November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We have been in Zimbabwe 2 weeks today.  On Sunday, Nov. 20, we came out to Karanda after having completed a grocery shopping trip to last a month.  Dontie was exhausted after going to a dairy shop (called the Cheeseman), butcher, fruit and veggie mart, and finally a grocery store.  The car was filled to the brim and Dontie hoped she had not underestimated the family needs on her list. 

 Karanda Mission Hospital is 2 ½ hours or 3 ½ hours (depending on rains) out of Harare.  A fellow missionary drove us down a main road, turned off onto a smaller road, then turned again onto a very bumpy road.  Finally we turned once more onto a dirt road that led to a very wide riverbed.  The boys were fascinated with the passage over going through water and up the other side of the riverbed.  In the rains, we have to go an alternate route as the river completely fills and is impassible; thus the extra hour to the journey.  At the top of a small hill sits Karanda Hospital.  Among a vast landscape of thorny bushes and dirt, sits a little semi-green area with brightly colored flamboyant and jacaranda trees.  Welcome to our new home! 

A little gazebo and flamboyant tree outside the guesthouse.

It is really hot here.  Thankfully, the electricity has been more consistent out here, and we have been able to sit in front of fans to find some relief.  Cold showers feel good too!  We’ve had a couple of days of short soft rains and we are praying along with the surrounding villagers for more drenching rains.

Christopher is learning the ins and outs of the hospital as well as trying to learn names of the staff.  There is a lot to do and people come all the way from Harare to be treated at Karanda because of its care.  Dontie and the boys have been discovering all kinds of interesting creatures that live in and around the guesthouse (where we are staying until our house is ready).  These include various large spiders, gekos, blueheaded lizards, storks (in a tree right outside our door), guinea fowl, and goats.

The boys outside in Harare with their new sunhats!

Our presence is certainly known by all.  We pray that it is a presence that brings glory to God.  Please continue to pray for our nesting and adjusting.  We are thankful for all of you who make it possible to do what we are doing!  Happy Thanksgiving!

November 20, 2011

We are in Zimbobswe!

After 47 hours of weary travel, we arrived in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. Thank you for your many prayers.  Our trip was fortunately, uneventful and ALL 13 bags arrived unscathed!  It took about half an hour to get our VISAs and collect our luggage. We were then escorted right through customs without even being checked (that’s amazing). The boys were exhausted (as were we) and had reached the ends of their ropes by the time we arrived.  But in the van heading to the guest house in Harare, they seemed to perk back up as they took in all the scenes around them: people carrying things on their heads, animals and trash by the road, different trees with beautiful flowers on them, and yes, they even had diggers and dump trucks working on the sides of the road here too!  As we arrived at the gate to the TEAM compound, where we will be temporarily staying for orientation, little Christopher leaned out the window yelling to some Africans, “Hello everyone, my name is Christopher!” Whatever our weary minds were thinking, this little burst of excitement put our minds back in the right place. 

We were greeted by no electricity, and have had it on only at nights (after we are in bed) and then it goes off again when we wake up.  Welcome to Africa!  It is VERY hot here, even at night. The heat is the biggest adjustment we are currently trying to cope with.  We are meeting with different people each day to learn things about the Shona culture and language.  Please continue to pray for our adjustment and health, especially as we head out to Karanda at the beginning of next week.  They say it is even hotter there!  This Friday we will get to be a part of the Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution to street kids here in Harare.  We are thrilled to get to experience this!  We are so grateful for the kind hostess we have here, Sue Rousseau, from TEAM (the organization Karanda Hospital is under).  She has been an enormous blessing to us in these jet-lagged days.  We pray our hearts will join little Christopher’s words as we face each new challenge, “Hello everyone, we are the Kidwells!”

Our tired, tired little boy just couldn't make it a minute longer waiting to board our final flight from Johannesburg to Harare!