Drought continues, trip to Zambia, New Mattresses, Elliot's birthday, Research team here
It has been a busy month with visitors, lots of activities and no rain! We are in the midst of a drought that is affecting most of southern Africa. So on top of all the problems with the economy and shortage of money, inflation and loss of value of the local currency, we are now facing drought and lack of food and it is more than another year until a harvest! Life is about to get a lot harder for all in Zimbabwe. It was in the newspaper this week that most suburbs will only get water for 2 days a week starting now to ration the water. No rain expected until November or later the end of this year—so that’s a long time to ration. My house is Harare has a borehole but the water table will go down a lot!
On the 21st of February we went to a clinic 2 hours from here to add more children into our research study. I took my 3 visitors and our research assistant and we drew the 43 kids. Most are not doing so well so we hope to get them on better drugs so they can do better. We had a fun time going out and stopped by Major’s father’s home where all the family was to welcome a new daughter-in-law as Major’s brother, Thinkwell, brought his new bride to meet the family at his home. We stopped and had a meal with them and enjoyed meeting the new daughter-in-law before continuing home.
The next day on the 22nd of February we took the 2 Jeeps and headed off to Zambia via Kariba. We decided to go with our 3 visitors, Elliot, Claire and Serva to do some shopping in Zambia. We booked a big house on Air BnB in the capital, Lusaka, and spent 2 nights. We enjoyed shopping which was much cheaper than here and went to the local market where we met a popular Gospel singer who wanted his pictures with my team and then enjoyed some great meals out and about half the price of here. We also found fuel which is always hard to find here. We drove back on Sunday and got home by 6:30 pm. We had a great time and no problems at the boarders.
On the 2nd of March we drove the lorry into Harare and picked up 100 brand new mattresses for the hospital beds that were bought by the Rotary club in Sebastopol! It was so great to get these much needed mattresses. The patients clapped and sang! We are so thankful for this Rotary Club who have helped us with so many projects!
On the 3rd of March was Elliot’s 24th birthday but he went off to spend the weekend at Major’s. They sang Happy Birthday and took him to Batanai stores to buy anything he wanted for his birthday! He choose a packet of lemon cream cookies—wow!
So on the fourth we invited the 3 doctors and their wives and kids and Major and wife over to make S’mores and have a birthday cake for Elliot—a day late. They enjoyed learning how to make S’mores and liked them!
This last week Elliot left for 2 weeks in Malawi and then Claire left to go on to S.A. for a few weeks before heading home to IL, and then on to Physician Assistance school in Boston in August. We wish her well and hope to see her again.
On Sunday night the 10th our research team from Harare and Stanford and Dr. Anna West from Philadelphia arrived to spend 5 days with us. We are almost done with most of our kids in their first year of the study and we had time to discuss the problem kids and for Anna to start another part of the study which is doing interviews with kids who are failing drugs to find out why.
We kept busy for 5 days from breakfast until after dinner. I was cooking for 10 each day! They left Friday morning and so just 2 of us, Serva and myself to cook for until Elliot gets back.
We seems to be able to get most food items in the stores now because the prices have gone so high most people can’t afford anything! Fuel is still a problem with long queues and it seems petrol for 2 weeks and then none and then diesel for 2 weeks and then none—it’s getting harder! It’s difficult to plan to go anywhere!
A big cyclone hit Mozambique yesterday and Zimbabwe (especially the eastern boarder) is getting the tail of it. Many places are getting flash flooding from it. Over 28 people have died so far in Zimbabwe from the flooding and many houses and animals lost!
We are finally getting a few light rains this afternoon—just enough to wet the ground—not much for our dams and rivers out here.
Pray for the victims of the cyclone and continue to pray for the economy of Zimbabwe and the drought. Pray people will not die from starvation.