several times and they are teaching for 3 months at the Bible College in Harare.  Kris is their Dentist and goes to their church.  They invited him to come and work at Chidamoyo for a few days. We are so happy they did!

Paul and Melanie stayed the weekend and on Monday headed back to Harare and Kris stayed with us until early Friday morning.  He worked hard for 4 days!  He saw a total of over 300 patients and pulled multiple teeth on them!  He worked so hard he got blisters on his hands!  He worked until 8 p.m. one night and until 6-7 p.m. the other nights--not even stopping for lunch!  He was the popular guy!  We haven't had a dentist for 6 years come and so people came from all over. Many decided to have a tooth pulled that was just barely giving them some trouble--just in case no dentist comes for a long time! It was amazing.

Since people were coming for the dentist many came for clinic visits too and so the whole week it was very busy for all of us!  On Monday night just as they finished, Julie, our medical student intern got called to help scrub for a C/Section!  She just jumped right from the dentist room to scrub and got home at 7:30 p.m. for dinner!

On Wednesday we were joined by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) HIV Director in the Country and our ZACH-HIV program manager, both from Harare, for a 2 day visit to talk about our outreach programs and lessons we have learned in HIV care over the years.  We spent a lot of time talking and planning.  

On Thursday they joined us for an outreach ART/Immunization clinic and before we left for the clinic they helped us draw CD4 blood.  At the clinic they weighed and measured kids and then helped me draw kids for our research project on adolescents.  We kept them busy and they were late leaving for home!  We got home at 6 p.m. in time to help the dentist see his last few patients.

Friday was a more relaxed day at work and Julie I started work on organizing our ART clinic.  It was also Major's 52nd birthday!  He had gone to Harare to take Dr. Kris to leave for home, but when he came home we had dinner and celebrated his birthday! 

 The second group of students from Zimbabwe Christian College arrived last night for the weekend.  We spent the morning teaching them about visiting  sick patients in the hospital as ministers.  They will be here for dinner (12) tonight and go out to preach in our churches tomorrow.

We look forward to a slower weeks next week-ha-we can always hope!

Harare team doing surgeries with our team

Julie, our Med student helping with the surgeries


Dr. Kris pulling teeth


Julie became a Dental Tech for the week to help Kris

 Dr. from CDC put to work


ZACH HIV person put to work drawing CD4s

 ART Outreach clinic

Zimbabwe Christian College students


Major's Birthday

Major's family--daughter Carolyn, sister-in-law Juliet and wife Patience






Saturday, May 21, 2016

Out of the country and in

On the 28th of April Major and daughter Carolyn and visitor Julie and I flew from Harare to Johannesburg, South Africa to meet up with Major's son Michael who was on a 10 day break from school after finals (which he passed--yeah!).  He met us at the airport and we all took off in a rental car--first stop Pretoria.

We met up with Carolyn Hall and husband Russ McFarlane in Pretoria--our friends who visited us just before Easter with their 3 children at Chidamoyo.  Carolyn showed us around her CDC office and we enjoyed a lunch with prawns--wow, something we never get in our land locked country!

We took off after lunch for a 2 hour drive to the western boarder of South Africa to Sun City--the Las Vegas of South Africa.  We stayed in a time share resort that had water slides, putt-putt (miniature golf), pool table and ping pong--something we all enjoyed and a 5 minute ride to the gates of Sun City.

We went one day to Sun City to see the beautiful Wave pool, get lost in a stone maize, sit by their beautiful big pool and see the casino, Gary Player golf course and the Lost City hotel.  We went to a mall in a township close by and went one morning to a nearby Game Park.

In the game park we saw lion, rhino, zebra, hippos, elephant, impala, kudu.  We had a great time.

After 3 nights in Sun City we were off again to Pretoria to spend the night with Russ and Carolyn and the kids.  We had time to run to a big mall close by for an afternoon and met up for lunch with Major's older sister, Midess who lives in Pretoria with her husband.  

That evening we had a big braii (BBQ) with the McFarlane's and friends they invited over.  We had a feast of meat and it was wonderful. We visited until late and up early to head to the airport and fly home.  Michael went back to school and we landed in Harare and headed for home--packed to the ceiling with medicine we had bought earlier before we left for South Africa.  We were home at 10:45 p.m. and up early for a busy day of work the next day!

Thursday this week our area conference for Women started for our 52 churches.  It goes through tonight (Saturday) and then people leave early in the morning for home.  We are excited that all of our churches were represented and over 400 women attended.  They killed a cow and cooked lots of sadza for all the meals!

Last night (Friday) our Zimbabwe Christian College group came for their weekend with us.  For 33 years seniors come to here for a 4 day weekend to learn how to be hospital chaplains, visit sick people and minister to people with HIV/AIDS in their future congregations.  Five young men, 2 women and one of their teachers and his wife arrived.  We spent this morning teaching, students sitting in on counseling sessions and visiting with our patients in the ward.  Tonight they come for dinner here (cooking for 11) and a recap of their day.  Tomorrow we use the young men to preach in some of our local churches and the church here at mission and for Sunday night services at the hospital.  Monday they do our devotion before we start work and then head for home in Harare.

Julie was happy this week on Friday we had 2 C/Sections and she got to help assist on them and some other surgeries.  She is enjoying her time with us and getting lots of experience for her training in medical school ahead!

Just as I was ready to post this our internet went out for 11 days!  Sorry this is late!


At Harare airport ready to fly to South Africa


Major, Michael and Carolyn at the Maze 


 The Monkeys by the Monkey fountain

 Visiting the sites at Sun City



 Animals we saw in the Game Park

 Waterpark at the Timeshare we stayed at

Major's sister (2nd from right) with his kids and me


Dinner at Russ and Carolyn's house


Heading for home filled to the top!

 Women's meeting singing and dancing

Major preaching for Women's conference 

Julie helping Dr. Isala with a C/Section