- 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
Well here we are at last, a day that at first seemed like it was a long ways off and now has oh too quickly crept up on us. We’re at the last day of our journey here in Zimbabwe. As we’ve talked about the time here there are moments where it seems like we’ve been here for a month and then there are moments where it seems like we just arrived yesterday. One thing is for certain – we’re torn between leaving and saying our goodbyes to all the wonderful people we’ve met here and getting excited about going home to our families and friends who we are missing soooo much.
Today, we spent the morning shopping at a market in Harare. It’s similar to a flea market at home in Canada only the merchants are much more aggressive here and we were warned that as soon as they see a white person they will jack up the prices considerably so we had better barter. And barter we did! We spent a couple hours browsing and purchasing a few souvenirs and gifts for when we get home.
Following the market we had a lunch on our way to Svimba township where we visited another Orphanage that Gord and Anita Cooledge had been made aware of. The orphanage was called Vimbainesu Children’s Home. First some background to the story of what brought us to visit this particular orphanage.
Our original plans for our stay in Zimbabwe included a trip to a wildlife resort located about 3 hours away from Harare that included many activities including walking with lions. It was a two night stay. However, when we got to Zimbabwe, after our first weekend here we discussed the budget and realized that over half of our budget was going towards our staying at this wildlife resort. We agreed as a group that we really didn’t feel that it was a wise use of the money and so after going over things with Gord and looking at a number of different options we decided to cancel our trip to the resort and go to a closer Game Park that was much cheaper and still had a number of great activities to help us experience some of the animals of Africa.
The benefits of this decision were enormous! We were able to participate in the Family Day after church on Sunday which we wouldn’t have been able to had we gone to the wildlife resort. We were able to still get a great day in at the Game Park. And finally we had an opportunity to visit this orphanage that Gord had mentioned he had hoped to be able to take us too but originally wasn’t going to be able to because of our trip the Wildlife Resort. Are we ever glad we made the decision we did.
Vimbainesu Children’s Home was begun by two women who decided they wanted to do something for orphans and these two ladies have worked tirelessly and faithfully with a very minimal amount of resources to care for orphaned children. Most of this children have been orphaned because their parents died of AIDS. An organization that had regularly funded this orphanage had stopped the support and these ladies have really struggled to kep the care going for the children. We took two hockey bags full of stuff with us to the orphanage and with some of the money we saved from not going to the Wildlife Resort we were able to support the orphanage for a year at $125 USD/mo (which equals roughly ZIM $18,750,000 with current exchange rates).
What a blessing it was for us to be able to go and see this orphanage and the awesome work these ladies are doing with so little. It was also an awesome experience to see the children’s and house mother’s faces light up when we presented them with the gifts.
Currently the orphange houses 31 children which range in ages from infant to 16 or 17. All the children are in school and the orphanage itself runs a preschool for the orphans as well as other children in the community (they have an additional 58 kids that come to the preschool. There are two ladies that stay right on the property and care for the orphanage and they’ve recently had an additional two ladies come during the day to help be house moms.
As usual, a picture tells a lot more than words ever could so I’ve attached a few of the ones we took. This will be the last update from Harare. On our journey home which begins tomorrow I’ll update when we arrive safely at Heathrow and then again when we reach Toronto but that will be it. I’ll post one final update after a few days when we’ve had a chance to unwind a bit. Till then, thanks for following along on our journey and Praise God for everything he has done in us and through us while we’ve been here.
1. Barry holding the infant in the orphanage.
2. The kids showing off some of the gifts we brought.
3.One of the unique things on the orphanage is that the cows and chicken’s are alllowed to walk around freely. You can also see in this picture one of the building on the orphanage property.
4. A picture of the washrooms for the orphanage
5. The electric stove in the kitchen no longer works so they have had to start cooking over an open fire.
6. This is one of the “directors” of the orphanage with Barry.
7. Kevin with some of the kids from the orphanae.
8. The orphanage kids.
9. A picture of the classroom.
10. Doug with the kids.