Sunday, December 4, 2016
Monday, November 28, 2016
This week we have been busy unpacking the container in between seeing patients and on Thursday night we started some heavy rain that has continued through today (Monday). We have had almost 3 inches of rain in the past 3 days and more on the way. The greatest gift is it cooled us down and this morning it was down to 72F at 630 a.m. when I ate breakfast instead of 85F it has been. What a relief!
Saturday and Sunday people were out in their fields plowing and planting. It is the official start of our rainy season and we pray it will be a great year!
Saturday we had our support group for kids ages 10-15 with AIDS. The counsellors spend time having them draw a tree of life to find out what they like, what they want to grow up to be and any problems they are having living with AIDS. We had 38 kids who came even though it was raining hard. They also got their meds refilled and we gave them some tea, bread and eggs eat. They seem to really appreciate this group. We have time to pray for them and sing and have a devotion. We have them come every 2 months.
Sunday we went to church at Katche-Katche--about 2 hours away west from us. It was lightly rainy as we went and many people were out in their fields. It was so beautiful to see green and the trees had almost Fall colors in places with the red and green (maybe Christmas colors?).
We took over 30 youth, crowded into 3 trucks-- from Jinga this time to encourage the church and they kept everyone singing and dancing. We started church at 1 p.m. and didn't leave until almost 4:30 p.m.
On the way back we crossed several small rivers and Carolyn (Major's daughter) and her cousin Nancy walked a few of them for us to see how deep they were.
Michael flew home from school in South Africa and he drove us. We got to the last river and it was overflowing and about 5 feet deep. No way we could cross that by vehicle or walking. There was another car there who had been waiting for an hour and then we noticed the river was rising not going down so we made the decision to go around another way and hope those rivers were not overflowing. We made it and it added about 1 hour to the trip home--all 3 of our vehicles made it home by 7:30 p.m. A long day but fun and very exhausting!
Rain at hospital on Friday
Support group kids doing their drawing
Runga, our counsellor working with the kids
People out plowing
Trees in colors
Jinga kids leading the singing and dancing
Women singing special music
Greeting people after church
Major and men singing and dancing after church
Crossing one of the easy rivers
Girls checking out one of the smaller rivers we crossed
River we couldn't cross
Cars lined up to cross the river!
Monday, November 21, 2016
This week I was invited to speak on behalf of ZACH (Zimbabwe Association of Church Hospitals) at an International Pediatric AIDS conference. The theme was “Start Free, Be Free, and Stay Free.” I presented preliminary studies of our research project looking at 307 kids in our area and how well they are doing on drugs.
We are proud to say that we have had not one baby born to an HIV positive mom this year that was positive so far this year. The government has set this as their goal for 2020 and we have already reached it!
The conference was a good time to see many old friends and talk to other people working in the field. We were the only hospital that presented as all of the other presentations were from NGOs doing work in the country.
The conference was all day Thursday and Friday and so Major and I came in Wednesday so he could pick up a truck we had in the shop here. He picked it up and called me 15 minutes later and said he had only made it about 5 miles from the shop and it broke down. They came and towed the truck back to the shop and Major spent the night and took my Jeep home on Thursday morning and is coming back tomorrow to try and pick up the fixed truck again! Then we will both head for home.
Friday night I had dinner with Dr. David Katzenstein from Stanford and his colleagues to discuss our research. Also Dr. Megan Fitzpatrick had been to Chidamoyo for 2 days while I was in town setting up her research project so she came with Matt and we got to hear about her time at Chidamoyo.
Saturday and Sunday I worked on cleaning and sorting at my townhouse and shopping. Actually having time to go row by row instead of the usual rush.
Today I went out to get things for the hospital and get my veges so that after I see my doctor in the morning I can take off for home! We have had a couple of hours of rain here since I came which is nice, as I got to plant some more plants in the yard and they got a good soaking from the rain the same night!
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone this week! Enjoy and have lots of turkey for me. We hope to have ours next week after Michael gets back from school on Friday this week! He always complains he misses it—so we will do it late for him! No turkey here so we eat chicken!