We met up with our two German volunteers in Harare, (well one was on our flight from Dubai). They have settled in well and are hard workers. Like us all the heat is a challenge, so early morning working is the norm before the heat takes over. It’s getting Sanyati hot now!
We had a good weekend in Harare the other weekend, where we had a charity stand at an event called Kites for Peace.
A friendly social event, flying kites, music, food etc. We made some good contacts and raised around $120usd.
Talking about money, the economy here is making things difficult. This affects our work and the projects we are running, especially those that require commercial feed such as broiler chickens and layers. We are having to change our projects to those which require little feed costs, such as going back to goats, getting the mushroom project running and we are looking at how-to go as free range and organic as possible.
At Ratidzo land, as Max calls it, things are ticking along ok. We have started preparing for our new projects, 6000 out of 12000 handmade farm bricks have been delivered, the other 6000 are still baking and ground has been prepared for new buildings etc. Work has started on stands for the 3 fish tanks
and new flower beds built which have been sown with sunflower, rosella and lavender seed.
All to keep the bees happy.
We have taken delivery of 130 Boschveld hens and 5 cocks. Bosch are a very popular breed here and we will have a breeding stock of 30 hens, with 100 hens for table eggs. They take a lot less feed than Hyline layers (standard brown hens for egg laying) and are more versitile and hardy.
The layers project at Neuso Primary School is being changed into a goat project also. The cost of feed is making eggs too expensive to sell locally and the project is not viable at the moment. The hens have been sold and they are hoping to purchase at least 10 goats. Sadly the transporter is still not running due to the problems with the project. We are hoping it will be on the road before the end of the year.
Monthly meetings are still being held with the families and brainstorming on how best to run projects brings lively debate. It was also good to meet up with the children and see how school is going. They are trying hard and one of them took 1st place in his year for the 2nd term.. The others are not far behind.
We have had meetings with 3 of the primary schools working out how best to assist them. Books are still a challenge with grade 5 now on the new curriculum but they have no books. Next year grade 6 will also be included. So teaching for grades 5 & 6 will continue without books! Water and power are still both a massive issue for them.
It was also good to have a meeting with the Baptist Hospital again. A committee including the senior doctor, hospital staff and members of the community are trying to keep the hospital running. We are hoping to be able to assist them with finishing their well for their vegetable garden and to repair their borehole. The local water supply is pretty unreliable due to regular power cuts and running a hospital without water along with intermittent power supply is no easy matter.
So things are tricky but we battle on in God’s name.