Monday, March 29, 2010

Our report

March 28, 2010 Sunday

We have a new grandson, Daniel, thanks to Kimberley and Andrew. We are glad all went well. That is #3 since we have been gone. We are happy to hear that it was a wonderful day at the temple when Curtis went through for the first time and was able to be supported by three of his brothers, sitting there together. We are sorry to miss all these good things but it does make us very grateful that our family is being blessed as we serve here in Zimbabwe. We understand that a new couple has been called to replace us. Elder and Sister Bean who will arrive here about July 31st. They are from Washington and previously served a humanitarian mission in Uganda (I think) so they will know a lot of the basics. Our release date is somewhere around August 14th.

This week we were busy “watching” as Bruce and his crew repaired the 4 bushpumps in the rural areas near Chegutu (Danangwe Schools). It was interesting to watch as they pulled out all the pipes and then put them back. While doing this he was training local men how to do it so that they can maintain their own wells. On the final well they stood back and let the trainees do all the work. We did buy tools for the projects that they will keep and share. They didn’t have any previously and so could not very well do the necessary maintenance. We really stressed the importance of keeping the tools safe and signing them out only for borehole use. They will be kept at the school (locked up) by the head master. The tools and equipment they needed cost about $750. Two of the pumps needed some cement work done and so they cannot use the pump for 3 weeks while it sets up around the shaft. They took the handles off so that no one would be tempted. The other two wells are fine now and the people applauded and were excited to have water closer to their homes. It is so great to be able to do this for them.

We also went back to the clinic this week while ZESA put in the 175 amp MCB that we bought for them. We couldn’t test the electricity though because two fixtures (globe holders) in the clinic were missing and they had no globes for the ones that were there as they have had no electricity for more than 2 years. There are some problems at the nurses residence too so we are having them get a list of items and an estimate of what it will cost to get things back in working condition. We can’t turn on the power with wires hanging loose! I guess we should have thought to check that before hand. We are learning as we go.

This week Bruce will go to the clinics and get the boreholes functional again. Gradually we are getting the projects done. It will be exciting to see the water running into the clinics.

This week we will go to Muzarabani again, now that it has stopped raining, and tour some of the possible borehole sites there. We will stay overnight but are a bit nervous about the accommodation! It should be interesting. We will take our own quilts and pillows, just in case. We found out this week that we get a STS (short term specialist) to help develop water projects around the end of April (at least we hope it isn’t before then). We were planning on May but...

We saw our two school teachers from Danangwe and they expressed again how they had enjoyed church, however, the branch missionaries cancelled their appointment with them for last Saturday and said they would see them on Sunday. The teachers thought they meant that they would come to their home on Sunday morning and so they didn’t go to church, like they had wanted to. Too bad for the misunderstanding. I’m sure they went yesterday – we will follow up. Another teacher commented to me that these two teachers had enjoyed their visit and I told him that he was welcome to go as well. Perhaps this will lead to a branch in Chegutu one day as there are already 10 or so members there that find it difficult to get to Kadoma. The head master would sure make a good Branch president.

Bigboy and his family were planning to go to church again in Bindura yesterday. He emailed us and thanked us for taking them and said it was the first time he had been to a church for a long time and that they had really enjoyed it. We will try and go teach the family again on Saturday.

We decided we had better make a list of all our investigators so that we don’t lose track of anyone. We have 20+ people on our list. We have lots to do before August. We really don’t do any proselyting as humanitarian missionaries but.... we do have contact with a lot of people and we use the opportunity to teach wherever we can. Sometimes we wish we had more time that we could teach and work with our investigators. We seem to get such great contacts.

Dzikamai’s 18 year old cousin, Wayne, was all smiles when we dropped by Friday, and told us that he had been visiting someone in Kadoma last weekend and decided he would go to church. We had taught him some of the first discussion one day. We suggested that we could bring the elders by to meet him and that they could teach him. He was agreeable. We will take Elder Nixon and his companion over as they have just been assigned to Highlands ward. Elder Nixon is a nice young man who is new here. He is good friends with my cousin, Karen Knorr’s family in Utah.

Monday: We just arrived home from our weekend in Masvingo. We ended up staying over Sunday night because it was too late to travel back after President Bullock finished with the Branch business there. He was able to get a couple of things done that have needed to be done – not necessarily pleasant things! (His role switches from Elder to President and back again, depending on what we are doing).

I want to get this sent off quickly as I have a list of things to do before tomorrow morning when we head to Muzarabani (like buy extra containers of diesel for our truck since we can’t get it there and also make sure we have food to take with us because there is no suitable place to buy any there either). The Assistants just informed me that they need a report with pictures of the things LDSC did in 2009 and they need it today!! I also need to reconcile by March finances for LDSC. I better get to work.

Love to all, Elder and Sister Bullock

p.s. I am having trouble with getting pictures off my new camera and also figuring out how to email them since it seems to need a different system – when I have time I will get it figured out – better yet, I will get Reeve, CC or Lolly’s help with it as soon as I can get together with them. There will be a bunch when that happens – I have some good ones!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Hi everyone,

Yesterday we went out with ZESA to install the 3 transformers. They showed up finally about 1:00 p.m. (it always takes a while for them to get organized and loaded!! :).) They had 5 men with them plus Mr. Dongo the boss even showed up. He's the one we have been dealing with. It was a good day and they got them installed. One still needs a little bit done and we have to buy a 175 amp MCB for them as they don't have one in stock. We do have enough money in that project that we can do that - it will likely be less than $100.00. We just have to laugh sometimes and wonder how the company manages to run. Maybe they don't really do so well as we do have an awful lot of power cuts!!
They did get the power on to one clinic and of course they were thrilled to have lights - now they can deliver babies with more than just candlelight. It's hard to even imagine that, especially if there was a problem of any sort. While we were there they had a lady get dropped off that was very sick and it turned out, after a blood test they could do, that she has malaria and they gave her the medication.
While we were waiting they brought us a cup of ground nuts (peanuts in the shell) that had been boiled in salt water. They were still wet and warm but they were quite good. I remember Michael talking about people boiling peanuts when he was on his mission in Florida - now I know first hand what that is all about.

We met a really interesting man while we were waiting at the clinic. He was a farmer from the area (about 50Km. away). He seemed like a fairly distinquished individual and quite knowledgeable. He wants us to come and see his place. He has developed some ideas - a borehole run by a windmill etc. He would love to work with us, free of charge, and help develop some projects. We think he might have some good ideas worth sitting down and talking about. We will call him in the middle of April when our schedule lightens up a bit.
There are times when we feel like the Lord puts someone in our path and this just could be one of those times.

Today we went to church in Bindura (about 1 1/4 hrs. north). We took Bigboy, Susan and their 4 children. It was their first time but they seemed to enjoy it. That is one of two branches that had so many baptisms last Sunday and so today there were a number of confirmations which took up most of the sacrament meeting time. However, they had planned on a presentation from the Relief Society since it is close to March 17th (the birthday of Relief Society organization). The ladies did a good job of that but of course we were way overtime for the meeting.

Bigboy did comment afterwards that the teacher in Gospel Essentials was not very well prepared - and he was right. The lesson was on prayer and he thought she could have used some examples/stories instead of just reading the lesson from the book. :) We thought that was pretty good that he had picked up on that. He and Susan will be leaders if/when they get baptized - they have the capabilities. You can just see it. He does teach/train people on how to fit wheelchairs to different disabled people so he has some experience in teaching. We will keep working with them. Just as a reminder to our readers that he is the one who came to us and ask if we could teach him about our church. Nice family!!

Last night I had a dream that we had just recently arrived at home. I woke up and was surprised we were still in Ziimbabwe. The dream seemed very real. Maybe I had the dream because I have been thinking about Curtis going through the temple for his endowments and thinking about our family sitting there together with him. We are so proud of him and the changes he has made in his life over the past year or more. We are proud of all our kids and feel like their lives have been blessed while we have been here serving.

We have a busy week ahead of us again - actually a busy 3 weeks ahead of us.

We came here to the office before heading to the flat. Pres. Bullock is waiting for an email from SA about some tickets to get two new elders to their mission in Ghana. They got held up for a couple of days because their visas were not ready and now are being held up waiting for flight arrangements. Hopefully they can still get to the MTC there in time to get the training they need.
Well we are hungry so will say goodbye and go home and eat our chicken that is in the slow cooker (provided the electricity did not go off today). :)

Love, Elder/Sister Bullock

Friday, March 19, 2010

ANother good day!

Hi everyone,

We had a great day yesterday (Thursday). We went out and watched them put in the new water tank (see pictures on blog). There were three other ladies there watching and they were having a great time, chatting away mostly in Shona. They were thrilled to be getting the tank as it will give them water in their taps and they won't have to haul it all in from the borehole. The borehole motor will supply the tank and then it is gravity fed to the taps at the teachers residences and the school. We were not able to test the tank as the one with the key was away for the day.

From there we went to the clinic where they were installing one transformer. Yes, only one was delivered as they only could get a small truck. When the arrived they couldn't get to the poles where the transformer was to go (at the nurses residence) because it was too soft from the recent rain. A farmer brought his tractor over and that was used and it worked well. They finally got it all connected and we went to the residence, turned all the breakers to 'on' to see if they had electricity. One fellow was excited because he said his phone was charging. I said, Let's turn on a light - but they had no light bulbs since there has been no power there for 3 years. Someone ran off to the clinic to fetch a globe. He brought it back put it in and at first it didn't work - but he tightened it up and YES!! there was light. They were so excited!!!!!!!

Today has had it's challenges to say the least but we have finally resolved things we think. We found out that World Vision also was planning on putting a 100 Kva transformer at the same clinic as us. When we went to the clinic yesterday we were VERY surprised to see a huge transformer sitting inside the clinic and also a bush pump on their borehole. They told us that World Vision had done that. We went to World Vision and talked to them. We think the clinic people were not upfront with World Vision and didn't tell them that we were already doing the project. The other clinic had apparently also been approached by World Vision but they told them we were doing it and so they did not pursue it. Anyway, after much discussion etc. we will go ahead and have our transformer installed tomorrow as we had ordered ours long before they did. They can put theirs somewhere else much easier than we can. We have decided that we will likely not do the electric borehole and tank for that clinic though as they now have a bushpump and since they allowed World vision to do that - that is what they will get. The one we were doing would have been nicer for them but..... o well!! (unless they come up with a good reason that we should do it still).

The other clinic is suppose be getting their other two transformers installed tomorrow as well. We will go out and watch and check on things tomorrow.

Sherry Dew, with Deseret Books, donated a lot of books to Reeve, CC and Lolly when they sent the containers here recently. Sherry Dew will be coming here to go out and deliver some books to children. Reeve ask if we can arrange to take them all to some remote areas and arrange to have children there to receive a book each. Reeve will arrange to get the books there. We will take them to Muzarabani, if all goes as planned, on April 12th. I am hoping we can send some clothing etc. there as well.

I didn't get the pictures to send yet. Sis. Mayfield is emailing them to me but they didn't come yet. I borrowed her camera yesterday but as of today I have my new camera that the girls picked up for us in South Africa. It is hard to live without a camera here with all that we are involved in.

Bye for now!! The Bullocks

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our day

Just a quick note. We spent the day with Pastor Wonder out in the Goromonzie rural areas. He wants boreholes for his people out there. We said we would look at some sites with him. We went to about 10 different villages. First at each village we had to go get the village chief (or treasurer, or secretary, or whoever....) and then go to the central site where they would like a borehole. The villages can take in an area of about 4 or 5 km. across and if we can put in a bushpump in each village it will cut down on distances that they walk for water. (although some will still walk 2 or 3 km.). I think they really can use boreholes there, especially from June - Dec (dry season). Right now, during the wet season the people are getting their water from shallow wells or the river and should boil the water but they admit that a lot of people drink it straight from the source and often get sick. We are looking and gathering information from several different areas and when the water specialists come from USA we will show them the area and they will help us decide which areas we will do. They will also help us develop the project. (maybe I told yout this already - I lose track.) Last year in Madagascar the water specialist helped develop and 5 yr. plan for water projects so that could happen here too.

It was a long day for us. It rained a lot last night so some places were wet and muddy. We were concerned a couple of times about getting out of where we were but did just fine. Pastor Wonder got us lost at one point but he would have us stop and ask directions and we had someone get in with us to show us the way out of where we were - then the person got out and walked back home. The road (trail through the tall grass) was less than desirable and Elder Bullock was not too impressed. I guess if we were to get stuck there would be plenty of guys that would show up out of the surrounding tall grass to push us out. We don't feel at all worried when we are out there. People are good to us. When we first got here we were terrified but have relaxed considerably -- although we are still cautious and careful.

Tomorrow will be a busy day. Guess what!!!!!! Our 4 transformers are finished and supposedly will be taken out tomorrow to the clinics. Also a 5000 ltr. plastic water tank is being installed out at Kadyamadare School. These projects are kind of in the same area so we will spend the day out there watching things happen, with any luck at all.

Yesterday we had a black lady Dr. come in. We had taken a lot of medical things to her office from Reeve, CC, and Lolly's container. She came to see if there were any anitbiotics but they can't disburse those, of course. She said that she is arranging with a couple of other doctors to go to a clinic in Goromonzi for one day and have people come for free. I ask her if they would need extra help because we would love to go out with them and do whatever they needed us to do. She said she would like that and will let us know when.

We stopped at a clinic out there today (I wonder if it is the clinic the Drs. might be going to work from). They have water from an electric borehole when the electricity is working. They would love a borehole with a manual bushpump. I guess we will wait and see. They need medical supplies out there too so we will ask Reeve if we can take some things out. They said their blood pressure cuff is not working and I do have one that Reeve gave me, just in case, we found someone who needed it. I will take that out when we go.

We are tired tonight and should sleep well after all the fresh air and walking into the possible borehole sites. I am glad I went back to the flat and got my running shoes. I needed them.

Beauty is cleaning our flat and doing our laundry today. That is always nice to go home to. She irons EVERYTHING!

Must get going - this turned out to be more than a short note!! :) Love to all.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Monday, March 15th, 2010

We are still busy waiting for our transformers to be finished for the clinics. ZESA is being slow but have promised them for tomorrow, however, we won’t hold our breath. It was suggested by a friend that if we were to offer them a bribe we might get them faster, but we won’t do that. Two of them are finished and the other two are to be done shortly. As soon as they are done and installed (hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for installation by ZESA) then Geo Pumps can go out and get the electric boreholes up and working.

Saturday we went to Glendale, on the road to Bindura, and taught Bigboy and his family again. The kids english is not really very good so we are going slowly and also so that we can be sure that Bigboy and his wife understand everything too. We have arranged to go again this Saturday and also to church with them in Bindura on Sunday, as his vehicle should be running again by then. After we left their place on Saturday we decided to drive to Bindura to see exactly how far it is (almost 30 km). We stopped by the church there and saw the sister missionaries that just moved into a flat there and will be working in those two branches now. They were having a baptism of a nice young lady. We learned that on Sunday they were having a baptism of 38 people (28 convert baptisms and 10 child of record). Wow! Can you believe that? We knew that the branches there are doing well but didn’t realize! They have 8 branch missionaries that obviously are working very hard and now they will have the 2 sister missionaries as well.
Later on Saturday we met the elders and went to Lawrence’s place and helped teach the prinicples of the Word of Wisdom and Chastity. I think the missionaries were a little concerned about it as his girlfriend is pregnant and living there now since her parents chased her away. We talked about what they could do to make a plan to make things right. I think it all went okay but due to lack of money they can’t go see her parents yet. They need $68 for transport there and back and he needs to take a ‘token’ ($50 - $100) to offer her parents and agree upon what labola will be. Once that is done here then they are considered to be traditionally married. Lawrence is really understanding the things the missionaries are teaching him and he has almost finished the Book of Mormon. He has been to church every week but Doreen isn’t progressing as quickly. Her English isn’t as good as his and she is very shy and quiet.

Sunday we went to Kadoma for church. The headmaster from Danangwe Primary School, who lives in Chegutu (part of Kadoma branch) asked if he could come to church with us. He brought another teacher with him. We were there about half an hour early so that gave Elder Bullock a chance to explain some basics to them before the meetings started. The talks and lessons were really good for them. They enjoyed the meetings. I was super impressed with some of the branch missionaries. By the time the meetings were done both men had a November Ensign, a Gospel Principles book and an appointment for Saturday for the branch missionaries to go to their home. We saw them again today (Monday) at the school and they thanked us again for the good day.

Next week Bruce, our water guy, will go to that area and repair the 4 boreholes. He will be there for a few days because he will retrain some men there to take care of the pumps. We will go out too for a day or two as well because we would like to watch him repair the pumps so we can know more about how it all works.

At that school we are also doing a grinding mill. The community has to build the building for it and they have started doing that. It should be done in a couple of weeks (probably more!). We have to upgrade the transformer so that it is big enough to run the mill and we met with the fellow at ZESA in Kadoma yesterday to finalize that. We also took a church member to the project with us so that he could give a quote on doing the electrical work that needs to be done. The headmaster will get 2 more quotes as well.

Well we must go – we are on our way to Bindura to meet Pastor Mhike. We will go with him meet with their Provincial Director to get the permission to do water projects in that area.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This is an emailed we just received from the Ward's who are serving in South Africa. They are working with the church records etc. and trying to teach and train throughout the SE area.

Sister Bullock

I'm sorry the picture of these three young men did not copy. They are young and slender African men, dressed in very white shirts and nice ties. It always amazes me when I see how clean and well dressed the members are, considering the circumstances in which they live. This was sent by Sister Jameson; she and Elder Jameson serve in Lubumbashi, DRC.

We were in Likasi this week and had one of the most inspiring things happen that we have ever seen personally. These are three men whom we hope never to forget. When we begin to think we have challenges, we will think of these three Congolese Saints. We don't even know their names, but their faith and courage are beyond our imagination.

These three men live in a village in the bush North of Kolwezi called Kinkondja. Having seen how it is in the villages, we would never have guessed that they lived there. Somehow, we're not sure exactly how, they learned about the church and were baptized. There are now 15 members, 6 priests, 20 investigators, all of whom usually attend church on Sunday. There are, however, 30 tithe payers. They bring the tithing from the village every 6 months when they come to District Conference. This helps us better understand the sacred nature of tithing.

They do not have the full programs of the church. As far as we know, they hold Sunday School and study only from the scriptures. They have not even been given permission to administer the sacrament. But they are faithful Saints. For District Conference some of them come to Kolwezi twice a year. This time it was only these three. It's the rainy season and it rains almost every day, making travel hard. In the dry season 10-20 people will come. Sometimes they come for a week or so in order to go to a regular church meeting to take the sacrament. It is such a show of strength and faith that they continue to meet and, even more so, that they come to District Conference. We have known too many in our life who think that Stake Conference is a vacation weekend in the church. The reason we find their coming so inspiring is that the village they live in is 520 km from Kolwezi. That's roughly 300 miles and they WALK all the way. Either there are no transports that go that far or they can't afford to pay for them. So, they WALK 300 miles to attend District Conference. It took them 2 weeks this time. That's 20 miles a day. They will stay for a week or so and then WALK another 300 miles home. On the way home they will carry boxes on their heads containing copies of the Book of Mormon that they requested. I wondered to myself--If I got up one Sunday in Tempe and my car wasn't working, would I walk to the church a few blocks away from home? Or would I just stay home because it was too far or too hot? And if it was raining all day as I walked, would I choose to go?

Before I knew who they were on Saturday, I actually noticed them. They were sitting on the front row in the chapel at the Sat. adult session and they seemed to be listening intently and taking notes. Then we were told about them. Again on Sun. I saw them on the front row and never missing a word. They had walked 300 miles to hear the gospel messages and to feel the spirit of a group of Saints. I wished so much that I had something profound to say to them and prayed for the ability to give the message I had prepared. I wanted to at least be able to be understood. I had spent many hours of work on my talk and five hours of hard traveling to get to Kolwezi, but it seemed like a pathetic offering compared to their offering made to the Lord by being there.

After the meeting Brent met with them for a few minutes. They asked if we were going to come to see their group. It almost broke our hearts. I'm not sure that a car could even get to their village and even in a car, traveling for another 300 miles down those dirt roads seems beyond our ability. But I will never forget those three great men, very small and humble in the eyes of the world, but amazing giants among men to me. I hope their demonstration of faith and devotion will be heard by many and inspire us to be more committed and willing to sacrifice. I hope to see them again and I think that I will at the next District conference in Kolwezi six months from now.

Monday, March 8th

Sorry everyone, I forgot to post this one last week...

Monday, March-08-10

Last Saturday, but one (that means 2 Saturdays ago), Feb. 27th, was Panashe’s 12th birthday. We went to see him because we have been saving a basketball for him that Reeve gave us. He was so excited when he opened the box and saw it!! We saw his mom, Zvikomberero, as well. She was excited to tell us that she has a ‘real’ job for a bus company. If we understand correctly, she writes tickets. We were really excited for her too as jobs are not easy to come by here.

Sunday the 28th, we went to the Epworth Branch – it was just made an official branch the week before. Before it was just a ‘meeting’ for 2 hrs. (sacrament meeting and Sunday school). So the week we went was their first time for the 3 hr. block. They have the cutest, young Relief Society president, who is quite nervous. Just before Relief society started she leaned over and ask me if I could teach the lesson. I ask if she had a book but she did not. She wanted me to teach about pray. When I started she suggested that I should tell them what Relief Society is. I didn’t clue in at first that most of them, if not all, really had no clue as they are mostly new members. So I explained R.S. and also visiting teaching. As I was explaining it the president was making a list of all the ladies and assigning them a companion and a couple of others to go visit. At the end she got up and read off the assignment and told them they had to visit each other during the week and she would be asking for a report the next Sunday. She was so cute! I took some pictures but that is when my camera decided to quit working.

Jim was at priesthood meeting and he was also ask to teach a lesson. This branch meets in 1 room of a school so when they split off for primary, priesthood, R.S. etc. they took a few chairs and set up under a tree. The spirit was there and that is what counts. In priesthood meeting Jim (Elder Bullock) ordained Panashe a deacon and also Gift (who was baptized a few months ago) to the office of a priest. For some reason that had not been done at the time. He was glad to do that though as we had taught them and been involved with them for quite some time. They are some of our special people here.

This past Saturday we went to Gweru to help with their district training. Pres. Paradazi is a good man and tries so hard to keep his district running smoothly. We are really impressed with him. He is worried that things aren’t as good as they should be but we told him that his concerns are really no different than anywhere else in the church. We taught about being worthy and preparing to go to the temple. I think it all went really well. I spoke first and then Jim. We ended by showing a 10 min. DVD clip called “Between Heaven and Earth”. At the end of that you could have heard a pin drop and the spirit was really strong. They all would like a copy for their branches so we said we would try and do that for them. Afterwards one sister told me that she has a date set to go to the temple and she is just praying that nothing will happen to her before she can go do that. She does not want to die without those temple ordinances. These people want to get there so badly and they are really working hard to make it happen.

We stayed overnight in Gweru at really quite a nice new lodge. They told us that there were two places to eat supper, one Western food and one Chinese food. We opted for the Chinese and walked over to where we thought it was. When we got there and ask we found we were in the wrong place. A fellow said he was the “food and beverage’ man and was headed that way and would give us a ride. We squeezed into his truck and it was further than we had thought and wished we had driven our vehicle over but figured we could walk back okay with our flashlight. After eating (it was an ok meal) we were walking away and the fellow came running to catch up and said he was giving us a ride back to our room. He had borrowed a different truck so we would be more comfortable. We were glad for the ride as I was a little nervous to walk back in the dark and it would have taken us 10 minutes or more. We tipped him a dollar!

Sunday we left and headed to KweKwe for church as it is on our way home. We left after Sacrament meeting and drove for about an hour when suddenly I realized we had left our computer at the lodge in Gweru. YIKES! We called the missionaries there and ask them to go see if they had it and it was there safe and sound!! Whew!!!!! We decided we had to turn around and go back and get it so our 3 ½ hr. trip home ended up being about 6 ½ hr. instead .

Today was Zone conference and we had Elder and Sister Merrill, the mission doctor here. They gave some excellent counsel and we will all get a handout of it soon. They are from California but originally he is from Alberta – in fact his ancestors are from Mountain View and Hillspring. He is related through the Wests somehow and says that we are related – I didn’t really understand how but he did refer to “Uncle Billie”Payne!!! The Merrills are in their 70’s and this is their 5th mission (medical). They spent 3 in Western Africa, one in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and now here. They have sold their house and have only a few boxes of possessions. She said by the time they cannot serve missions they will be ready for a senior’s home or to be living with one of their kids. They said that there was 2 months between the last missions. I thought you had to wait 6 months between but apparently that has been changed now.

Mayfields have arrived for Home evening so........ we will give them a small version of our temple presentation.

Tuesday morning: We played squash this morning and got a good workout even if I never win a game playing against Ishmael and Melvin. I am lucky to even get a few points. We got home and had no power, but that is normal for Tuesday. We used the generator and had our shower. We have a couple of meetings today – one at a clinic and one with ZESA (electrical company).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pictures from our trip to Muzarabani

Our camera isn't working that great these days, so the Mayfield's lent us their camera. I like the picture of the 3 little kids holding hands and there is one picture of a boy that is skinny (you can see his ribs) standing beside one with an extended stomach (lack of food). This is an area where we have seen some real poverty and hungry people. Their crops are ruined this year because the rains came too late.

The truck looks worse in real life than on the pictures.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Our adventure

Hi everyone, We went to Muzarabani this morning and were planning to stay overnight there, however, we decided to come back to Harare. It has been raining there for 2 weeks straight and things were rather wet and muddy. Just before we got to Muzarabani, Seka took us off the main road to check out the place that we were suppose to stay overnight. We got part way up that road only to find that a bridge was half washed out. We went back and a little further down the road was the 2nd choice for our overnight stay. We left the main road again and went past a place that didn't look too inviting. Seka said to drive a little further. We went down a bit of a hill and there was a white lady camping out in sort of a campground area.

We stopped and talked to her and she told us not to go any further and she said that she hoped we had a 'four wheel drive' so we could get back out of where we were. Well -- we don't have a four wheel drive!!!!!!

She was about my age. They are from South Africa and her husband has a contract to build a road nearby there and he was gone somewhere to buy diesel to bring back for the machinery. Anyway, she suggested that we try and back out rather than turn around. We tried but......
Jim went forward into a small stream where he could get some grip from the rocks and made a run for it ..... several times. There was mud spraying up the sides of the truck.

The lady suggested that he wouldn't get out unless we pushed so between me, Seka and the lady pushing we slowly managed to get out of there. We got up the incline and were able to turn around and drove out ok after that. I managed to stay mostly out of the line of flying mud but got splattered a bit on my shoes and legs.

We decided after that we didn't want to stay and go out into the rurals looking at borehole sites when things were that muddy and wet. Not a good idea!!! Besides, we didn't know that we can't buy diesel there for our truck and didn't have enough to go tour the borehole sites AND get back to Harare. So - we have arranged to go back on March 30 and 31st and try again if it is dry. We will take some jerry cans of diesel with us next time too.

We took some clothing up and gave it to Pastor Mhike to distribute (a lot of loose stuff that we had that needed to be cleaned up). Also took a bit of soap and also some clothes for Seka's mother and some stuff called "nutrition for children" that Reeve and the girls brought in their container. It is a rice/lentil mix with some seasoning. People up in that area are hungry due to the fact that their maize crop is a write-off since the rain came too late. We didn't see his mother as she was out working in the field somewhere but he did see his sister. We tried to put the things into her hut quickly before neighbors started gathering and would see what we had. It worked, I think. We just didn't have enough to give to others.

Seka says he is going to give us an acre of land there so we can build ourselves a hut and move in!!!!! It is a beautiful area but.................. lot of buts......

We did give the kids candy (sweeties) and Jim juggled his tennis balls for them and tried to teach them how to do it. They like that. The kids were also making a high jump standard out of twigs. I took a few pictures and will have to send them tomorrow. I didn't get any pictures of us trying to get out of the mud though. My camera is doing weird things suddenly and I don't know how to fix it. I borrowed Mayfield's camera today. I think we may have to email Reeve and ask if she can buy us a camera in Australia or SA on their way back from the golf tour. They will be back about the middle of March.

Anyway - it is getting late so I better run. Love to all, Elder & Sister Bullock

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tongwa landslide update

Just thought I would forward this to you. This is about a village in the remote northern area of Zambia. This fellow, Alan Rise, has been emailing us in hopes that we will use some area initiative money to ship a container that he is filling to the village. He apparently built the school and clinic there for the village. Now that his has happened I don't know what he will want to do. Our superior in SA says we can help with the shipping if we want but he doesn't really think it is something we need to do. We were feeling that way too as it would take 1/3 of our initiative budget ($15,000) to ship the container. This emergency will likely change his plans somewhat -- OR I suppose he could want to get the container there even more so.



This is the report I just received from the local missionary in Tongwa about the disaster.The pictures are from the and around the clinic area. I am still waiting for the pictures of the school.
Report From Lewis Musonda on situation in Tongwa:

On Sunday morning, 21 February, between 4 and 5am, there was a flash flood through Tongwa and a large landslide in the village of Kalala. Thankfully no one was killed in Tongwa and there were only one or two minor injuries, but in Kalala eight people were killed and their homes crushed with huge rocks. Here are the details about these two situations. There had been many heavy rains up on the plateau. The rivers had been flooded there, and on the 21st, the water came down in a wall of water over 2 meters high. The water came down the small streams and joined into the stream that goes through Tongwa to the lake. The water brought many stones
with it and was too much to fit in the stream. The water flowed over the banks and rushed around behind the school and through the village past the headman’s house and around the clinic. Lewis was awake in the night before the flash flood occurred because of the heavy rain and thunder and lightning.

Right before the flood, a fisherman went to try to get his big fishing net out of his boat. He was at the boat when the flash flood came through and the boat was thrown on top of him. Thankfully he was able to swim down under it and escape, but the boat and net were lost. The fishing inspectors from Mpulungu were in Tongwa at the time and their boat with a 40 horsepower engine was also lost. Some people were able to pick up fish from the water that were brought down the mountain by the flood. The stream where the people in Tongwa collected their drinking water was expanded to several meters deep and is now filled with many stones that came down from the mountain. At the mouth of the stream, there is now a ridge of stones. The water is very muddy, but the people have no option but to still drink from it. For the first several days the stream was so wide and deep that no one could cross and they had to take a small boat from one side of the village to the other. The water eroded away the land several meters down
right next to the school. Now there remains only one meter of ground between the school and the drop off into the stream. The school has a large crack through the front and back walls and the floor. The clinic is standing, but the ground around it has been washed away by the water. The headman’s house was partially washed away on the first day and has now collapsed completely.

Several other houses and toilets have also completely collapsed. On that Sunday, the water continued running through the village until around 10 in the morning and the rains continued up until 12. The people were running around very afraid and not knowing what to do. Even up to now the people are afraid to sleep in their houses at night if it is raining for fear another flood will come and their houses will collapse on top of them. The children are in danger because they play on the edges of the areas where the water made valleys and these cliff edges are ready to collapse. These are on the sides of the stream and the sides of the path the water took through the village – around the back of the school and by the headman’s house and the clinic.

The headman went to Mpulungu to talk to the DC on that Sunday the 21st. Government officials have visited Kalala, the place where people were killed by the landslide and some have visited Tongwa. There were rumors that the government would chase the people from Tongwa because it is not safe, but Lewis spoke to the DC and it is not true. But the fishermen are not fishing now because they are afraid of what will happen in the village while they are gone. The school is also closed. Many people are saying that the cause of this disaster was witchcraft. The government promised tents and food to those who had lost their homes, but none have been provided yet. Many people lost food, and the water is very bad to drink. Some also lost cash that was washed
away in the storm. In Kalala village, next to Tongwa, the side of the village was built in a valley. The houses that were built here were completely crushed by a huge landslide. It is like a road of rocks now, leading from the mountain down to the lake. Stones as big as houses came down and crushed all the trees and homes. Eight people died including a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. The others were two men and three children. The men were from a nearby village and were there for fishing.

These people were the only ones staying there where the landslide happened, there were no survivors. Now you cannot even see that houses had been there. You can see large trunks of trees lying on top of and under the rocks. Teams of men have gone there to try to retrieve the bodies, but even with dynamite they are unable to find them.

My wife and I are still trying to assess the damages to the school but it does not look good at this point. Depending on the outcome we may be looking for volunteers right away to go fix the school or to build a new one. If you would like to come or donate to this project please let me know.

Thank you, Alan Riser