I don’t think they were expecting us. The Harare people were supposed to have set it all up, but since the phone doesn’t work, at the hospital, I don’t think they got the message through, and they don’t have a computer. We were given a tour of one section while they gathered the administrator, and his assistant. We then were taken to the board room where we talked for a little while. We explained who we were; they talked about their needs, and expressed gratitude for what we were doing for them.
16 year old boy was dumped off at mental hospital a month ago - he is hoping they will come back for him soonThey are in dire need of help. They haven’t had electricity since the first of May. Consequently, their water pump cannot work. It is suppose to bring water from the river, which is about 3 km away. They take the patients to the river, which is crocodile infested, to bathe. They must haul their water from a borehole 2.5 km to use for cooking/drinking/cleaning, etc. They have two boreholes on the property, but one is capped off, and the other is dry. Due to lack of water their garden is not getting waterd, so they are not able to grow much. They get some food donations, from ‘well-wishers’, but there is not enough. They are feeding the patients sadza and beans, with only a few vegetables, for every meal.
There were several patients lying in the dust, sleeping. We were told that it is too cold at night; they don’t have proper blankets and mattresses, so it is hard to sleep. They sleep out under the sun during the day, where it is warm. We did take them 80 good blankets so hopefully that will help. Because they have no water, the sinks, and toilets, do not work. They have a generator, but they need a new battery, and gas, to run it. The place is in a sad state of affairs. In each hygiene kit there are 4 tooth brushes; the director said this would be the 1st time in 2 years they would be able to do oral care. We want to see what we can do to help them.
We are considering asking for some vegetable donations from the “Honey Dew” market near us. They grow produce and did donate 100 cabbages to some people before. Perhaps Rob Spencer will donate something as well (He is a member with a grocery store). Taylors want to prepay a wholesale store in Masvingo so that we can pick up some corn maize, oil, and sugar down there to take out to the hospital. If this all comes together, we will go back down on Wednesday and take what we can to them. When we go to Johannesburg next week, for our humanitarian couples training, we will talk to them and see what we can possibly do to help. It is really almost an emergency situation.
The people from Harare were asking if we could also help another facility they have near Mutare where there are 29 patients with the same needs. If we are allowed to do an initiative for these people we will try and do both locations. We are planning to go to Mutare later in July to take some clothes to an orphanage and can check out the mental health place while we are there. President Bester also wants us to check out a refugee camp that is about 200 km from Mutare; supposedly, we have some members there. In August we plan to go to Bulawayo and take some newborn kits to a maternity hospital and present them after the branch there does a service project. August 22nd all the church wards, and branches, in the country are doing service projects in their areas.
Now for some nicer pictures for you to look at.
Love, Elder & Sister Bullock
P.S. Pres. Bester says to go ahead and get our food donations and take them down to the hospital so we will work on that today and likely go down on Wednesday, stay over night and come back on Thursday.