Tag Archives: Sadza

Roberta’s Journal 3

4 Jul

July 4, 2012

Greetings from HCOC Mission,

This July 4th is a whole lot quieter than it probably is in the United States.  However, in Colorado, it may be quiet due to the dryness and all the fires.  Here the people know nothing about our 4th of July and what it means or how we celebrate.  Anyway, Happy Birthday to all of you 4th of July Birthday people.

Bill learned to shell maize today.  Albert has people working at shelling his maize crop.  Albert’s workers have a long way to go but Bill decided he wasn’t going to be of much help.

Albert has been working at hauling black dirt and filling in around his house.  He has purchased sod plugs and the lawn is beginning to grow.  It is really looking nice.  Yesterday, Elizabeth gave him some Poinsettia starts from her bushes.  He has spots already prepared ready to plant the shrubs.

Deanna left on Monday to return to the U.S.  Amanda will join all of us on Friday.  Amanda visited here in 2010 with Ralph and I.  She asked to join me this year for a short stay.  Two weeks is about all that she can afford to be gone.  The children keep asking about her but I haven’t told them that she is coming.  They are going to be so surprised when they see her.

Today was the first opportunity I have had to visit the poultry project.  I had not seen the sawdust shed.  They indicated that they had a problem keeping the saw dust dry when it rains.  They proposed some changes and made plans to begin work soon.  Right now is the dry season and so a perfect time to get the changes made.

One batch of chickens is one week old.  Another batch is five weeks old and they are ready for market.  They are weighing about 2.2 kgs or about four pounds live weight.

On Thursday, Albert needed to deliver food to an orphan living several km from the school.  Bill and I joined him.  The child was not at home and so I didn’t have a chance to visit with the child, who is 12 years old.  I did talk with the grandmother through Albert.  The grandmother is blind and can barely walk.  The grandmother said that her grand-daughter was out collecting firewood.  This is a case of a child living with a grandparent but the grandparent is dependent on the child.  This is an example why we need safe houses for children such as these.  I am hoping to get work started on the first Safe House in a couple of weeks.  I have asked Albert to contact a surveyor and have the property surveyed and safe houses pegged.  The roads inside the property also need to be pegged.

William, 15 years, and his brother live alone.  William’s brother was out collecting fire wood and so I didn’t get to meet him.  William and his brother are surviving alone.  We delivered a few food supplies to them and checked on what foods they had in stock.

The boys, with the help of a local man, are trying to improve their living conditions.  As you can see in the picture, a new roof is in progress.  Albert suggested that we help by supplying a window and a door, since they have neither.  These boys are missing out on the relationship between father and sons.  It is difficult for us to bridge that gap.

Winnie and Patrick are very proud of their Sadza Cooker.  They indicated to me that it requires far less fire wood to cook with than when they were using an open fire.  Today, I saw Winnie cooking outside over and open fire and inquired why she was doing that.  She indicated that when they serve rice and beans she does not have time to cook the beans because of the time that it takes to cook rice.  We discussed it for a time and we decided that perhaps she could cook the beans, after lunch the day before she is to serve them.  Then the following day when she is going to serve them, she only has to reheat them.  She decided the next time they serve rice and beans she will try that method.  I will be watching to see if they do that and how it works. for them.

I will be in Harare tomorrow and will try to get this email off to all of you.  I have heard that Colorado has had some rain.  Perhaps that will help the fire fighters with the forest fires.

In His Service,



Journal 10 – November 10, 2011

10 Nov

Greetings from Zimbabwe,

The old truck has been sold. We received $1,500 for it and it will cost more than that for the buyer to put it in running condition. The money from the sale has been set aside for another truck but it will take a lot of additional money to be able to purchase something that doesn’t break down every time one turns around. We need something with a larger engine than the one that we have had. The old truck had insufficient power when loaded.

A large truck is needed for hauling food supplies from Harare, for the feeding program. The poultry project also needs a big truck for hauling feed for the project as well as marketing the chickens. At this time of year seed and fertilizer must be hauled as well. Presently HCOC has to hire a truck and the cost ranges from $250.00 to $600.00 per trip. The price depends on the number of items or the weight of the load and whether they are hauling from Harare or Murewa.

Friday, was a very special day for the children at Guzha Primary School. It was the day that prizes were given to outstanding students. A large crowd of parents and friends assembled for the program. Jeff and I were invited to attend the special ceremony. Groups of children presented skits and musical numbers. The District Education Officer handed out the prizes to the top students at each grade level. The prizes had been donated by the Vice-Mayor of Harare. His assistant was present to witness the handing out of the prizes. The students received practical things such as new back-packs, note books, tooth paste and bars of soap. What an exciting day for the children!

The Executive Committee met yesterday to make a decision about what to do with the small container of Ralph’s ashes that Albert brought back when he returned from the U.S. They decided that they wanted to place the small brass urn in a granite tombstone. The stone will be set near the gate to the HCOC site. A native tree will be planted to shade the stone. Today, the committee went to meet with the Sub-Chief of this area to inform him of their decision. All their plans were approved by the Sub-Chief. Wednesday, they will meet with Chief Nyawembawa as a matter of formality. Jeff returned and said that the people in this area think of Ralph as a Hero.

Work is progressing nicely on the water projects. The trenching at Guzha is complete and the base for the tank stand is in place. The pump and solar panels will be installed by a special crew that does solar pumps. Annevor Systems will install the security fence and electric wire to protect the solar panels. Guzha is responsible for having 24 hour guards at the site of the solar panels to safe guard against theft. Solar panels are economical to operate but they are always a target of thieves.

At HCOC all 380 meters of trenching for the piping should be completed by Wednesday. The tank stand base is in place and we are expecting the installation crew to arrive on Wednesday. They will camp here until the project is completed. Everyone is excited about having piped water at the poultry project in addition to themain buildings and garden. We anticipate that all will be finished before we leave to drive back to South Africa on December 1.

In the picture at the left, the man standing in the trench sited a Black Mamba snake just to the right of where he is working. He described it as being very large. He said it was as big around as his forearm. Black Mambas are sometimes seen in this area and are greatly feared. It is rare for anyone who is bitten to survive. This area of HCOC site has been undisturbed for years. Now the activity, as a result of the development, is disturbing their habitat.

Jeff and I recently visited the factory where the Sadza Cooker is being built. This picture only shows the part of the unit where the food is cooked. It will be quit a process to install it here at the Feeding Center. This will allow the cooks to prepare large amounts of food without standing over an open fire. When the Sadza is cooked, it can be removed and kept hot while other menu items are being prepared. The last time Jeff spoke with the people at the factory, they indicated that they would be ready to install this coming week. Things are finally beginning to fall into place.

In closing, I ask for your prayers that the projects will be completed before we leave to return to Colorado. I also ask for prayers that somehow funds for a big truck be provided to HCOC. A truck is desperately needed.

In His Service,