Saturday, May 20, 2017

Gary and Patty LeDonne left on the 9th of May for the US after a quick 2 1/2 week visit with us.  We enjoyed their time here and thank them for their service on our Chidamoyo board.

On the 12th of May we had 10 Zimbabwe Christian College final year students and one teacher who came for 4 days with us to learn counseling skills and how to minister to ill patients.  We have been doing this for 25 years and have been happy to teach many ministers how to minister to sick patients.

Dr. Megan Fitzpatrick finished up her research project with us on Friday morning.  There is still some more work to be done but she unfortunately has to return to her residency at Stanford.  We will miss her and Matt being around after being with us for the past year.  She has a lot of exciting results to write up and her project will help change some important views on HPV and cancer in rural African women.  Many lives will be saved because of this important research. We were happy to be apart of it.

Major's birthday is today, #53!  Since they go home on the weekends to Batanai to farm we celebrated last night with a birthday dinner for the family.  This morning he came over for his Birthday Breakfast of French Toast with Peanut Butter and Maple Syrup and coffee!

Chloe and Andy finished off today at the hospital and head for Harare tomorrow night to go on to Victoria Falls before they leave.  They spent Monday-Wednesday this week at Rhino Camp with Major enjoying animals.

Major and I leave tomorrow night for a 2 day conference an hour East of Harare for AIDS care.  I'll be back on Wednesday and Major has things to do in Harare until Friday.

 Saying goodbye to Gary and Patty in Harare

 Combi even takes people on outside when full!

 Students from ZCC

 Teaching students at the hospital


 Megan presenting prelimanary results of her study

 Megan and Matt working on results

 Major celebrating his #53!


 Patience and Major

Major pouring his birthday coffee

 Chloe and Andy on rounds with Dr. Munodawafa



Saturday, May 6, 2017

Holiday, more visitors and women's church conference

We started this week with a holiday on May 1st (Worker's Day) and Patty, Gary and I got home in time to welcome Dr. Megan and partner Matt back for more work at Chidamoyo.  We put Matt to work on Megan's project and also between that helping us with some computer and office work for the week.  He left this morning for a 5 day canoe trip down the Zambezi river!  We hope he comes back with all his body parts and no angry hippos or croc stories!

We had two other visitors arriving on May 1 but one had to wait because he needed a new passport and one got delayed coming out of London.  So early on Wednesday morning ( 1 a.m.) we welcomed Chloe Biss and early on Friday morning (12:30 a.m.) we welcomed Andy Brown.  Both starting 5th year Medical School in Birmingham, UK. Tthey are here for their elective until the end of the month.  Andy scrubbed in on a C/Section yesterday and today they are delivering babies!

Friday morning we bid goodbye to Patty and Gary at devotions as they are leaving Sunday after church for Harare and then home from there on Tuesday evening.  We are so thankful for their time with us.  It went too fast!  We are thankful for their service on our Chidamoyo Hospital board in the U.S.

Friday at noon Patty and I traveled to Magunje (about 1 hour and 15 minutes towards Karoi) for our area Women's conference.  Patty presented a lesson on how to be a Dynamic Christian woman, using examples from the Old and New Testament of Dynamic Women in the Bible.

Today (Saturday) we came to work and both Patty and Gary helped work on some Green Books (ART patient records) and helped us.

Gary brought signs with him to announce our 50th Anniversary and kept busy putting them up in the in-patient wards and on out-patient clinic veranda.

Matt and Patty helping with the Green books

Patty and Gary busy at work in the office of the hospital

Gary putting up Anniversary sign


Chloe and Andy, UK Medical students

Major saying goodbye to Gary and Patty at Friday's devotion



Women singing and dancing at Women's Conference

Audience of women


 Patty speaking and Mai Kwatchanera translating for her

Monday, May 1, 2017

Visitors, Ministers Retreat, a Visit to Batanai

On the 20th of April Patty and Gary LeDonne  from my home church in Sebastopol, CA arrived to spend 2 1/2 weeks with us.  Unfortunately the night they arrived they spent the night in Harare at my townhouse and they got robbed during the night.  We lost all our cash for our Ministers Retreat.  The robbers had broken in the back door and took all the money out of their backpacks.  Nothing else was lost and no one was hurt so we were happy for that.

Within 2 hours of hearing about the loss in the US a family donated all the money to be replaced so that we could have our ministers retreat. It was such a blessing to us.   Finally after lots of police reports they were able to leave on Friday afternoon and arrived here Friday night at 9 p.m. for dinner.  They were totally exhausted as no one had slept since 2 a.m. when the robbery occurred.

One funny thing that came out of it was that when Major was awaken by Patty to tell him about the robbery he grabbed his shirt and forgot to grab his pants--so he drove to the local police station to get the police in his boxers and didn't realize anything until the 2 policewomen taking the report kept staring at his pants!  Then he realized he had forgot to put his pants on in the terror of the situation!

Saturday the 22nd we had a Gala for HIV testing and Male Cicumcision at a place 2 hours further into the bush from us called Davare.  We have built a school there with our ZRSDP partners so we went to encourage the community.  We had soccer games, netball games for the women, a band, dancing contestants, quizzes and prizes.  We tested 164 people and only 1 positive!  We also did 10 circumcisions. They had so much fun we finally had to leave about 630 pm when it was getting dark.  They didn't want to quit!

I left Patty and Gary home to take it easy and relax for the day as we had a busy week ahead.  We did church at Chidamoyo Sunday morning and night.

Monday and Tuesday I put them to work at the hospital and they enjoyed seeing the changes at the hospital.  Gary and Patty were last here in 2006 and they serve on our Chidamoyo Hospital board in the US.

Early on Wednesday morning the 26th we left for Kariba with 11 of our Ministers for a Ministers Retreat.  Gary and Major and I drove 3 cars the 4 hours to Kariba.   We also took 2 people to help me cook the food for the 3 days.  We had to take a boat 1 hour down Lake Kariba to Rhino Camp.

We had a wonderful retreat with Gary leading sessions on Mark.  We got to go out on game rides every evening and we enjoyed having elephant and hippos near our rooms each day.  The ministers had never been on a boat and never been around animals before so it was a great adventure for them.

On Saturday we travelled back to Chidamoyo and when we arrived about 5 p.m. we were able to present to 5 of the ministers a brand new motorcycle that was provided for them by Natomas Christian Church in Sacramento.  The ministers will now have transport to cover their many churches they help each Sunday thanks to this wonderful donation.  We are so thankful.

Sunday, Patty and Gary and I went to Batanai for church and then went to my rural home at Major's for the night.  They enjoyed visiting with Major, seeing the village and spending a night in the quiet bush.  We enjoyed sadza meals and lots of roasted peanuts!

Today is May 1st and Worker's Day so a holiday at the hospital.  We got to stay at Batanai and come home around lunchtime and relax a little before a busy week of work starting tomorrow.

Dave Gala



Lining up for HIV testing

HIV testing


 Questions for prizes

Major giving out prizes for winning soccer teams


 Ministers on way to Rhino Camp



 Teaching sessions with Gary

 Meal time at Rhino

 Evening campfire time

Out on safari

The group with elephants in the background


 Patty and Gary LeDonne

Elephants playing together

 Giving out the motorcycles

 Major trying out the new motorcycle

The 5 ministers and their new motorcycles

 Kathy and Patty and Gary at Kathy's house at Batanai

Sunset and moon rising at Batanai




Dinner time at Batanai