Busy July and welcome August 2019

It has been a very busy month with limited electricity and lots of work, so I finally have a minute to sit down and catch everyone up!

On July 12th we welcomed 3 last year medical students from Norwich, UK.  Sophie Edmonds, Naomi and Dhiviya.  We welcomed them into our family and the fit in so well.  They got started at the hospital and on the 14th we sadly said good by to Dr. Derek, Mrs. Jo and Tyler and Emma Taniguchi who had been with us for 2 weeks.  We enjoyed their time and help with us.

On July 16th we welcomed a new group of Larry and Cheri Gail with their sons Ethan (16) and Eli (9) and their niece, Kalin Marino (from Ohio) and neighbour Claire Hodges (sophomore at UW).  Six new people and our 3 medical students, added to a large gathering at mealtime, with lots of fun!

We kept everyone busy doing Immunization clinics, unpacking boxes from our newest container, organizing Major’s cupboards and helping with vital signs.  Even Eli, who is 9 years old did Blood Pressures in our outpatient department.

We have been so happy to have received funds from many people for drought relief to give to people in our area.  We were blesses to be able to buy 30 tons of maize for the hospital and local people.  Thank you for all who have given and we will continue this program through June 2020 as needed.  You can continue to give to help.

On July 22nd we added 2 more guests, Dr. Kris Singh and his 16-year old son, Ishaan.  Kris is a dentist in Florida and spent 2 weeks with us 3 years ago pulling teeth.  People came from far and wide to have their teeth pulled and in 3 full days he saw 285 people and pulled an average of 3-5 teeth per person!  Ishaan wants to become a doctor, so he helped around the hospital and hung out with the medical students to see many procedures.  Kris worked with no electricity, no suction sometimes and a flashlight on his head! !He never complained but got very sore hands We began to run out of local anaesthetic he pulled so many teeth, but we managed to finish everyone before they left on 26th to go for a couple of days at Victoria Falls and then on to Australia and then home.  We hope to make this an annual trip for them!

Cheri and Larry and family went with Major to a local Primary School, Bashungwe to give out soccer uniforms a local school in Seattle donated and soccer balls that Larry sent.  The children put on quite a performance for them and gave them bananas as their gift for coming.

On the 28th the Gail family and 2 left Chidamoyo.  Claire flew on to meet her family in Singapore and the others went to Nyanga in the eastern boarder of the country to see a young man they sponsor through World Vision and then we met up in Harare on the 30th to have dinner with friends and then Larry, Cheri, Ethan, Eli, Kalin and Major and I flew on for 3 days in Victoria Falls.

We had a great time seeing the Falls, cruising the Zambezi River, curio shopping, eating at many nice places and going on a wonderful game drive where we saw rhinos and giraffe, buffalo and sable.  What a great time we had.  It was sad for us to depart on Saturday (3rd August) as we flew back to Harare and they flew on to Seattle and Kalin to Columbus, OH.

The medical students left here on the 2nd of August to do some Zim touring before they head for home.  So, I came home to an empty house and a whole week until the next visitors arrive! A little time to catch my breath and clean my house!

So in between work at the hospital and cooking for 12 and keeping everyone busy, time flew by.  We got all the container unpacked and put away!  Taniguchis and Gails helped with that project.  We are especially thankful to these 2 families as they have hosted Major’s daughter, Carolyn, for the summer.  We were able to send things back and forth to each other!

To make it more challenging we have been living with limited electricity from 10 pm-4:30 a.m. or 5 each day, cold showers and some days no electricity (3 days recently due to a fault).  I am privileged to have solar back up at home and a gas stove so we can keep going.  We went to Vic Falls and even our hotel had no hot water in 2 of our 3 rooms—our luck followed us!

The Zim dollar is now $10 Zim to $1 US and continues to climb daily.  All US money has been outlawed in the country, but companies still want to sell in it.  Inflation continues to climb!  A car battery costs $160 US equivalent, but my salary which was $1100 US in October 2018 is now $110.00 US as prices continue to climb!  No increments on salaries by the government, but fuel went up to $9/litre Zim this week from $5, which means buses and Kombi’s are now so expensive that many patients can’t come and get their medicines.  Life is very tough for all and very stressful.  We adapt and go on, but my visitors usually are done with it all in the few weeks they are here!  We went 5 days with no phone service from 2 different phone companies and no Internet—that was enough to do the visitors in—locally we just enjoyed the “no communication!”

Major goes for his visa interview at the US embassy on August 26th.  Please pray all will go well and he will get his visa.  Then hopefully we will leave on the 29th of August to arrive on the 30th.  Hope I have time to pack-ha!

While Cheri Gail and Kalin Marino were here they helped me edit my book/cookbook that I hope to publish this year.  People for years have asked for copies of my recipes and have told me to write a book about my many African Adventures.  So, I have combined and done both! After working on it for literally years, I have finished it! We are hoping to get published in time to launch it at the Auction in Seattle by the Friends of Chidamoyo.  All proceeds go to the hospital—so buy one or many!  Will let you know the price and how to order by mail after it is published.  Stay tuned…

Link to buy tickets for auction, September 7, 2019 at the Wallingford Boys and Girls Club 6-9:30 pm.  Please buy a ticket even if you can’t attend to support the hospital.  Our goal this year is $150,000!

 Naomi watching Dhiviya drawing blood

 Naomi drawing viral loads

 Naomi, Sophie, Dhiviya, Claire and Kalin

The group at lunch

 Three lorries of maize arrive for drought relief

 When the phone doesn't work people try to catch another tower along our hospital fence!

 Dheviya with friend Eli

 Ishaan, Major, Dr. Kris and Kathy

Dr. Kris at work

Dhiviya with Abby Mudzingwa (one of our Drs. daughters)

 Group visiting with Major at Batanai

 Ethan caught this big bream at Rhino Camp!

Group helping Dhiviya at Well Baby Clinic

The Gail family and Major presenting the uniforms and soccer balls

Views from Victoria Falls


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