It is past time to send our August blog and to report on some of the events that have taken place.
We held three graduation ceremonies and two water handovers this month. It was a very busy month full of celebration and travel.
If anything could go wrong with this project, it did. It is a three to almost a four hour trip driving there from Harare, so the distance created a problem. We had a drilling rig tip over and had to haul it back to Harare for repairs. There is no phone communication in this remote area and so our site monitor had to ride a motorcycle to the top of a mountain to be able to call us and keep us informed on what is going on. The rainy season interrupted many days of drilling, and we had one of the driller’s cannibalize an old non-working borehole drilled by UNICEF a few years ago, and remove some old parts from it. He then put the old parts in one of our new boreholes and sold the new LDS parts for his personal gain. We hire a site monitor to avoid things like that, but somehow the monitor found out after the deed was done. All this had to be dealt with and finally we are finished and feel good about the completed water project and the much needed help it will be to the people in this very hot dry area.
We enjoyed watching a very colorful program. All went well until we noticed a small whirlwind start to form in the distance and it got bigger and closer and bigger and closer and then it hit us full on. It tore the tarp off the shelter that had been shielding us from the sun. The tarp was held up by slender tree poles pounded into the ground with a notch cut out on the top of each pole and the roof consisted of another pole that fit horizontally into the notch. The poles were tied together with long strong grass and it was very sturdy, but the whirlwind broke it apart in a matter of seconds. It also threw dirt and sand in our faces, tipped over chairs and after it messed us all up, it went on its way to do more mischief. The program stopped while the shelter was put back together and we dusted ourselves off, then the program went on as if nothing had happened.
|Clean Water Skits|
The entertainment was wonderful and the dancing was incredible. The dancers jumped so high that their knees almost touched under their chins. While they were dancing a little girl about five or six years old with bare feet and a dirty dress stepped out of the crowd. She was watching the dancers very closely and was dancing with them on the sidelines. She was really good. She finally got enough courage to step out and join the dancers and then I noticed that her little foot and leg had been badly burned and her left foot was just a stump. She danced even better then the adult dancers and her little knees were brought up almost under her chin. The crowd cheered and clapped and the Senator gave her a dollar and Sister Dube gave her a package of biscuits. She stole the show and then disappeared into the crowd. The thought crossed my mind if she were in the United States; she would have that little leg and foot fixed up. So many children here are badly burned because most of the cooking in the villages is done on an open charcoal fire.
|Dancing at Handover|
|Star of the Show!|
At the end of the program, the Senator, President and Sister Dube, Elder and Sister Bean and a few headmen cut the ribbon on the borehole, pumped the handle and when clean water came out, there was much noise and cheering. The Senator cupped her hands and drank some of it and then threw water on the bystanders. We furnished a package of biscuits (cookies) and a bottle of orange soda to all in attendance.
The next week we assisted with a Church training program called “Helping Babies Breathe. Dr. and Sister Bentley from SLC were the short term specialists for this program. They were in Zimbabwe last spring and we assisted them in setting up this training program and they returned to actually do the training. We partnered with UNICEF and the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health. Their responsibility was to invite the appropriate people to be trained. Two different groups of fifty nurses, doctors, midwives and other medical people attended a two day eight hour training sessions back to back. They used the equipment the Church donated to help them practice and become skilled at reviving non-breathing babies. Written tests were given at the beginning and end of each session. They were taught about the importance of the “Golden Minute”, the crucial first minute after the non-breathing baby is born. The procedure is to clear the airway and to stimulate breathing. This procedure was new to the medical people attending this training, although they had delivered hundreds of babies in their lifetime. At the end of the course they received Certificates of Achievement, stethoscopes, booklets, masks, resuscitation bags and “neo-Natalie’s”(training dolls) donated by the Church. Their responsibility is to return to their hospitals, clinics, villages and home facilities and train others in this procedure. We will assist with planning another neo-natal/ helping babies breathe program in Zambia the end of this month. We are anxious to visit this country. We have a small budget to do some projects there, but have been too busy to go.
We have completed the first part of our two part water project in the District of Goromonzi. We are finished with the drilling and with the sanitation lessons. Our first maturation project in this area is completed and it appears so successful that we are very excited about the continuation of it in other schools. We will add this training permanently to our future sanitation training course. Women and girls from all over the district are coming to help sew pads and attend these classes. There is such a big need for training in this area, since the culture here does not address female issues. Our trainer tells us that it is exciting to see that girls and women issues are being openly discussed, questions are being asked and ideas and experiences are being traded, something they have never done before .We have great hopes that this project will get stronger and stronger and will spread to other areas. We ordered 1,000 pairs of panties, two pairs to be given to each girl attending this class. They will be enclosed in a cloth purse along with three pads, a pad holder and a recipe for soap.
|Hecks and the Beans|
|Flakes and Beans|
|Shopping in Zambia|
|Kennedy and the Beans|
|With Kathy Keadlee Minor - CEO of "Mothers Without Borders"|
A very nice family event happened in August. Our grandson Ryan Carreon and his fiancé, Brenna Richardson were married in the Orlando, Florida temple Most of Ryan’s family flew to Orlando to accompany them in the temple. His grandparents, Ron and Sandra Bean were also with them, if only in thought and spirit. The newlyweds are now back at BYUI where Ryan is currently the news editor for “The Scroll” and has one semester left before graduating. Brenna has graduated and has a full time job as a copy editor with a local newspaper. Congratulations to you both.
Our time is growing very short here and we have mixed emotions about coming to the end of this mission. It is exciting, rewarding, frustrating at times, tiring and wonderful!! We miss our family, our friends and our home, but we love this humanitarian work and will also miss it. Our replacement couple has already been called and we have our going home date. Wow! The time has just flown by; we can’t believe we have been here this long. We will also miss the sweetness of the people and the colors of this lovely country.
Spring is just starting here and the trees and bushes are in full bloom. They are beautiful.