Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Update from Zimbabwe!

Greetings to all you beautiful people out there in Canada and the US.
Another month has come and gone.  (Well nearly-today is Monday, July 28th), so thought I better at least get started on my blog for this month.  Final exams for this term are Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  I'm feeling great.  My exams are all ready to go!  Praise God.
It has been busy and I am looking forward to the break-which starts right after I finish marking exams.  I may have to pull an 'all-nighter' as I need exams to be marked and all my paper work handed into the office before my sisters and my niece arrive on August 3rd.  Gee, I haven't pulled an 'all-nighter' since working on my doctoral dissertation. But I remember those times so well, and I believe, if memory serves me right, there were quite a number of those nights.  I'm wondering, as I remember back, if some of my students are doing just that these last few days.
I am so looking forward to seeing family and having opportunity to share this beautiful country of Zimbabwe with them.  And, YES, they will share in the challenges as well.  The challenges of no Zesa (electricity), no central heating and no water at times.  But having said that, I remember well, growing up in rural Saskatchewan with no electricity, no running water and no inside toilets.  (You see folks, my long-term memory is still working just fine.) All humor aside, the lack of water and power, here in Zimbabwe, is intermittent and yet not something that is unmanageable.  It's all in the mindset of how one chooses to deal with the day to day challenges.  And, I figure that seeing as how God called me to be here, He will help me to deal with anything that comes my way.  Thank-you God!!
We've spent a couple of delightful evenings with our friends, the Allans, from The Assemblies of God, this past week as they joined us one night for supper and a few games of Mexican Train.  Then I joined them at their place on Friday evening (Glen was off to Rifa Camp for a few days) as they hosted a supper for a young missionary, also from the US, who had been working with them for the past eight weeks.  Again we played Mexican Train which is fast becoming a favorite here.  Cole, the young missionary, leaves to return to the US tomorrow.
End of Part One.  Part Two to come on the week-end!
August 3rd...Part Two and it is College break time.  Two of my sisters and a niece are arriving today.  After church we went to the airport to meet their plane arriving at 12:15...only to find that the flight had been delayed about three hours.  So, as we live fairly close to the airport we returned home and I thought I would add a bit to my blog before returning to the airport. We have some fun things planned while they are here and my brain will get a well earned break.
Yesterday we had more water and sewer problems.  It really is quite laughable, there always seems to be an  'issue' with something...just about the time we think everything is running smoothly.  The entire infrastructure here in Zimbabwe is old and because of the economy not well maintained. That includes the water and sewer pipes at our cottage, along with all the buildings and the roads.  Lots of potholes on the streets for one to try to avoid.  That is not always possible.  It is not unusual to see someone out on the street trying to file potholes with broken bricks and then asking for a dollar.  That is one of the many ways Zimbabwe locals try to earn a few dollars to buy a loaf of bread or some sadsa.

Part Three - August 21st...Well, our company has been and gone.  The time went so quickly but it was absolutely fabulous having them here.  We travelled to Bulawayo and then on to Hwange National Park where we spent a couple of days doing the 'game drive/viewing' thing.  We saw elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebra, and other game.  We toured caves with stone wall carvings and I've included a picture to show you an idea of what we saw. 

We went on to Victoria Falls, did a walking tour of the Falls, the girls took the helicopter ride over the falls and of course we visited the local markets.  

Tamara and I walked across the bridge into Zambia and went to Angel Pools on the Zambian side of the Falls.  That was one of the highlights for me.  We sat in the pools and were a mere few feet from the edge of the falls.  It was an awesome feeling, kindof like living on the edge.  Quite an adrenalin rush for sure!  Thanks Tamara for sharing that experience. (See pics included here).  On the second picture, you can see the security between us and the falls, being a couple of ropes.

We took in a cultural experience with an evening at Boma, where we enjoyed great food, great company (of course) and great entertainment featuring traditional music and dance, all before returning to Harare, where we visited local markets, shopped, toured the college and the Village of Hope and all to soon our time together came to an end. 
I'm including some pictures here.  First one below is of all of us girls (ladies, or whatever) taken at the college with a couple of the kitchen staff outside where they cook when there is no Zesa.  Another is of Tamara and Laurie with some of the kids at the Village of Hope and then one of Glen with our company, taken in the huge rocks found at Cecil Rhodes grave site, which is another tour we did.  It was great to have Glen as our guide.  He's getting quite used to that role and seems to thoroughly enjoy it. 

We had such fun and now it seems almost as though it was just a dream from which I have wakened and now am asking myself, 'Where they really here?'

Now, it is back to preparing for the upcoming classes which resume September 1st. I will be teaching three courses this term.  Two of them I taught last year, being Cross Cultural Ministries and Acts of The Holy Spirit.  The third course, Apocalyptic Literature, is a new one for me to teach and I am looking forward to it.

I think I have chatted enough for this time.  Enjoy!!
Love and Blessings to all