Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

We are busy, busy, busy, but I guess that is good. I just wanted to tell you about a couple of things that make us smile (well actually frustrate us but better to laugh about it than cry or get mad!!)

We need ZESA (Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Assoc) to run the power to the grinding mill building at the school. We took the ZESA employee out to the building so he could give us a list of items we need to buy. WE have managed to acquire all the items but that was a nightmare itself as we had to go to different shops in the busiest part of downtown and they all quote different prices (especially when they see a white face that might have money). One item was a 3 phase breaker box and one place wanted $120 and came down to $90 --- however, we got it somewhere else for $48. Anyway, we went to ZESA this morning as we need a quote in writing for the hook-up and we need to pay them ahead of time, of course. We have to go back on Monday, pick up the quote, take it 'downtown' and pay for it, and then take the receipt back to the ZESA building (in the other end of the city) to prove we have paid. Then... if we want the
work done anytime soon, we need to go pick up 3 ZESA employees and take them out to the job site and wait while they do the job. If we don't drive them out then we would wait indefinitely for them to go because they have no diesel for their own vehicles. We have to buy all the electrical supplies for the job and after the job is complete everything then belongs to ZESA. That will be the case with the transformers we are buying for the clinics too!! Crazy!!!

Traffic Jam.
The picture doesn't do this justice. It was absolutely crazy driving there today (downtown Harare). It is actually crazy all the time in this area but we had no choice today. We had to buy some electrical supplies for the grinding mill. One place tried to charge us $120 for one thing and we got it elsewhere for $48.

Panel Beaters means Vehicle Body Shop

Combies -- these guys hang out and yell and whistle to let people know where they are going.

OH YES! Some good news!! We just got an email that our 3 projects that went to the area presidency yesterday got approved. (2 clinic projects for transformers and to fix the boreholes, and the project to repair the 3 boreholes, and service 1 borehole near Chegutu). Hurray!!

The other thing I wanted to write about is a letter of request I got last week. These people live out in the rural area near our '4' borehole project. They live close to one of the boreholes and the husband is going to be trained to maintain the pump and will be on the water committee. That is how we met them. This is what is says: (exactly as written)

Dear Madam,
I wrote this letter to you. I face a problem on 3 August my young daughter burn someone's huts and a car so they ask me to pay their property, seven tones of maize and to repair their car and built their huts. I have managed to give him two tones of maize and five hens, four blankets, seven cups, 2 pots, 12 plant, one teapot and two buckets. As from now I still build their huts that's why you can see my house is not yet finished because the bricks and the grass which is suppose to build and thatch my house is going to build and to thatch their house. This is the problem I am facing so I don't have anything to do with this problem that's why I am asking for a help from you.

Yours faithfully, Mrs. Chimarizeni

I am not sure exactly what she wants from me but.... We get a LOT of letters of request but this one was kind of unique. There really isn't anything we can do to help her.

Another interesting couple of things that have appeared with the rainy season --- the termites come out of their holes and have wings. They are everywhere and they are gross (at least to me). When we went out into the rurals yesterday our windshield was plastered with them and we
washed it off before we returned home. (with some water and a broom we have in the truck). It made the window quite streaky. We tried to polish it up with some toilet paper we had and that helped a bit. I guess it really needed some soapy water and a rag which we will have to put in the truck for a month or two until they are gone. The other thing that comes with the rains are a LOT of black millipedes. They are big too - about 3 - 4 inches long and gross looking!! I wouldn't want to step on one and slip!!!

How do you like this road grater?

Gave this family suckers.
Stopped and ask directions as we were kind of lost trying to find a school out in the rural area. At least they knew where it was and helped us on our way.

We are headed to Mutare tomorrow morning to arrange for the motor for the grinding mill there. Saturday we will talk at the YSA conference on dating and marriage. We found some good information that E/S Taylor left in their files so that helped us a lot. Saturday morning
Elder Bullock (maybe me too) and Pres. Chadambuka have to do an audit at a branch there where there is a question about some possible missing money. We hope we can find it so that there won't need to be a disciplinary council.

We will attend meetings on Sunday and then head back to Harare. We have a busy December developing already. We were considering a trip to Zambia to look at a garden project there that we have received requests for but we have decided to wait as we cannot work the trip into our timetable right now without totally stressing ourselves out.

We received the following invitation today from Danangwe Primary School (where we are repairing borehole) near Chegutu:

Dear Elder and Sister Bullock
Danangwe Primary school will be having a prize giving day on Dec. 1st. We cordially invite you to this important day. Sister Bullock is being requested to be the guest of honor. I hope you will appreciate our invitation. (That means I have to speak for 10 minutes - Ugh!) I'm not sure why I am the guest of honor except that I did give them all those school kits.

The school head said that they ask the kids who they should invite and they all said, Elder Bullock, so he can teach us how to whistle. (He should be the guest of honor!!)

We are working on one and hopefully two more projects that we want to send in this next week (both to do with grinding mills).

Must run. Love to all, Elder and Sister Bullock

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

We took Elder and Sister Godfrey to the airport this morning so they are on their way back to Johannesburg. We sure enjoyed having them here. They gave us a lot of help and encouragement. We took them to see our projects got 3 projects written up and submitted and they should go to the area presidency on Wednesday and will hopefully be approved. We sent in our two clinic projects (transformers & boreholes) and also the project to repair the 4 boreholes out near Chegutu.

On Friday we went with Godfrey’s, Deppe’s and Mayfields to Masvingo and stayed at the Inn on the Great Zimbabwe. They thought it was beautiful there (Garden of Eden) and we enjoyed a relaxing time and had some good visits. It did rain most of the time but it let up for a while on Saturday morning so we took our umbrellas and headed to the “Great Zimbabwe” (interpreted means Great House of Stone). We had a guide named, Lovemore, who did a good job. Everyone enjoyed the hike (it does get a little steep at times) climbing up stone stairways and some of them are between rock walls. It really is interesting. The tour took about 3 – 4 hours including our stop at the curio shop. We got rained on a bit and got damp so we were glad to get back and warm up. After supper we sat and visited in the lodge area. I guess they wanted to go to bed so they gave us the key and told us to lock up when we left and take the key with us. I think we were the only guests that night.

Sunday we attended the church meetings there and afterwards they had their seminary and institute graduation so we stayed for that and Pres. Bullock was asked to give the closing remarks and did really well.

We met with Elizabeth and gave her our fabric and she will sew some wrap-around skirts for us ($5 each). She uses the money to pay for her daughters school fees (her daughter is very bright so she is determined to keep her in school).

We left Masvingo for home later than we planned and ran into several rain storms that slowed us down. We arrived back in Harare as it was getting dark. Harare hasn’t gotten as much rain as the places south of here but it is raining today. We see lots of people out working their fields and planting maize. They wait for the rains to soften up the dirt and then they go to work and they work hard. There is maize being planted in little yards, ditches along the streets & roads, and they seem to have sections for each family divided off in the fields. Maize is so important for the people here as it is their staple food.

We are back to having power cuts on a regular basis. We can usually count on no power on Tues., Thurs., and Saturday and sometimes some evenings. We are back to no municipal water as well but thankfully we have our tanks and pressure pumps hooked up to the flats so when we have power we can have water! Our geiser (hot water heater) in the attic is gravity fed so even without power we can get some water from it.

All is well. We are healthy and happy!!
Love, The Bullocks

Flamboyant tree

more Flamboyant tree

Lady planting maize out by Kadyamadare School (grinding mill location)

Elder Godfrey talking with her - she's planting ground nuts between the rows of maize

Jim singing song with kids

Field workers

Village where farm workers live

Collecting drinking & washing water. Will boil it for drinking. Near a borehole we will repair.

Carrying water home

Lizard -- snake got the end of his tail

Lake where some get water - repairing borehole nearby!

pathway from lake back to school

Desks at school

AT least they have desks!

More kids to play with

Passageway up to King's residence

Great Zimbabwe (House of Stone)

One of the King's rooms

Looking up towards the King's house

Monkey and baby

Looking up at Great Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe from Wive's enclosure

View from our room at the Inn

Gardens at the Inn on the Great Zimbabwe

More of the gardens

Godfrey's, Bullock's, Deppe's and Mayfield's at the Inn

Couples at the Inn on the Great Zimbabwe

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hi, I didn't want to tell you this on the email about the baptism - didn't seem right. :D We saw a 'stark' naked man in the middle of the street today but I didn't get my camera focused fast enough. Maybe that is just as well!!

I told Seka about him and he said that it is because he is 'mad'. I said what is he mad about that he takes off his clothes? He meant that he is crazy in the head. haha

E/S Godfrey (SA) are coming to Harare this week to help us write up some of our projects that we have been working on. We are hoping with their help we can get the paperwork done and they said that they would take it back with them so that it can be presented to the area presidency in time to hopefully get approved on this year's budget. We have to hurry and Christmas time is coming and they take a couple of weeks (or more) off. We are grateful that Godfrey's offered to come and work with us. We are looking forward to their visit and will have a busy week.

We couples here are going to The Great Zimbabwe (ruins) next weekend in Masvingo for a relaxing weekend. We invited Godfreys to join us and they are excited to do that. It will be fun. We will go Friday afternoon and stay 2 nights there. We will visit the ruins and also we hope to take some 'cruise' on the lake and see animals (if we can get hold of the people there to book it).

The next weekend Elder Bullock and myself have been ask to go to Mutare and speak at the YSA conference for half an hour on the Saturday. We will go there on Friday morning so that we can meet up with Pres. Chamabuka and arrange for the grinding mill motor (project that was approved recently). He has donated the labor and materials to secure the building against future thefts and is going to get that done right away. We will then arrange to pay for the motor and have it installed. When it is all done there will be a "hand-over" ceremony - probably not that same weekend though. Those people will be excited when Pres. Chadambuka tells them the project got approved. We are excited to do it for them.

It is lightning and thundering and internet is coming and going. It smells like rain so hopefully it will come. We need rain here!!!

Must run. Love to all, The Bullocks

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Seka's Baptism

Well today was the big day! It was a nice baptism and Seka had a big smile on his face. He was really ready for today. He has been waiting a long time for this and has given up so much. There were two girls baptized as well at 2:00 p.m. into the Highlands Ward.

At 3:00 p.m. there was another baptismal service for the Epworth Branch (part of Queensdale ward). There were 6 baptized and one of those was Gift Kureva. (we didn't get his picture so will get one later). If you remember we were helping teach him and Zvekomberero (sp) and Panashe back a few months ago and they had a falling out and Zvekomberero left Gift. Since then they have both still been coming to church (not Panashe though as he is with his uncle in Ruwa). Gift has done some repenting and was cleared to get baptized. Zvekomberero will get baptized in a couple of weeks - she has taken longer as she wasn't coming to church for a few weeks as she was out 'street vending' trying to make a living for herself. She has quit vending on Sundays and has been coming out to meetings again.

Anyway -- what a great day. Two of our contacts baptized!!

Sekanipo (Seka) Kapatamoyo's Baptism day - November 14, 2009

Seka and Brother E. Mataranyika

Zone Leader Conference November 11-13, 2009

Flamboyant Tree

Can you see the crocodile sunning on the lower rock?


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009

Well -- how about that. I got the pictures to send!! We are in the office all day as our truck is getting its regular service. With any luck we will get it back later today. If the internet will last we can get some work done. Jim is working on a mission 'issue'at the moment, along with the mission president.

We are healthy and fine. Good things happening. Our 2nd project proposal (grinding mill motor for the Old People's Home) got approved. YAH!! Now we just need to get a water project in and approved.

Love you all, Jim and Nancy

Kids at Damangwe Primary School - we gave them some balls.

We also surprised them with 18 cases of school kits and they were SO appreciative! They have NOTHING!

Kids waiting to carry in the school kits

Damangwe school buildings.

Kids water containers - using them to carry water about 200m to water their garden.

Water committee for the 4 boreholes we want to get back up and working.

Some of the suckers Ron & Shannon Polowyk sent in their package.

Kids from Damangwe (gr. 7) who had to bring a table and chair from home (if they had them) to use while they wrote the provincial exams.

Flamboyant Tree - beautiful red blossoms.

More suckers for the kids. They love it!!

Grinding mill building -- they have knocked out one wall and built this outer one. They've gone for more cement to plaster the walls.

This guy is always in the middle of the road trying to sell pool toys.

Flambouyant trees - not quite in full bloom.

Monkeys and Baboon on side of road.

In Canada we see gophers on the roadsides - here we see monkeys! They must be smarter than gophers though because they don't seem to get hit.

Road to church in Kadoma - lots of people walking in this area.

The Dube children - all dressed to match.

P.S. We got our truck back from having it serviced at 15,000km and it only cost us $300! They wanted to charge us almost $400, but Jim fought it and they reduced it. I think they know the church has money and charge us through the nose. The church does pay for it, but we get tired of feeling like they rip us off. :(