Mum has returned & so has Abby the house girl just in time for us leaving, hmm not saying anything but seems well planned! The last few weeks have seen us tying up loose ends and sorting out things so that they carry on when we are gone.
We had a good meeting with the head at St Charles Primary School and are looking to set up an ‘Amaizing Acres’ project with the school. They already have fertile land on site to do at least 2 acres of maize. With a good harvest, this could raise enough funds for the school and will be allocated to two particular areas of need. The first being the purchase of a water tank, pipes and taps. There are pipes running up to the school boundary from a nearby clinic but it has never been connected to the school. It will be good to be able to assist them with this as water is their main priority. The water tank will also enable them to have their own vegetable garden that will not only be used to educate the children but to feed them as well. The school is now given maize meal to make sadza for all children up to grade 3 but rely on parents to provide vegetables to have with it. So if they can do their own garden this will help them greatly. Also to have running water at the school is so important and at present they have to rely on parents fetching it from the local community.
The second project is to increase the number of computers they have from 9 to 20, so that they can be given a teacher to start I.C.T lessons. Sadly at the moment their 9 computers are still in their boxes in an office. We would aim to buy an additional 11 reconditioned computers so that this could happen. The School Development Committee (made up of parents and local community members) are starting to clear the land ready for ploughing and sowing by the end of October. Harvest time would be March/April next year, the Trust would be in charge of selling the maize and then allocating money to each project. A local community member is going to be in charge of the running the project, ploughing, seeding, fertilising etc. We are very excited about this opportunity to help this school further.
We had all but one of the 21 children that we sponsor for a little get together the other Saturday morning. We asked them to arrive at 10am, they started arriving at 8.30am but no problem! They all sat and wrote letters or drew pictures to their sponsors back in the UK. There was plenty of laughter as they played musical chairs for the first time ever and then enjoyed a braai of quail with rice and greens (most even ate the bones as well!) We finished off with them watching Madagascar with biscuits and a freezit (ice pop) before they headed off home. A nice way to say good bye to them.
So as we prepare to leave what shall we miss and what won’t we miss? We will miss the poultry and animals, getting up first thing in the morning to feed and water them, won’t miss all the poo though or the smells! Cold showers after a hot day in the sun, but not the cold showers first thing on a cool morning. Will certainly miss enjoying veg from our own garden, will even miss what seemed like constant watering, maybe not so much the washing and preparing of veg. Flies, oh won’t miss them at all, what do they find so interesting about eyes, ears and noses?!! And insect bites they can stay in Zimbabwe. Will miss getting up in the morning and putting on shorts, t-shirt and flip flops – yes our feet have flip flop tan lines. Probably won’t miss the sweating even when just sitting down but will miss the sunny days. Will miss the sound of singing and music no matter where you go but won’t miss the never ending potholes on the roads and the dust. Will miss the people we have started to get to know, the sponsored children, happy smiles when we see them, even a few hugs but won’t miss the 3 hour long church services.
Yes we will miss it here and in lots of ways we can’t wait to come back again to continue what we feel and believe is God’s work for us here. It will however be nice to see family and friends and to have time to relax and reflect on all that has happened in the first part of God’s plan for Ratidzo Trust.