Actually, no one is in a hurry here. There is a basic concept of time, but no one’s wearing a watch. When waiting somewhere – even if it’s for hours – people aren’t reading or playing games on their phones, they’re chatting with each other. Shona culture is “relationship-based”, which means they’re using their waiting time building relationships and getting to know one another – who their family is, where they come from, who they’re married to, what’s going on in their village. The change of pace is refreshing, although coming from our North American culture, it is not always easy. There’s lots to learn, for sure!
The last two months our trips to Harare for immigration have been tedious nightmares – waiting for almost 4 hours the first time and most recently, 6 hours for them to decide if we can stay another month in Zimbabwe! We very much need to find a more permanent solution, but the laws in Zim are forever changing and current information is difficult to come by. Please pray with us that we can find the best way forward to put an end to living in 30-day segments!
The Ways on Holiday
As we neared our 6-month mark here in Zim, we got word that a friend of ours was going to be in Victoria Falls – a mere 15-hour drive from Doma! She gifted us with 2 nights at The Kingdom Hotel so we made a plan to meet her and while we were at it, decided to cross over into Zambia so that we could re-enter Zim to start our 6 month visa over again. (We found out later that it doesn’t work that way.) We had an amazing time relaxing at Tabonina Guest House, swimming and taking in some uniquely African sights like elephants on the side of the road! The Victoria Falls are spectacular! During our time in the town of Victoria Falls, Nae and Carole got to feed and take up-close pictures of an elephant and Lia got to dive in a cage and feed crocodiles! We had an awesome experience at a restaurant called The Boma, where we ate many different kinds of meat including croc, impala, and our unanimous favourite: warthog! It was really a great family time away and we loved getting to see more of Africa.
Lia and Naomi
The girls have just started a new semester at school after having a month holiday. School in Zimbabwe runs in three terms. The first starts in January and goes until the end of March. Then they have a month off (harvest season) and go back from May – July. They get August off and then go from September – November, getting the month of December off. So far both girls have said they like the ACE system even more than school in Canada! After getting back from vacation and having a whole month off, they were ready to get back into it.
Lia has started taking art lessons with Kevin which they are both enjoying very much. She will also be taking sewing on Thursdays this term, making a gym bag.
Naomi has been impressing us with her memorization skills, learning multiple passages from the Bible with relative ease. She also has fun playing with Ian and Heidi’s young kids.
Our Work Here at Eden
Jeff has resumed his work on the new clinic and it is nearing completion. We are hoping to be moving into it in only a few short weeks! Jeff has really found his passion in leading his men and being a daily example of what it means to work hard and work well with a Colossians 3:23 attitude “as working for the Lord”.
Carole has spent the last seven weeks in charge of the clinic while Judy and Rory were in the States fundraising. It’s been an experience for sure – leading the team each day, bringing patients to hospital, for surgeries and rehab, treating everything from serious 2nd and 3rd degree burns to a cobra bite! Never a dull moment at the clinic.
We have decided that we, as a family will take up Shona lessons in an attempt to better reach out to the people here and develop relationships. This is very important for all of us, but especially Lia and Nae. Please pray we catch on to this new language quickly!
the crops are being harvested – the late rains did not adversely affect them!
we had a wonderful time away
long-term immigration solution
the girls are enjoying school
finances towards building our new house continue to grow
continued good health