Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Spiders, rice and my dad

I wash my hair in the kitchen sink every morning. I find that it's easier than in the tub, because there is only one faucet. This morning there was a big wall spider in the sink. I honestly don't mind these wall spiders on the wall - they're fairly calm and make for nice decoration. But I didn't particularly relish the thought of one climbing through my hair. So, I had to get my (very manly) husband to come rescue me from the insect. My hero...

Last night we had our first Zimbabwean dinner guests. We were expecting a whole family, but just the mother and father came. Our secret plan was to have everything ready when they came, so that I could simply serve the meal and give the illusion that I had cooked the entire feast. Things started to go wrong when they arrived early, and then became a bit disastrous when I burned 2 pounds of rice. Cooking stresses me out - and oh man, I was stressed out! So, I had a little cry in the washroom and then let John help me finish the meal. The meal turned out ok, and the fellowship was really nice. At the end, the amai (wife) said, "now John, I noticed that you were helping out in the kitchen. In our culture, men don't do that. But, you know, I liked it! Maybe you should teach my husband some things!" A sigh of relief. When you're new, there's a lot of pressure to fit in. I'm certainly not your typical African woman, but I'm praying for people here to show me grace and accept me as I am.

And finally - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! I love you lots, and I'm sending hugs across the ocean. My dad is a good man, and the best dad I could ask for.

Spiders, rice and my dad

I wash my hair in the kitchen sink every morning. I find that it's easier than in the tub, because there is only one faucet. This morning there was a big wall spider in the sink. I honestly don't mind these wall spiders on the wall - they're fairly calm and make for nice decoration. But I didn't particularly relish the thought of one climbing through my hair. So, I had to get my (very manly) husband to come rescue me from the insect. My hero...

Last night we had our first Zimbabwean dinner guests. We were expecting a whole family, but just the mother and father came. Our secret plan was to have everything ready when they came, so that I could simply serve the meal and give the illusion that I had cooked the entire feast. Things started to go wrong when they arrived early, and then became a bit disastrous when I burned 2 pounds of rice. Cooking stresses me out - and oh man, I was stressed out! So, I had a little cry in the washroom and then let John help me finish the meal. The meal turned out ok, and the fellowship was really nice. At the end, the amai (wife) said, "now John, I noticed that you were helping out in the kitchen. In our culture, men don't do that. But, you know, I liked it! Maybe you should teach my husband some things!" A sigh of relief. When you're new, there's a lot of pressure to fit in. I'm certainly not your typical African woman, but I'm praying for people here to show me grace and accept me as I am.

And finally - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! I love you lots, and I'm sending hugs across the ocean. My dad is a good man, and the best dad I could ask for.

Monday, May 29, 2006

So close to giraffes

Well, we had another interesting Zimbabwean weekend. The highlight had to be coming within metres of giraffes and zebras! Saturday afternoon we walked to Mukavisi Park. We paid extra to get a "safari walking tour" and it was worth the money! I was so excited to be within metres of my two favourite animals. Being in the wild did feel very "African," I must admit. Unfortunately, we didn't have our camera... sorry - no pictures.

Friday night we went for Chinese food with some friends. The food was delicious, and the company was great too (although it made me miss my Chinese friends in Toronto). There are actually a lot of Chinese people in Harare. One result of the "look East policy," I suppose.

Yesterday we spent most of the day at a retirement service for a Salvation Army Divisional Commander. The service started at 11:00am, but we were VIPs from THQ (territorial headquarters), so we skipped the first part of the service and got escorted into a separate building for lunch. The sadza filled me up for the rest of the day! John was covering the event for the "Salvationist," so felt a bit unsure about missing some of the actual event, but when in Rome... (especially when food is involved!) We entered the service around 12:00 and it finished around 5:00pm. The first few hours were very lively. I just love dancing in church here. People stare at me, but then again, people constantly stare at us no matter what we're doing, so I figure my bad dancing skills are not necessarily a reason for concern. So, yeah, the first few hours were great - lots of music, hoshoes, and timbrels/tambourines (which, I must admit, I enjoy more here than in Canada!) But by the last couple of hours, when the focus was mainly on gifts and monetary offerings (of course, each section of the division had to make its own presentation - men's fellowship, youth, band, family members, etc.), I was a wee bit bored (it was also very hot in the jam-packed service, and although having someone translate the whole time is immensely helpful, it's also tiring). I almost laughed (better option than crying) when the meeting continued on for another 30 minutes after the benediction. Of course, all of the special guests have to be thanked for just being in attendance. It's all very formal.

Gift-giving is huge here. There was a table set up at the front of the retirement service for the money counters. All large financial donations are counted, tabulated and announced in the service. It was the same thing at the wedding. Giving in secret does not seem too popular! Actually, when we got home, a couple of girls came over for a visit. One of them (a teenager) told me she had a gift for me, and gave me $100,000. I must admit that I had no idea what to do (beyond, obviously, showing her that I was really grateful for such a nice gift). What would you do if someone gave you $100,000? :) Adjusting to culture is full of adventure and fun, but can sometimes be stressful too.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Just to clarify

Just to clarify about my husband's new friend - it was the outside of his thigh! (see below)

My Africa day was fairly uneventful. I cleaned our little house, and vacuumed everything in sight - including blankets and the bathtub. I was on a dust-destroying mission to alleviate John's allergic reactions. I did a lot of laundry too. Unfortunately, you have to iron everything that goes out on the clothesline because of little bugs that can get in the clothes. Consequently, I've been keeping some things inside to dry. It was a bit embarassing when a guy came to visit and there were underwear and socks draped over every piece of furniture! Oh well.

Journey to Masvingo

Yesterday was Africa Day, so we had the day off work. Rochelle stayed in Harare, but I travelled to Masvingo with the Territorial Youth Secretary to meet with the Divisional Commander, the Divisional Youth Officer and other youth leaders and representatives to plan the territorial youth councils happening there the end of June. Wow, there was a lot of official titles in that sentence. Anyway, Masvingo is over 390 km away, which is quite a trip if you're familiar with African roads.

Since the TYS doesn't have a vehicle (only Cabinet Secretaries have vehicles) and couldn't get one from THQ for the day, we had to take a bus to Masvingo. We left home for the bus terminal at 5:30 am and got on a bus at 6:30 am. We arrived in Masvingo around 10:30 am. It was quite a trip. I saw baboons, monkeys and breathtaking scenery. We stopped in Chivhu to stretch our legs and have some bananas. There was a large sign there that said: "In Chivhu, anyone can get HIV/AIDS, and anyone can prevent HIV/AIDS."

The DC and DYO picked us up in Masvingo and we went to the DHQ compound (includes DHQ, a corps and the home of the corps officer and DC). The DC mentioned that it's not safe for them to live there these days as thieves keep coming and stealing their property. The thieves came recently with knives and forced the children to open the doors, telling them that they would kill them if they didn't let them in. Many officers in this territory have been robbed recently. Please pray for the safety of Salvation Army personnel in this territory. (I thought that someone was trying to break into our home earlier this week, as I woke up in the middle of night to the sounds of dogs barking and the doors and windows rattling. It turns out that I was only experiencing my first earthquake tremors.)

The planning meeting was very fruitful, and I'm really looking forward to the event. There will be a prayer tent, all-nights of prayer, a march of witness, three or four open airs with door-to-door campaigns, six workshops, sports ministry (soccer and netball), praise and testimony meetings and holiness meetings. Youth are coming from across the territory, so we're renting school classrooms in the area where youth can sleep and have some shelter from the cold (it's winter here). There was a lot of prayer put into the planning, and I continue to be impressed and challenged by the spiritual maturity of this territory.

After the planning, we had a quick meal of sadza and spinach and then rushed to find a bus to take us back to Harare. But there were no buses. So we went to the main intersection leading out of town and waited for possible transport (ie hitchhiking). Don't worry, the DC waited with us to make sure we found a ride. After an hour, we found a driver with a pickup willing to take us. And 15 other people. The TYS and I jumped in first and got the prime spots with our back to the front of the vehicle. We were very crammed in, as people had groceries and belongings with them as well. After an hour or two, most people got off at their destinations so we had a little more room in the back.

Sitting in the back, I had a prime seat to watch a stunning African sunset. And then, once it got dark, to examine the multitude of stars in the sky. After a while, it started to get really cold. And I mean really cold. Shivering and shaking, I thought to myself: "I'm sitting in the back of a pickup truck that is driving fast along a bumpy African road on a four-hour trip and this is official Salvation Army business?" Life is very different here (I think this will be a recurring sentence in my blogs). It's unbelievable that this is how the TYS travels. I can't imagine Dave Ivany, my father-in-law and the TYS in Canada, having to do this.

The other man in the back of the pick-up truck kept pressing his body into ours to stay warm and shielded from the cold wind. At one point his face was pressed into my thigh. As we said goodbye, he said that he was sure we would meet again. He's probably correct, as in some cultures, we would probably be married now.

I made it home safely (I won't tell you about getting dropped off in downtown Harare and waiting to get picked up again as I'm just remembering that our mothers read this...) but what an experience. Tomorrow is the first day in a month where we have nothing planned (so far), and we're looking forward to the opportunity to just relax and unwind. There's a small gamepark about an hour's walk from us, so we might take an afternoon trip there.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


The Shona people of Zimbabwe have totems, which are symbols of identity similar to clans or tribes. A totem is an animal such as the lion, elephant, zebra or monkey. Addressing someone by their totem is highly respectful and very formal. From our very first day, people have been asking us what our totems are. As foreigners, there’s the freedom to choose our own totem, but from what I understand, most people receive their totem based on their family heritage or what region they come from.

Most people assume that my totem is Shumba (lion), which seems as good a totem as any. Rochelle naturally gravitated towards Twiza (giraffe), but I’m pretty sure that the twiza isn’t actually a totem animal. But let’s keep that a secret between us and let Rochelle keep on believing…

I’m not sure how the totems fit into the traditional religion, but I’m sure they played a significant role in worship. It’s interesting that the Shona continue to have totems, even though most would consider themselves Christian. From what I’ve witnessed so far, many seem to possess a combination of both traditional African and Christian beliefs.

The chief secretary has been suggesting lately that The Salvation Army should be the totem of Salvationists. I think this is a pretty cool idea. This would be helpful for officers’ kids, as they find it difficult to have a regional or tribal home since they move around so much. Amai Commissioner (mother commissioner) is so concerned about this lack of traditional upbringing that she is discouraging the thought of marriage between officers’ kids. She says that officers’ kids are brothers and sisters, so they can’t get married. This created quite a stir in the combi ride home when the officer wives discovered that we were both officers’ kids and therefore brother and sister. But it’s all going to work out, as there’s a traditional ceremony involving a large white chicken that will make it okay for us to be married. I’ll let you know how that turns out…  

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

In the news

I've been feeling really cut off from the world - not being able to access the www, not having a t.v., etc. but yesterday I got a hold of some newspapers. I read an interesting story about a couple from Kenya that actually took place 2 years ago. There was a writer who returned to Kenya from self-exile, and the first night he was back, he returned to his house, and was heading into the bedroom, where his wife was already sleeping. 4 gunmen broke into the house, ransacked it, and demanded money. Even though they were given the money, they started raping the wife - in front of her husband. A tragic situation. But the article I was reading was about all the debate that has surrounded the case ever since - basically around whether or not this husband should divorce his wife. Most agree that he should - because she has been violated - and right in front of him. Tainted goods. The article was saying that actually most African women keep rape a secret - even from their husbands - so that they will not have to face divorce. For the men, this is connected to pride and shame (staying married to a woman who has been with another man), and also HIV/AIDS. I was shocked and angered at this article. Honestly - a woman undergoes the trauma and violation of rape, and then she has to keep it a secret so that she will not further be divorced and isolated and rejected?

In other news, my dad sent me an article about the recent changes to legislation in Canada, allowing for temporary residence permits of up to 120 days for trafficked persons (as well as exemption from the processing fee and eligibility for health coverage under Interim Federal Health). These were elements of a proposal I wrote up for government, so it's good to see that I had such a big impact so quickly!!! :)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Send the Fire

Safety doesn't always come first in Zimbabwe. Well, not even second or third. It's quite common to see people piling into the back of pick-up trucks or combies (buses) carrying twice as many passengers as they should. It's quite understandable, though, given the high cost of fuel. Sadly, there's been quite a few traffic-related deaths lately, which have proved even more tragic due to the number of people crammed into vehicles. With the frequent power outages, it can get a bit crazy during rush hour without the traffic lights. And the roads aren't that great either. Someone told me that the sober drivers constantly swerve around potholes, while the drunk drivers drive straight. And don't even ask about care seats for children.

I set my backyard on fire yesterday. I gathered up some old maize stalks and dried grass into a huge mound and then set it on fire. In just a few seconds I had a roaring bonfire going. As I watched the ashes blowing into a neigbouring field of dried grass and maize, I thought to myself: "Good Lord, I'm going to set my whole community on fire." But a few minutes later (and after stomping out a few small fires that started next door) the fire died out. I needed the ashes to sprinkle over my vegetable beds to help with the compost. It's very common to see fires everywhere you go, even in the city. You can be walking along the street and there's small fires going, burning grass and garbage.

We had about eight kids running around our home and yard yesterday, so I think we're now officially part of the community. While I was planting carrots and onions in the backyard, Rochelle was teaching the kids how to play Uno and Kaboodle. A couple of the boys later discovered that I have "boygame," so no doubt my Gameboy will now be seen a communal resource in the community. I'm planting green pepper, strawberries, garlic, tomatoes and chillis this evening, so will hopefully just have to focus on maintaining the garden after that. It's been hard work preparing the soil, but the experience has really brought passages of Scripture alive for us in a new and meaningful way. We also discovered that we have a small avocado tree in the unoccupied home next to us (we live in a duplex), so we will start taking care of that now. It's not in great shape, but if we care for it, the tree should start producing fruit in two years. Well worth the wait, considering the number of avocados we eat in a week. We can't wait for mango season to come.

With the inflation rate so high and school fees rising, many families are struggling to send their kids to school. We had some people ask if we had any friends or family members who would be willing to sponsor their children's education. I'm still working out how much it would cost annually (not much by Western standards - $150-300 CDN), but will let you know soon in case you're interested in helping out. Drop me a line at communications_service@zim.salvationarmy.org if you think you might be interested.

We attended two events on Saturday. The first was a gathering of officers kids and the second was a music and gospel arts festival that lasted nearly five hours. One of us will post tomorrow about the events (still recovering). On the way to the first event we travelled through an area of Harare we had never seen before. It was inner-city Africa with thousands of people crammed into tenement housing. I haven't been able to get the images out of my mind since. We want to find out more about the area and see how we can start working and/or moving there. We've already been told that it's not safe for us to go there by ourselves, but we'll have to see. 614 Harare? Who knows.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Help with singing

I'm currently listening to a CD of UTGC songs on my computer. I miss my choir! Shout out to especially to Lydia, who just had a baby!!!!
There's a youth choir at our new church. I went to rehearsal last Sunday afternoon. I've always been in choirs, so I thought it would be a good way to connect with people. That Sunday they were learning a new song that someone in the choir had composed. It was in Shona, and it was also in the "sol-fa" system. So, rather than any notes, above each word was either "do re mi fa sol" etc. My only to exposure to this was in South Africa 8 years ago. So, not only was I trying to sing in another language, but also in a different system. It was a challenge, because by the time I figured out how do was related to fa (the interval), we were already on to ti. After a few minutes the director asked someone to move and sit next to me - to help me stay on tune. I was MORTIFIED! I wanted to explain that I really can sing (and stay on tune), but that the system was just different. It was very humbling.

But it made me think... It made me think of newcomers to Canada, and how some people think they're unintelligent/unskilled because they either don't speak the language, or else their system/way of doing things/way of thinking is different. It also made me think of how many times I've made a gesture to "help" someone (like asking someone to sit next to me to keep me on tune) when it has probably actually made them feel worse about their situation or themselves. Very humbling indeed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Learning Shona

We begin our Shona classes this evening after work. We've already picked up some of the language, and our neighbours, co-workers and strangers on the street seem to appreciate us carrying out simple conversations with them. Even our church services are entirely in Shona. Unfortunately, there's at least four different editions of the song book, so it can be difficult for us to locate the right songs in church. As Rochelle mentioned, Shona really is the heart language of the people so we want to learn as much as possible. We need to be more intentional about this, however, and dedicate time each day to studying and practicing the language. I think taking the classes will help us with that. I hope to memorize a few prayers next week so that I can begin to pray publicly in Shona.

We've started a garden in our backyard. We've got four small plots of land where we can grow vegetables year round. We've been preparing the soil this week and will probably plant some seeds and seedlings on the weekend or early next week. It was hard work getting the ground ready so I'm quite proud of my blisters. We're also going to plant some flowers and shrubs in the front of our home. I'll post some pictures when I get a chance.

We're settling in nicely in our new home. We share it with some gigantic wall spiders (they catch bugs so we let them stay rent free), many other smaller spiders and some small lizards (geckos and swifts). No rats so far, but some of our neighbours are having trouble with them. I saw a gigantic one running across my neighbours backyard last week. We've got a small kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom. It's quite cozy and there's even a fireplace which we may use if it continues to get colder (the nights can get quite chilly in winter).

Life is very hard here for Zimbabweans. Now that we've been here a couple of weeks people seem to be more honest with us about their lives. I was walking with some youth on Sunday and they wanted to know why we would move to Zimbabwe when so many people are trying to leave. One young man in university said that when he was a kid it cost $20,000 for university tuition. Today it costs many millions. He was holding a banana that he was going to eat for his lunch; three days earlier I had bought two small bananas for $28,000. Wages have increased a bit, but not enough to keep up with increasing prices and an inflation rate nearing 1000 percent. Rising school fees make it incredibly difficult for parents to send their children to school. We'd like to help our neighbours with this, but we're waiting and praying for discernment on whether we should do this and how to go about it. One of our neighbours joked (I think) that she wanted us to adopt two of her kids so that we could pay for their school fees and uniforms.

The power goes out at least five times a week, usually between 4:30-7:30. That includes traffic lights!  It gets dark naturally around 6 pm, so you really can't go anywhere after that unless you have a vehicle. If you get home in time to boil some water before the power goes out, you can cook rice as long as you keep a lid tightly sealed on the pot. That's a little tip we got from Major Dawn Howse and Max Vincent. Most of our neighbours cook outside over a fire on the nights there's no power, so I imagine we will start doing that eventually. I always enjoyed food over a campfire...  

We don't buy much meat as it's expensive but we find it interesting that in Zimbabwe chicken is the luxury item whereas beef (ie steak!!) is cheaper. We have some herbs that I've planted (basil, purple basil, mint, coriander, parsley, rosemary) which make our simple meals (ie tomatoes and onions over rice; avocado sandwiches; scrambled eggs) a little more interesting and tasty.

In my next post I'll tell you about totems... You'll just have to wait and find out!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Well, I never thought I would see the day, but yesterday something incredible happened - John and I became millionaires. We got our first Zimbabwean "paycheque" (read: pile of cash) and between us, we made almost $14 million. Before coming here I had never even imagined seeing a million dollars, nevermind making millions. Of course, the experience was slightly less exciting when, on the ride home, I started to calculate what our salary would actually be in Canadian dollars... never mind. By the way, please don't start sending requests - we need the money for groceries!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Weekend update

We had another busy weekend. Friday night we had our first dinner guests. We totally splurged on groceries (buying cheese AND salad dressing AND ice cream), and John prepared a wonderful pasta dinner. It was yummy - a taste of food from home. We've always believed in treating ourselves to good food once in a while.

Saturday we went to a Salvation Army hospital (Howard) in Chiweshe for a nurses' graduation. It was a blessing to see the nurses and midwives get their diplomas. A couple of the mothers were singing and dancing and were just so proud of their daughters. This class did well too - they got all top 5 prizes for nation-wide exams. We were there as official territorial headquarters guests, which meant chocolate cake beforehand, so that was a bonus. The governor came to give congratulations, and we got our first taste of political dialogue. Our friend Julia, who has been at Howard for several months, gave us a quick tour of the hospital. The most striking part was the children's feeding centre. My heart broke seeing the little malnourished babies. I guess every country has its contrasts, but it's still a shock to actually see it firsthand; where you can eat chocolate cake in the morning with important officials, and then see parents who literally can't feed their children in the afternoon.

Yesterday we spent Mothers' Day at church. Yep, I cried a few times. I feel so far away from my mom! At the afternoon service we got some preaching on the ideal woman. I'm afraid I didn't fare too well according to the standards, which may be bad news for John since here, by culture, when you get married, your wife becomes your mother. Uh oh.

In the evening we started our garden. Yes, your urban friends are going to attempt to grow our own vegetables! John is quite excited about this project, and I'm sure he'll be a greenthumb within the month. Our new friends from Congo-Brazaville came over and helped us get started with watering and turning the soil. We'll keep you updated.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Kissing sugar

John and I went back to Alice's last night with a belated birthday gift - a small bag of sugar. She laughed and cried at the same time, and just kept on kissing the bag, saying sugar is like gold. She also cried when we sang Happy Birthday. She said it reminded her of when her kids used to sing to her. "Now we have a son and daughter." Sometimes small actions can go a long way when done in love.

We registered for Shona classes today. We start next week, just one evening a week. Hopefully we will learn quickly and well. Shona is the heart language of most of the people here, and so it will really help us with our relationship-building. Tonight we're also having our first guests for dinner. I'm hoping (for John's sake!) that there's power so that he can whip up one of his gourmet meals (well, gourmet will depend on what's on the shelves of the grocery stores later this afternoon I guess...) :) Always an adventure.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

No cakes, no children, no celebration

We live on a compound, along with many other people. There are several pensioners who live there and get a reasonable rate for rent. Last night I went to visit a couple named Alice and Mac. Mac was actually born in Scotland. He was telling me about his life as an engineer, and in the Navy. He said his first wife (actually, he said his white wife) left him and ran away to marry a man in South Africa. "I don't blame her though. Love is strong. In fact, it's the strongest thing in this world." Alice is Ndebele, and she is one of those people that's very happy and very sad at the same time. I discovered that it was actually her birthday yesterday. But as she explained, there were no cakes for her (sugar shortage), no children to celebrate with (all 3 of her children have died) and therefore no real celebration. My heart broke for them. She asked if I could act as her daughter. She also asked if I was enjoying Zimbabwe. I said yes, and she laughed. "Don't worry... soon you will hate it. People here are suffering."

Kids went back to school on Tuesday. A big stress for parents was the increased school fees, plus the price of school uniforms, etc. Yesterday I was talking to a man who feels so much shame about not being able to provide school uniforms for his children, despite his job. "And my wife... she would like a sewing machine, but that is impossible. So she feels I'm not providing for her."

I feel humbled. Please keep Zimbabweans in your prayers. Love IS the strongest thing in this world.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Youth Councils

We spent the weekend at Salvation Army Youth Councils. They were held at Chinyika - about 45 minutes outside of Harare. I'm not good at estimating numbers, but I would guess that there were at least 700 youth in attendance. All of the meetings were outdoors, and yes, we got sunburned on the first day. We went up with the youth group from Harare City Corps, and pitched a tent (borrowed from the police) in the middle of the field to sleep in. We cooked all of our own food on a little campfire, and there was no running water, so we brought big barrels of it from the city.

Salvation Army uniforms were compulsory for the weekend. To me, it felt odd to be camping in uniform, but when in Rome... Sunday morning, we also had a march of witness where we all lined up with a brass band and flags and marched around the field, finally to salute some officers at the end. It felt very festive, but I'm still a bit unsure of who we were witnessing to (although there were some cows in the field that probably didn't know much about Jesus or The Salvation Army).

I was really blessed by the youth that we met on the weekend. They were very prayerful, joyful, kind and respectful. Devotions started at 6am, and yet youth were singing and praying throughout the night as well. They just seemed very sincere in their desire to come before God.

I was also really blessed by a few of the young women who accepted me and helped me find my way on the weekend. Sometimes I feel very ignorant around African women, because I'm not very "domestic" and I'm very "city." But with grace and kindness, they showed me how to do simple things in new ways - like peeling potatoes or washing dishes while conserving water. The first night, I was surprised by an alarm that went off at 4am. I discovered that it meant that all the women were to get up and bathe (while it was still dark so we would not be seen). I was so thankful that Hilda helped me locate a bucket (I hadn't thought to bring one) and then find some water, then some hot water, and just find a good location to bathe in some tall grass in the field. She didn't judge me or wonder why I didn't know the basics of bathing, but just accepted me and helped me find the way. Does that make sense?

We still can't access the web, but hopefully this post will be succesful, because we do want to keep you somewhat posted on our lives here. Oh, and I've heard that a lot of e-mails are being bounced back, but please keep trying, because it is the right address.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Greetings from Harare!

Hello Canada (and elsewhere...)

Greetings from Harare! We arrived safely and feel like we've been here
a while. We've attended a wedding and gone to church for a whole day.
Today was our first day of work. We're both at The Salvation Army's
Territorial Headquarters. I have discovered that I'm the extension
training officer (more to come on that!) and John is in the literature

We've settled into our little home, boiling water, and greeting our
new pets (Mom - you don't want to know!) We have met so many new
people, and everyone has been generous and kind.

We're having some communication problems, and don't think we'll be
able to access gmail for a while. My new e-mail (as of today) is:

We're not actually able to even see our blogsite right now, so
hopefully this message will get up, just so that you can know we are
alive and well.

We're actually living in Africa - I can't believe it! So many new
experiences. More later.. (I only have a couple of minutes!) We miss