Saturday, November 25, 2017

Historical Week in Zimbabwe

After an Army take over on November 15 which was called a "non-coup" we had a roller coaster week as the country decided what would happen next.

On Friday the 17th the ruling political party (ZANU-PF) met and dismissed President Mugabe as their President and called for his resignation by Monday the 20th or they would start impeachment hearing against him. 

Saturday the 21st the crowds in the streets of Harare and throughout the country filled with people celebrating the decision.  Many were calling it their new Independence Day.  They went up to the Army and hugged them for taking over.  All colors of people in the country turned out.

Sunday night we sat around the TV as Mugabe called for a press conference and then didn't resign.

Tuesday the 21st the Parliament meet and started Impeachment steps when all of a sudden a letter arrived which was read announcing Mugabe's resignation.  The MPs stood and cheered and danced--something never before witnessed in Zimbabwe.  People again took to the streets to celebrate and all over Zimbabwe people drove cars in the streets blowing their horns and yelling!  We were now a country without a President.

Thursday night the 23rd Emmerson Mnangagwa returned to Zimbabwe from exile in South Africa and on Friday the 24th he was sworn in as the new President of the country and ZANU-PF until the next elections sometime in mid-year 2018.

What a week this has been in Zimbabwe.  Certainly historic and above all peaceful and calm with no bloodshed.  How thankful we are that our prayers and yours were answered for prayers and safety for all Zimbabweans.

Work continues the same at the hospital.  We have been pleasantly busy but it is a slower time of the year as people are busy plowing in their fields and getting ready to plants when the rains set in.

I have been helping to see Out-patients and one of our doctors was at medical meeting fro Mon-Wed and one is on leave so that leaves only 1 to do in-patients and out-patients so I help out with out-patients when he is busy in theater.  Yesterday I did anesthesia for a skin graft for a young man that had his leg bit by a crocodile in the Sanyati River.  Emily helped me in theater and continues to help me with many paperwork projects we have to do around the hospital.

Thank you to all of you who prayed for the situation in Zimbabwe and sent well wishes to us through social media and emails.  We only knew what was happening by watching it on TV as things continued as normal in the bush.

This was Thanksgiving week in the States and we are having our dinner tomorrow night (Sunday) with 14 people coming.  Thursday wasn't a holiday here so no time to cook when I had to work all day.  Now I can have after work Saturday and Sunday to get ready.  You have to do all from scratch here--no store to help you out!  It's very dark like a big rain storm coming so I do hope we don't lose our electricity!

We have so much to be Thankful here and we are thankful to all of you! Thank you for your faithful support for the hospital through difficult times and for your support of us.

Emily is off to Batanai with Major and family for the weekend to work in the fields and help plow and plant for the weekend!  She wants the "African experience!"

 UZ Students helping with skin graft on Crocodile bites 

 Emily helping me exam outpatients

 Emily helping me in Theater

The News from the TV this week


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Two weeks back, new visitor, some rain, Army takes over

Work has been busy as I catch up from being gone for almost 7 weeks.  I have been busy working on an application through the Japanese embassy to get a digital X-ray machine.  We are praying for this wonderful gift to the hospital to be granted.

On Monday the 6th of November a new visitor, Emily Wade, from Florida, came to work with us for 6 weeks.  She is a new RN graduate from August and we are happy to have her work with us.  She has been working with us at the hospital and Thursday we went to Batanai to draw Viral Loads for people that attend our ART clinic there.  She is excited to be here and will be a big help to

During our weekly in-service meeting for nurses on Tuesday this week,  a patient came walking up to us and fell on the ground and soon we heard the plop of a baby coming out!  So during the in-service meeting we stopped to finish delivering the baby!  A big baby boy.  We suggested she name it Inservice!

We have had some more rain and it has been cloudy for 3 days and a little rain each day.  We hope that it really let's lose soon so people can get their crops planted.  It has been cloudy all day and humid but no rain so far! 

Of course as soon as the rains and thunder and lightening storms come we lose our electricity as power poles fall down.  In the 3 weeks we have been back we have lost power more than it has been on!  Hard to keep our fridges cold!  No fans to sleep with which has been hard for some of the nights.  It always seems we can't have rain and electricity at the same time.  Rainy season is always our bad time for electricity!  My visitor is appreciating electricity whenever we have it!

One of our local Headmasters at Jinga school died and we all went to the funeral on Sunday the 12th.  There were many people there.  We brought several car loads from the hospital as he was the father-in-law to our driver, Tapson Nyamaharo.  There were sprinkles of rain but we all enjoyed the clouds and coolness of the day.  We spent several hours there until the burial was over and rushed home for church at the hospital at 5 p.m.

We woke up to an Army take over of the country on Wednesday morning and we were all surprised.  Since we had no electricity for 2 days we hadn't been listening to any news and only when people started sending emails asking if we were ok did I get batteries out and turned on Voice of America.  Since we had no electricity at home Emily and I hadn't sent many emails for a couple of days so people were panicked as to why we were quiet!

When I got to the hospital where there is internet (we have 24/7 solar there) we were able to check out all the news and start writing to assure people all was fine and quiet here in the busy.  Work continued as usual.

Emily and 3 University of Zimbabwe medical students and I went out to Mawhada (1 hour away) to draw Viral Loads at one of our outreach clinics on Thursday.  We drew 118 people in 3 hours in between some rain!  We all had to pick up our stuff and run for cover everytime it started to rain since we were outside!  The students were excited to learn a new clinical skill and Emily is also learning and a big help.  I did the paperwork and the ones they couldn't get!

Things over the last several days continue to happen.  We are all awaiting the outcomes.  We sent our truck to Harare yesterday and they were able to get what we needed but stores and work places were seeming to close by mid-day.

One enjoyable outcome is that there are no roadblocks on the road by police since they are quiet since their commander was detained.  Any roadblocks are manned by Army who want to see ID and make sure no one is carrying weapons in to Harare to fight.  They are all polite and not taking bribes!  What a difference that is!

Today there are going to be many people demonstrating in the streets for the President's resignation.  We continue to pray for Peace and a better life for people in Zimbabwe.  Stay tuned!

Life here in the bush continues as usual.  Emily and Major and wife went off to Rhino Camp on Lake Kariba for a safari yesterday and will be back tomorrow, so even more quiet here!

 It has been hot--driving to hospital at 3 p.m. after lunch!

Baby Inservice

Emily drawing blood at Batanai

Outreach patients getting Viral loads

 Emily drawing blood at Batanai

Getting some rain at the hospital and turning lawn green!

 Nursing staff on duty this week on Day shift

 Funeral of Headmaster at Jinga School

 People lined up to have blood drawn

  Medical students and Emily drawing blood

The Army blocking off streets in downtown Harare on Wednesday morning