Journal 2 June 22, 2012

22 Jun

Greetings from South Africa,

I am still in South Africa.  It is cold here, real cold.  Houses here are not built with central heating because their winters only last about two months.  I have never experienced it being so cold.  In the past I have always brought a coat with me.  I have never ever used it and so with our limited luggage this time I opted not to bring a coat.  Wrong decision!

Paperwork on the truck is complete.  The cracked windshield has been replaced.  The truck has been serviced and the bad tire replaced with a new one.  Now I am trying to buy knitting yarn for the Knitting Co-op.  Yarn is not available in Zimbabwe at any price.  I am having difficulty finding knitting yarn appropriate for the knitting machines.  I am afraid that I may not succeed.

I could really head back to Harare tomorrow, Saturday.  I am delaying until Tuesday.  Johann Swart, who brought young people to the U. S. on several occasions, has built a new house.  I haven’t seen him and his family for several trips.  The extended family is having a House Warming party on Sunday.  I am staying to take part in the fun.  Mr. Penny will fly down in on Tuesday and we will leave early Wednesday morning to drive north to Zimbabwe.

We left Pretoria at 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning June 27 planning to be at the border by 9:00 a.m.  Our goal was to be at the Zimbabwe side by noon.  You’ve heard of the best laid plans……………Well our plans did not work out.  We learned that we had to have an Export license to get across the border.  This requirement went into effect on June 2.  Weren’t we lucky!  We were told it would take two weeks.  That took the wind out of our sails, believe me!  We connected with a shipping agency for help with the paper work.  It took three days.  Fortunately, I knew of a game lodge about 30 km from the border.  I couldn’t reach them by phone.  So we drove there hoping they had space.  Luck was with us.  Ralph and I have stayed there many times.  We ended up being there for three nights.

We finally received clearance from S. A. at 6:30 on Saturday morning.  It took till 8:00 to get to the Zimbabwe side.  Our papers were checked and rechecked and checked again before we could finally leave S. A.  When we arrived at the Zimbabwe side, there were so many buses and people, getting through looked nearly impossible.  Mr. Penny called a clearing agent that he knew to see if he could help.  He sent one of his men and we did little but sit and wait.  Finally at 3:00 and many dollars less, we finally were on our way to Harare.  Actually, I believe it was record time for the paper work we had to do.  Anyway, we arrived in Harare at about 10:00 p.m.  I will NEVER drive on Zimbabwe roads again after dark.  What a nightmare!

Saturday morning, while Mr. Penny went to check on our papers, I played Car Guard.  While sitting in the truck in the parking lot, a Baboon came walking by.  I might add that he was a real big fellow.  He paid no attention to me but sat down on the curb across from me, much like a man.  He had one foot on the street and the other up on the curb.  His elbow rested on his bent knee just like a human.  The best part was when he scratched his head like he was deep in thought.  Finally he walked to a high fence, climbed it, carefully crossed the coiled razor wire on top and climbed down the other side.  He proceeded to climb on top of a semi-truck and inspect the load.  It was good for a laugh and we needed a laugh at this point.

I am back at the Orphan Care Center.  I spent about four hours today talking with Albert and making plans for moving forward.  Tomorrow, we are going to Harare.  There are many errands to accomplish.  So this is all for now.  I will try to send pictures next time.

In His Service,



One Response to “Journal 2 June 22, 2012”

  1. Glenna Hale 0, 0, 0 at 0, 0, 0 #

    You are amazing and I love the way you can see Gods hand in all you do. You are on the right path Roberta…I know you are in good hands and that God walks with you on this long journey. Hugs and best wishes. Glenna Hale

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