Friday, 31 August 2012

More Animal Magic!

What a handsome trio..

No I'm not referring to my son and grandaughter who have just returned to the UK with this title, but the fact that we have seen more amazing animals while they were here! On a trip to Hwange National park, we saw all the usual animals plus a pride of lions with quite young cubs who had made a kill of an elephant just by the waterhole. Jessica loves animals and really enjoyed spotting them with her binoculars. I was so proud of her as she is only nine, and to leave her Mum and brother behind was quite brave of her. It was lovely for me, though as I sometimes became Mum substitute having to 'do' hair and give snuggles as required!

The amazing falls
We also took them to Vic Falls which was a first for us as well. The falls were awesome and we were not disappointed! We also got very wet even though they are not in full flood at this time of year. It was great fun, though. It sounds as if we are one long holiday but believe me it was a welcome 3 day break in a very busy lifestyle, especially for Dave.

Jess not quite enjoying a cold shower!
The house
The house we are building on the site for Taurai is well under way now and Dave is employing ten or so men now..
They are using a self-build method called Finn builder, so they are all learning new skills at the same time. One of the most skilled guys is an ex- prisoner and has been lent to us by 'Second Chance' a charity that helps to ease ex- prisoners back into society. The building has been hampered by lack of water. Although we now have municipal water at the site,( the well pump broke several weeks ago) we are experiencing major water cuts as the dams are so low after 3 years of little rain. Here at home we don't have water for 4 days a week but in the rural areas the situation is worse and people are being driven to break into pipes, so there is a lot of water still being wasted!
Here is Dave hoeing at lewis' plot. We took Gary and Jess there to help plant some beans. The rape crop is almost ready to harvest but unfortunately we lost some beans and butternut in the last frost earlier this month.                                              Lastly, we have a new addition to the Dean household. No I have not miraculously produced offspring! After having the motor of the electric gate stolen one night while asleep in our bed, we thought a dog would be a good idea. So we went to the local SPCA and here she is...(but please don't tell Toffee. She is purely for security!). Her name is Izzy and she has settled in sooooo well

Sadly Google the cat had to put to sleep the day Gary arrived. He had always had a funny walk and we suspected that he was gay, but his walking deteriorated and while we were in bed with flu (another story) he hid away and was obviously not good. I took him to the vet and he suspected a brain tumour or similar that was affecting his nervous system, poor Google, he was such an affectionate cat! But also a real scaredy cat, afraid of everything. Hopefully Izzy is not!! That's all the news for now, but please send comments. we love to hear from you with your news too.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Animal magic

Dave with Polly and Martin at Hillside Dams
Our friends Polly and Martin have just left to visit friends in Marondera and then Harare. We will miss the the connection with home. It's been so nice to be able to talk about people and places at home in proper English! We had a lot of fun (I think they did too) and it was a little break from the stresses and strains of living in Zim!
Elephants drinking at the waterhole
We managed to take them to the Hwange Wildlife area where we saw an abundance of animals in their natural environment. A great experience for us all, as was sleeping in the car for the night as the accommodation was full of school children! I honestly think Dave and Martin should have suffered most being so tall, but they seemed to manage by encroaching on Polly and my spaces!! I need to add that Dave and I were in the back of the truck and Polly and Mart in the cab on the reclining seats. It really was worth it though...

The wildlife at Hwange was amazing (no not Dave, although he and Martin were a bit wild at times!)
We also took them to Hamara school where they enjoyed playing with the children and had a glimpse of the education system here and of course they came to church with us.

Unfortunately its back to work today.
The men have cleared 3 acres of ground now and it is exciting to think that in a few weeks we could have the church plot planted, The only trouble is .... We still don't have zesa which we will need to power  irrigation for the site. Please keep praying for the authorities to do the cheaper option as they told us originally it would be $3,500  to install a transformer!
The plot at Lewis' is progressing well and the beans are looking good despite some frost lately. Hopefully frosts are finished now and the temperature will gradually rise with the onset of spring.
The broiler project has had a bit of a rough time as we had a lot of fatalities in the last batch as well as some very small chicken, due mainly to the weather, we think, but the next batch are looking good and hopefully will make a profit, so we are trying not to be too disheartened. Edmund is working hard at marketing, but unfortunately, as no one has any cash he has to spend a lot of time collecting money, especially at the end of the month!

Sarah and Graham Giles, who Alison and Andrew Berry know, have decided to join Thembalezizwe Church. Sarah was the one who originally set up the school at Trenance and will be invaluable in getting approval for the new school. She and Taurai (our pastor) visited the head of the local primary school this week and had a very positive response from her regarding the Thembalezizwe school. So the next step is to talk to the local councillors and the education department.
One of the teams playing the eating the chocolate game!
They loved this although it took a while for them to catch on
We had our second Kidz Klub last Saturday and I was very impressed as to how the helpers were so keen and able to take responsibility for large parts of the programme. (no arguments this time!) So hopefully they will be able to continue running for many years to come... Martin and Polly joined in too.

Well thats all folks! Will be in touch again soon. Please continue to pray for us. We are concious of the huge job to be done out here and the weight of responsibility resting on our shoulders! We are trying to keep a sense of humour, which always helps and are adjusting to the slow pace of life...We keep reminding ourselves that.. 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me' and know that we are not alone and supported by your prayers in so many ways.