Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We have had our challenges this week with getting the two mill operations set up at the schools. With any luck we will have things working tomorrow when we take the guys from Precision Grinders back out. The school where we put the new motor for their mill has had troubles because their mill needed some refurbishing which we weren’t planning on. Luckily we did put extra money in the project budget and we will be okay. If we had realized we could have brought the mill into the shop in Harare and had them do the work here. O well – it is getting done but just taking longer than we thought. The new mill that we put at Kadyamadare School keeps flipping the breaker, even after we changed the breaker because they said we bought a bad quality one that was made in China. The electrician from Precision says he can fix the problem tomorrow so we will cross our fingers. If he can’t we may have to have them put in a smaller size grinder with a smaller motor.

This morning we went to a meeting out at the Reimer Clinic (Chifumbi is the actual name of the clinic). There were only 2 that showed up for the meeting but it was good and they have been doing what they need to do to get ready for the transformers and borehole repairs. When we got there the nurse said that they were having a new baby and ask if I wanted to come in. I did but found that the baby was already born a while ago. The mother was being brought in on a tractor and had the baby on the way. The nurse laughed and said all the bouncing on the tractor wouldn’t have helped much.

We enjoy our drives out into the rurals these days as everything is lush and green and beautiful. The crops (maize, soy beans, tobacco, tomatoes, etc.) are growing nicely. They grow a lot of peanuts here too but they call them ground nuts. We found out that when they are in the shell they are called ground nuts but once they are shelled they are peanuts. They make a lot of peanut butter here too and it is used a lot in their cooking – peanut butter chicken, peanut butter spinach, peanut butter soup, etc. etc. etc.

Leechies (not sure how to spell it) are a fruit that is in season right now. They are about the size of a big walnut. They have a thin peel that comes off pretty easy. The fruit is white and there is a pit in the middle. We think they are really good. They also make juice out of them and that is one of my favourites. Mangos are also in season and they are really good too. There are lots of trees producing right now – most of what we see are the smaller fruit, which isn’t as good as the bigger ones because it is ‘stringier’. We bought some big mangos yesterday from a street vendor (at a red light). He ask for $6 and I offered $5 and he took it. Earlier in the day a vendor had approached us by the bank and wanted $10 and would only come down to $9 but I said ‘no’ it was too much which obviously was true as I got a lot better deal from the other guy. We have to be careful as they will be happy to rip us off, especially when they see white people driving a nice truck and think we are rich.

When we drove the guy (Issac) from Precision Grinders out to the schools again and he was telling us that he got married a week past one – which means two weeks ago. They had their ‘labola’ wedding where he has to pay so much to her parents or family. He is 27 and has a pretty special girl who he says was not easy to get. He said, “She loves her husband” and he said that he really loves her. She works at a hospital here in Harare and is a biological scientist. He had to pay $3800 labola (which is a lot here) plus he has to buy the food for the wedding which will cost about $700 - $1000. He then told us that he had it all and on Oct. 28 someone broke in and stole $2000 and most of his clothes, groceries and blankets. I ask what he did and he said that his wife helped him and they were working together to get the money. Once the labola is all paid then they can have a civil wedding. The civil wedding will take place in April and he ask if we wanted to come. Perhaps we will. He is a really nice young man. Lots of people here never have the civil wedding but the labola wedding is recognized. If members want to go to the temple though they must be legally married.

The power just went out here at the flat so the computer is working on battery power. Jim was just going to put a movie in the dvd player so I guess he is out of luck. We will play a game or read by candle light and then go to bed early.

Here are a few more pictures from Sister Mayfield of our walk with the Lions at Christmas time.

Nancy with the lions
Nancy with the lions

Jim petting the lion

And some other pictures you might find interesting:
Another 'toilet' sign at Precision Grinders -- no toilet paper, but I always keep a little supply with me.

Dehuller for Rutope School

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