I haven't written as often lately but I guess that is because we have been so busy. It seems like everything is happening at once so we are trying to multi-task and get everything done. It has been rather overwhelming lately.
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