Best Friends Forever

Goats and Young Girls Flourish!

Thank you so much for your recent contributions toward our efforts to uplift our neighbors in Zimbabwe! There is much activity on the ground there, so I’m not sure where to start. First, let me give a brief update about the water and food situation with more to follow after this weekend.

We’ll have pictures about the maize delivery that began the beginning of March, hopefully by next week. This will include an update sharing the exciting irrigation plans, about which we continue to remain very optimistic. If you haven’t read about the drought or our last blog please click here. Your help with this undertaking is impactful! If you are in a position to help us in this work, just know that we continue to source the special drip hose plus offer a workshop to all the families who are interested. More to follow in a few days!

Besides a drought update here are a few pictures of the goats we bought for the staff volunteers in January. This was our way of saying thank you to them for all of their commitment and dedicated hours in creating this “happening place” called Nhimbe for Progress. We very much appreciate all they are doing for the community at large, so gave each staff member a goat. The best part of a goat gift is that they are all nannies, and will bring future kids for years to come. Having too many goats is a good thing. Goat meat is often needed for formal gatherings, like weddings, funerals and the like, so everyone is very appreciative. Many thanks to you!

Goat with Febby
Febby, our co-director, head of the preschool and MMC, is radiating Tatenda chaizvo (we thank you very much) as she holds her goat!
Goats with staff
Some of the staff with their nannies, feeling mighty happy.
Goat with Kenny
Kenny with his goat, looking very pleased. He is our MMC Marimba teacher and gardener as well.

As you can see, the volunteers all are feeling appreciated! We work to see that they feel recognized in various ways, because the stipend they are given is not as high as we would like. These kinds of bonuses do make a difference.

MMC Distribution

So far in 2024, thanks to your incredible assistance, we have been able to put 360 start-up kits in the hands of new girls in the area.  We are continuing to reach out to the Rukuma primary and secondary school as they are well-organized, being in a partnership with Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe.  Because of this, the teachers there are able to provide all of the services that we need to fulfill our program requirements.  We provide the start-up kits for these remote locations, and they are able to provide the meetings and follow-up. I love collaboration!

Organizing Distribution
This distribution is for the new Nhimbe for Progress girls.
Distribution to Tiny Teens
With Febby (left), the MMC lead, and Fortunate (right), the second-in-command and the voice you most often hear in the videos, the girls are given their soaking buckets and supplies, which last 3-5 years, amazingly enough. From the tiny ones still in primary to the secondary older girls, they are all very grateful!
Soap Distribution
Receiving a bar of soap each month helps the family with their priorities and keeps hygiene in the discussion. Putting soap on the grocery list can be really tough when there is not enough to eat.
Best Friends Forever
One of the best parts of contributing to the MMC program is seeing BFF (best friends forever) blossoming!
MMC Teen Care Camp Just Last Week

As the school closed for the term, we snagged 120 Nhimbe girls and let them slide right into their fall holiday with us for a few days.  We hadn’t had a camp since 2019 and it felt sooooo good!  Thank you for your tremendous support reaching across the globe to these maturing girls. They, like many girls around the planet, struggle to have appropriate monthly care supplies and essential guidance from mentors during puberty.  We are so grateful for your help making it possible to provide the girls with our MMC Teen Care Camp opportunity!

As is traditional, the girls carry their belongings on top of their heads. They also bring firewood as able, contributing to the costs of the camp.

Bearing modern backpacks and their MMC bucket, these girls are ready to chill for the weekend.  Actually, they remain very active but it’s fun-filled with non-routine activities, plus they get to make so many friends.  Here is a video to open a nice window to being there.

Check In
And the final step to be fully present is to turn in your parents’ release form for the slumber party.
Getting ready for the evening activities…how exciting! This girl has been to more than one camp and has earned her place as Firestarter.

Three meals a day with beans, rice, chicken, sadza, cabbage, tomatoes, tea with milk, etc. on our grocery list . . . these girls are eating well . . . for some, these are likely the best meals they have had in a while!

This song the girls are sharing is reminiscent of the Girl Guides International roots, which supported our beginnings.  They practice marching and salutes as part of the program. Here they are heading out to the forest.


The hiking is always a favorite part of the camp.  Think about it…how often is it safe anywhere in the world for a girl to go off into the forest?  But with the group it is totally fine and very empowering.  They really enjoy climbing trees.


This is most of the tribe . . . seems like a huge commitment on the part of the volunteers who keep things moving so well!

Even though some have their eyes closed, I love how they are being silly and clearly relaxed.
Part of being in MMC is learning about service to the community. Here they have collected small branches to take to the elderly.

This ambuya (grandmother) is getting some assistance at her home.  I’m fairly certain she is blind as she looks very familiar to me.  Without relatives, the elderly rely on community support to get help with the basics. Kindness is often shown to those in need.  There but for the Grace of God, go I.

Another service opportunity is when they sew dolls or puppets for the preschool children. At camp they get to work on learning how to sew.  This is not only practical for homemaking, but very specifically they can learn how to make the reusable washable supplies we provide.  When they move on in their lives from the MMC program they can be equipped with skills.

Now we get to the part of this story with lots more music . . . hoping you have hung in there to the end and can listen in to their incredibly innate vocal gifts. 

Let’s start with the dance-chant.

The Magaya’s home yard is not just swept but they also give him a special song of thanks denoted by the particular way they are clapping.

Here is a very endearing thank you speech to the donors by this young girl.  They practice public speaking to be able to remain confident and clear.

This thank you video is in Shona.  Listen to see if there are any English words coming through.  The word ‘donor’ is not a Shona word.  This means that in the traditional language the word doesn’t exist.  This is true for any words that were not part of the original language. For example, they use the English word for car or truck, popping it into their sentences.  There was basically no English language in the country a mere 140 or so years ago when they were first colonized.

You marimba enthusiasts will enjoy this one, as well as this familiar traditional song. These are our MMC girls and the lessons you have provided! 

This feels like a very unstructured “partaaay” song.

Here the girls are heading home after a great couple of days and nights together.  This has been a wonderful homecoming to camp again after no such opportunity since 2019.  Thank you so much for your continued assistance!

If you have any questions about the programs we are providing, please don’t hesitate to ask!  We love talking with you, so always feel free to reach out!

We are profoundly grateful for those who can budget something to step into this particular way of reaching our Zimbabwean neighbors. Check out the options here and choose your preferred programs.

If you can consider a regular monthly contribution, either directly through your bank, or a recurring donation here on the website, it can make a huge difference to the lives of these people.  Thank you for whatever you can do!


An A-maizing Opportunity to Join Us!

With the rain here in the Northwest its hard to imagine a drought in Zimbabwe, but it is pushing hard on the residents to put food on the table. Besides the lack of maize, produce, and grains, a scarcity of rains and rising heat in many parts of Zimbabwe (including Hwange National Park, closer to Victoria Falls) has caused a crisis for elephants and other animals. I’m not including any of those links here because it’s just too graphic and heartbreaking.

Our villagers are seeing the challenges, and are currently asking for our help. El Niño is receiving credit for this lack of rainfall since October, reducing maize harvests country-wide by half. Here are some general links from last week:

SABC NEWS video in a region that looks much like Mhondoro landscape

To translate this to Mhondoro circumstances and our Nhimbe preschool and staff, we look at the cost of a bucket of maize. A bucket has been $6 and suddenly it became $12, and that is expected only to rise over the next year. This is devastating to the average resident. Reaching all of the Nhimbe villagers is outside of our reach, at least for the moment, but addressing the needs of the preschool and staff is within reason.

Our preschool uses 3 buckets a week to feed the 75 or so young ones. We had pre-purchased enough maize in December to get us through last week, and now suddenly we are in an urgent situation to find and buy maize to get us through March of 2025. We are hoping to get a reduced rate of $10/bucket because of buying by the ton. If successful, we will be overbudget, but happily able to feed the children.

Listen in to the children chillin’ on the porch.

124 buckets for the 13 months should have been $744 and instead would be $1,488. This is only the maize, which is the staple. The prices of other foods that go into the children’s varied preschool diet are also on a steep incline.An average family consumes 3 buckets a month. Our initial goal is to buy the 13 staff members 2 of those 3 buckets at a bulk discount so that they can purchase from Nhimbe over the next 13 months at a reduced rate. We are offering the leverage of the bulk purchasing power to them as a group. During the last 2 drought years we purchased thestaff maize, and you helped us cover the bill completely! This is a generous-sounding proposition to tackle for another year.

Once we completely secure the maize it will be 8 tons in 50 kg bags, to store at the Community Center (which is why we have guards) costing $4,800 for both the preschool and staff. Right now, we are waiting to hear confirmation that the money sent last week is finding the seller well-equipped to help us answer the concern.


If you are able to assist us in speaking to the needs of the preschool students and staff, everyone would be tremendously grateful. Besides offsetting the preschool purchasing (only $500 more costly than expected if we buy in bulk) you have the power to help the staff. With your donations:

  • we could eliminate the need for them to purchase the maize at all, if entirely gifted
  • they buy at an even more reduced rate
  • or they could be given some maize intermittently.

We are also researching whether we can locate some of the special drip hoses to set up more growing power for all concerned. Maize growing season is next November and we pray for rains. These drip hoses would be for produce of various sorts to help carry them through these hard times using their wells. For sure, they can grow more greens than currently is plausible. They are heading into winter, which will be cold and dry.

Whatever we might be able to do can carry a big impact. A drought on the edge of famine hits deep. Besides just plain going hungry, and the complete discomfort of that, malnutrition is actually a leading cause of death, and also how various diseases get a foothold in the first place.

The government isn’t set up to be able to reach the population with adequate help. The aid workers visited a month or so ago, requiring everyone to attend the meeting, and gave 4 people from each village something to take home (like beans and oil). 4 people?! A small village like Magaya’s used to be 30 families, and 130 families made up the largest village in Nhimbe, to give you an idea of what that means. Clearly the government is also feeling this pinch, and is quite overwhelmed.

Check out how well they are reciting!

Thank you so much for your continued support! We are doing our best to walk this path conservatively since the need is so great, and it’s only the beginning…we need to get through to 2025 harvest time next April when green mealies (green maize) can be roasted and enjoyed. Please always feel free to call or write with questions. 

Preschool Grads 2023 proud

Warm Wishes for Your New Year!

Thank you for your continuing support helping us here at Ancient Ways to help them, the residents around and about Nhimbe for Progress in Mhondoro, Zimbabwe. We are headed into our 30th year as Ancient Ways and our 25th year sponsoring Nhimbe for Progress. We offer a rich variety of opportunities and resources to the local village residents, which is all due to you and your commitment to assist us in achieving our goals.

If you haven’t seen the annual report and letters, please make time to read about the latest from the villages. Your tax-deductible donations can still be sent until the 31st. If you aren’t affected by the IRS regulations, your contribution is welcome any time! We have a big year ahead and are so grateful for all the ways you do support our work. Please check out our website loaded with options.

The first dedicated Nhimbe program was sponsoring children’s tuition – 21 students on my first trip in 2000 and now 25 years later, we have sponsored thousands of children to attend school.

The first dedicated Nhimbe building program was to build a preschool and operate it in such a way that no child will ever be turned away. There it sat for the longest time without windows or a roof, but just a great desire to bring forth good things. It was Cosmas’ mom, Matilda, who would make the mahewu every night for the morning’s hearty breakfast drink that got the creche program off the ground. She was a treasure.

For over 20 years, the daily meal, with expanded horizons in learning opportunities, plus clean clear abundant water to name a few, all benefit these children directly and the entire community indirectly. Here is a short video giving a little perspective coming out of graduating another 25 children in December of 2023.

Preschool Grads 2023 proud

Aunties, maybe siblings, parents, and teachers are all present and accounted for to make this a big day.  Here is a great example of all of how the graduation is the child’s first step into the academic world, wearing their graduation gown and receiving their diploma.

Preschool Grads 2023 attendees

We build a special temporary tent to house the visitors on this big day. School officials and the councilors for the local government are both in attendance. In addition to the child and her father, we see Simon, who is Cosmas’ “cousin brother” and the headman of the Magaya Village, plus Febby Shava, who is our preschool head as well as one of the preschool teachers.

Preschool Grads 2023 food
Preschool Grads 2023 prizes

The first picture above shares most everything except the chickens that were purchased for the rest of the meal. I see rice, maputi, which is puffed maize snack much like popcorn, a tangerine type of oranges, and an orange soda drink to supplement the main dish. We aren’t lavish with the graduation ceremony, but spent $100 for all of the diplomas, the prizes, and the food for all attendees. The other picture shows the prizes that are given to the graduates. The main obvious gift is what is called an exercise book, which is a standard tablet that is a requirement for going to school.

Normally our preschoolers are so stoic in their graduation picture but this one we caught them relaxed! We look forward to their continued education and success.

Here is wishing you a relaxing and prosperous new year! Thank you again for your continued support – please see our 2024 Focus page that summarizes how you do make the difference! Tatenda Chaizvo! We thank you very much!

Marimba Playing Plus+ to Resume!

With Covid-19 lockdowns many of our regular Nhimbe activities were stalled during their winter, recently ending. Everything is getting back into the spring swing of things.
In particular, we agreed to build a marimba hut at our last board meeting in June. All of the cement and bricks, which are the most expensive parts, were purchased and ready to go, but then everything stopped. Plus, the wildfire took out the playground about that time. So, now we are picking up various pieces and getting back on track.

Muda took the medical gowns that we were obligated to buy last January and was able to sell them. What a relief! The regulation for school use was put in place out of anxiety rather than science, and even though we had a feeling they wouldn’t be used, we still had to purchase them. He was able to get the full $700 back, which has gone into the hut building projects.

We had agreed to build a larger library, since our current one is tiny and loaded, as well as a marimba hut, since the current housing situation doesn’t provide adequate ventilation. Both huts are large to accommodate better spacing with the students.

It all starts with bricks made by the local builders creating the foundation.

The next layers are set at a different angle and the wall begins.

School continues in the midst, and the walls are showing spaces for the door and windows.

The design includes the long windows like we have at the preschool and more of them than normal.

Muda is returning to Mhondoro now that Cosmas’ ceremony was completed October 2nd. He had returned to Harare and took a couple days to recoup, so now is ready to head out of the city, and help Febby organize the way forward.

There are many projects to manage in a short time. The fence building is waiting for the official steps to complete with the local councilors (many thanks to you for your support on that), MMC and marimba are in the mix for our young girls, these two new huts are being built, and soap is being distributed hopefully in the very near future. All of this while the preschool is actively operational and everyone is delighted to be back at it!
Thank you so much for your continued interest and financial support throughout our evolution!

Many Thanks to Your Generosity!

Since we were awarded additional Community Center land by Chief Nherera, we are now blessed to have a space for the children’s outside activities. We knew it would cost $6,400 to cover the fence and equipment for this space, and now with only just over $300 we will have met the goal! Thank you!

I am amazed and touched by how you have come through for us, time and time again! The wild fire was so unexpected and left us all with our heads spinning…we’ve never had such a challenge before. Everyone is so grateful that we are on the mend!

Rolls and rolls…

If you were hoping to help us with this, now is a great time. We have allocated all unexpected funds received since the fire, which were identified as “greatest need” or specifically for the preschool, and would love to finish this fundraising step, so that our annual budget can stay firmly intact for running the regular programs.

Muda is in Mhondoro working overtime to take care of Nhimbe business as well as being with the family as they prepare for Cosmas’ special ceremony, the kurova guva, coming up next weekend. We will have more Nhimbe updates forthcoming, but for now I wanted to share our simple rolls-of-fencing photo. It’s very exciting growth!

Just prior to the fire, in our June board meeting, we had agreed to build two new huts, one for marimba, and one for the library to grow. Cement was purchased in Harare, bricks were delivered by the local donkey cart, and the foundation started. These huts were first held up by the COVID lock-down, and then by the penetrating attention that the fire had imposed.

After Cosmas’ ceremony we will be able to share more about all of the work being done, as well as get an update about the routine school and MMC activities going on with the youth and their well-being. The children and staff are both elated to be back to their educational focus…everyone there really understands that education equals empowerment. I’m a big advocate for more and complete information in every way with a vision that it would stop all war…simplistic. Thank you for your commitment as we work through the process of bringing you the latest…your support is greatly appreciated.

We are within close reach of our required target so please, if you are able, we are grateful. Either the side bar donation box, or the store link works well (we have done website repairs and are extremely happy to share that it is now a frustration-FREE operation). Accolades to our new tech volunteer from Cincinnati!

Thank you!

Library Hut Thatching Success!

After 17 years of wear and tear, this hut roof needed replacing. Thanks to your help, we managed to get ‘er done!

The steps to building a new roof are amazing.

First the old roof is taken down.
And that isn’t a quick job…

With a completely new roof, the poles are replaced, not just the grass.

Also not a quick job…

The gum poles are purchased, along with thatching grass, wire, nails, thatching twine and lathe. The poles are found about 27 km from our Community Center. We use a pickup truck and some strong men to cut poles and ferry them.

The area began being deforested in the 1950’s and gradually a couple of plantations of gum poles (eucalyptus) sprung up to supplement firewood for the area, as well as provide poles for building.

Then we replace the poles.

Yes…this goes on for a while...and they get it figured out…

The thatch is purchased in completely different places than the poles. We bought in local Chief Rwizi’s area from more than 8 villages. Also Chief Ngezi’s area sold us thatch from 5 villages. Cosmas and Patricia were ferrying the items with the help of the 3 strong fellows.

It takes many loads to thatch a hut.
What a Beautiful Site!
And, all of our lovely library books are now safe and sound inside!

PLEASE NOTE – The marimba clip is Nyaradzo, from our Mwoyochena CD. This song was donated by Anzanga. This beautiful song is almost 8 minutes long…the clip repeat is only 1.5 minutes.

Get your own copy here!

Last Call for This Trip to Zimbabwe!

Surprises come in many forms and this time it was unprecedented funding covering the expenses for a volunteer videographer to join Jaiaen on her upcoming trip to Zimbabwe in November!  Leaving 11-11 and returning 12-12 the team will be working in all of the project areas, bringing back art, as well as taking several project supplies (see below). Please read and respond soon to if you have the video qualifications to offer our 25th anniversary as Ancient Ways, and our 20th anniversary year of working in Zimbabwe. Thank you!

How can you help with your Amazon Smile purchasing power?  First sign up for Amazon smile choosing Ancient Ways in Scio OR.  Then look at the “charity list” that we have prepared with this upcoming trip in mind (notice these items are marked urgent since time is of the essence). 

If you like shopping and want to help, please choose one of the items that we need to take early this next month. (Read the balloon text box next to each item). They will be shipped immediately to our Oregon address, and be able to pack into our Zimbabwe suitcases right away. Please pass these requests to your friends and family. Here is a summary for this trip:

GloGerm powder and fluorescent flashlight – This amazing product is a basic for sharing about hand washing hygiene. In a brief moment one can see how well they wash, and what to do differently. We have used this product in the past health forums and it has been a real hit!

Sensory Letter Cards – Preschoolers learn best through their senses.  These cards offer the upper and lower case alphabet in multiple colors with touch.  Lightweight and easy to take!

Sewing Needles – In Zimbabwe, the needles are coming from China and are below standard, often being rusty, and of course, breaking during use.  These requested needles are high quality, lightweight, and so easy to pack.  How precious it is to sew, particularly with knowledge of how to make monthly care supplies. Purchase just one of the needle 3-packs listed, and almost half of our girls will each get a new needle!

Cotton Canvas Tote Bags – This tote 12-pack is well designed and sturdy.  The women who do textile arts can utilize these high quality totes to design a nice product for sale here.

Car Charger Extender – This great product allows USB and cigarette charging for multiple electronics in one location.  With electricity at a premium both in the city and rural area, our Nhimbe office needs help.  Many people in the city stay up at night to use what little electricity is available.  In the rural area, generators and solar help but not sufficient.  This is a great solution!

Thank you for this assistance!

Zimfest and Zimbabwe News

Summer Greetings!

The Zimbabwe Music Festival 2019 is just around the corner, starting with a free concert on Thursday evening, August 8th at WOU Monmouth, OR, and going through Sunday the 11th, midnight! See Please join us there, as we share in the love of Zimbabwe, learning and playing its music, hearing more about its culture, and connecting with like-spirited folk.

All kinds of musicians will be playing most of the day, both outside during the day, and inside for the incredible night-time concerts. If you have never tried your hand at marimba or mbira, now is a great time! Ancient Ways will be both a vendor in the marketplace open Friday-Sunday, and playing as Chipindura Marimba on Saturday at 1 p.m.

If you are attending, please stop in and say hello. Do get in touch now to be a volunteer in the booth for an hour or two, in case you can squeeze us in! We appreciate however you can help and look forward to seeing you there!

The latest news from Zimbabwe has been percolating for about a month. We have been waiting to see how the dust settles. As of the last week of June, anything except Zimbabwean currency became illegal to trade. Its fine to own, but can’t be used, other than to exchange it for the Zim bond note. This of course, is so complicated for everyone. Let me leave you here with a brief report from our friend in Zimbabwe:

We are trying to cope with the situation here, both economic and political.   I know that we are more fortunate than many and I don’t know how the man in the street is managing these days.  Food is becoming much more expensive and now that we have the ban on spending US$ for goods and services that has only complicated the whole issue.  Of course, people still use dollars, and sellers accept them, but always having to look over one’s shoulder.  And there is much confusion about “exchange” rates between the dollar and the newly-created Zimbabwe Dollar (which is a mixture of RTGS and Bond). The official rate is now 8.85 but on the street it is 10, or 12, or whatever the seller wants to use. 

I don’t know what the NGO projects do with the dollars they get from the US; it isn’t illegal in any way for the non-profits to send dollars – after all, millions of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora send money home on a regular basis, and the economy of the country depends to a large extent on these incoming dollars.  But whether they are still paid out in dollars by Western Union I don’t know. And if they are, legally they are required to convert them to ZimDollars – and then to use a registered exchange dealer and get the official rate.  I have no idea how bookkeepers or accountants will account for it with any of these projects or businesses! 

As an example of how costs have escalated, my wife’s car was recently serviced; nothing complicated, just a service and oil change.  She was charged an amount which was very nearly half of her monthly salary! 

A large part of the country is having 18 hour power-cuts every day; they have had to change their life-style to sleep during the day and get up at night to do the cooking, washing and housework.  This also means that alarm system batteries are not being charged up, also electric gate batteries.  Hundred of people are now opting for solar power with batteries and inverters – we are in the process of doing so, although we haven’t had such severe power cuts (I think because there are some very high-powered individuals lining nearby). 

I don’t know where this is all going to end up. 

We too, have no idea where it will all end up. This is the 20th year Ancient Ways is celebrating on the ground in Zimbabwe, and most of it has always been in not knowing…it has never been clear how anything would be resolving. We all just have an enormous amount of faith in the Creative Life Force that cradles the good close to the heart, staying focused, standing for only the best possible outcomes.

Peace and blessings to you and yours – and may we see you at Zimfest!

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.

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 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 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 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!