Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy thanksgiving to you!

This week has been a busy week. We have already received 150 mls+ of rain in November, so people are busy in their fields plowing and planting. Mondays all day and Thursday mornings are days people can not work in their fields in our area in order to honor their ancestors—so that is when the patients flock to the hospital. Many wait until they are very ill because the family member who may need to bring them doesn’t want to miss days in the field. So we get some breaks in between when people are busy plowing and planting. The rivers aren’t full yet, but soon the rivers will prevent many people being able to get the hospital until the river goes down a day or so after the rain.
This week we said goodbye to Liz Able who has been with us since August. She flew on to spend Christmas with her family in Shanghai, China and then will be enrolling in college in January in Portland, OR. We wish her well and thank her for her help!
This past Saturday (Nov 13th) we decided to celebrate Thanksgiving and cook up a feast. We couldn’t find another Sat between now and December when all of us would be here, so we had it early. We don’t get Thanksgiving Day off here, so we need a Saturday when we have time to cook and prepare. So we started on Friday when Chris killed the turkey (one of our bartered ones at the hospital) and Saturday we spent all day cooking. We each choose a part to help with and 3 of us were busy cooking and went to the hospital to work in the morning too! We also decided to add to the entertainment by dressing up—3 of us were pilgrims and 3 were Indians—we had to use what we had here and it was a challenge, but we managed—look at those pictures! The best part was having Chris put on white panty hose for his outfit—we all had to help him, with him complaining the whole time! We told him he now had a big appreciation for what girls go through to impress men!
We had turkey, chicken, mashed potatoes, dressing, cranberry salad, broccoli with cranberry salad, carrot soufflé, green beans, cranberry sauce, biscuits, gravy and pecan and butternut squash pie for dessert. We invited some of our neighbors to share with us and 9 of us ate this huge feast on Saturday night! Of course we have been without electricity since Wed. night due to power poles fallen down in a storm, so we met the challenge to get everything cooked in a gas stove and kept warm! What fun we had and all fell into bed exhausted and stuffed like the turkey!
Today 3 of our visitors took off for a visit for Victoria Falls before 2 of them—Kial and Lauren leave us for the states (and another Thanksgiving)! Soon the Christmas decorations come out and the Christmas dishes—yeah!
Now we have been 6 days without electricity and counting. We had to postpone a scheduled C/Section and another surgery in hopes it might come back anytime! They can’t seem to find the fault so our guys are out and walking the lines looking for fallen poles today. We have one of their ZESA employees in our hospital bed, and he has been waiting for an X-ray for 5 days. We are threatening to hold him hostage until it is fixed! With the electricity off for 6 nights now we tend to go bed earlier and get up with the sun!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you as you celebrate on the 25th!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

More pictures

Thought I would add some more pictures for all of you. Stacy is a visitor from TN and she is applying for Med School in the Fall 2011 so she is learning by assisting in surgery and sewing up lacerations.
Some more pictures of our visitors and our animals we saw on safari in Kariba. Notice how close the elephants were to our room!
Liz and Lauren sitting next to me on the boat over to the safari camp!
The group with Dr. Zimudzi.

Finally an update!

In mid-October the visitors (Chris, Amber, Lauren, Liz, Stacy and Kial) and I were able to spend 3 nights and 3 days at a wonderful safari camp called Rhino Camp. We actually got to see Rhino—there are only 14 in the whole National Park—so it was special! We had many elephants around our cabins and looked out on Kariba Lake which made us feel we were on a tropical island with African elephants! We also say lions with cubs and lots of other animals and enjoyed walking, riding and boating to see the many different animals. Amber's birthday was the day we arrived so made her wear the famous birthday hat (the picture with her and Kial on boat to elephant point). We had a special dinner with chocolate cake--too windy for candles! It was a relaxing and fun time by all.
Amber left us on October 28th and returned to Lincoln, Nebraska. Her welcome home party turned into her engagement party when her boyfriend popped the questions—Makorokoto (Congrats) Amber!
Our rains have started and people are busy plowing and planting. There is always excitement in the air when people get back into their fields after several months waiting for the rains! Already the dusty brown all around is starting to green up.
Talked with Major by Skype this week and he certainly must be enjoying America as he has put on a lot of weight! The Pillsbury Boy of Zimbabwe has been created! Thank you to all who are keeping him so well fed and drunk (with Root Beer)! He will be back to the reality of sadza and veges soon enough! He is complaining about the cold and it was down to low 30’s at night in Kansas when I talked to him. He will be home in 4 weeks and we will be so happy to see him here!
The hospital has decreased a bit with people busy in their fields. Only the very sick come and Monday and Thursday are days people cannot plow in our area in honor of their ancestors and so those days are very busy. Since a week ago we have already received 100 mls of rains—so we are happy! It has cooled us down too. Our visitors now know why October is called suicide month—it was a hot one! They were sleeping out on the platform every night in my yard—now they have to guess if it will rain during the night or make a run for it from the platform when it starts to rain.
Dr. Zimudzi went on leave this past week for 6 weeks and Dr. Murenje and I are trying to hold down the fort while he is away. So far so good!
One more visitor leaves this week—Liz flies on to be with her mother and siblings in Shanghai this Friday. She has been here since then end of August and has been a good gopher (go for this, go for that) for me—so we will miss her and wish her well in college in Portland, OR in January. Lauren and Kial leave on 21st so everyone is getting excited about home. In fact, In and Out Burger has been the topic of many of the conversations lately!
The house is decorated for Thanksgiving and we are trying to figure out when we will have this big day. We don’t get the holiday off here so we can celebrate whenever we want! Lori, Chris, Stacy and I will be here and we will invite some local friends too. It may be chicken with all the trimmings. The turkeys are pretty old and tough around here.
Thanks for all of you who pray for us and financially support us so much! You are the ones who make this work possible!