Friday, May 28, 2010
We have just had the wheelchair short term specialists here (Elder and Sister Dow) and they were also accompanied by Elder and Sister Cullimore who introduced the new food production initiative that is available for church members. We spent a lot of time in meetings with organizations to determine if they will be suitable partners in the wheelchair project. We appreciate the couples coming and working on these things as they have expertise in the areas.
We are emailing back and forth with our short term water specialists that want to come here in July and we will hopefully be ready for them. They will spend about 2 weeks with us and look at the projects we are considering and help get a couple of them started. We have a budget of $300K for water this year so we can do quite a few boreholes. We have a LOT to do before the specialists come (Elder and Sister Johnson from SLC).
The measles campaign that was scheduled for June 14 - 19th in Zambia has been changed by the gov't. to July 19 - 24th. Gary Flake and his wife are already in Zambia getting things and people organized and now with the postponement will not even be here for it. They have asked that we still come to Zambia in June as planned so that they can show us what is happening and then we will go back again in July and carry on where they have to leave off. That has made our July a very busy time. We are looking forward to doing the measles campaign though and seeing Zambia.
As our time here is winding down we just get busier and the time really is going so fast. We have decided that if all works out we will do a stopover in London on our way home and spend 5 days there. A travel agent here is going to help us plan it since we don't really have a clue or the time to do it. She is an agent that the mission uses all the time to book all the flights that take place here. She also knows the things in England well. That will be a fun thing to do and we can have a chance to relax a bit and wind down.
Today we have a lunch meeting with a man from ZIMRA (revenue authority) that apparently has power to make decisions so that we can hopefully get them to understand and help the church here import special temple clothing that is sold for a very cheap price to the members. We are presently having a hard time getting things cleared and having to pay too much. Pres. Dube and ourselves will go the meeting. This is the second meeting about this but the first with
this particular person.
Later today we have the Coordinating council with all the Stake and District Presidents and Pres. Dube, of course. Bro. Bricknel from SA comes up and does those meetings and they are always very good. They discuss issues and get some training. We meet @ 5:30 for a couple of hours and then they take everyone to eat. We went last night and booked dinner at Cascais (a Portuguese chicken restaurant) that has good food and good prices. There will be 15 of us there. The Coordinating council continues again at 7 a.m. but only the priesthood goes to that part. I don't need to be there. They conclude with a lunch and then Bro. Bricknell hurries to catch his flight back to Jo'berg.
Yesterday we went with Bro. Matize (the professor) to visit a Primary School where his daughter attends. There are almost 1000 kids there. We had a good visit with them. We looked at their bushpump and also looked at the idea of putting a grinding mill there for them. It would be nice to help them but.... not sure if we have time to develop the project right now before we go. SA is also waiting for feedback on the grinding mills we have done to decide if we can do more. The feedback will be very positive though. We just really think they are great self sustaining projects that can really help the schools which benefits a lot of children. The professor told them about our grinding mills so of course, they wanted to talk to us and plead their case.
This is for Elder and Sister Taylor -- The Professor has been moved to guard the German Ambassador's house and will be full time again and he will start getting the proper salary again ($150 a month). He says that ambassador will not put up with them not getting paid. Supposedly they will also gradually pay him the arrears that he is owed since Christmas time but who knows if that will actually happen. He feels like his prayers are being answered (and yours). He is a good man. He and his wife are thinking about what they can do to start some sort of business (maybe chickens).
I must get to work. I need to do my monthly financial report and some updating on my files.
This really is a great work and hopefully we have done what we were sent here to do. We appreciate the support of friends and especially our wonderful family. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again.
Love to all, The Bullocks
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The weekend with Sister Julie Beck was wonderful. The training she did on Saturday was great and I took lots of notes so that I can pass the information on to our branches that we shepherd. She also did a fireside on Sunday afternoon and that was good as well. Elder Watson from the Area presidency also spoke and that was great.
Monday morning we picked them all up at the hotel and took them to see the Kowoyo Clinic and the grinding mill we did. Sis. Beck was so nice and took her time to talk to the nurses at the clinic and thank them for all they do. She also did the same at the mill. Behind the mill is a little preschool and we stopped there briefly. The little children sang a couple of songs to us and were so cute. I think she enjoyed it all. She is on the board that approved the humanitarian aid that is given throughout the world so it is nice that she can see some of what is being done.
We had to hurry back to Harare and take them to the airport so they could fly back to Jo'berg and then on to a couple of other countries.
We then rushed to a hotel to pick up our wheelchair specialists and food production specialists and their wives that we picked up at the airport Sunday at noon. We have been in meetings with them since then. One of the men, Bro. Cullimore, is Luella Payne's brother. He is a very nice man and we had a great conversation with him this afternoon and he helped us a lot with ideas for preparation for our water specialists along with other things.
We have met with people that will be possible partners in a wheelchair project. Things look good but the the partner does have to still prove that they can do what we need them to do.
We are meeting with the STS (short term specialists) and Bro. Elks in a few minutes as they are taking us out for supper so I must run. We are well and can't believe how fast the month has gone as we are so very busy with a lot of things.
Love to all, The Bullocks
Sister Beck and Elder Watson at Kowoyo Clinic where we have put in the new transformer and repaired the borehole
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Love, The Bullocks
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Congratulations to Curtis and Cindy on their wedding. It sounds like all went very well and it was a wonderful couple of days for them. We are looking forward to getting pictures and meeting our new daughter-in-law.
I wasn’t really sure that they celebrated Mother’s Day here but it was mentioned a couple of times in church and in Relief Society the primary children came in at the end and sang a song for the mothers. They then passed cookies out to each lady and the children went around and hugged everyone.
This has been another week of multiple power outages. I think it is been off more than it has been on but we manage to cope with it.
We went to Chegutu and signed the contract with the electrician who will electrify the grinding mill building at Danangwe School. We had to buy the armoured cable to go underground from the transformer to the building. We needed 30 meters and it cost $440. This week we will transfer the money to ZESA for the transformer and order the grinding mill. Things are moving along well with the project. They want to have the ‘turn over’ ceremony on August 4th before we go home.
The turn over ceremony for Kadyamadare School grinding mill will be held on June 11th. It should prove to be a fun day. We tried to plan it for when Bronte will be here.
Saturday was the baptism of Lawrence and Doreen. It was great to see their big smiles. He bore his testimony and said that several months ago he had been buying a few things at SPAR (grocery store) and he saw these two white people pushing their trolley with big smiles on their faces (that was us! :)). He said that we talked to him and took his phone number but then he forgot about us for a few months. One day he and his friend Make showed up at the mission office looking for us and wanted to learn more about the church. We didn’t remember meeting him but that is beside the point (it was when we first got to Zimbabwe and we were still in a daze). We ended up teaching Lawrence and Doreen and then the missionaries took over as we just didn’t have the time we needed to spend with them. Lawrence and Doreen are now traditionally married and will have their baby in July. Doreen is very shy and quiet. We have recently made contact with Make again and the missionaries will start teaching him.
Saturday we went to the church ‘public relations’ conference (in the afternoon). We made some good contacts that will help us with our water projects. One of the leaders there works at ZIMWA (Zimbabwe Water Authority) and we have been wanting to make contact with them for a while but couldn’t find them when we checked addresses from the phone book. We will meet with him on Monday morning. We also had someone suggest an Old People’s Home that needs a borehole (in Bulowayo) so we will look into that. We have been wondering about looking in the Masvingo area for possible boreholes and found someone who can help us with the contacts we need to do that. That will keep us busy for the next couple of weeks. After that we have Sister Beck coming here (22nd of May) and she will do some training and a fireside and we have been asked to take her out the morning she leaves and show her a couple of our humanitarian projects. At that same time we have our wheelchair specialists and Bro. Elks coming for a couple of days to work with us and also a couple who want to look at possible garden projects. That will be a busy week.
We managed to have 3 hours of electricity on Sunday (3 – 6 p.m.) and it came on late this morning. We will see how long it lasts today. When the power goes off at the mission office they have a big generator that runs everything so that is good. We have no internet this morning though so will send this off when I can.
The power only last until about 5 p.m. and was still off this morning. We haven’t been home to check on it today. We had a nice business lunch yesterday with a couple of important men. When we showed up unexpected at the restaurant they knew who these guys were and they jumped to attention and gave us excellent service and were quick. It was rather fun, actually. The meeting went well but we have to call the one man’s personal assistant to make an appointment with another man who can help us out -- hopefully making it easier to clear some church clothing coming into the country on a regular basis. The MP set up the meeting today for us.
Today we met up with the MP again at a meeting we were having at Kowoyo Clinic with the committee there that will oversee the borehole etc. He is so good with the people and really wants to help them become self sustaining. He took us a few km. away to a school where he wanted to introduce us to a 12 year old boy that needs a wheelchair. Wow – does he ever need a wheelchair. If I can I will make sure he gets on the top of the list when we start distributing. The head master at the school discovered this boy not long ago in a village and asked the parents to please let him come to school. He has not been to school until now as children like this tend to get hidden away. His legs are no good at all and he walks with his hands AND he comes about 5 km. to school on his hands. I could see right away that he has very strong arms. It was hard not to want to cry for him but.... we will try and help him as soon as we can get the wheelchair project on the move.
We went back to the clinic and met with the council. The water tank that we replaced there is on a stand about 2 meters high that was already in place. The MP said he will supply a 6 meter stand so that even if the power is off they can still get water through the taps in the clinic because the higher stand will allow for better ‘gravity feed’. He will also supply some PVC pipes to replace the existing metal ones that are beginning to corrode. He is also the MP where one of our grinding mills is at Kadyamadare School. He has already helped us there by talking to the council when there was a problem and help train them on how the run the mill so that they can be successful. I know I have said this before but we are so impressed with this man and he is so grateful for what LDSC has done in his area and he wants to make sure that his people appreciate it too.
We also went out this afternoon to Pastor Sikiyani’s place where we want to repair his electric borehole and fix a couple of taps for him. The nearby school with 1000 kids could get water there and also about 300 households that live in the area. Some have shallow, hand dug wells but they go dry before the season is over. It will cost about $1100 to fix it.
We had a good couple of days. If we hear back that we can meet with a couple of people tomorrow, we will head down to Bulowayo and come back on Thursday. We are looking into ‘water’ down there. On Friday about noon we are heading to Masvingo (taking the Bowens with us) and will also hopefully meet with some water people there. We will stay at the Inn on Great Zimbabwe and will go to the Ruins on Sat. morning. We will meet with the Br. Pres. etc. in the afternoon and go to church there Sunday. Elder Bullock has to do an audit of the branch as well. Bowens are looking forward to a couple of nights away as it has been stressful for them to learn the ‘runnings’ of the mission office. Our calendar just keeps filling up.
Love to all, The Bullocks
Lolly and CC etc. We did have a great time doing this.
Hope you get all the pictures etc. ok. Let us know. E/S Bullock
SUNNY Greetings from Turkey!!
After some VERY BUSY time in Zimbabwe we are finally able to slow down a little (we are back to work on the ‘Ladies European Tour’) and write some of our happenings with photographs.
Firstly, we would like to say a GREAT BIG ‘THANK-YOU’ TO EACH OF YOU once again for all of your very kind help with the GREAT work that has been done in Zimbabwe!
Each of these Children were an ABSOLUTE ‘joy’ to be with, their gratitude, their excitement and their WONDERFUL Spirits can NEVER be forgotten!!
In just one such instance during our visit to Muzuribani (most northern point of Zimbabwe) where thousands had congregated, all in the hopes of their Children and the Orphans receiving some books & food, we formed a line where the Children would come with their siblings to receive their allocation of books, pens, Article of Faith Cards, sweets, socks and food…within that line came a single little Girl on her own (7 years old), as thin as could be, in her hands she carried her small metal bowl in the hopes of receiving some food that day…in exchange she received her books etc. and a 10kg (22 pound) bag of mealie-meal which would feed her for 40 days!! What work could be any greater than this?!
In the bush it is ALWAYS FUN to stop on the roadside and to give to whomever is walking there, the BEST part by far is then driving away and watching as they literally run and jump for joy at what they have received…It is SO FUN!!
Most of the groups of Children sang and danced in appreciation for what they had received.
An eye camp ALWAYS humbles us, seeing each of those patients rely solely on full-time assistance of another (and have usually done so for MANY years) helps us to realign our gratitude and accountability in continuing to make such surgeries available for ALL in need!!
WE LOVE ZIMBABWE for SO MANY reasons, however the main reason would have to be the incredible generosity of the people…they have little to give, yet they give you their happiness…they have almost NOTHING, yet they are SO HAPPY!
...They give you their smiles…EVERYONE has one with them!
...They give you their hearts…so caring, kind and grateful!
...They give you their laughter…laughter is a way of life!
...They give you their chatter and inclusion into their hearts…although you might be a complete stranger, they will share with you as though you had been Friends forever!
...And they especially share with you their love & respect towards God, whom they REALLY believe is watching over them, listening to them and answering their every Prayer!
We have felt absolutely BLESSED to have had this opportunity to serve our people, their gracious and humble mannerisms in ‘receiving’ is a great reminder to us of that which we have ALWAYS known, yet often times have forgotten.
There were MANY instances where photography was inappropriate…however here are a few pictures sharing in some of ‘their moments of joy’…enjoy…
I ALWAYS TELL LOLLY & CC TO ONLY BRING INTO THE TRUCK THAT WHICH YOU ARE PREPARED TO GIVE AWAY
…INCLUDING THEIR LUNCH!!
IT WAS AMAZING…WITH THE DUST AND ALL!!!
CLOTHING, BOOKS, AND NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR ALL!!
SOME CLOTHES, A TOY, CANDY & A BOOK TO BRING LITERACY INTO THEIR YOUNG LIVES!
…A BIBLE, PAPER & PENS WERE GIVEN TO EACH CHILD
…AFTER A FIVE MINUTE SURGERY, THE FOLLOWING DAY MARIA COULD SEE!! AN ABSOLUTE MIRACLE!
JUST WAITING FOR THE BUS’ IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BUSH,
WE WERE ABLE TO STOP AND GIVE THIS UMBUYA (GRANDMOTHER) SOME READING GLASSES AND A BIBLE
SHE WAS SO, SO HAPPY!!!!
AT OUR ‘HIGHLANDS WARD’ CHAPEL…LOCAL CHILDREN FROM THE NEIGHBOURHOOD FILLING UP CONTAINERS OF WATER EACH MORNING TO CARRY HOME