May Announcements – Here and in Zimbabwe!

Thank you for your incredible support again this year as we remain focused on our work in rural Zimbabwe.  Second term brings much activity:

  • The preschool re-opens with purchases of supplies and food for another 13 weeks,  There are 59 little ones, with more coming each day, all being fed a nutritious meal (often their main meal).  These children are being supported in early childhood development as well as being prepared for 1st grade in the Zimbabwean educational system. The preschool staff includes teachers, cooks, housekeeping, grounds-keeping and guards to assure the children's space provides a safe, clean and nurturing learning environment. The government officials consider Nhimbe a model preschool!
  • The Mhandara Monthly Care (MMC) program continues to manufacture and distribute start-up kits in 2019 for all the new maturing girls.  Each kit's cost of buckets and underwear has increased since our estimate last fall when we wrote the year-end letter.  We never know when the economy will be stable and when not, but we hold the vision and keep making headway!  We have just produced 30 kits for our first 2 batches, which will be distributed very soon at the upcoming Teen Care Camp.
  • The MMC Teen Care Camp is planned for May 24th-26th.  260 girls are expected and arriving on foot from quite some distances.  We provide a vehicle to pickup their bed roll and other gear at their various schools, where they all congregate before leaving.  Arriving Friday, they are able to stay at the Nhimbe Community Center (with those great solar lights!) until Sunday, when they hoof it back home after the incredibly unprecedented opportunity for learning, healing and growing.  There are a minimum of 11 adults that are present to keep everything moving smoothly.  The girls are involved in every step of food prep and cleanup, as well as participating in many activities, including music, mentoring by the elders, and much in the way of interpersonal discussions of intimate teen care.
  • The MMC program (the Start-up kits, the Teen Care Camp and weekly meetings) are helping to keep these girls in school each month, and making a huge difference in their lives.  For example, they learn about personal hygiene and the difficult subjects of dealing with boys and peers.  The girls learn crafts, such as sewing, to be able to make their own monthly care supplies someday.
  • Both the preschool and the MMC program need soccer balls!  We hold strong in the belief that the Right to Play is of enormous value in children's "normal" development, physically, emotionally, mentally and socially.  Research has found that play is the key to children surviving the hardships of chronic economic issues and the displacement and relocation of continual transient populations.  Please consider a special donation towards this unique need.  Typically because of the rough terrain a normal ball doesn't last, but we have had help locating one for $25.  Shipping is another issue, particularly if we can send more than one.  With this number of children playing together, one ball would not suffice.  Thank you in advance if you have an interest in encouraging play!
  • Thank you for any ways you might be able to help us with these heartening and supportive efforts, as we intervene in these children's lives.  We remain consistent and faithful to the task at hand and ask for your assistance once again to reach out across the planet to our Zimbabwean neighbors.

Our music ensembles here in the mid-Willamette Valley are playing their part in fund raising, as they hit the streets earlier this year than normal, beginning in March.  They are out there raising money for the Nhimbe youth programs and are enjoying watching the summer fill up with play.

Please join us at our next event in Alsea, Oregon, Sunday the 12th, as we make our annual pilgrimage to the Thyme Garden for their Mother's Day weekend.  Find us engaged in the music near the herb nursery, where there is a huge selection of plants for sale. We offer the uplifting marimba music from Zimbabwe and South Africa, as well as original tunes:

  • Chipindura plays from 12:30 to 2 pm
  • Tashinga plays from 3:30 to 5 pm

The Mother's Day venue is particularly delightful with exquisite food and unique crafts for sale at a variety of booths.  All of this wonder is set in the ambiance of the woods, where this most interesting source for seeds, herbs and other fine plants finds its home.

Join us with your dancing shoes!

Join us in Celebrating Earth Day for a Week!

Ancient Ways will again be working with the local community in Earth Day awareness and festivities...Check this out: 

  • April 20th we will share in the ambiance of the gardens and forest of Thyme Garden in Alsea - Join us as we spread goodwill and honor the incredible  land there.  Nursery hours are 10-5 pm.  The Circle of Well Being closing ceremony (a program of Ancient Ways) is from 3-4 pm.  Check out the entire day's event!
  • April 27th we will become our African animals in the Procession of the Species, beginning at 10 am at the Albany Court House. Find us as the percussion section next to the children from the Sundborn Children's House, our Nhimbe for Progress collaborators. And, do check out Sundborn's upcoming fundraiser!
  • Tashinga Marimba will be playing from 9:40-10 am and again after the Procession, from 11 am to 1 pm at the Albany Saturday Market on this same April 27th.  Get on your dancing shoes!

As part of our 25th year as Ancient Ways, and also marking our 20th year sponsoring Nhimbe for Progress in Zimbabwe, we thank our local organizations for all the ways they contribute to building community, which has also been our passion for all these years!

 

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Mhandara Monthly Care Update

Please check out the latest about our Mhandara Monthly Care (MMC) program in this link! (or paste this in your browser https://ancient-ways.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/MMC-Request.pdf)

 

We are asking for your consideration to send this to anyone you know who has a heart for females and the challenges that face them, particularly in Africa. 

 

We have an incredible program with an excellent track record...check out our website.  With very little funding we can intercede on behalf many of our MMC maturing girls' lives in 2019!

 

Please forward...thank you so much!

Incredible Night of Music for Zimbabwe!

Please share with your community!

 

Great Change for Zimbabwe - Marimba and Mbira Performance @ Whirled Pies
Kutsinhira Cultural Arts

 

Marimba and mbira performance supporting Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center and Ancient Ways.

Plan on joining us on Friday Dec. 7, 6 to 10 pm at Whirled Pies in downtown Eugene. A night of traditional Zimbabwean music will be presented in support of Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center of Eugene, and Ancient Ways/Nhimbe for Progress of Scio.

 

Kutsinhira’s sponsored artist-in-residence for 2018, Musekiwa Chingodza, and his fellow musicians from Mhofela will perform beautiful mbira music. Three bands from Kutsinhira, including Jenaguru-Full Moon and Chapwititi, teen extraordinaires, will provide rousing marimba dance music.

 

Bring your extra change, throw in the jars at the event, and help make Great Change for Zimbabwe. Cost:

 

$12 for Kutsinhira members
$15 for adults
$5 for children 12 and younger

 

Losing a Family Member and Team Player

Most of you know that over the last 20 years, the Magaya's have been instrumental in "holding the energy" for Nhimbe for Progress.  This all began with Joshua and Matilda, as heads of the family, and Cosmas as the musician and ambassador for his homeland. 

 

Over the years many of the family members have participated in Nhimbe a variety of ways.  Yesterday, sadly, Hilda, one of Cosmas' younger sisters, passed away from an unexpected heart condition.  The family had a few short days of trying to source basics like saline, by driving to multiple locations throughout the capital city of Harare, since the current hospital situation is still in a deplorable state.  In 2000, on my first trip to Zimbabwe, we found ourselves in a similar situation as Cosmas' wife, Joyce, passed on 3 days after my arrival. The current state of medical care continues to be heart-breaking.

 

Some of you may remember Hilda as our travel team's main helper for many years.  She would cook our meals and tend our laundry.  She was well-known for an incredible gift of working with food and getting the nuances of our requests for international cuisine from Italian to Mexican and everything in between. One would always, and yes I mean always, hear her singing in the hut as she was preparing the meals.  What a blessing! She also always participated in our embroidery projects in between her duties.  Most recently, Hilda has been a key player in the Mhandara Monthly Care program as she was one of the team, monitoring the quality control and handling the packaging for the girl's supplies.

 

During my last trip in March/April, you heard about Hilda because her only daughter, Lillian, was our chief cook and bottle washer, as well as our laundry-lady, computer person, and translator, but then too, amazed us with her intellect and speaking abilities as she addressed the young girls about the virtues of staying focused on their education.  We asked you for funding for Lillian's education so she could finish her 4 year degree, since she was within months of completion but without funds, and you rallied to support our request.  She is now sponsored to be in a position to finish her degree this next year. 

 

The death of Lillian's mother has come at a critical time though, as her tests for this term are 1 week away.  I ask for your prayers to help her during this stressful time, to stay focused, while still also being present for the family and funeral, taking place right away.  I also ask for your prayers for the family as a whole.

 

Losing family members is hard enough, but the helpless nature of having no medical intervention just rips away the veils, and leaves everyone standing naked before the Creator. 

  • There were heart tests that were to be done on Monday costing almost $1,800, which in Zimbabwe, would not be completed without payment up front. Try to imagine how the average person there receives medical help, as insurance is not an option. 
  • Any hospital bills must be paid before any other family members can be admitted for care.  Maybe you remember 7 years ago July, when I wrote about Benita's mother passing away leaving a $500 hospital bill, and so Benita (our executive assistant) couldn't get care for her son John, without first paying for her mother's medical care, so we asked for a hardship aid loan on her behalf.
  • With unemployment at an all time high, of course people can't afford buses, or petrol if they do own vehicles, so how does anyone get to the funeral? If one hasn't been to Zimbabwe, it takes a large imagination to think about the enormous difficulties in facing the simplest things. 
  • The current state of affairs has those with both a car and money waiting in long ques to be able to get fuel, as petrol availability is at another all time low.
  • The family is currently looking for a bus to hire so that anyone who can get to Harare, can get a ride to the Mhondoro rural funeral. They will supply a cow to feed everyone attending and help get guests back home. Quite a different custom than ours.

Life in Africa is so unlike life in the states, I feel like we forget about other parts of the world when our own problems here are going through their up-and-down cycles. It doesn't diminish the impact of tragedies and traumatic experiences in our lives, but having a glimpse into another window on our planet helps me find more balance.  We are all so very connected.  And because of the music, we have found one another.

 

Hilda was survived by her brothers Cosmas and Leonard, and sisters Efilda, Winfilda, and Emilda, as well as her sons Nyasha, Tafadzwa, Norman, and daughter Lillian, as well as her husband Daniel.  Any financial help towards these expenses can be sent through Cosmas' daughter, by mailing a check made payable to her, Tsitsi Hantuba, at 5311 S. 45th St., Rogers, AR, 72758.  Thank you in advance for all of your good thoughts, prayers and encouraging words.

10/6 Put on Your Dancing Shoes!

Ancient Ways Community Marimba Ensembles are again sharing the sweet and uplifting music from Zimbabwe at the Annual Silverton Sidewalk Shindig.

 

We'll be playing from 12-3 pm.  Please find us in the parking lot between Citizens Bank and the Town House Cafe on Main Street (next to the painted wall mural).

 

See https://www.facebook.com/sidewalkshindig/ for more information.  Come and say hello!

2nd Day of September MMC Camp

What do 234 girls look like on a hike?  Incredible!

They are hiking about 800 meters from the Nhimbe Community Center.  How delightful! 

How often do we as females get to be free in the forest?

MMC September hike from Jaiaen Beck on Vimeo.

 

 

The hiking journey always makes a stop to climb.

Anyone is free to go for it.

 

And go for it they do!

MMC September trees from Jaiaen Beck on Vimeo.

 

The girls also practice their public speaking by offering a thank you to everyone involved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September MMC Camp Live Now!

We hope to bring you some pictures and videos over the next few days as the girls have gathered in Mhondoro at the Nhimbe for Progress Community Center for yet another great camp. 

 

They live together Friday to Sunday, three times a year, to celebrate life and being a girl

 

We are so honored to be able to bring them this opportunity and thank all of you for the support you have extended to help Mhandara Monthly Care (MMC) and this camp.  It has grown and developed into this rich and deeply connected program.

 

They arrive in their uniforms from school and then relax into whatever they want.  Girls of any age are welcome, so some of the preschoolers even attend, as well as graduates from our Girl Guides weekly meetings.  They always begin the weekend with plenty of singing.

 

MORE TO FOLLOW AS THE WEEKEND UNFOLDS!

Be Seeing You at Zimfest August 9-12th?

Summer Greetings brings the sweet music from Zimbabwe to our local Oregon mid-valley! If you are attending, please contact me at windgatherer@ancient-ways.org just as soon as possible about whether you can help at our booth where we will be bringing the crafts from our villages as well as other African wares, and sharing information about the latest in our Nhimbe for Progress project.  Cosmas Magaya is not able to attend Zimfest but he is here in the states, while his wife Patricia is running things abroad, keeping everything in tip-top shape.

 

August 9th-12th, we will be celebrating what this wonderful music has brought into all of our lives!

See www.zimfest.org where you will find more information about:

  • Zimbabweans who have been able to come for a visit,
  • Sharing of daily and nightly Zimbabwe music at WOU campus in Monmouth,
  • Vendors who will be offering an African marketplace,
  • Musicians of ALL ages playing together as performers and as students,
  • Free daytime concerts and affordable concerts at night for 4 nights and 3 days,
  • As well as other pre-festival events...look at zimfest.org for more info!

Do let me know if you can help at the booth...many hands make light work...the most critical times are setup and take down every day since all booth items are packed away daily, and then we re-invent the space the following day.  Thank you for however you might assist!

 

Hope to see you there!

 

Jaiaen