We have had a good week so far. Today we are stuck in the office because our truck is getting serviced. That is okay though as we set up appointment with people who want to talk to us.
Some ladies want to come in and talk about a 'sewing' project they would like us to look at. Pastor Mhike wants to come in and talk about 'doctrine'. He was in yesterday with some paperwork and a map for the water project we are looking at up in Muzarabani.
We are lining up some possible areas that need boreholes and we will get a visit from a 'water specialist' from USA to come and assess them with us and help us develop the projects. We are looking forward to that. It will really help us a lot. The specialists will visit Zimbabwe and also the humanitarian couple in South Africa. We will likely have them for a couple of weeks and then they can also assist us via email afterwards.
We took Bruce, our borehole guy, out to look at a place where we want to replace a 5000 lts. water tank and he gave us a price on what that will cost. On our way back we stopped at the school 'head master's' house and he wanted to give us some mangos and some green mealies.
Green mealies are cobs of maize that haven't had a chance to dry on the cob yet. We were given instructions on how to cook and eat it. So we tried it. It didn't have much flavor (not like the sweet corn). It was rather chewy too but ok, I guess. I don't think I will care if I have it again or not though. We gave away a lot of the mangos - they were the smaller ones that have a more stringy fruit. Everyone loves the mangos and we lots of people eating them right now. They are very good!!
Pastor Sikyani's wife passed away - she had a stroke 2 or 3 weeks ago. We went to the funeral. He told us to come at 2 p.m. and when we got there they were filling the grave with dirt. I guess he wanted us to miss whatever happened before that. There was lots of singing and clapping as the young men took turns shoveling the dirt back in. Then everyone was fed a meal of sadza, meat with a little sauce and some shredded cooked cabbage. We ate too. That is the first time we have done that. We ate it with our fingers like everyone else. They take a bit of sadza, roll it into a ball and make a little indent in it and then dip it into the sauce. *Before you begin eating they come around with a bowl and some water so people can wash their hands and then do the same thing afterwards as our hands are dirty from eating. The sadza has no flavor and the sauce and vegetables are a bit on the salty side but it tasted good. These people LOVE sadza!!
Afterwards we went and thanked the ladies who had prepared the food and got a surprise!! Check out the pictures to see 'what we saw'! YIKES!! I guess it is a good thing we had already eaten or ............. we might have declined the offer.
We had a pregnant lady waiting for us at the gate when we came in a couple of days ago. We stopped and she came to my window (the ladies usually want to talk to me and the men choose to talk to Elder Bullock). The lady said, "Madam, I have a problem". We hear that a lot. I ask what she needed and she pulled out her papers from the doctor and they did say that the baby was breach. She told me she was 12 months pregnant because the baby was breach and couldn't come out. I told her that I have had 7 babies and that it doesn't work that way -- that she is NOT 12 months pregnant. She wanted money from us and we don't give money so she went on her way.
Last Saturday we were invited to Nield's for a birthday party for CeeCee. Her request was for Mexican food and it was wonderful. One of the best meals we have had since being here. They have a great family and we enjoyed our afternoon with them. We bought a couple of bouquets of flowers off the street to take with us. One cost $10 and one cost $5 -- too bad I paid the $10 first because I probably could have gotten them both for $5 as they were desperate to make a sale. O well -- they were beautiful arrangements.
Tomorrow morning we are going for a golf lesson (after we play squash at 5:30 a.m.) so that we can meet a couple that our golf friends know. They are hoping that perhaps we can get to know these people and friendship them. He is a retired Dr. and does some humanitarian work here too.
Our first appointment of the day has arrived so .... back to work.
Hi, We had a good day today. This afternoon two young men came in. One said we had met him at the grocery store a while ago and talked to him and he came to find us because he wanted to learn more about the church. He is a police officer and his friend is looking for work. They were both about 27 yrs. old. One is married with a baby girl and the policeman is working on saving up the lobola so that he can get traditionally married about April, he hopes.
We taught them about the Book of Mormon etc. (1st discussion) and gave them a restoration pamphlet and a B of M each. The police officer had very good English and really understood everything well. It was good!
The lady came in to discuss her possible 'sewing' project and we will go out and meet her group of ladies tomorrow morning and talk with them.
They have a problem at one of the grinding mills. One person wants to only charge $.50 to grind a bucket of maize instead of the normal price of $1.00. They cannot make any money at that rate and possibly not even have enough to pay the electricity bill and the $50 they pay to the miller. This particular person is trying to get points with the people there as he wanted to be re-elected as the SDC chairman (School Development Committee). He did get re-elected yesterday! So, we have a problem. There is a grinding mill committee and they should all be making these decisions but...... The head master came and discussed it all this with us. We were all hoping the chairman would not get voted back. Anyway today Elder Bullock phoned the MP (Mr. Zhanda) that we really like and he really likes us and told him of the problem. He will meet us at the mill on Monday morning, hopefully along with the committee, and talk to them. He is well respected and they will listen to him (we just need the one man to listen, really). I think he will be able to solve the problem for us and set things straight. We are doing several projects in his jurisdiction so he will do whatever he can to help and he really appreciates all we are doing.
We talked to him about the problem the church had recently with getting items cleared through ZIMRA (tax people) - and he knows the head guy and is going to set up a lunch with him and the mission president and ourselves and see if things can't be simplified for us. That will be great it he can help us. Pres. Dube says he will be happy to buy the lunch if we can get these people together.
Elder Bullock has gone to pick up the truck from being serviced. All is well. We were hoping to get our talks written for Sunday but our day just fills up (with good things though, like discussions of the gospel).
Love to all, E/S Bullock