Saturday, 24 June 2017

Hi again.  Just Me again!  I thought I sent this blog a long time back but my blogs are showing it as a draft.  so I'm resending it.  If, in fact, you did receive it way back in june then simply delete it.  So this is what I wrote back in June.

By now, all of you back home in Canada are moving into Spring as we here in Zimbabwe move into winter.  Far be it for me to complain as the coldest it might get overnight here in the winter will be around +8 C.  And then during the daytime most days the temperatures go to mid 20s.  The rainy season here, which has just ended, delivered more rain than usual this year after a couple of years of drought and that presents its own problems for the harvesting of maize.
My friends and colleagues here don't understand how I, a Canadian, can be cold in this country.  They all think Canada is cold all the time and find it hard to believe when I tell them that our summers are beautifully warm and that the temperature on my deck in British Columbia can be a balmy 40 C in summer. It shows how little we know of other countries in the world and I recognize that my knowledge of Zimbabwe was also very limited prior to us coming here and still I have much to learn. We do live in our own little bubbles don't we???
I really do feel the cold here as the buildings have no central heating.  Our class rooms are cold and it is quite common place for my students to ask if we can have our classes outside.  And so desks and chairs get moved out onto the lawn.  I really don't mind that when the sun is shining.  I always tell my students that we can only be outside if they promise not to go to sleep in class as they relax in the sun.

Well, I abandoned my blog for a bit but now will take time to complete the unfinished task. We are thanking God that He is still in control.  Yesterday we were granted the extension of our TEP (temporary employment permit).  That after eight trips to immigration.  It has been a bit of a frustration for sure, but now we can relax for the remaining of our time here.  The permit was granted for a further year but it is our intention to return to Canada in December, 2017.  I will make trips back (three weeks or so at a time) twice a year, probably for the next three years or so to see our accreditation process through to the finish.
Thursday we hosted the faculty, PACC Principal and his wife, on extreme right, next to them our Dean of Students and his wife and then on the right of Glen and I our  Academic Dean and his wife. We enjoyed a great time of feasting and fellowship.  It felt good to spend some time with the women as I spend so much time working with the guys. They are great...but...enough said!!!!  This picture was taken in our front yard.

Next we will host a luncheon for the current students as most of them will finish at the end of this term and then return in November for graduation.  As we begin with our semesterization in August all students will be new to the college.

And perhaps on Canada Day we will again make some sandwiches and take them to the local stone market. It is just one of the ways we can touch the lives of many, showing that we care, even though financially, we cannot help everyone.

I have planted a bit of a garden of radishes, lettuce, green onions and carrots and they are all just coming up now.  Gardens grow all year long and as I anxiously watch for things to peek through the ground, I am reminded of my dad who used to go out just to watch his garden grow.  I just came inside from 'watching my garden grow'.  It amazes me how often the things we do remind us of our parents.  One of my mom's favorite sayings was "You just make do with what you have".  That is so true here in Zimbabwe in so many ways.

The cash shortage continues to worsen and US cash has nearly disappeared.  Zim re-introduced bond notes but they are only good within the boundaries of Zimbabwe.  We are fortunate in that we can use our Visas in a lot of places, but cash is still necessary in the market places and some businesses.  We are so aware of how blessed we are in comparison to our local friends here.

Mid-term exams were written this past week and so I will leave you all, dear friends, and go and mark some exams
Love and blessings to all