This week went very quickly. On Tuesday the 19th I picked up a new visitor, Julie Gibson, from CA and Florida. She has been accepted into Medical School in July and came her to get some hands on experience. She has been busy and her first day here she learned to draw blood and watched some bones being set.
Thursday we went to Harare and got registered with our truck to be able to transport. We bought a baler box and packs for tobacco to start transporting to Harare and Karoi soon. We are excited that we will be having money to help the hospital, with the truck.
Friday we had 8 visitors who came for Harare to spend the day and night with us. Dr. David Katzenstein, from Stanford University, lead the group and brought Lab and ITC people with him to talk about the start of our research project we will be doing together. We will be doing Viral Loads by drawing blood and Dried Blood spots to look at adolescent/children from age 5-18 who are on ART (AIDS medication) and how well they are taking their medication and how well it is working with them. This is a vulnerable population as many are orphans and get moved around from relative to relative and so they tend to miss medication. Also adolescents tend to rebel by stopping their medication as a way to punish their family, so we want to see if there are ways to intervene if we need to.
We spent time discussing who is going to do what. We hope also to benefit with students who will come and help us with the Lab and IT things. We look forward to our interacting.
Major went off this morning to Zvipani (32 kms away) for a men's conference he is preaching at. This is a mens meeting for all of our local churches. It will be a great encouragement for the men in the church in our area. We are thankful for that.
Last weekend after 2 days of rain our weather took a turn for the cold. It got down to the mid 60's in the early morning which is winter weather around here. Mid-April is too early for winter here. I even had a fire in my fireplace last Saturday evening, brrr.... It warmed up again this week--back to high 80's during the day and 70's at night!
This week we had an interesting patient. A women was doing her wash in the dam right behind the Secondary School at Chidamoyo and was attacked by a crocodile on her hand. It was a small croc so she was able to beat it off and get out of the water. When she came to the hospital we took an X-ray and noticed that besides three breaks in her fingers--the croc lost a tooth inside of her! We pulled it out and are bandaging her wounds everyday!
On Wednesday the 13th it was Dr. Isala's birthday--29th! We made him wear the turkey hat on rounds and then we had a birthday cake for his birthday! We surprised him--he didn't think we would remember.
On Thursday we were happy that a new to us 10 ton truck that we bought for the hospital arrived at the mission. Friday morning we prayed for the truck with all the staff and sang our praise to God. We bought the truck in order to transport goods and make money with it for running the hospital. We sold 2 cars and a tractor and used that money to pay for it.
Saturday I came into Harare for 4 days from some rest and relaxation. Today (Monday--April 18th) is our 36th Independence Day for Zimbabwe and a holiday. Tomorrow after some running errands I pick up our next visitor, Julie Gibson, who is with me for 6 weeks from Florida. She arrives in the evening and we will leave for Chidamoyo on Wednesday morning.
While in Harare I went out to dinner and visited with Dr. Kajese and his wife Noku and their daughter Alexis. Dr. Kajese was our doctor at Chidamoyo from 2001-2004 and is in Anesthesia school in Harare now. Baby Alexis is growing and into everything!
This week on Wednesday a container arrived from Sebastopol, CA that had been sent the end of December 2015. A truck delivered it first thing on Wednesday morning. We have had 2 times to open and unload some of the things.
This container has supplies for the hospital that are so needed and helps us not to have to spend money to buy things that we need. We were so happy to unpack syringes, sutures, gauze, tape and other needed things. We have been waiting for these things and it will help us for many months. We will be able to unpack the container slowly, day by day and it is always exciting the things we get. It's like Christmas for the hospital!
We are so thankful to the many hospitals, doctors offices and pharmacies that save supplies for us and for Dr. Palleschi who spends time making contacts and picking things up for us. We also appreciate Gene and Sue Beckstead who collect the things from many hospitals, store it in their garage and pick our containers for us. Sylvia Majoni picks things up from her hospital and stores them in her garage too. Thank you for everyone who makes this possible.
Major has been concerned with reaching out to men in our communities to get them involved in churches. Our churches always have more women then men involved. So he held two men's breakfasts at two of his churches this past month and asked the women to invite their husbands. The first church was Mukowe and over 100 men showed up! He was only expecting about 40 at the most so they had to stretch the food. They had several who came forward to be baptized and many have been coming to church since.
The next church was Jinga that he had a men's breakfast for. They had over 40 men. He brought Dr. Isala with him so that the men could have some men's health teaching and time for questions. They really appreciated enjoyed that.
He hopes to continue with some more of his churches and we pray this will encourage many of the men to come to church. Many of the men came to our Easter meeting in Batnai last week so we were happy for that.