- Zimbabwe 2007 makes front page news
- What am I getting myself into?
- The dreaded needle…
- Save Time on Passports
- The Cable Guy…
- Motivational Video for Zimbabwe 2007
- Interviewed by A-Channel
- Event Update (getting closer to Zimbabwe)
- Walkathon, Retreat, and Countdown
- “Fill the bags”
- Stay tuned, Zimbabwe Updates only 9 days away…
- And we’re off!
- Brick Chain and hey – some pictures!
- Fathers Day away from home
- Family Day in Zimbabwe!
- “ROAR” or so the Lion says…
- Final Day in Harare
- Arrival safely in London
- Back on Canadian Soil and a Great Surprise!
- A quick update from Zimbabwe…
- Makanaka Mwari!
- Kutenda kusina mabasa kwakafa
- A few words…
- Finishing up with a Brii
- Something else to Remember…
- Launch of vohzimbabwe.com
Greetings again! Well today, we had a change in weather. It was cloudy and overcast. Kind of surprising really considering how used we have become to the cloudless sunny days! Nevertheless we were told by our driver, Mr. Chedokwa, that even though it may get cloudy it still doesn’t rain in this time of year. Another interesting developement is that we seem to be feeling the chill a little bit more than we used to. Could it be that we are becoming acclimatized to the weather here? If so, you won’t hear us complaining about the summer heat when we get back home 😉
Today Doug and Scott went to the plots. As each team member has taken a turn going to the poorest areas around the Village of Hope we’ve all come back changed. There is really no way to describe the emotions we go through when we see the conditions the people are living in there and the children. The parents leave in the morning at 6am to work the fields and they usually don’t return until around 5pm that night. If it weren’t for the Village of Hope feeding and education program in the plots those children would go without food *all* day! Another sobering reality is the fact that at the moment the Village is only able to go to 4 plots – there are many others with nothing. We’ve already been talking about as a team ways in which we can encourage people to join us in helping fund further plots under the feeding program. We will be leaving some of the extra money behind from what we brought with us to help establish the necessary funding for one more plot.
When Doug went to the plot today he met a 19 month old girl named Veely. She lives with her Aunt because her mother died of AIDS. When she was first discovered at 1 year old she had the body of a 5 month old. She’s just started to walk in the last week or so. Veely was breastfed as a baby so there is a very real possibility that she has AIDS as well. Just one example of the realities we’ve been coming face to face with.
While Doug and Scott were visiting the plots, Alex went to join in with the pre-school class and participated by leading the devotional for the class. Barry and myself went to the Grade 1 and 2 classes. I entertained the children by doing some juggling and then Barry declared Canada day in the classroom and proceeded to give the kids some teaching about Canada. Barry was a great ambassador for Canada and the children learned alot about the different animals in Canada, our Canadian Flag, the seasons in Canada, and some distinctive Canadian sports and activities. We also passed out some keychains that the children of our church made to give out. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of that but I can assure you the Zimbawean children absolutley loved them! They wanted to know what the words in the middle of each key chain said and it was fun watching them go “wow”.
Chris, James, and Kevin went right to work at the construction site while waiting for the rest of us to get back from our other activities. It really is amazing seeing how far we’ve come. Doug figures we’ve laid down about 7,000 bricks and figures by our last working day, “Saturday” we will have laid close to, if not succeeding, 10,000 bricks!
Today, I finished fixing two desktop computers in the administration office and cleaned out a virus that was found on them. Then in the afternoon I concentrated on finishing preparing my message for Sunday.
Today we had pizza for supper. Remember the pizza picture I sent along in the update for Sunday? Well pizza then was a maximum of $410,000 for a Hawaiin pizza. Today that same pizza cost over $600,000. In case you aren’t getting how bad inflation is here hopefully that will give you some insight.
Here are some other facts:
– To Dry clean a suit 1 month ago it cost $75,000. Two weeks ago it cost 150,000. Now, it costs 300,000!
– Bread today cost $20,000 per loaf. Mr. Cooledge stocked up today because tomorrow bread may be as much as $60,000
– Bus fare from where we are living right now to where the Village of Hope is would cost $80,000.
– To illustrate how far the Zimbabwe Dollar has fallen – in 1980 the Zimbabwe Dollar = British Pound 1:1. Wow.
– In a lot of cases the wife and children live in rural areas while the husband lives and works in the city. The husand is usuallly away from his family 3 months at a time.
– In Zimbabwe we’ve come across a lot of construction sites where it looks like the partially finished home has been abandoned. In fact as we found out, what’s happened is that people have set out to construct their homes and then the inflation has risen to the point where they can no longer afford to finish the home.
– Finally, I want to include a few stats I took from an article in the local Zimbabwe newspaper, “The Herald” titled, “Family Basket Shoots up to 5.5million” $5.5 million is the cost of living for a family of six for the month of May. The figure was 3.3 million in April. That equals an increase of 65.6%
– Water and Electricity increased by 251%
– Clothing and Footwear rose by 214%
– Transport rose by 150%
– Tea leaves rose by 121%
– Milk rose by 92.2%
– Beef rose by 85.5%
– Bread rose by 76.5%
*TOMORROW*: Alex, Barry, and Gord Cooledge will be interviewed live by CFOS 560AM at 12:45am. Make sure you turn to that on you dial.
Oh, and in case your wondering, “Kutenda kuseni mabassa kwakafa” means. It means Faih without works is dead. How true!
Picture Time: 1. Mr. Canada himself!
2. James on brick detail
3. A look at the progress – we started putting in windows okay.
4. A picture of an overcast day in Zimbabwe.
– Darren Ethier and the Zimbabwe 2007 Team