Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24th - Yeah!! My birthday!!

We started our day by going to play squash at 5:15 a.m.. Reeve and Lolly were there and brought me a b.d. present. That was really nice of them. They gave me 3 squash balls, an Australia T-shirt, 3 prs. of socks, and some nice smelling soap from Bath & Body. That was a nice way to start my day! :) Those girls are so good to us.

We came to the church to watch the DVD of general conference only to find that they decided to postpone showing it to next weekend - I think they forgot to announce it last Sunday. However, Elder Bullock is teaching the first discussion to a young man (Lawrence's friend). If you remember - Lawrence and Doreen are getting baptized May 8th. "The Professor", Bro. Matize, is here with us and bore a beautiful testimony. (The young man that is here doesn't have his Restoration Pamphlet that we gave him before because his friend that he stays with took it and he also wants to be taught.) We could do this full time.

We are taking the Professor home afterwards and he wants us to talk to a Pastor that lives nearby him and has some questions. The Professor has been telling him about the church. We wondered what we would do today when we found out that conference was postponed but..... our day is already filling up with good things.

Later..... We've been to the Professors' home and they seem to be basically okay (this note is for the Taylors). He is getting $50 a month pay and the rent is $40 so that leaves $10 to live on for the month. That is pretty tough but he rides his bike to work (1 1/2 hrs. one way) and he just keeps hoping that things will improve and that they will start paying him what he is suppose to get. He has a supply of maize that he just harvested from his garden. We gave them a bag of naatchies. He will be to church tomorrow.
We went to the Pastor's house with him and the wife and children were there but the Pastor is away so we will have to try and meet him another day.

We are heading home for a while and will go out for supper with Mayfields to celebrate my birthday. The Bowens are in Malawi for a few days so that they can re-enter the country and renew their Visas as they are still waiting for their TEP's to get approved.

Love to all

Monday, April 19, 2010

Things I forgot to tell you

If I don't write it down then I forget half of the things that I want to write. For some reason I remembered this last night - maybe because I needed something to smile about!

After we had been to view Victoria Falls and we were waiting on the small bus for the last of our group we suddenly noticed quite the sight. There was a big tour bus a little ways from us and there were three white ladies in front of the bus. They were probably about our ages. I guess they were wet from being at the Falls and they decided to change clothes -- right there!! It was as if they were in a locker room or something. Off came the clothes - all of them. They did try and wrap a towel around but there was nothing left to the imagination. The Elders (our husbands) were doing their best to look out the other window but we sisters couldn't believe our eyes and watched the whole process!! :) Our bus driver was getting a good chuckle listening to our exclamations as the different pieces of clothes were removed etc.

We heard yesterday that two days before we went on our trip there that an American man had gotten too friendly with a hippo and the hippo bit his foot off. They rushed him to a hospital and they couldn't help him so they sent him somewhere else. By the time he got the right help he did end up losing most of his leg as the turniky (sp) had been on too long. YIKES!! They say that more people are killed by hippos than any other animal.

We were commenting one day as we looked out at the beautiful lake near the Inn on Great Zimbabwe that if that was in America there would be a ton of boats, sea-doos etc. and it would be surrounded by summer cottages - then we realized that it is not so here because the lake has crocodiles and hippos in it, as do most lakes and rivers here.

I will send some pictures for the blog. We went to Howard Hospital last Tuesday to watch as patches were taken off people's eyes. It is part of our friends' Reeve, CC, and Lolly - Eyes for Zimbabwe - where cataract surgery is done for free for the people. The Doctor and nurses donate their time and Eyes for Zimbabwe donates the supplies, which cost about $20 per surgery. There was a man (and a woman) there who haven't been able to see for about 3 years. When they took off the patch and they could see it was so awesome! They had the biggest smiles ever! They do one eye at a time - so later that day their other eye would be done. We were going to get back in time to the hospital to actually witness the surgery taking place but we didn't make it. The Dr. did 26 more surgeries on Tuesday though. I think they did more than 70 over a few days. Cataracts are a big problem here due to smoke, dust, etc. etc.

We distributed some new born kits at the hospital to the new mothers that were there. The girls also donated a lot of medical supplies that came in the containers, as well as some clothing to be distributed to those that the hospital felt were in need. Dr. Thistle from Toronto is the head doctor there. He has been here for 14 years. He goes back once a year to Canada for a month or so. There was a lady there from Toronto helping with some education. She was here for 5 weeks and was about to go home. She gave me a big hug just because she was homesick for someone from home. There were also 2 men there that had come from Toronto for 2 weeks to just help out at the hospital where ever they could. They went with us out to an orphange were we took some clothes, toys and food. They were taking a lot of pictures as they hadn't been able to get out there due to lack of transport. They also went with us to a school where it had been previously arranged to have children gather. We handed out Bibles and the children's New Testament Stories that the church prints. We also gave all the children an Article of Faith card that has the picture of Christ with the children on it.

Along the road through the bush areas and at the school we handed out clothes to some children and some New Testament books. The children in the bush are the ones that really need the clothes. It was a good day!! We got home late but that's okay.

Our trip to distribute in Muzarabani came with it's challenges but we were able to help some of the children with mealie meal, Bibles, New Testament Story books, socks, pens/pencils, etc. We weren't allowed to take pictures though but that's okay.

13 Apr 2010 - Men who had cataract surgery and more waiting

13 Apr 2010 - Women who had cataract sugery and more waiting for surgery today

13 Apr 2010 - A happy man who is seeing for the first time in 3 years

13 Apr 2010 - Elder Bullock putting sun glasses on eye patient after removal of patch

13 Apr 2010 - Happy lady whose sight has been restored

13 Apr 2010 - Sister Bullock and lady from Toronto. She was excited to see someone from home. She is here at Howard Hospital for 5 weeks.

13 Apr 2010 - Elder Bullock with Dr. Thistle - the head Dr. at Howard Hospital. He is from Toronto but has been here for 14 years. He works 12+ hours every day.

13 Apr 2010 - Preemie at Howard Hospital - born at 6 months (twin died)

13 Apr 2010 - Two Canadians from Toronto here for 2 weeks to do whatever the hospital needs them to do.

13 Apr 2010 - Kids got clothes and a toy

13 Apr 2010 - Girls got new dresses - made by adding a skirt to bottom of T-shirts. They are just great for the kids here.

13 Apr 2010 - Kids in their new clothes and dresses

13 Apr 2010 - Students received a Bible, 2 pens, socks and a notebook

13 Apr 2010 - All these kids got a New Testament Story book plus the clothes and toys

13 Apr 2010 - Lolly putting ointment and bandages on the sores on this girl's legs (ringworm, I think)

13 Apr 2010 - Showing us the orphanage poultry project - will be ready to sell in one more week.

13 Apr 2010 - Girls with their dresses

13 Apr 2010 - Kids at the orphanage with their new shirts and dresses

Today was Zone conference and we managed to attend a bit of it. We had a couple of meetings as well to do with LDSC as we didn't realize it was Zone conference day. O well.

Love to all of you, The Bullocks

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hi to all,

We had a great week away for our couple's conference. We had a few hours of meetings at the hotel that were really good. It was nice to get to know and be with all the couples in the mission as we never see the ones in Malawi and Zambia.

Four of the couples drove to the Falls and we stopped on the way (about 2 hrs. before the Falls) at Hwange National Park. We stayed overnight there at a lodge. It was just okay there. In the evening and morning we drove around through the animal park for a while but really didn't see a lot. Apparently there is usually quite a bit to see. There was no food to be had there and we decided that rather than drive a few km. to a nearby place we just combined what we had and made-do. We each had half a sandwich, a few chips, and a piece of fruit. It worked out just fine.

The next morning we left for the Falls and ate lunch when we got to our hotel. We stayed at the Kingdom Hotel and it was VERY nice. What a treat it was for all of us. We went on a 'sunset cruise' on the Zambezi River. We didn't see much wildlife but it was relaxing and beautiful scenery. Wednesday morning we were picked up and taken to Botswana where we had another river cruise on the Chobe ?? river. It was really nice and we did see a lot of hippos, neat looking birds, a few crocodiles, and a lot of elephants. We saw one group of hippos where we counted 48 total - just basking in the river, keeping cool.

We had lunch and then were taken on an animal drive. That was fun and we saw hundreds of elephants. We were right up close to them but were assured that they wouldn't hurt us and they didn't. We were on a safari vehicle, not walking around. It was pretty neat. We also saw a female lion and her cub laying under some trees but I didn't get a picture. It was a great day of sightseeing. We returned back to our hotel at Victoria Falls and had a nice supper and they had some entertainment - traditional dancing and singing.

Thursday morning we went to see the Falls. They were amazing with sooo much water going over. It is the end of the rainy season so the falls are at their fullest and it was extremely misty. We got thoroughly soaked, even with our rain coats on. The mist was so much at times that it just poured rain on us in certain areas. My new camera got damp and quit working but we managed to dry it out and it seems to be okay, for the most part. Whew!! It would be nice to see the falls again when the water is not so high but we likely will not be able to do that. We could not see all the way across the falls due to the mist. There is enough water going over the falls in one day that they could supply all of Jo'berg with water to drink and for their crops for 1 year.

We left Thursday afternoon and drove back to our lodge at Hwange Park and spent the night. We got up early and headed back to Harare. We had a great time visiting with the couples and enjoyed the time together.

Posing with singers and dancers

Along the Zambezi River

Zambezi River Cruise

Sunset on Zambezi River

Zambezi River at dusk (on cruise)

Beautiful - huge Zambezi (runs into Indian Ocean)

Kingdom Hotel at Victoria Falls - very nice!!

Entering Botswana for another River Cruise and a game drive

Hope this sign helps!!

Teak Trees along river

Lily pads on River

Lily pads, etc. on river

Young crocodile

Interesting looking tree and vines

Look at all the hippos!


Wow! Here come the elephants for a drink!


Here comes the BIG daddy

Bath time - See the one splashing muddy water onto her baby (on shore)


President and Sister Dube'

Dung beetle - pushing a ball of dung (lays eggs inside and then it feeds babies for 2 weeks)

Pregnant giraffe. Babies are born with mother standing. The drop 'kick starts' them. If born with mother laying down they would die.

We saw sooooo many elephants (hundreds of them in Botswana)

View of river from land animal cruise (the river was very high)

Our group of missionary couples with Pres. and Sis. Dube'

Part of Victoria Falls -- so much water!!!

Lots of mist

More of the Falls - Water is at it's highest at this time of year

Vic Falls

Further along the Falls

The main falls -- because of the high water and mist we could not see across the whole falls at once


Victoria Falls

Still more of them

This is from the mist which is a lot of places was heavy rain. We got soaked even with our rain capes.

Yesterday we went to Kadoma to church and the head master from Danangwe school went to church again. Afterwards he told me that he wants to get baptized. I told him that he needs to be taught the discussions and that we would like to teach his family along with him. He has a wife and 3 teenage children. Actually the branch missionaries from Kadoma will teach them. Later in the day we got a text message from Lawrence. He has arranged labola with Doreen's parents and they are now traditionally married. He has set a baptism date. We were excited to hear that because he is a really good young man.

We are to go to Muzarabani today to take up food and books etc., but are having great difficulties getting a truck so we are not sure if it is going to happen. We are all still working on it.

Must run and get back to work. Love to all, Sister Bullock