Sunday, 25 November 2012


Counting down.... U.K. Here we come! Not long now....
This will be the last blog before we get back because I will be packing!!! We are soooooo looking forward to seeing all our friends and family and.... getting water out of the taps, eating cheese, butter and lamb, driving on smooth roads with NO road blocks, not having to queue up to pay bills every month, buying with plastic! The list goes on but.... we're NOT looking forward to being COLD! Its in the high 30's here but still no rain of any consequence so the maize hasn't been planted yet and the optimum time is before the 25th of November, so please pray with us for that!
Some of the cabbages yet to be planted
Zenzo said this was worse than going to the gym! (aching legs)
Here you can see (from the left) Lewis,  Zenzo and Kilion planting 3,000 cabbages on Lewis' plot. The next day they planted bush beans, beetroot and carrots. Behind them is spinach which is just coming to an end. Its great to be able to go and pick fresh vegetables for ourselves and the workers, just like at home!
Last week I was able to visit Morning Star, a farm in the Motopos owned by Chris and Norma (surname unknown!) I went with Ruth Biddulph who has been out here for 18months with BMS. She and her husband have had their work permits refused and have their second appeal in to Immigration who seem to be refusing to make any decisions at the moment with elections pending. So poor Brad and Ruth return to The UK a week after us not knowing if they can return. They expect a baby in March so will not be back until June even if they are allowed. We will miss them alot as they come to Thembalezizwe and are great fun. Brad has also been invaluable to Dave in the building process, so we are really hoping we see them again out here.
Helping the sewing ladies.
At Morning Star, Norma has been running a sewing group with some ladies for the past 3 years, so I was picking her brains and loved seeing the things they have made. When we visited the ladies were making Christmas tree garlands using fabric, beads and seeds. They get a small share of the profits and really make a social occasion of their weekly get together. They are all HIV positive and bring their babies with them. They also take extra work home with them to sew by hand. I'd love to see a similar thing happening inTrenance in the future to empower ladies there. The most difficult thing is to find a market for what is produced as Bulawayo does not have any tourist industry to speak of any more and nobody has any cash. So it will need some thought and investigation.
The whole group plus babies

What a lovely blanket!
On her last trip home Ruth had collected some beautiful hand made blankets that her Mother-in- law had made with ladies from her village in Devon.
Here she is presenting one to a girl from the local

village. She is an unmarried mother of 17 and her little boy is 4 months old. This time last year she was still in school but had to leave in February.
Chris and Norma also do alot of work with the local schools and have won some funding from the Roger Federa Foundation for the next three years to upgrade the schools and put training in place for the teachers.

The farm is in a beautiful setting in the Motopos but they too are having difficulties with water as their borehole is very low due to the lack of rains in this area. In Harare they have had quite a bit already!

Pleased to say the children's shelter at 1BD is now complete and they have been using it for the past 2 Sundays.

The chicken at Edmunds are growing fast after a set back with diseased and are now on a countdown to Christmas! Which brings me back to the beginning........ We are definitely counting down!!
P.S. I am finishing this off on Sunday 25th and it is raining raining raining!!!

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