There is much gratitude we share in this post…thank you ever so much for your ongoing support! We can’t do it without you. Those who have sent the funds that you want to earmark for one or more of our programs have come through. You have made our planning for 2023 a workable reality. There are still some areas that are underfunded, so if you haven’t made time to contribute, please (click here) do so today, or here to make a recurring donation of any amount! The Marketplace continues as a happening venue as well . . . check it out here!
All of the efforts, on both sides of the world, to keep Nhimbe a live, thriving, organism with vital programs and services, are fortunately resilient. We continue to adapt to the ever-changing landscape in Zimbabwe, as well as the economic hardships that the people of our nation face. We, in Ancient Ways, are a testament to longevity and have tremendous capacity for building a strong and creative infrastructure with people, where there is none in the way of expected services.
The lack of electricity, toxic water sources, impossible internet connections, and broken roads are just part of a way of life, and in the midst of that, Nhimbe continues to flourish with its own identity rooted in success. As Cosmas used to say “We are winning!” in the ever-uphill battle to create progress.
The tumultuous and nearly deafening normalcy of challenges would frustrate the average American citizen to beyond their limits. Even for someone like me who loves to camp without amenities, and has traveled there many times, it’s hard to imagine that the terrain doesn’t really change much, but only in small incremental ways. Because some things improve, we can, but shouldn’t, get our hopes up about other things. Our most recent difficulties in communication have topped the list.
What a joy it was to give the volunteer staff some special acknowledgement for the job well done! I have never seen Febby Shava, our co-director, and head of the preschool and MMC, smile with such full-on unencumbered radiance. She is often needing to run everything, so taking a minute to relax and receive, was really a great thing. As I shared in the December blog and letter (click here in case you missed it), she was elated to think that anyone even noticed. Here she receives the plaque, scarf and a special monetary bonus for running the preschool for the last 20 years.
The team was brought to her home to be able to deliver her goat, like all the volunteers received, where we see her in front of her traditional hut.
She shared the story of working for quite some time for Nhimbe to save enough to build this four-cornered building, where she now houses her kitchen and new sleeping quarters. The metal on the left side of the photo is an old-style corn crib for her maize with a new twist of using galvanized corrugated sheets.
The flat slab with bricks in front of the maize field was a spare bedroom taken down by some of the last inclement weather. She has yet to rebuild it. That maize is certainly looking great and will produce quite a harvest, as long as the rains continue. I’m amazed that this woman has time to think about being a farmer, in addition to everything else she does! Industrious is her middle name!
Our building and security manager Isaac Mawodzeka, who has been with Nhimbe since its onset, is showing off his goat…seems to me his has some incredible markings and will be a great one for developing the herds around Nhimbe, since all the women volunteers received the potential nannies. The other men also received the male goats.
We were able to build 13 wells last year, totally due to your support. We know that the $330 is a lot and not extra change found in the couch cushions…it’s a big gift from you…and the families are very grateful. The well starts with an empty hole, that is then lined with bricks like this. What an engineering feat!
The lid is created separately (foreground of the photo) and will then be moved to the top of the well. The recipient Mrs. Socho is from Gore village and is 83 years young!
Here is Isaac and the worksite. The cart loaded from a nearby brick-maker is usually drawn by oxen but sometimes a donkey. That bucket you see is what the family provides for bringing up their water; every family chooses how to handle the retrieval. Isaac supervises the building and watches over the process so we have less repairs, and more overall success. Sometimes cyclones dump so much rain there is nothing that can withstand it, but in general, we have learned much over the years about solid well building!
Thank you again for your continued assistance and encouragement. I know that some people might say I’m irrepressible (like “don’t encourage her”). Even though I do agree that spontaneity, play, and blameless courage reigns, I’m also timid, a bit shy, particularly in the role the Universe has put me in, to ask people for help. You’d think I’d get used to it after all these years.
The reality is that it’s not my project, it’s not even their project, but a project of all of ours, in the very largest sense. It belongs to the spiritual world and we are just pawns in carrying out the plan…all doing our best, to uplift the people in Zimbabwe, specifically the residents of the Nhimbe for Progress villages, and bring a new hope and face to the rural area. Where nothing out of the ordinary existed before, it now proclaims a brighter future!
Thank you for all of your part of this, whether now, in the past, or in the future! Wishing you the best for 2023!