Hello Zimbabwe

I arrived safely in Zimbabwe after a 10 hour flight to Paris--13 hours of lay over, then 10 1/2 flight to Johannesburg, South Africa with a 8 hour lay over there  and finally arrived at 9:30 p.m. on the 2nd of December in Harare, Zimbabwe! It felt good to be home when the Immigration officer welcomed me with “welcome home!”

Michael Mereki came to meet me and take me to my townhouse.  On Thursday I had an 8 a.m. breakfast meeting with a group we are doing research with from Stanford University in California, so no time for jet lag!   Then had time to run around and do some shopping to prepare to go home to Chidamoyo.

Dr. and Mrs. Kajese came to the townhouse on Thursday night and I got to meet their new daughter Alexis who was born in September.  She is so cute and very tiny so far!  We had to send out for pizza because we had no electricity from 7 a.m. that morning.  It finally came on at 12:30 a.m. and was off by 6:30 a.m. the next day!

Major and his wife Patience came to Harare on Friday morning.  I was buying a new washer--as mine died when I was gone.  He got there in time to load it into his truck he brought in.  Then he prepared to go to the US.  We left him at the airport at 5 p.m. to fly to Seattle, WA were he is doing a wedding for alumni Rachel and Kevin on Sunday the 13th.  He will leave on the 14th and be home on the 16th.  Glad he won’t be gone too long!

On the way home from the airport when we were stopped at a light a motorcycle ran straight into the back of us--never even put their brakes on.  His head shattered our back windscreen--but luckily he had a helmet on and wasn’t injured too badly.  It took about 3 hours to get the police there (we went to get them) and the report written.  Then I hurried to a dinner I was late for with the research team.

Saturday morning Michael and I left for Chidamoyo each driving a vehicle--full of groceries and a washer and we got home about 3:30 p.m.  Some surprising observations on the way home.  We now have a traffic light in Karoi--wow! Are we now an official city?   The dirt road had been worked on a bit and actually was much better then when we left--amazing!

All along the road people smiled and one group of kids yelled “McCarty is back!”  Seems I was missed!

It had rained a bit on Friday in our area and puddles were still on the road.  By the time we got home it was very hot and dry.  I tried to unpack a bit but was so tired and hot--I mainly sat. There were signs all over my house welcoming me home written by the Mereki girls!  I had been only sleeping until 4 or 4:30 a.m. since I arrived, so went to bed early and actually slept until 6 a.m.  I got up then because it was hot and light!  

Sunday it was great to be back in church and see familiar faces. It continued to be hot and dry since I arrived and most days up into the 100’s.  When I go to bed it is usually 88 and when I get up it is about 84!  What a big change from low 30’s when I left CA.

Monday I started work at the hospital.  The nurses and others meet me in my office singing and dancing to welcome me back.  Immediately there was plenty of work and things to clear off my desk.  All week I have worked on projects and it looks like I am catching up!  

Electricity seems to be a lot less--most days none from 8 a.m. until 8-9 at night.  That means we have to turn on our generator to do tests, surgery and X-rays, a lot!   At least we get a fan to blow the hot weather around then!  With Major gone I am trying to sort out some of his stuff too.  Never ending jobs!  I helped with 2 C./Sections on Wednesday.

Everyday I set in my office and sweat!  Yesterday it was 107 when I went home for lunch.  With no fan, because no electricity, it is a challenge to keep cool!  I go home and jump in the pool as soon as I get home from work to cool off and give me some energy to do some work at home. 

I have unpacked and I am slowly getting my Christmas decorations up--which is boxes and boxes of things!  I am working on the tree and have it almost ready.  It will be nice when it is all up.

Two visitors from Lake Union Crew, Seattle arrive Sunday afternoon.  The rest of their first group arrives on Wednesday and Major too!  They are here to build us a new Waiting Mother’s Shelter.  They have 12 people arriving every Wednesday for 6 weeks so we will be going to Harare a lot.  We bought a new travel trailer to help carry luggage and it is nice!

There really has been little rain for how late it is in the season.  People are predicting a major drought because of the El Nino expected in the U.S.  We pray it will rain and cool us down soon.  We did get 5 mls of rain on Tuesday night.  Keep praying for more!  Some people have plowed but most are scared to plant with no rains established yet. We really need rain to cool us down and provide water--keep praying!  December is usually never this hot--so definitely climate warming has hit here!

I have spent the week decorating for Christmas--it is so hot to think it is Christmas already!  I jump in the pool to cool off and work until I dry off and jump in again!  Wish it could snow here--ha!

It is great to be home!

 Dr. and Mrs. Kajese with Alexis

Decorated for Christmas

We would settle for rain!


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