Sunday, October 10, 2010

Water Project Approved and Chapel Fire

Looking for Frangos
Dear Family and Friends

Last week we went to Chegutu, a small village south of Harare, to participate in a handover of school supplies for 400 students ranging in age from primary to grade 8.  The Church had provided them with a grinding mill for grinding maize into flour and so far they have earned $700.00, which is a considerable amount of money for them.  With this money they bought school supplies for the children in the nearby school.  They asked us to come and help them pass out the supplies.  It was so much fun.  

Delivering School Tablets
When we arrived they greeted us with African dancing, singing and drumming  The kids were all sitting either on the ground or behind  small tables outside.  It is always very colorful, cattle wandering by, chickens walking around, mud huts in the background. plus a beautiful bright pink blossomed tree adding to the picture...We spoke for a few minutes, enjoyed some more dancing and then the kids lined up to receive their school supplies.  The young ones received one pencil and four small writing tablets.  The older ones received one pen and four writing tablets.  This was really exciting for them. It is still a cause of wonderment to us on how relatively small things mean so much to the children here.  We hand out sweets that we carry in our car or balloons along the way and the children love it.

We then checked out the grinding mill and when we got back to Harare we bought some ear plugs and a mouth and nose shield for the miller.  The sound of a motor and maize being ground was very loud in the mill, and we are sure the miller will be deaf within a month, and breathing in the maize chaff and dust was also a health concern.  It was a fun and rewarding day.  The African people are such great hosts and always provide us with a drink or a biscuit or something to eat where ever we go.  We then met with the headmaster and school teachers and looked at their accounting books to see how they are keeping track of their money and expenses from the mill.  Elder Bean gave them some good advice on how to account for the money received and how to figure their expenses and what to charge per bucket of maize. They are charging 50 cents a bucket and he thinks they should charge a dollar.  If the people cannot pay in money, then the mill should take a portion of their maize to sell.  This money will then can go to feed the kids. They listened very intently and really appreciated the help and asked many questions on running a business. It is always fun to actually hand over the merchandise that has been purchased with the proceeds from a fairly successful project.

We had a few problems getting the final approval from South Africa for the water project in Muzarabani.  But HOORAY! We finally received approval on Friday, Sept. 10, 2010.  We have most everything in place ready to go, just waiting for the go ahead.  We wanted to get started before the rainy season sets in.  This is an area that has major flooding problems when the rain comes the roads and areas where the boreholes will be drilled, would be made impossible to get the drilling rig in.  It would also make the hygiene and sanitation training impossible, because the training is done outside under trees. We also have arranged to provide, with the villagers help, two latrines per borehole.  We just want to get started and beat the rain.

Children at Water Project Site