Sunday, October 22, 2017

Devastating fire, 40th reunion, visit to Reno, visit with my friends

The devastating fire in Santa Rosa continued for almost 2 weeks.  The house where I was staying in Santa Rosa, Sylvia's, we had to be evacuated for 6 nights.  Luckily no homes in the area were touched and there was no smoke damage in the house.  We never lost electricity so our freezers didn't defrost.

On the 11th of October I left for 3 nights and 4 days with 5 of my best friends from UCSF Nursing School.  We had a reunion to celebrate our graduation 40 years ago.  Karen Lahl hosted us at her family cabin in North Shore, Lake Tahoe.  Karen is from Vacaville.  Then we had Cathy from Sacramento, Jean from North Carolina, Leslie from Vermont, Cheryl from Burlingame, CA and myself.  We spent 4 days talking non-stop and catching up.

We enjoyed the beautiful Lake Tahoe out our front door and went walking to see some of the sights.  We hope every 5 years to continue the tradition!  What fun we had!  Amazingly no one looked much older from when we graduated! Ha!

Saturday night the 14th I spent with Rose and Bob Coibion in Roseville, alumni from many visits.  Bob is our builder and advisor in building.

Sunday morning, my brother, sister-in-law and Major came up to pick me up and we traveled on for  2 days in Reno, Nevada to visit with my brother-in-law Mike.  We managed to do some shopping and lots of yummy eating.

When we came home Tuesday, the 17th we were able to move back into Sylvia's house.  She had moved back the evening before when they lifted the mandatory evacuation order.  It was nice to be home and the fires were slowly being contained.

This week we have been busy catching up on eye doctor appointments, shopping, seeing friends, all the things we missed for 2 weeks because of the fires.  Many roads are still closed and many houses were lost.  It is estimated that almost 90,000 acres burnt, 5700 homes and businesses burnt down.  90,000 fire fighters from Australia, Canada and states as far a ways as Florida came to work.  Two of the three hospitals in town were closed down for 12 days!  We know so many people that lost their houses and everything!

My niece Tracy had dinner with the family on Wednesday night  had dinner with us.  She works for PGE (Gas and Electric Company in California) and they had been sent to get electricity and gas back on after the fires.  We were happy to be able to see and visit with her.

We had dinner and lunches with many friends and Chidamoyo alumni this week.  Today we had a good-bye BBQ with my family.  Tomorrow we have to start packing--should take a long time with all we bought!  We leave early Tuesday morning to head back to Chidamoyo from San Francisco!

 News and picture of Santa Rosa fire




 Leslie, Cathy, Jean, Kathy, Karen and Cheryl--UCSF School of Nursing 1977!

 Kathy and Cathy

                                                          Ladies cooking breakfast together

Cathy, Karen, Sheryl, Kathy, Leslie and Jean--Cl.ass of 1977!

 Celebrating 8th birthday for great nephew Maximo (upper right corner) 

 In Reno with brother Dennis

 Family dinner with niece Tracy--head of the table

Sister-in-law Kathy, myself, Great nephew Alec, sister Kim and nephew Marc


 Chidamoyo Alumni Rick and Sue Hahn

With church friends and Chidamoyo alumni

 Matt and Dr. Megan Fitzpatrick--Chidamoyo alumni from this year

Friends from church I grew up with any their mom

Dr. Stephane Hwuang and Jeff in middle--Chidamoyo alumni from June 2017

 Dereka, Maximo, March (nephew) and Alec McCarty

Nephew Mapi Maparara


Friday, October 6, 2017

Back to Santa Rosa, CA

We had a wonderful progressive dinner on Friday the 29th of September in Seattle.  We went to 4 different houses in Wallingford neighborhood and enjoyed a home tour, history of the home and wonderful at each house along with 11 wonderful people to share it with.  Thank you to all the homeowners who donated the proceeds to Chidamoyo Hospital.

On the afternoon of the 30th of September we flew home from Seattle to my hometown of Santa Rosa, CA.  We arrived home to a wonderful sadza and oxtail dinner cooked by Sylvia Majoni-Brown.

We have spent the last week traveling and doing shopping--getting ready to go back to Zimbabwe.

Sunday morning we left with good friends and Chidamoyo board members, Patty and Gary LeDonne, for the final SF Giants baseball game of the season at ATT Park.  We enjoyed a fun game in beautiful weather and it was won in the bottom of the 9th by a home run from the Giants!  After the game they threw autographed balls into the seats and Patty got one for Major!  He was so excited!

After the game we went to meet up with our Stanford research team.  It was fun to meet with them on this side of the world and enjoyed a wonderful Chinese dinner out with Megan and Matt, Ben, Rachel, Dr. Katzenstein and Ben's wife.  It was great to catch up with everyone.  We spent the night in SF and then took the bus home the next morning.

We have been to Costco 2 times in 2 days and we are buying things to help us run the hospital better.  We also took things direct to the container which is just about ready to go--we are filling the rest up very quickly!

We also enjoyed seeing Great-nephew Maximo and his team playing soccer this week.

We are also enjoying eating out with friends and family.  I am trying not to put on weight and Major is trying to eat everything!  What a fun time we are having and feel so privilege to be here for a few weeks!

ATT Park

Gary and Major


Patty and Gary LeDonne with Major and Kathy


Stanford research team with us

 Taking things to container with Becksteads


 Great nephew Maximo playing goal keeper for soccer

 Major enjoying dinner

Dinner with the McCarty family

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Trip to US continues

On Sunday the 17th of September we left in the afternoon with Cindy Carson (a Chidamoyo alumni in 2006) and her husband up to their cabin near Mt. Baker in Washington.  We spent 2 days up in the mountains and they got their first snow of the season while we were there so Major enjoyed holding snow and I was freezing!!  We enjoyed the beautiful cabin and hospitality of Cindy and Cam.  We took the scenic route home and saw Deception Pass, and stopped in Oso, Washington where a housing development was covered by a landslide in 2014 and killed 43 people.  Very somber place.


On Wednesday the 20th of September Major and I and four of our good friends, Cheri and Larry Gail and Dr. Darik and Jo Taniguchi, (Chidamoyo alumni many times each) took off for 5 days in Alaska.   We spent the first night in Anchorage and then drove to Seward for 3 nights.  We went out on a boat to see Glaciers and it was cold, rainy and tall waves.  Some of us got sick on the boat--most of the boat but Major and Larry ran around a lot and enjoyed it more!


One day the boys went fishing and caught 4 salmon.  We ate one and gave the rest away!  The girls stayed behind and had massages and walked through the shops in town in the rain.


We had a wonderful time and enjoyed finally seeing Alaska--a first for all of us, but we voted for next trip to Hawaii where we will all enjoy the weather better!
We got back on the 24th and on Monday the 25th we had a fun day celebrating my birthday.  We went with Cheri to her alternative high school on the Seattle University campus.  Major told his life story and encouraged the kids to stay in school. 


We had lunch with a Zimbabwean, Dr. Jerry Zifodya who is in a Pulmonary Fellowship at University of Washington.  We then went to pick up a new ultrasound machine donated by Sono Site.  Then we went to Cheri and Larry's son's ice hockey practice and out to birthday dinner on the lake--which was beautiful!  Definitely a birthday to remember with great friends.


This week we have been visiting people and talking about our work.  We got to spend an afternoon on University of Washington campus and visited in the Nursing Department with the Chairman of Family and Child nursing who sponsored our UW Global health team that was with us in July and August this year.


Life has been busy and fun while we have been in Seattle.  The last 2 days it has warmed up to 70's so we are happy for that!


Our phone number is 415-799-6287 while we are in the US if you want to call us.

Major exploring around Mt. Baker


It's snowing!


Snowing in front of an ice cave



Major on Bridge at Deception Pass, Washington


Memorial at Oso, Washington


Hill that fell down and covered a housing development in Oso


Cindy, Kathy and Nellie


First dinner in Alaska


Major and Darik on the Glacier boat


Ice floating near glacier


Glacier we saw


Major in front of glacier


Our group--Darik, Jo, Larry, Major, Cheri and Kathy

Major on boat trip


Darik and Larry in front of boat they fished on


Major and Moose


Sunset in Alaska


Major in Seward


Larry and the Salmon he caught and we ate


Major fishing


 Kathy and Major with Dr. Zifodya

Major and Kathy getting the new ultrasound from SonoSite



Happy Birthday!



Eli Gail in red jersey practicing ice hockey


Major, Kathy and Cheri


More birthday celebrations


Gail from UW with Cheri, Kathy and Major