Wednesday 16th at 4.30pm we left Guildford for Gatwick airport – Thursday 17th at 5.00pm we arrive at Harare airport, 24 hours later. It’s a long journey via Dubai & Lusaka but it’s not like we have had to walk. Shepherd, Edline’s cousin’s husband collected us from the airport, once we eventually got through immigration and the need to go through all our bags and once he had managed to get the wheel clamp removed from his car. We were fed well and soon collapsed in bed. We had an early start to meet up with Edline’s Mum and via a couple of shops to sort our internet and get a few bits we set off for Sanyati. 3 hour drive later and we were ‘home’. Today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday) will be recovering and acclimatising again to the heat.
It looks very different here than it did when we left last November, much greener. There has been some late rains and our home is surrounded by lush green growth and hidden from the road and neighbours. The rains haven’t helped much as they are so late, normally expected in November/December they arrived February/March, and very sporadic at that. The day before Mum said the main road was quite impassable, but apart from the odd very deep pothole having some water at the bottom of it and the greenery you wouldn’t know it had rained at all. It is still stupidly hot, even at night and sleeping is difficult and coming from a cold wet England it will take some getting used to again.
Mum has started to breed quails, alongside the chickens, turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl, pigeons and rabbits. She showed us how to tell male & females apart as she clipped their beaks to stop them pecking each other (our lessons have started!!). We are awaiting delivery of an incubator that we ordered so that we can expand the poultry and support ourselves as well as the community projects going forward.
Monday and the work starts for real, we want to visit the schools we are working with early next week and to meet up with the sponsored orphans and their host families again. We can then start working out which families to work with first on the projects. We need to empty one of the rooms we have adjacent to the house and set it up as an office, will be much easier than working from the lounge of the main house. Along with this we will need to start picking Mum’s brain and learning all she knows about poultry and vegetable gardening, as she will only be with us for another 6 weeks. We will be ordering 100 broiler chicks so she can show us the full 6 week process of looking after them, while we at the same time will be showing the first families on the projects. It will be a steep learning curve for all of us I’m sure!