Friday, April 13, 2012
So much to say, so little internet access! We're safely in Zimbabwe and in the amazing care of our new friends, Farai and Mildred, and their family. In fact, I'd say, we're already family. We're living with them, sharing their home and it feels very comfortable. Water is plentiful and clean in Zimbabwe although it may not always come when you want it. Running water can mean an hour in the morning, an hour in the middle of the night or maybe not at all for a few days. Electricity is on the same schedule. It doesn't matter. You bath when you can. Cook on the fire if the stove is not working. Last night we made pancakes for the entire family (10 of us) on the fire outside. Maple "flavoured" syrup from S. Africa was the closest we could manage to a Canadian meal but it was well received...we thought. Then we walked into the kitchen to find the little girls scarfing down sadsa (nshima, pap) as fast as they could behind the closed door, pancakes discarded in the corner! So funny. They looked like they were busted for a crime when I came in but I laughed and then they did too! If they only knew how many granola bars I've had discreetly while funneling fish or sadsa off my plate onto some small child's nearby. Zimbabwe is warm and welcoming. Mountainous and lush. Water is clean, containers? Maybe not so. Easton and I learned the hard way but thankfully other than some embarassing moments vomiting in a supermarket parking lot behind a bush (not so discreet as the only mzungu!) or Easton having to use a "toilet" hole in the ground while naked men showered and small children watched him...we've survived. No stomach pains...just some gross moments as our bodies react to some weird little bug in our system. We're fine now and even on the days we weren't well, we did a lot of walking and home visits etc without any interruptions so that was really good. The care workers here are inspiring to say the least. I hope to share many, many of their stories as we are able. Each one could be a book in its own right and an example of love lived out. The community of Sekubva has 18 care workers that love the children that are abandoned, orphaned and vulnerable. They love the grannies and the aunties that are struggling to put food on the table. It's going to be a hungry year. It's a drought year and with that comes so much hunger and angst. Water, while plentiful, doesn't fill bellies. Living conditions are crowded and urban and difficult and yet the people we've met? Open. Friendly. Polite. Welcoming. Loving. Worried? Yes. Hungry? Almost always. The Zimbabwean dollar has totally collapsed as the economy here bottomed out. Denominations of 50,000,000 Zimbabwean dollars aren't worth the paper they are printed on. One granny told us that she doesn't ever even hope to hold a U.S. Dollar. More will come as we are able to share but let me just ask you this. If you pray, pray for Zimbabwe. Pray for the grannies and the aunties, the children and the communities. There is so much hurt and hunger here. If you "send good thoughts", send them this way. Just south of Zambia, ten miles to the west of the Mozambique border, through the Honde Valley and around the Bvumba mountains. This is just a corner of Zimbabwe.