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!!!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Chick, chick,chick,chi-i-i-i-i-i-icken

As I am truly English I will talk about the weather first! It has warmed up a lot this week after a cool one last week. The trees and grass are greening up after a few showers but the real rains haven't arrived yet. We are hopeful that these will come next week so that Dave (not him personally) can get the maize planted. The men at 1BD site have dug 36,700  holes and put in fertilizer ready for the seeds! That's a lot of holes.. 5 acres of land in all.

They are now trying to complete the house ready for Tendai and Taurai to move in. The wall are being painted as we speak, but not by me, this time thank goodness! I have, however, been painting walls all of last week as a young man moved into our cottage in the garden yesterday. He is a friend of X and was wanting some independence from family. He is a member of New Creation church and seems a really nice guy and has a company car so living this far out isn't a problem to him. We would have loved to offer accommodation to a member of our church but we live the opposite end of the city which would have taken them out of their community and made getting about difficult for them.
The new broiler shed. The far end is sheeted up ready for chicks

Dave (yes he did a lot of the work) has just finished building a new broiler shed at Edmund's house. Last week we put in 350 chicks in his old shed and then 4 days later 500 chicks into the new house. The netting isn't in place on all of it yet as the lady who weaves it hasn't finished! She has a type of loom and makes it for a living. How cool is that!!!
You can see how cold it was last week as the little girl in the front is wearing a dragon suit and a coat!!! But the sun still shines..

Dave and Edmund unpacking the chicks from their boxes
There is a massive market for chicken here at Christmas so that's what these fluffy little things are destined for- -  A Christmas Feast!!    So far the chicken project hasn't made any money as there is always difficulty in getting people to pay up. They take chicken on the promise of payment the next week and next week never comes, so we have learnt the hard way! But we are beginning to build a market with a Supermarket and Hotel, so we don't think we will have any trouble getting rid of this present batch and getting paid.

500 little dickie birds sitting on the floor, one named...

As you can see they have a special drink (which is yellow), during the first few hours to help their stress levels. (I wonder if it works for humans??)     
The congregation at St Peters meeting in Anna's home (tent)
Church is going fine and we are managing to organise  things so that each week someone can get over to St Peters to preach. Graham and Sarah Giles will be the main contacts as they have a real heart for the people there but they are in England for the next 2 months so it is quite challenging for a small church like ours. Its also quite surprising to find that the tin shacks that the people of St Peters vacated are again being lived in by others. 

Playing musical chickens!
Lastly, Kidz Klub is still going well and being enjoyed by the children and adults! Here are a couple of pictures from last Saturday. We had about 70 kids this week and quite a few were new ones which was great. So I'll sign off here until next time......
Tendai and Ruth are chickens!