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23rd September 2009


It is always dangerous to presume that a weather pattern in the tropics is constant. The heat during my first week had been building up. Friday was an oppressive day with temperature in the low C30′s. We woke on Saturday to find it cold and windy. The short sleeved sweater was needed.

My first weekend was not overbusy. An outstation on Friday and Saturday with mass at St. Joseph’s on Sunday. It is harvest time. The congregation in Woodlands had five or six bags of maize ready for collection. It is a small group of people who were displaced when the Osborne Dam was built in the 80′s. They have Mass in the local primary school.

There was a large congregation in St. Joseph’s for Sunday Eucharist. It was good to see that some improvements had been made on the church – better quality wooden doors and some painting of the extension completed two years ago.

They had also done some pavement in front of the church as well as redirecting the water from the school yard. Not surprisingly, they were looking for some help with the cost of the paint. It cost $77.00US for twenty litres.

Here at St. Simon’s, the men were busy brick laying on the toilet building at 6.15am on Saturday. They start work without breakfast. As I was going out to and outstation at 10.30 they were having sandwiches for breakfast. The men were doing the cooking as well as the building. Imagine tea being made with milk and sugar added while the water was boiling on the timber fire? No catering for individual tastes.

I went to the local hospital last week to visit and elderly man from one of the outstations. Most of the beds in the hospital were empty but there were hundreds at the out patients waiting patiently to be attended to. The number of sick people is on the increase.

As there were two important soccer games on TV on Sunday pm I decided to go to Mutare immediately after lunch to view the games. No chance of hearing the All Ireland Football Final on radio. I had mislaid the wavelengths on which it is broadcast. However, I got the results on the Internet on Sunday night.

There was a big golfing competition in Hillside on Saturday. One hundred and eighty players took part. A young local Zimbabwean won the tournament. According to reports, he will do well in the future if he gets enough sponsorship.The course had been well prepared for the event.

October will be a busy month with confirmations in St. Joseph’s on Oct 4th and ordinations here in St. Simon’s on October 24th. I will commence classes on Human Development with the pre-novices next week