September 16, 2018

17 Sep

Journal 21
September 16, 2018
Greetings from Zimbabwe,

Tafadzwa has conducted three days of training.  I believe she has picked out the ones that she wants to work on a regular basis.  She plans to hire seven women and three alternates that can be called in when a need arises.  We quickly learned that we needed one woman washing Moringa and cleaning the sinks between each batch.  I helped out in the beginning and we quickly realized that was a full time job.  So on Friday we had seven women come for training.  It worked very well and the women as a whole worked well together.  It takes nearly two hours to strip enough Moringa to fill a dryer.   If we could get a full day of power, she could figure out how long it takes to dry a load.

I am writing this in hopes of being able to send from Harare before I board my flight home on Tuesday evening.  I am leaving at a critical time.  I had hoped to be where we are now a month ago.  This would have given more time to help Tafadzwa with the training. Unfortunately we have had power cuts the last three days, just after starting a drying process.  I am not sure how this will affect the tests on the Moringa. I am hoping we can get a good run tomorrow.

The amount of Moringa we put in the dryer impacts the drying time.  We had hoped to be able to dry at least enough to equal two-pounds of dried leaf.  However, when we have loaded that much leaf in the dryer, I don’t feel we get even enough drying.  So Tafadzwa is going to reduce the amount of fresh leaf she puts in the dryer at one time. There are still many issues to work through.  Right now, Tafadzwa is just trying to determine how many loads we can do in one day. She is already aware that in the growing season, she will have to have women starting work at day break and others coming in later to take over.   I have suggested that the women might not tire so easily if they had stools to sit on.  I, for one, do not like sitting on a stool to work.  So it may mean shorter work days and more shifts of women.  I wish I had more time to help her figure this out.

Tafadzwa has been so easy to train.  She has taken to this with no issues.  Her year in Japan has really prepared her for this work.  Our major hurdle now is the need of a back-up power supply.  A generator is probably the answer but a large one will consume a lot of diesel fuel which is very costly.  I wish electricity were more reliable. We are still trying to determine how much Moringa can be dried at one time and how long it takes to reach a crispy dry stage. Tafadzwa is just going to have to keep experimenting with the women.

Up to this point the Moringa was not growing rapidly but the last few days it has gotten really hot.  You can almost see the Moringa growing, especially where it has been fertilized with worm juice.

The vermicompost building is complete and the worms are multiplying so fast. They are going to need to market the excess worms.  Albert is interested in getting farmers in the community using worm juice for their crops rather than commercial fertilizer.  HCOC is the demonstration area.  Perhaps it will soon catch on.  This is a step toward Organic Certification.

There is much more happening here but I will bring this letter to a close and finish packing. Tomorrow is a very full day.  I still am not certain if Albert and I will go to Harare tomorrow night.  If so, I will stay with Elizabeth.  Otherwise we will leave early Tuesday morning and do a number of things before I get on the plane.  I know I will be exhausted before I board the plane.

See some of you soon.

In His Service,



September 9, 2018

10 Sep

Journal 20
September 9, 2018

Greetings from Zimbabwe,

The winds are lessening and the temperatures are rising.  Summer is definitely approaching.  Winter and Spring were brief.  My time is drawing to a close and I will be grateful to miss the hot, hot weather.  Summers here can be brutal.  There is no air conditioning.

Nothing has happened on the clinic since the compacting was completed.  Prices on nearly everything has sky rocketed. Cement has gone up 50%.  This really blows a budget.  I had really hoped to see walls rising before I leave but that is not going to happen.

I am happy to report that the Moringa Building is complete.  However, there are a few minor details to still work out.  I had the builder put insulation in the ceiling of the building before the ceiling was installed.  I must say that has made a huge difference in the temperature of the rooms.  Even with the dryer running it doesn’t get really hot. This may change as summer approaches. I have also had two ceiling fans installed at the last minute.  The ozone machine that runs at night needs to have the air circulated.  I believe the fans will help get the temperatures in the room down.

A group of about 18 women came on Friday morning for orientation.  They were here from about 8:00 in the morning to about noon.  At the end of the session a few dropped out.  The rest of the women will come in groups of six starting tomorrow. Tafadzwa and I will be walking them through the procedures of what they need to do when they arrive at work. Sanitation will be stressed.  We will train them on how to strip leaves. I will be monitoring the time to determine how long it takes to fill the dryer.  Fortunately, the dryer has two sections each with separate controls.  It won’t be necessary to wait to start drying until the entire dryer is full.

Tafadzwa tried out her new uniform last week when we were experimenting drying Moringa.  As of right now, it appears that we will be able to dry a full load in about three hours. This will enable us to dry several loads a day.  I have suggested that when the weather gets really hot that they begin operation at day break.   This may mean that some women who live close begin operations early and leave when other women arrive at a later time (this is yet to be determined).  I am concerned that Tafadzwa may not be able to manage such a long day.  My goal had been to be at this point by the first week of August.  But…..

School is back in session since the August break.  As you can tell, the mornings are still cool but by 8:00 it is getting hot.  These children may leave home as early as 6:00 to 6:30 in order to walk to school. Some living at a distance may have to leave even earlier.

I know some of our children go to school very early also.  However, most don’t walk miles to get to school.  Many ride school buses or are dropped off by parents.  These children all walk.

This is a picture of some kindergarteners.  The teacher is trying to organize a game of drop the handkerchief or a version of that game.  The children seem to be more interested in playing in the dirt than listening to directions.  This is very typical preschooler style.

I watched for a while.  The teacher finally succeeded with most of the children.  However, it took much patience on her part.  Part of the trouble was having too many children to work with at one time.  The teachers have no input.  It is just the way it is.

This is the batch of chickens that were fed on Moringa.  They have all gone to market now.  It is amazing that people can tell in the meat case which meat they want.  It is always the chickens that have been fed on Moringa.  The meat is pinker and the flavor is different.  Two pluses is that the chickens eat less food in reaching market weight.  They also do not require antibiotics.  Both things reduces the cost of production.

This is my last full week here.  I have much to accomplish.  So I may or may not get another Journal off to all the readers.  I will arrive home late on the 19thof September. Perhaps I will send a final report after I arrive home.

Please, this week, pray for HCOC and all of the staff as they attempt to move forward.  Much has been accomplished in the last five months but there is much yet to be done. I wish I could stay longer but I also know that my body is telling me it is time to go home.

I send to all of you, who have supported this organization and allowed me to accomplish many things, my greatest appreciation.  May God Bless you!  Roberta

August 28, 2018

3 Sep

Journal 19
August 28, 2018

Greetings from Zimbabwe,

Yesterday,  I spent much of the day with Tafadzwa at the Moringa Building.  She is going to be a perfect fit.  Much of her training in Japan will be very useful. She had an eye opening experience when there.   I have every confidence that she can train the local women. She also speaks the local language which is a huge plus.  She knows exactly what I am concerned about.  Having her on board is going to be a big relief for me.

My days are numbered now.  The Moringa Building is progressing, just not as quickly as I would like.  I had originally planned for several weeks to train the women.  As things stand now that is not going to happen.  I have decided to recommend that Tafadzwa be hired as manager of the Processing of the Moringa.  She is very well qualified.  Originally, I had been concerned that the community might rebel at hiring another member of the same family.  However, the Executive Committee gave their blessing.  They had helped sponsor Tafadzwa’s trip to Japan last year for a year of study.  So the committee feels the organization should benefit from her training.  In addition, Tafadzwa has her degree in Social Work.

Last Friday, I rode along with Albert to visit the bridge that I mentioned early in my stay.  The bridge has now reached the other side of the river.  Friday, the river didn’t look nearly as threatening as it had earlier in the year.  The concrete walkway reaches about halfway across the river.  They were preparing to pour more cement during our visit.  Of course it was the women who were shoveling and wheeling the stones for mixing the cement.

Clothing and laundry soap was being handed out to the local women volunteers as a thank you for their help.  This bridge is to be complete by the end of September.  This has been a big undertaking for Albert’s Rotary Club.

The processing building is nearing completion.  A final coat of paint is going on in the bathroom.  The tiling is complete.

Painting on the outside of the building is complete.  Screening has been installed in the upper part of the veranda. This will prevent birds from building nests up in the top and making a mess on the cement below.

Windows are being washed as I write this.  Major cleaning will take place on Monday.  Tuesday, when in Harare the last of the uniforms, etc. will be purchased.

The Moringa Building is basically complete.  Most of the workmen moved out today.  Much of the debris has been picked up and disposed of and so the dryer was unpacked and setup today.  The plastic is still on it to keep the dust off while the cleaning takes place.  Tomorrow the electrician is to come and wire the dryer into the outlet.  He will wire it through the surge protector.  I am really anxious to get the room cleaned now so that we can do a test run.  Tafadzwa, who will be the manger, and I will be busy all week.  Initially we will have to get used to the ozone machine and try to determine how long it needs to run to purify the water.

Stewart visited these children last week.  They live in the furthest reaches of the area HCOC serves.  He said he doubted that the truck could reach them. He said it was a challenge for the motor bike.

These children are classified as vulnerable children because both parents are living.  The father is in jail for 20 years on sexual abuse charges.  The mother is overwhelmed with caring for the children and has no money. She does odd jobs for the bit of money she can earn.  Stewart said there was no sign of food in the home.  The two older children attend Guzha.  The smaller of the three is six years old but does not attend school because the mother does not have the school fees.  HCOC assists these cases on a limited basis since they are not classified as orphans. This family needs all of our prayers.

Two weeks left until I start my trip home.  It has been a long stay.  Much has been accomplished but there is still so much to be done.  I will be leaving with mixed emotions.  My heart is heavy with the concern for children who need so much help and yet there are such limited resources.  I am counting on the Moringa to generate significant income for this mission.  Success of this project depends on the development of products that contain Moringa for retail sale.  That should create significant income.

In His Service, Roberta


August 23, 2018

25 Aug

Journal 18
August 23, 2018

Greetings from Zimbabwe,

The weather has made a drastic change.  We now have summer for sure.  The nights are still cool but the days are warm and sometimes really hot.  This is August and so we have wind and sometimes big dust-devils.  I don’t have to worry about being so cold all of the time, that is for sure.

Albert was finally able to locate a power driven compactor for the clinic site.  Unfortunately, it was necessary to travel to Harare to obtain it.  That may not sound like a problem but it is a minimum of two and a half hours of driving one way to get to Harare.  Dealing with the traffic in Harare is an issue.  Another issue is the cost of fuel.  It requires a minimum of $60.00 US for the diesel for the trip.

There are two workers taking turns running the machine.  They should finish the entire building site today.  The machine seems to be doing a good job.  Yesterday they had wet the dirt down so that it would settle.  Tomorrow the ground should be ready for the builder to mix and pour the cement.  I am anxious to see the building begin to rise above the ground level.

We have about 30 full-time employees as well as many people who work days at different times.  This woman and two of her children are hauling the manure from a poultry run to the compost building.  The manure is combined with green chipped material as well as other waste for the worm compost.  It is amazing how quickly the worms can break down the material.  The juice from the compost is funneled into a catch-basin. It is necessary to dilute it one to four before putting it on the garden or the Moringa.

While I was in South Africa, my friends took me shopping for yarn.  The knitting women had begged me to look for yarn. They said that it cost too much here.  I found that I could save about 60% by buying for an NGO.

I ended up buying two cheap bags to pack the yarn in to be able to bring it on the airline.  I bought 30 l kg. cones of yarn plus bags of small balls of yarn and the small cones you see in the picture.  The two bags weighed the maximum that one can check on a ticket.  Thank goodness I had taken only a carry-on when I went down.

These four children are of the same family.  Their father is deceased.  Stewart has said that he believes that the mother is either severely depressed or mentally disturbed.  He feels she is unable to care for the children.  They are really in the same category of a child-headed household.  Situations like this really tug at your heart-strings.  There are so many needs and so little resources.

We are in desperate need of a Social Worker and there just aren’t the resources to hire another fulltime employee.  Is there anyone out there who could commit $350.00 to $400.00 a month/or a portion thereof to hire a degreed full-time Social Worker.  Part of the job would be dealing with situations like this and other vulnerable children.  Our Mission has grown and it is no longer possible for Beauty to handle everything.

Aaron is an orphan.  He is 17 years old and lives alone.  He has no family.  An uncle lives nearby and has him herding his cattle but does not pay him.   He misses school the weeks that it is his turn to herd the cattle.  The uncle recently passed away.  Aaron says the cattle are still under his care but he is uncertain whether they will be his or if his uncle’s immediate relatives will come and take them as is the custom in this culture.

This picture was taken when Aaron came to HCOC to collect some  supplies.  The things available were very limited.  Stewart is the one who made me aware of this orphan’s situation.  He told me that Aaron had no cooking equipment or plates. So when I was in Harare yesterday, I purchased one cooking pot, a spoon and a couple of plates.   It isn’t much but things here are extremely expensive.

As I close this week’s journal, please pray with me for these children and others like them that depend on HCOC for their well-being.  I can’t begin to express to you how hopeless things must be for the many children who have to exist like this.  We do what we can but our funds are very limited.   The children in Ward 1 are better off than most children in rural Zimbabwe.  There are few, if any organization like ours in rural areas.

Not only are most children better off but the community at large benefits. The workers here would have no job if they were not employed by HCOC.  Many others benefit by having occasional employment.

In His Service,

August 15, 2018

19 Aug

Journal 17
August 15, 2018

Greetings in Zimbabwe,

While I was in SA, the cold left and we now have summer.  So far the weather has been mostly pleasant, except for the wind. This is August and the wind blows much of the time.  Sometimes, it is extremely strong.  I am grateful that the plumbers have put the solar water heater at the processing building on a stand next to the building.  The stand is anchored in cement.  That should provide stability and prevent damage to the building during high wind times.

August 9, 2018

12 Aug

Journal 16
August 9, 2018

Greetings from Zimbabwe,

I returned to Zimbabwe on Tuesday evening.  I didn’t get back out to HCOC until late afternoon on Wednesday.  There are always many things to do when a vehicle goes to Harare.  Unfortunately, not much happened while I was gone.  I had suspected that would be the case.

This morning, Thursday, a group from Leeds and USADF were scheduled to come for their evaluation.  The individual from the USADF office in the U.S. was in the country.  She is the caucasian woman on the left.  Her job is to evaluate the work that is being done with USADF funds.  The gentleman in the left hand corner is from Leeds here in Harare.  He is over the people that come here periodically from Harare to look over the project and to look at the accounting of funds.  He is very familiar with the project.  He has worked with this project from the beginning.

Before the team left they toured the poultry project.  Since the first funding, the focus has been the poultry because it is a major source of income. USADF encouraged Albert to run the project at full capacity.  I had been concerned that some of the space for chickens was being wasted.  However, at the moment Albert is having difficulty getting day old chicks.  For some reason day old chicks are in short supply.  Albert explained that day old chicks are in high demand at this time of year. I feel that he should look for another supplier.  It is a shame to have facility sitting idle.

Albert took the visitors to visit one child headed household.  This boy lives alone.  He takes turns with other boys herding cattle for his uncle.  This causes him to miss school when it is his turn. We were told that he is not paid for herding the cattle.

His house is in a state of very poor repair.  The only clothes he has are what he is wearing.  They looked like if they were laundered they would fall apart.

This is an example of a child that should be in an Orphan Care Home

Albert is introducing Edwardo to the staff.  Eduardo is from Brazil and has been in Zimbabwe since January.  He will be returning to Brazil in October. Various families have hosted him during his stay but he indicates that he has not done much.  He has visited Victoria Falls.

Eduardo was brought here on Thursday by a Rotarian from Harare.  I have found him very interesting to talk to. He will be staying here for a bit over one week.  I had an opportunity to spend some time with him talking about HCOC on Friday.  He is so excited about Moringa and plans to go home and do some research.  Both he and his brother are lactose intolerant.  He is convinced that Moringa is the answer for them.

The foundation for the clinic is complete and it has been back-filled.  It needs to be settled and compacted.  Then water, sewer and power must be laid before the flooring is poured.  I have no idea when this work will be done.

There are plumbers on site.  They are working at the Moringa Processing building at the moment.  I suggested to Albert that he get a quote from them for the work that needs to be done.  I don’t know if Albert has talked to them.

Time schedules here are so different from the Western World.  It is a big adjustment.

I am getting very nervous that I am not going to be able to begin training on the schedule I had planned.  I had hoped to be able to begin training when I returned from SA.  That obviously is not going to happen.  It looks like it will be at least two weeks at the best before I can even begin with the training.  That will leave me only two weeks for training and one week to observe the workers in action.  It is not what I had hoped for.  Beauty is already talking to me about extending my stay until October.  I have told her that I can’t do that.  I think one change is all you can make on a ticket. Besides, I need to come home.  I will have been here five months.   Much has been accomplished but there is much still to be done.

Please pray for HCOC as they continue efforts to become self-supporting. They are working in that direction but it will take time.  They have to learn to work as a team.  I feel in the past few months there has been some progress made, but there is a ways to go yet.  To be honest it is a new concept to them.  In the past it has been each person just trying to survive.  That was accomplished by whatever means necessary.

I am also requesting your prayers for the orphans, especially the children who are living alone.  HCOC does the best it can but much one on one attention is needed.  This is often missing.  I must say that Stewart has done a lot to help these children.  They look up to him.  His influence has made a significant difference in school attendance and has reduced the dropout rate.

In His Service,  Roberta


August 3, 2018

3 Aug

Journal 15
August 3, 2018

Greetings from South Africa,

Yes, I am still in SA.  Albert called me yesterday afternoon and told me not to come back.  I have rebooked for next Tuesday, the 7th.   I hope there will not be any further delay. I am anxious to get things completed before I am scheduled to return to the U.S.

I am sorry to say that the election appears to me to be suspicious and I can understand why the people are so upset.  I am sorry that some people have been shot.  As is often the case, those shot or injured were not necessarily involved in the backlash.

I have had the opportunity to visit one of the game reserves near-by.  It was great getting to see some of the animals and to spend time with friends.  Now I am in Pretoria with other friends.  It seems like we spend a lot of time eating.  I must say, it is all very good but my will power  is not serving me well.

This is all for now. I will send word when I have returned to Harare.

Please pray for Peace and Stability for Zimbabwe.  Pray that there will be no more unrest.  Pray that the country can now begin to rebuild and move forward.

In His Service,


July 23, 2018

26 Jul

Journal 14
Greetings from Zimbabwe,

I ran out of space on my last journal and so I am beginning with some things that I had to leave out.  The foundation is at ground level and by tomorrow the workmen should begin the back filling.  That will be time consuming since all the back-fill has to be compacted.  Then it will be time to pour the subfloor. Albert has estimated that it will take most of a month to complete that job.  When the walls begin to go up it will be possible to see progress each day. Some may be wondering if it was ever going to get to ground level, I know I was becoming a bit impatient.  I must say that the workmanship is of good quality and that really counts.

Friday, Beauty and I took salad to the kitchen at Guzha.  The children were very skeptical of the greens, especially the pre-schoolers.  Only one or two of the children actually ate the salad.  I am sure they had never had salad before.  Most of the children looked as though they had never ever had enough to eat.

I noticed that nearly all of the older children ate everything on their plates including the salad.  It has been an interesting learning experience.  Beauty feels we should continue to periodically introduce a variety of different foods.  There are several rows of broccoli in the garden.  It won’t be long before it is ready to harvest.

Interior painting is happening at the Moringa building.  The metal window frames have had the first coat on both the inside and the outside.  The painters are using a high gloss mold resistant enamel paint.  The temperature has moderated and it is a bit warmer and sunny today.  So it is a nice day for painting.

A covered veranda is being constructed at the door leading from the grinding room.  This will enable loading of product when it is raining.  There are going to be a few months during the cooler months when there will be little or no production.

Today is mild and sunny.  There is a slight breeze but not the gale force winds that we had experienced. Workers have been in the Moringa fields watering and pruning the Moringa.  There is a lot of maintenance after the cold that we have experienced. We have had no moisture and so watering is necessary.  I am really nervous that there is going to be insufficient product for processing during training.  One big step is that I have hired a process manager.

The young man in the picture is Albert a young orphan we found three years ago. He is the only surviving member of his family.  He works at the poultry and is a totally changed person.  He   seems happy and always has a smile.  This was not always the case when we first found him.

These chicks are about one week old.  This is an experimental batch.  It is being fed a special poultry mix that includes 5% Moring powder.  Because of the Moringa we do not have to give them medications in their food.  We will be interested to see how quickly they gain weight.

This batch may not give us totally accurate data since this group has not had lights 24/7.  We will be doing additional test groups to verify the findings.

At the moment we are having difficulty keeping dressed chickens at the butchery.  HCOC chickens are in high demand.  Plans are underway to open a second butchery.  HCOC has also been selling garden produce at the butchery as well as dressed chickens. The vegetables are in high demand, especially the Spinach.  Our lettuce is finished and the carrots are getting very large.  Thank goodness there is another planting almost ready for harvest.

Lumber has been delivered for constructing the bee hives.  I am not certain when the construction will take place. It possibly will not happen until next week.  The poultry workers are not happy.  They just informed us that bees love Moringa powder and they fear for the baby chicks that are being fed a mash that contains 5% Moringa Powder.  We may have a problem at the processing building when we are grinding the Moringa into powder.  This will be an interesting challenge.

These women are cutting thatching grass that grows profusely in some areas on our site.  They come and cut it to be used in composting.  Their pay is vegetables from the garden.  These are women who are living in desperate situations.  Anything like this is a help to them.  Sometimes they come with a baby tied to their back. I have some concerns about that. I am afraid of something happening to the children.  Last week two very small children were left at the gate alone while the women worked. The watchman had to keep an eye on them. I don’t think they should be responsible for children so small.

Friday, I am flying to SA to visit some longtime friends.  I need a break and some rest before I begin the training program.  I am planning to return on August 3.  I am told that the weather has been really cold there.  I hope it warms up a bit.  Today has been much warmer and I can tolerate this type of weather.  The sun is bright and only a slight breeze.  Most days the wind blows very strong.  If the house weren’t of brick, I think it would blow us away.

I probably will not send a journal next week.  So in two weeks, I will try to catch you up on what is happening here.  In His Service, Roberta

In His Service, Roberta

July 17,2018

21 Jul

Journal 13
July 17, 2018
Greetings from Zimbabwe,

The weather here is becoming an issue.  It is really cold the past couple of days.  The weather man is forecasting cold weather for the rest of this week. We had a week of cold weather earlier and then the temperatures moderated.  Now it has turned cold again.  I have to keep doing things to keep warm.  Sewing is not an activity for weather like this.  One doesn’t move around enough.  The only time I am really warm is when I am in bed; so I often go to bed at an early hour just to get warm.

Godfrey Kandia is struggling to keep baby chicks warm enough. Today they are to pick up a thousand day old chicks.  Albert is scheduled to pick up a number of heat lamps.  I hope it will be sufficient to keep the chicks warm enough. Not having adequate heat can account for the larger than normal loss of the chickens.  I have tried to explain this probably accounts for the lower than normal profit margin.  The workers have covered the large openings with two layers of heavy plastic; one layer is on the outside of the large openings and the second layer is on the inside as you can see in this photo.  This helps to protect the babies from the wind.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a local competition where interested community members displayed samples of produce from their gardens at Inyagui School.  HCOC did well and went on to the show last week held in Murewa.  They were the only group that showed Moringa seeds and powder as well as leaves.  This was a competition with all the wards in the Murewa area.  HCOC took third place.  The prizes for this were numerous.  They won a new wheel barrow, a backpack sprayer, maize seed, fertilizer and a number of other items.  As a result of their placement, they will go on to a show in Marondera on August 17. This will be a competition with groups from all over the Mashona Land East Province.  The workers are really excited about this opportunity to showcase HCOC.

Pictured on the right is one of the composting bins that was under construction when I first arrived.  The building is nearing completion. $500.00 will complete the roofing for the structure.  The structure is made up of 12 bins as pictured in the top picture.  This bin was filled yesterday when Clive visited HCOC. He introduced the first worms to the bin.  The liquid produced by the action of the worms will be directed to a trough that will run to a catch basin.  This liquid will be diluted with water and poured on the various crops.  It is a strong natural fertilizer.  The goal is to go 100% organic production and so the reason for such a large structure.  Clive indicated that the worms will break down the material in about one month.  It will take one person full time keeping the bins filled with refuse for the worms.

Clive spent time at the Moringa site as well as at the composting site. He is recommending putting in a fish pond to handle the excess water from the water harvesting tank.  Some of the water will be pumped to the Moringa fields but during the rainy season the fields may not need that much water.  In that case, the water can be pumped to the fish pond.  We are told that Tilapia will do very well.  I feel that the fish would be a cheap source of protein for the feeding center. With the water table so near the surface in this area, we will not need to line the pond with any kind of rubber liner.

Yesterday, I stopped by the clinic to pick up Beauty.  We had  plans to visit Inyagui.  The clinic was a hive of activity.  There were people waiting in line. Both Beauty and Florence were busy with different patients.  Beauty was busy caring for a woman who had been brought in by local ambulance pictured. She was very ill with what appeared to be flu.

Florence was caring for children who had, what I considered serious cases of ring worm.  The new clinic can’t get finished fast enough.  More space is top priority, especially private treatment areas.

The picture on the left shows the sink/worktable that was brought from the fabricators this week. There is a table extension that still has to be brought in.  The total length is about 5+m. or about 16 feet.  Behind the sinks is two sets of lockers for the restroom where the women will be showering and changing into uniforms.  These items at the moment are just sitting in the middle of the processing room.  Painting has to be done before anything is set into place.  Hopefully much of that will happen in the coming week.  I am really pushing because I want to begin training the women on August 6.  I can’t change me return again.

Update on the orphan I wrote about last week.  Some counseling has happened and it seems to be helping a bit. I feel so sorry for these children who are left alone through no fault of their own.  Relatives can fill in but often it turns into an abusive situation. These children often have no one to turn to.  We desperately need a full time counselor.  I am asking again for your prayers for this girl and others like her. To pray is sometimes all that can be done and it is very necessary.

In His Service,





July 9, 2018

13 Jul

Journal 12
Greetings from Zimbabwe,

We have been experiencing a serious cold spell.  Over the week-end it was as low as 11 degrees Celcius.   With masonry buildings and no heat that is really cold.  I have resorted to spending a lot of time in the kitchen with the oven turned on.  It has a fan and that forces the heat into the room.  Sleeping has not been a problem and I have been warm.  The sun has finally returned this morning and the temperatures have moderated.  It is still cool but tolerable.

Saturday evening was a special event.  It was a cold evening but the venue was warm and a large crowd attended.   It was a time of handing over the Presidency of Rotary to a new President.  Albert has worked hard this year and I am sure it was a relief to have that behind him.  It has been a good year and the club has done outstanding work.  This club, I think, is the most active club in Zimbabwe.  I know of no other club that has taken on such a big project as the bridge across the river that I wrote about some time ago.   It has involved hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The bridge should be complete very soon, perhaps even before I return to the U.S.  I would love to witness the first children crossing that bridge.

Saturday evening was a special event.  It was a cold evening but the venue was warm and a large crowd attended.   It was a time of handing over the Presidency of Rotary to a new President.  Albert has worked hard this year and I am sure it was a relief to have that behind him.  It has been a good year and the club has done outstanding work.  This club, I think, is the most active club in Zimbabwe.  I know of no other club that has taken on such a big project as the bridge across the river that I wrote about some time ago.   It has involved hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The bridge should be complete very soon, perhaps even before I return to the U.S.  I would love to witness the first children crossing that bridge.

This morning I walked by the clinic site just as the workers were getting organized for the day.  The foundation walls are rising to ground level.  If you look closely, you can see the anchor walls that are supporting the main walls.  As near as I can tell, they are doing an excellent job.  The foreman of the crew indicated that they should be finished with all of the foundation walls in about six days.  So perhaps in my next journal I will be able to have a picture of the workmen back filling around the support walls and preparing to pour the slab. I am getting anxious to see the work begin above ground.

As I mentioned in an earlier journal, everything is done by hand and it just takes so much longer.  The main thing is they are doing a good job and the clinic should be here for a very long time.  It will serve many in the community as well as the orphans.

This is a picture of the processing room.  The final coat of finish is on the walls.  The final floor is in place.  Things are moving along.  The paint will be picked up today or tomorrow and they will begin painting the ceiling and walls.  Then the stainless steel sinks and work tables can be delivered and put in place. This will allow the plumbers to do all of their connections.  I am getting eager to see it all come together.

This is all good but we have run into a problem.  I believe I mentioned in an earlier journal that I was concerned that the over-flow from the septic system was going to be a problem.  We are going to have to require the plumbers to re-plumb some of the waste lines.  It will go to a separate tank.  Power will have to be run to that tank to supply power to a submersible pump.  This water will have to be pumped to a fish pond and/or the Moringa field.  Our biggest problem may be during the rainy season when the Moringa may not need irrigation.  The fish pond will be able to handle the extra water at that time.

As with all building, expenses can add up more quickly than planned. This is no exception.  The sale of the old truck helped financially with the Moringa Building but there are still a number of things to be completed.  I sat with the accountant and Albert this afternoon.    To date we have spent about $37,000.00 and It appears that I need another $10,000.00 to complete everything.  If anyone is able to help me finish this project, checks can be made to Renewed Hope Charitable Foundation and sent to P.O, Box 1476 Castle Rock, CO. 80104-1476.  I will sincerely appreciate your support.

I am hoping that in three weeks that the building will be complete and I can begin training women to do the processing.  Of the ones I train, six or seven will be selected and employed to process the Moringa.  I am anxious for this project to begin generating some income.

Two years ago I brought fabric I had at home and a pattern for sanitary wear for the orphan girls.  I thought the secondary Home Ec teacher could teach her girls to make the pads. Nothing happened, so last year I bought a Singer machine that had the zig-zag option.  That way they would not have to seam and then turn right side out. When I came this year, I found nothing being done.  So I brought the machine from the school here to the house.  I work on making the sanitary wear when I have a bit of spare time. Stewart came yesterday thinking he needed to take my picture at work.  So now you know what I do in my spare time.

This week please pray for the children that have to endure such abuse at the hands of their care givers. Hopefully, the house I am staying in will soon be approved for housing orphans, especially orphan girls.  That will mean there will no longer be guest housing.  That will have to be dealt with when the time comes.

In His Service, Roberta