Merry Christmas for 5 days!

Christmas started here on the 20th of December at 7 p.m. when we met for caroling at the hospital.  We start with a few people and as we go around more people join us.  It rained that afternoon so we had about 8 of us to start but ended up with more than 30.  We sang in each hospital ward and gave out sweets to everyone.  We then went to staff housing, waiting mother’s shelter and more staff housing.  We got our walk in for the day and ended about 9:30 p.m.

On the 21st of December we had our annual Christmas lunch and party for all the staff at the hospital.  We close our Outpatient Department at 1 p.m. and then gather in our dining room for an afternoon of fun.

We served chicken, beef, rice, sadza, coleslaw and potatoes this year and people ate and ate until they were so full. I made 6 chocolate cakes for desert and they ate then all too. We then did some questions with prizes that got some very funny answers.

We end the party with all he staff getting a bag full of groceries to take home for their families for Christmas. We gave out 112 bags this year!  We had a great time and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  And we all came home very tired!

The 22nd of December was a holiday here so most of our staff were off from the 22nd through the 26th—a long 5-day holiday this time!  We started off at 5:30 a.m. when our surgeon and anesthesiologist from Harare arrived to do our list of elective surgeries.  I fed them breakfast and then they went to work.  They had 11 cases and they finished by 2 p.m. working straight through until they finished, then they came home and ate lunch before leaving for Harare. I did rounds so our doctor could help and learn in surgery.  We appreciate their hard work and dedication for our patients here.

On Saturday the 23rd I worked half a day and then came home to do some cooking and baking for Christmas Eve the next day.  All the presents were wrapped and under the tree ready to go.
On the 24th we had church in the morning and then at 6 p.m. had a Sunday evening service at the hospital.  After Sunday evening service Major Mereki and family came home from farming at Batanai to have a Christmas Eve dinner of ham and scalloped potatoes and all the trimmings.  We then opened our gifts and had cake and coffee before they left after 11 p.m. for home.  Shortly thereafter we had a nice gentle rain that continued all night.
Christmas morning the 25th we went for church at the hospital at 9 a.m.  We usually serve tea and bread after but after sending a car to several townships, there was no bread to be found!  So after service we served tea and cookies.  All the Water Mother’s were there and patients and some church people so they all enjoyed!

Then I went home to watch some Christmas movies on video and enjoy the peace and quiet.  Our electricity went off about 5 p.m. and by 8 p.m. I was in bed! When there are no lights I get tired very early!  The lights did come on about 9:30 p.m. and stayed on until about noon Tuesday morning and then have been off ever since.

We have had rain everyday and the ground is very wet and great for our crops so we are happy for that.

Since today was a holiday too (the 26th) I decided to stay home from work unless they called me and so far so good.  Got some baking done (I have a gas stove for when the electricity is off) and cleaned up my office.  Almost got a load of wash out before the electricity went off but they wouldn’t have dried with rain all afternoon anyway! It has kept us cool with all the rain and clouds!

I hope all of you had a great time celebrating Christmas and that it was a good family time for you.  It was great hearing about a White Christmas from friends in Seattle, to Missouri to Indiana to NJ!  We had a rainy Christmas and loved it!

Carolyn and Michael Mereki with Dr. Moyo's daughter Celine at caroling

Caroling at Hospital and giving out sweets

Administration team enjoying Christmas lunch

Staff lining up for lunch

Dr. Moyo handing out Grocery Bags to staff

Major and Kathy at the party

Surgery team from Harare busy all day on the 22nd

Tree ready with all the presents

 Opening gifts with Mereki family Christmas Eve

 Someone happy with US cash!!

 Girls opening their gifts

 Eating Christmas Eve dinner

Michael opening his gifts

 Major, Patience, Carolyn and cousins Christine and Nancy at Christmas church

 People attending church at the hospital Christmas Day

 Major preaching Christmas Day

 People getting tea and cookies after church

The rains continued through the 26th


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