A little over a year ago (how time flies), Debbie, one of our trustees, boarded a flight to Zimbabwe to see for herself how we are working over there. This is her story…

Thurs/Fri – land in Dubai 7 am/2am English time, having had no sleep, not feeling my best! 2 hrs to kill then transfer to Harare, few hrs sleep but then 1hr 15 min stop over in Lusaka that was not put on itinerary most of us had! Finally arrive to a very disorganized airport and stand in a queue for nearly 40 mins wearing English winter clothes in Africa to then pay them $55 to enter their country! Good to at last see Mark who takes me round Harare city on the equivalent of the M25 except way more pot holes! Amazing and emotional to finally see Laura, Matt & Zoe. Dinner and bed by 10!

Sat – pancakes for breakfast! Fundraising event at Gateway primary for Makomborero, face painting, cupcake decorating and donuts! Out to some friends for a lovely lunch, splash in the pool and hide & seek in the garden! Back home and next door for a dip in the pool! Finally after 6 months start my cross stitch! Julie would not cope here, run out of fingers counting the number of spiders on walls and ceilings and they aren’t small! The big ones come out at night!

Sun – visit River of Life Church, bit of grocery shopping and investigated my car insurance for when I return! Went to visit all the Makomborero students in the boarding house, great to put names to faces and finally meet these amazing students, had a tour and gave each of them a creme egg as a traditional Easter gift from England! Started preparing/setting up the new laptops for students. Big storm and 4 mozzie bits!

Mon – up at 6.30am! Yes you are reading correctly! School starts at 7.30/8! Lots of rain! Looked after Zoe & Ella while Laura took Matt to school, Mark was gone before I was even up! Finished setting up laptops then went off to see students at sports ground and ended up coaching basketball in the rain! They love it, even in bare feet! No power for 6 hours! Went out to a lovely cafe ‘The Cottage’ for a milkshake although next time I’ll have an iced coffee as Laura’s looked amazing! Tried to Skype my family but no answer so washed my hair and more cross stitch!

Playing basketball in the rain

Tues – up at 6.30 again! Went with Laura to drop off Matt and Zoe so they could show me their schools. Read a book in sun for 30 mins then attempted to take photos for Ella’s passport, she didn’t enjoy it! Back to the sports ground to coach 2 hrs of netball to 13 boys and 2 girls! Really good session and very impressed but forgot to put my sun cream on! Watched Matthew at swimming lesson then home for lunch. Lovely afternoon in paddling pool and having water fight! No power all day so takeaway pizza by candlelight for dinner! Great to see my family on Skype, what a great invention! Another big storm and 2 more mozzie bites!

Wed – yes up at 6.30 again, everyone out this morning as Laura on school trip with Zoe, washing up, washing out, bit more cross stitch, bit of reading and made gingerbread! Cut out biscuits with Matt & Zoe, unfortunately didn’t realise that Laura’s oven cooks quicker from the bottom! So had to make icing to cover up burnt biscuits! Shopping for smarties to decorate biscuits but as a warning to anyone travelling to Zim they don’t take Mastercard anywhere! Dinner and off to bible study with students at boarding house, they didn’t seem to notice burnt base on biscuits!

Thurs – last early morning I think as half term starts tomorrow! Visit to the high density areas to see a few of the schools where the students come from. Very humbling trip. No power again all day! Still managed to Skype home, so lovely to be able to see them. Watched film – The Helper – really good film, running out of chocolate supplies!

High density school

Fri – yay, a lie in! Back to The Cottage for an iced coffee and choc cake! Went for a lovely walk in afternoon and finished off with a dip in next door neighbours’ pool!

Milkshakes!

Sat – visit to flee market, bought my souvenirs! Lunch & family rest! Started to cook roast dinner, had to pause whilst we went for a trip to Domboshawa! Beautiful mountain to climb with amazing views. Doesn’t take too long either! Unfortunately on return we discovered we had no electric! Had to adapt dinner but Dad & my husband would be proud that I still managed good gravy! Couldn’t have microwave popcorn though! Matt & Zoe Skype with Eloise & Robbie – very sweet. Watched Whitney Houstens’ funeral.

Zoe, Debbie and Matt

Sun – last day! Fry up, hair wash and River of Life Church! Lovely last meal out as a treat with the Albertyn family 🙂 Mixed emotions, sad goodbyes but looking forward to seeing my family. Flight 17.25 stop over in Lusaka(Zambia) then an 8hr stop over in Dubai!

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