May 12, 2017

23 May

Journal 9
Greetings from Zimbabwe,

My departure date is fast approaching and there are still many things to be accomplished. I feel like I am in panic mode. Mr. Bondeponde asked me to meet with the sewing women this morning. It is now 10:30 and no one is here. I decided to begin the Journal while I waited. I just don’t have time to mark in place.

This is a picture of the view from the house this morning. It is so quiet and peaceful. The sky is so blue and no clouds in sight this morning.

Workers are building a cage outside the house to contain the bottles of gas for the stove. This was begun before I arrived but is just now getting completed.

Beauty is working on finding a couple of orphan boys who have left school and have nothing to do. She is going to see if they would like to train as painters. Hopefully she will be successful in finding a couple of boys. They will begin training next week with the fellow from Harare that I mentioned in my last journal..

This is a new staff house that was started at the end of 2015. It is incomplete because of insufficient funding. The work remaining is plumbing, electrical wiring and the installation of the doors. There are a couple of windows that need the glass installed. Then closets need to be installed in three bedrooms.  A counter and a few cabinets in the kitchen need to be built and a sink installed. It is estimated that this work will cost between $10,000.00 to $12,000.00. I don’t think it is healthy for two families to have to share one house. I am hoping that by the end of this year, funding will allow for this work to be completed.

Clive, who had presented a workshop on composting about a month ago paid a follow-up visit last Thursday to see how things were progressing. He was pleased with what had been done but encouraged the workers to speed up their efforts. He encouraged them to take advantage of all the green matter available at the moment to incorporate into the compost. Maize is being harvested at the moment and so the stalks should also be added to the compost. Clive will graduate the end of this month from the University. Hopefully he will continue to pay periodic visits and continue to encourage the workers.

Today was a very busy day. It began with assembling all of the cooks this morning. I demonstrated making porridge using locally grown grains that had been ground and mixed together. At the end of the cooking, I added a teaspoon of powdered Moringa per serving. Then I gave each cook a small serving of the porridge. They admitted that they were unable to taste the Moringa. They felt the children would like it.

After that, we showed the cooks and Moringa workers the power point presentation on the importance of Moringa in everyone’s diet. Most of them were very surprised at the nutritional value of the Moringa. At the end each person was given two pots of Moringa starts to take home and plant at their homes. We encouraged them to use Moringa in their cooking.

Recently, I purchased a portable electric sewing machine for the Secondary School Fashion Dept. The school has installed electricity in the fashion building. Now they can use electric machines.   All they have had in the past were old hand crank machines. Of course they don’t do zigzag stitches. The purpose is for making sanitary pads for orphan girls. Beauty, the nurse, has begged for a solution to the problem of girls missing days of school. So the pads will be given to Beauty to distribute. These pads are washable and reusable. The teacher and I spent some time together on Sat. getting used to the new machine. I taught her how to make the pads. I had researched on line some time ago to see how the problem was dealt with in other third world countries. This is how I came up with the pattern.

I am out of space and out of time and so I will bring this to a close and send my news on its way. Lots of things are happening at HCOC. Friday, we will be celebrating 20 years since Ralph and I began the work in this area of Zimbabwe. Plans are shaping up for a big celebration. I hope the day is not too cool. The weather is changing.

As I close this journal, I ask that you pray for the children who have no parents. It is so sad to look at their faces. I visited the preschool yesterday and took some pictures. In many cases I could not get some of the children to smile. It breaks my heart.

In His Service,

Roberta

 

 

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