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

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