Sunday, May 9, 2010 (Mother’s Day)
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