Tag Archives: Village

Journal 9: October 31, 2011 From Zimbabwe

31 Oct

Greetings from Zimbabwe,

I have commented in previous journals about the weather being so mild for this time of year. October is usually the hottest month of the year; this year the nights have been chilly and the days very pleasant. Last week that all changed. It has become unbearably hot. We no longer have a thermometer but it has to be plus 100 degrees. The nights don’t even cool until after mid-night. So Jeff decided enough of the heat and bought a fan, pictured at the right. We call it our air conditioner. We locate it in the lounge so that it blows toward the two bedrooms. It makes sleeping a lot more pleasant.

This morning Jeff and I had to make a trip to Guzha Primary School to deliver some food supplies to the kitchen. We also needed to check on the preparations for Trevor’s workers who will install the tank stand. While I was there I took some pictures of the traditional type of dwelling that the children are constructing. There is a push, by the Ministry of Education, to have the children learn about how their ancestors lived. The structure is small made of small poles and plastered inside and out with mud from termite mounds. The first coat of mud cracks as it dries. A second coat is applied. The interior walls are also coated with clay mud from termite mounds. A fire pit occupies the center of the room. Benches line the interior walls. The thatched roof keeps the rondavel cool.

Outfitting the well at HCOC has to be scaled back a bit. We will continue to use the booster pump that is in the pump house rather than buying a new one. It isn’t a good pump but will have to do for the present time. We discovered, by accident, that the grant money actually wired was less than we expected. However, the well production is better than expected and we are pleased about that. We will be able to supply water to the
poultry project which will eliminate the need to haul it from various places.

The first batch of chickens has been completely sold. They were able to use some of the chickens to pay the school fees for the three children at Cheunje Boarding School. This amounted to $750.00. The second batch of chickens is growing quickly and will be ready for market beginning next week. A third batch of chickens will be moved from the brooder room to the fowl run in another week. It looks like they will have a batch of chickens to market every month. With the facilities that we have, that is the best we can do. Ideally, it would be easier to market if they had chickens ready for market each week. That way they would have steady customers in Murewa; restaurants, grocery stores, hospital, etc.

Tuesday, Albert had made arrangements for a group of us to visit Mother of Peace, an orphanage in Mutoko. It is located about 60 km from Murewa. I have visited there a couple of times in the past but I was interested in having Jeff see it. We especially wanted to see their facilities for housing children. We have reached a point where it is important for some children, that are living in child headed households, to be moved into a safe environment. Some of these children are being sexually abused by intruders and sometimes by relatives. It was recommended that we provide for outdoor cooking. This would be in keeping with the way people live in the community where many of the children will return when they have completed their schooling and/or training.

The little boy that I am holding is three years old. I would have guessed that he was much younger. He came to me and pulled on my skirt and held his arms up to be picked up. He has the biggest smile on his face. There are so many unwanted children here. I feel sorry for these children; many of them have just been abandoned.

Mother of Peace houses 129 children at the moment. They also sponsor 150 children who have been integrated back into the community and are living with extended family members. They described the slow, meticulous process they go through to integrate these children back with relatives or foster homes. In a few cases it has not worked and they have had to bring the children back to Mother of Peace.

As Jeff was driving to Guzha Primary School, he noticed a group of people gathered at a borehole that did not get repaired last year. The villagers had gathered together and were working on their own borehole. There are some parts left over from last year that Jeff will provide to them. Other parts Jeff plans to purchase for them in Harare. They constructed a fence around the pump to protect it from cattle. A cement basin protects the well from contamination and they have a trough leading under the fence to a dug pit lined with cement. The run off from the pump drains into the pit where the cattle come to drink. The pump is also kept locked and is unlocked only at designated times. The villagers have decided that those who do not contribute to the maintenance cannot have access to the water. Efforts from last year have paid off.

Please pray that the installation of pumps goes smoothly and all work will be complete before we leave.

In His Service, Roberta