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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter blessings,A new doctor, Church gatherings and Harvest at Batanai!

It has been a busy Easter week and we hope you had a great Easter holiday!

On Tuesday, we were joined by our new doctor.  We recently were granted a third position by the government and were so happy since our workload has been so much each month.  We hired Dr. Tafadzwa Mazuruse.  He is 26 years old, single and from Nyika area originally and has been in Harare for several years during medical school.  He just finished his internship (2 years after medical school) at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.  He got to work a couple of days before we started holiday schedule at the hospital on Friday.

Easter is a time for many church meetings and we had a meeting here at Chidamoyo with 8 other churches in our area invited.  Over 250 registered and many more came starting on Friday night and going through church on Sunday morning.  They had lessons and sermons and many of the churches sang special music.  Lots of singing and dancing! 

Thursday before we went for holidays we celebrated Dr. Isala's 30th birthday and Dr. Munodawafa's  belated birthday (his was in February) also 30th.  We had a big cake and sang Happy Birthday and they got some US cash for a birthday present--they were happy!!

Friday, we went on holiday schedule at the hospital—so I worked from 9 am to 1:30 pm and then got the rest of the afternoon off to catch up on some housework at my house.  I got 2 loads of wash out before our electricity went out on Saturday morning 4 a.m.!

On Saturday morning after working a short time at the hospital, I left with Major his wife and daughter and we went to another church meeting on a farm near Karoi.  I had been asked to do a lesson on health issues and Major had been asked to preach.  We enjoyed the afternoon with this large group of churches from Karoi area that joined for the weekend of worship there.  They were very enthusiastic in their dancing and singing!

We had rain all day Saturday and it continued through Monday.  We got back Saturday night and church started at 630 a.m. Sunday morning.  We finished by 9:30 a.m. and they fed everyone tea and bread to send them on their way home.  Some of the church people walked 20 or more kms to come.  It was a great time of fellowship and worship.  We got home and the electricity came back and by Monday morning it went off again!  Too much rain!

Sunday afternoon I drove to Batanai, my rural village to spend a night.  We had many people come to visit and the good thing in the village is when it gets dark it’s time for bed!  We were all tired from the busy weekend and getting up early that morning.

Monday morning, we woke up to rain at Batanai.  We had the youth group coming to harvest my field of maize and pull up my peanuts.  We had to work hard to put Major’s Maize in his storage area to keep the rain off it so as the youth started showing up one by one we worked on that first.  Then we fed them tea and as the rain stopped they went off to work in the field.

They worked hard until 4 p.m. and they got all the maize picked and put in the trailer of the tractor which then proceeded on to Chidamoyo to unload it.  We will let it dry a bit and then take it off the cobs and store it in bags for the hospital to use to feed the patients.

We fed the kids some sadza before they headed from home.  They worked hard to help us and they are coming back Thursday to pick the peanuts (2 ½ acres).  Should have a lot of yummy peanut butter this year.  I drove back to Chidamoyo Monday evening and got home at 6:30 p.m. to no electricity—so had cereal for dinner and off to bed—like the village, no lights it is time to go to bed and get up with the sun in the morning

Today is Independence Day in Zimbabwe—number 37!  So, it added another day onto the 4 day Easter holiday so we got 5 days of holiday schedule at the hospital!  How nice for us but tomorrow will be extra busy since we have had 5 days off and no out-patient clinic!

We hope this is the last of the rain as we don’t want the maize to begin germinating from the rain.  This is unusual for it to continue so long into April so we hope this is the end.  It is already getting cooler at night—down to mid-60’s but still up to 90’s during the day when not raining.

 Dr. Tafadzwa Mazuruse


Chidamoyo Youth Group singing Friday night church service

 Nyamambizi Farm singing with Karoi churches Saturday


Major preaching on Saturday afternoon at the Farm

 Church on Easter morning at Chidamoyo

 12 baptisms on Easter morning

 Serving tea and bread after Easter service

 Enjoying tea time before walking home

Youth at Batanai having tea before going to harvest my field of Maize on Monday

 Picking up maize from ground to storage


Major's maize from 2 fields and still has another field to pick--bumper harvest year!

 Major driving kids with my harvest

Tractor trailer full and plenty of pumpkins!