We couldn't get on email yesterday and when I did for a minute and wrote a note I lost it because I lost the connection in the middle of sending.
We still have no water in our flat. We haul it from the Bore hole a few houses away. We filled our tub this a.m. and our three 5 gallon buckets. We use this for bathing, flushing, washing dishes (with some bleach (called Jik) here). We get filtered water from the mission office and keep several ltrs. of that on hand. It tastes fine. We get enough water through the toilet line to flush once a day, maybe twice, if we are lucky. Haven't had a shower yet - still using a cloth and small pan of water. It works fine.
Yesterday we had our house cleaned and our laundry and ironing done by a lady named Beauty. She did a good job and it cost us $10 for everything. That is a good deal for us and a good deal for her. We will get her each week. I gave her two little candy bars that we got on the plane coming over and she was thrilled. Our rent on the flat is $300/mo. and the truck rental is $50/mo. LDS Charities that we work under pays the vehicle gas and expenses.
Food is about the same price as at home. We can get some ok stuff - however, it is hard to find whole wheat bread, brown rice etc. so our eating is changing some. We did find a place that sells nice fresh bread (really good) and did get 4 loaves of high fibre bread yesterday. It was $1.25 a loaf for wheat and $1. for white. Today we bought some cheese to try and a jar of macadamia nut spread (like peanut butter). They apparently have really good ice cream here but I am still going to try and avoid sugar.
Today we gave a Pastor some blankets, hygiene kits and some bars of soap for 45 children he is helping and 8 widows -- also two mothers; one had twins and one had triplets. We wish we had some new-born kits, but we are out. He is a good man and we will work with him a lot when we can help.
Tomorrow we leave for Mutare (near the Mozambique border). We will stay overnight and will visit 2 orphanages and a seniors home to give out blankets. We will stay overnight at a motel (we will get to shower!!). LDS charities pays for the hotel when we need to travel.
I will try and send some pictures when I have some time. We have been busy trying to learn before Turners leave on Tues. We will be on our own then but feel like we are getting a bit of an idea of what we need to do and how to do it. We still have lots of paperwork stuff to learn.
We can't say enough about the perfect climate here and the beautiful trees and flowers. The people are so poor though and they are everywhere. They walk and walk and walk!! They try and do whatever they can to earn a little money.
I don't remember if I told you what the church is giving the most needy for food. There are 6 things: mealie meal (corn meal), oil, sugar, beans, salt, and soap. That is what most of them eat along with whatever fruit or veggies they can find.
They are a gentle patient people. We hope things are getting a little better. There is food on the store shelves again but most people can't afford it. They are using the U.S. dollar instead of Zimbabwe dollar (as it crashed about 3 weeks ago).. That is actually helping things but hopefully it will last.
We went to the Mission Pres. home last night with 3 other new missionaries for pictures, meeting and a delicious supper. It was a very spiritual and enjoyable evening.
We are doing fine so don't worry. I wish I could write everyone an individual letter but that is just impossible right now. We would love to hear from you though.
Must run as they are locking up the mission office and we have a meeting in half an hour with the LDS Charities advisory board.
Love to all, Bro. and Sis. Bullock/mom and dad/Jim and Nancy, etc.