We brought in the New Year with a church service and prayer time before we set off our Chinese fire crackers. We are never sure what they will do year to year as all the instructions are in Chinese! These did shoot up into the air!
We enjoyed good rain on NY Day and I spent the day taking my Christmas decorations down! The next day we had to go back to the reality of work. On the 3rd of January we lost one of our doctors, Dr. Shield Kajese who was notified at the last minute he was taken into a 4 years residency program for anesthesia. He was with us 3 years as our Medical Superintendent. We are so sad to seem him go but happy for his acceptance into training he wants to do. His wife is staying with us as a nurse for now so we are happy he will still be around now and then. We quickly had to throw a going away party for him the afternoon of the day he told us he was leaving, but we got drinks and bread together and had some fun times recalling his years with us!
We are happy to announce that we have hired a new doctor who is just finishing his residency program the end of March. His name is Dr. Nura Isala, and he was someone that worked with us for 7 months in 2008 when he was just starting his third year in medical school. The University closed because of the hard times we were going through in the country and he came to work with us as a volunteer until they reopened, which was unknown when. He stayed with us for 7 months and it was a great benefit to him and us! He came back several times to visit as he continued in his program and seems like part of our family.
We are happy he is willing to come back and work with us and has made a commitment to be with us for at least 3 years. He is very outgoing and very smart and so we are happy for him to join us in early April. Be in prayer for us to cope with the workload until he is able to join us!
We have been told that the government has allocated $400,000 to rebuild our burnt wing and we have been busy doing some redesigns and plans to present and are waiting to hear when we are going to start.
We continue to cook outside in a temporary kitchen we have built and we do the laundry in the old laundry (no roof but scrub sinks ok) when it isn't raining! We have hired an extra person to help with the hand washing.
We are so thankful to many people who have given gifts and support to help with the rebuilding and
replacing what we have lost. We have been so overwhelmed with the gifts, special Christmas offerings and gifts from local people and churches. A church in Honduras took a special offering for us at Christmas! We now have so many plates we could open a catering company! We have even more than we ever had before. God is so good! Thank you to all who have been so generous.
On January 12 we were joined by 4 medical students from Ohio State. All of them are 4th year and ready to graduate in May and then start residency programs in July. Tim, Rob, Suzanne and Kelsey spent 3 weeks with us and had a wonderful time, saw and did a lot and said it was a great experience. They were a big help to us since we were down to 1 doctor. We wish them well in their future careers.
On January 16th the Mereki family (Major, Patience, Michael and Carolyn) and I left for a family vacation. Only Major and I knew the destination! They had been guessing since Christmas, but
didn't know even when we got on the plane. The plane went to Zambia then Dubai. When we got to Zambia they started to get off and Major said just wait and then they thought Dubai. When we got to Dubai we had a 6 hour lay over and then got on a plane to Phuket, Thailand! The plane just said Phuket so they still had no idea until we landed and we said "welcome to Thailand!" They were in shock! We spent 7 nights in Phuket enjoying the ocean, snorkeling, beaches, shopping and eating.
It was amazing to see every American food place from Sizzler to KFC, to Burger King, McDonald's and Pizza Hut! Even Baskin Robbins and Swenson's for ice cream! Wow what fun we had.
One day we rented motorbikes, one day we went out to Phi Phi Island to snorkel in several places and saw monkeys on one island. We enjoyed the street shopping and negotiating! A mall was a 10 minute walk away!
Then we flew to Bangkok and had 2 nights We went on a city tour, saw a lot of buddhas and the Kings palace and took a river cruise at night. We enjoyed our time there.
Then we flew on to Dubai and had 3 days there. We enjoyed the malls, the American restaurants to eat in and shopping. We went up to the top of the tallest building in the world. They have a ski resort in one mall!
We flew home on the 29th and back to Chidamoyo on the 30th. Welcomed home in the dark with no electricity for 3 days! We went to work on Friday and are now back into the work here! ZESA came back Friday night and has been on since! Our students left and a new one arrives today, life continues at Chidamoyo!
Donations continue to come in for the hospital
Jet skiing with Michael in Phuket, Thailand
Kings palace Bangkok
Dr. Kajese's going away party--we gave him a wool hat to keep warm in Harare!
Mereki family in Dubai
Ski resort inside mall in Dubai
Mereki family and tallest building in the world in Dubai
Major and Patience at Dubai Mall
Michael's favorite part of the trip--eating!