Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

We had a good week before the end of the year although the hospital was busy after Monday was a holiday here. We did get electricity for less than 24 hours from Christmas Eve night at 8 p.m. until Christmas Day at 6:15 p.m. (only 1 hour off in the morning) and then a big storm hit and we were off again! the whole week we struggled with no electricity for X-rays and computer work, etc.

NY Eve we broke off work at 2 p.m. and got a few hours to relax (take down Christmas decorations) at home before the start of our NY Eve celebrations at 7:30 p.m. We had a packed church with some of our local churches coming and the community. We sang, dance, had a video, prayed the NY in and then at midnight went outside the church for fireworks. We bought some Chinese ones at the flea market in Harare and we were unsure what they would do but they were fun--one rocket went into the sky and then head back into the crowd! They scattered and asked for more!

After the fireworks we went back into the church and had some question and answers for prizes and gave out new T-shirts to the winners. Then the youth group band turned all their amplifiers on and went to town with more music, singing and dancing! I gave up and went home at 1:30 a.m. when the broke for tea and bread. They continued until 6 a.m.!

ZESA finally came on this morning about 7:45 for 10 minutes and off and then 8:15 for 45 minutes and off so there is hope we might get more? I am sure we are on load shedding after 14 days on none except for Christmas!

My field is growing well and the maize is about 2 feet high and very green! the youth group went to do the weeding on Thursday. For those of you who only come to Chidamoyo in our winter (June-Sept) when things are very brown and dry I am showing you a picture from my gate of how green it is this time of the year and how tall the grass is! You can't believe it I am sure.
Just to rub it in a bit, yesterday low was 68F and high of 86F. what a way to welcome in 2011! Hope you kept warm!

We pray that 2011 will be a year of peace and calm in Zimbabwe. continue to pray for the country and people of Zimbabwe! All the best to all of you for a great 2011!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day

Our Christmas dinner theme was Hawaiian Retro Christmas--so we had dress 1950's Hawaii. Michael, Major's son decided to add some tummy to his costume to look like his Dad! Enjoy these pictures!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We had a great Christmas!

We had a great Christmas and hope you did too. I am sharing some of the highlights through pictures I am posting.

We started the week by finding out that we made the NY times front page on Sunday the 19th of December. Wow--this was a surprise to be on the front page. Then we were reprinted in other newspapers and on the front page of my hometown newspaper on Monday the 20th. So if you haven't read it or seen the video (you must be in cave) here are the websites:

Thank you for all the kind words and some donations that have rolled in. We are in desperate need for a new generator and we think we might have the money soon! This week we spent 6 days without electricity as we had big storms last weekend which burnt up a power pole. ZESA had no pole to replace it with and so it took several days to find one. What a nice surprise to have it come back at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve night--just as we finished our candlelight service! It was on until 6 p.m. and now am in the dark writing this before heading off to bed! And it continued through today (the 26th). Another fault? How many days this time?

We had caroling on Wed night and Friday we had our staff party where we killed a pig and 20 chickens to feed our staff. Over 70 people came and we had fun playing a game, eating and handing out a goodie bag of rice, sugar, flour, oil and soap and Mazoe (drink) to each of our staff members. they really look forward to this each year! We played a game where we asked questions and then they were given a gift. Some of the highlights of the game were "Who was Jesus' father?" answer was "Mary!" Then "how many wisemen were there? Answer: 12!" We laughed a lot!

We had Christmas present opening with Mereki family and Dr. Zimudzi, Lori and Chris and I on Christmas eve after the candlelight service. Chrstmas morning we had church and then at 3 p.m. we had dinner for 10 of us--ham and all the trimmings. We enjoying swimming before and after dinner as it was in high 90's today. Christmas night we are enjoying a big thunder and lightening storm with some rain--enjoyable to see in the dark!

today (26th) we had church at 7 a.m. since today is a holiday. the highlight of church was my visitor Chris being baptized in my pool at the end! Then Lori, Chris and the Mereki family joined me for a brunch and games and then a big storm hit with lightening near by! We got 2 inches in about 30 minutes! the wind knocked alot of branches down in my yard.

Will share some pictures of our events and hope all of you have a great Christmas too. Thanks to all of you for helping and supporting our work here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Christmas from Zimbabwe

Well it is December and even though there is no snow on the ground—there are crops growing in the field, rain falling and days up to 90 degrees—sounds like Christmas for me!
Major is back but he has spent the last 2 weeks in school in Harare to upgrade his ministry degree. So even though he is in the country, we still communicate by email and look anxiously to his return this weekend. Of course during the past 2 weeks the peanut butter machine needs new blades, the boreholes have broken 3 times and need new belts, rubbers and a pump, and the grinding mill needs a new circuit breaker, the chickens have some kind of skin disease and we need to pick a pig to kill for Christmas. Wow I can’t wait for Major to get back and take over those issues! Somehow I missed those classes in Nursing school on how to handle these hospital crisis issues! Now it must be my turn for holiday!
Stacy, our visitor from TN left for Harare yesterday to spend a few days before she heads for Joburg on Monday and on to US on Wed. She had been with us since October and was a big help, so we are missing her already. We are wishing her well in her applications for medical school this next year.
Since Major is gone, his wife went away for a workshop this week and so their two kids, Michael (17) and Carolyn (13) have been staying with me. It is always fun to have teenagers at the table. When you ask if they want dessert, the answer is “bring it on!” Major also got a box of chocolate bars he sent from the US when he was there that arrived this week and Chris and I have been trying to convince them to bring the box over here so we can just “look” at it—but they don’t trust us and they said “mom has counted how many there are and that we better not eat any!” We immediately told them that did not include us—only them!
We have started the Christmas activities of Chidamoyo. Instead of crowded malls and shopping and no parking places and packed freeways—we have movie night, carol singing, candlelight service and a Christmas party for our staff! We did get the 12 foot tree up and decorated—in the dark with flashlights—as no ZESA! The presents are wrapped and today is cookie making day—Carolyn and Chris (my other visitor) have that job. Almost as easy as buying them at the store!
We showed a movie on Wed and last night (Fri) and there is one more scheduled for Tues night. Our staff party is a luncheon on Friday (24th) and we have a pig and goat to kill—along with rice, Cole slaw and cake! Last year people ate until they got sick they ate so much! We have a gift bag of soap, oil, flour, rice, sugar, toothbrush and paste and drink mix for each employee. They always look forward to this each year.
Christmas Eve we have a candlelight service of Scripture reading and Christmas carols (all in Shona) at the hospital courtyard. We usually don’t have to worry about turning off the lights as there is usually no ZESA in the evenings. After that Dr. Zimudzi, Mereki family and Lori will join Chris and I in cookies, tea and coffee and opening our gifts.
Christmas morning is breakfast with Mereki family (French toast) and then church at 9 a.m. and then after that rounds on the patients and home to a ham dinner with all the trimmings. Our theme this year is “Retro Hawaiian Christmas.” That means dress in 50’s Hawaiian outfits. Should be interesting—stay tuned for pictures!
This past week at the hospital it has been busy and on Wednesday we had to do an emergency operation for a ruptured uterus during labor. ZESA was on when we started and went off about an hour into the surgery, all vehicles were gone and so we couldn’t find a battery to get the generator started—so worked for 30 minutes with 2 torches (flashlights) being held by the Nurse Aide and then ZESA came back! Wow that was exciting! Patient did well and survived. We used a lot of lap sponges since we had no suction for the part with no ZESA! God was good and at least it was during the day when there was some outside light! Trying to hang and push in units of blood in the dark is interesting!
Just in case we didn’t have enough work they also threw in a week of Immunization clinics last week, so Lori and her crew were out until late each evening trying to vaccinate children and give Vitamin A. So much for work slowly down during the holidays!
Both of the doctors here have offered their resignation (one will leave end of Jan and one end of Feb) and so please join us in prayer as we look for 2 new doctors. We need the right ones to help the hospital continue to give the good service we are known for and proud of.
Three weeks ago I had a reporter from NY Times and a photographer here following me around for a couple of days. The story should be coming out shortly and I will let you know when we know when it is published.
Merry Christmas to all of you and slow down and enjoy the Reason for the Season—Christ our Savior is born and live on even today! Share this light in all that you do!