Friday, 12 October 2018

Hi to all you beautiful people out there in canada and the US.

September 30th, 2018

Although I won't be sending this out for  a while, the next leg of my journey is underway.  I flew out of Kelowna on September 28th, taking the long way around to Zimbabwe as I chose to visit my son and his family in Houston before flying on to Zimbabwe.

My final days in Canada (for now) included a quick trip to Red Deer, where I was honoured by CASC Alberta with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  A humbling experience for sure to be recognized in such a way.  It was certainly good to see so many of my former colleagues and to meet the new faces on the block. Both Doctor Margaret Clark - supervisor, colleague and friend and Pastor Anne Zimmerman - former colleague and lifetime friend travelled specifically for the occasion.  Thankyou both; and thankyou to all those involved.  Indeed it was a great 'homecoming' to be back in Alberta reconnecting.  Thank you to all in the Alberta Association for making this a special occasion.

Spending some quality family time, having Geoffrey (my son) assist me with some technological challenges.  My granddaughter Aspen is in her highschool band and we attended the Texas High School Band competitions yesterday.  It was great to attend one of her functions and see her perform.

Weather permitting I will take advantage of Geoffrey's time off work to grab a game of golf with him before I head off to Africa.  (The weather did not permit)

October 12th, 2018
Wow!!! As usual the time has literally flown by and here it is nearly two weeks since I left Canada.  After some quality family time in Houston with our son and his family, I flew off to Harare, Zimbabwe on October 2nd.  I flew via Dubai and had a 13 hour layover there.  Flying with Emerities Air is actually, in my never to be humble experience, the best option.  If your forced layover in Dubai is more than 9 hours, the airline supplies accommodations and meals, all as part of your travel package.  It does help to break up the flying time and gives an opportunity for a good night's sleep.

I arrived in Harare on thursday evening and started classes on the following Monday.  So as I write this I am overseeing my exam for Old Testament Survey.  Next week I will be teaching on the Pentateuch and then facilitating a teacher training course in November.  Between times I will be visiting some of the local churches and perhaps having some preaching opportunities.  My major role continues to be heading up our accreditation team and we have a meeting schedueled for next Tuesday.

I am now residing right on campus in a half duplex.  Am getting some renos done to the place to make it a little more user friendly.  Just had the bathroom tiled the other day.

Things are not good here in my adopted country and it is so sad.  There were high hopes that with the change in government would come some positive changes for the people of this beautiful country.  But, alas, such was not to be and things have progressively gotten worse.  The money situation is terrible; supplies are in short supply and prices have gone through the roof.  A pound of butter was $18.00 the other day.  And, no, I did not buy it!!!  Many of the stores have closed.  Those that have stock are limiting what one can buy.  There is nearly no fuel...the line ups at the few stations with fuel are blocks long and people park in line overnight.  I am truly glad I am living on campus.  I wanted to have a glass top replaced on a table but could not get an extimate on what it would cost me as the price tomorrow will not be the same as the price today. The line ups at the banks have disappeared because there is simply no money.

Picture inserted here is of the fuel line ups (blocks long...the gas station is about a block further up the street and the line-ups seem to have no end) with the beautiful jacarand trees in the background.  Indeed this is a beautiful country and facing such trying times. 

In the midst of the doom and gloom that abounds, I am blessed to be here and doing whatever I can to be an encouragement to my brothers and sisters here.

As Director of Quality Assurance it did my heart good, as I toured around our college, to see that many positive things are happening here on the ground at our college.  Our new dean of students is working extremely hard to get donations of food and other supplies to make our students lives pleasant.  She has orchastrated many improvements in our dorms, with recovering matresses, painting and tiling.  The dorms, indeed, look 110% better.  Our students are envolved in sports programs as well as being attached to local churches with whom they work on weekends.  I am reminded of an old saying I learned from my mom.  In the hard times "we just make do".  That is so true of the spirit and the reality of the people here.

However, God is good and we trust He will bring Zimbabwe through this time of crises.

Until next time, Love and blessings to all