We went to Muzarabani on Wednesday and took Seka with us as that is the area that he lived. Upper Muzarabani is quite lush and green and gets more rain than Lower Muzarabani (on the other side of the mountain). We found once we crossed to the other side it was dry and the crops were not doing well at all. The maize was small and wilted and they are afraid that it is too late, even if rain starts to come now. We had a great day yesterday on our trip and really hope we can do a water project up there. They could sure use it.
Beautiful drive to Muzarabani through the mountains
On our way to Muzarabani
At the top of the mountain pass. This was absolutely beautiful from up here.
Down in the valley
Tools for patching the road
Roasting ground nuts (peanuts) for peanut butter. This lady gave me handful of nuts - they were hot and yummy. Her husband was shelling them and she was roasting. She said they were for making peanut butter. They love their peanut butter here.
Muzarabani Primary School
SDC (School Development Committee) Meeting. There was a meeting going on when we arrived.
More attendees at the meeting
Students at Muzarabani Primary School
Elder Bullock teaching them a song
Nice Flamboyant Tree (huge!)
Members of community we met with at Lower Muzarabani
Pastor Mhike had arranged a meeting with the village council, police, etc. etc. We talked about possibly doing boreholes for them. They had a list of 70 spots where they need them - with 32 locations that would be priorities (schools and clinics). It is a dry area about 210 km. north of here. We did see more poverty there and lots of children and adults dressed in rags. We took some T-shirts and gave them all out and could have given dozens more. This area is away from the church's centre of strength but I hope they will consider doing boreholes for them. I think they will - at least I sure hope so. I feel really good about helping these people and we were impressed with them.
Mom and baby waiting outside clinic in a cart.
Seka and his mother at her place.
Seka took us to meet his mother and sister. He hadn't seen her since August and when he met her he shook her hand. I ask him if he wasn't going to give her a hug and he said that is not done in their culture. I ask if I could take a picture of him with his mother and so he went and stood beside her. I suggested he put his arm around her but..... - not done in their culture. I suggested he ask her if it would be okay. He did and I could tell from the look on her face that it was not. She didn't speak any English.
At Seka's mother's roundeval (hut) - We gave out shirts, hygiene kits, coloring books and crayons. We started giving out a few things to a few people and pretty soon we had quite a few. They all got something and were pretty happy. We gave Seka 2 quilts - one for his mother and one for his sister. We didn't have enough for everyone.
Sign at school office
Pastor Mhike, Seka, and Elder Bullock in Muzarabani
Beautiful landscape of upper Muzarabani
Today we went a different direction to Danangwe School to talk to them about the grinding mill that was approved for them. We went into Chegutu and met with the ZESA (electricity) people and took them out to see the site, only to find out that the transformer there is not big enough to support the grinding mill. So now...???
Tomorrow afternoon for a couple of hours we will take Elder and Sister Renlund, from the area presidency, out and show them a couple of our projects. That will be good for them to see some of the things they approved for us and we can talk to them about the problem we discovered today.
We do have a couple of ideas but we may need to apply for some more budget for the project to make it happen.
Must run as Jim is waiting for me. Sounds like there is some thunder out there so perhaps someone is getting a little rain. I hope so. Everyone is so concerned about drought here. The rivers are low and some we saw yesterday in Muzarabani are bone dry and they should be flowing!!
Love to everyone. We would love to get some emails. Elder and Sister Bullock