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18th October 2009

Greetings from Rusape/Mutare where the midday temperature is now in the mid 30′sC!

Life has been busy. On Monday Oct. 5th I spent most of the morning getting quotations from hardware shops in Mutare for thirty items for the toilet complex. The local store, Makoni Hardware, owned by Indians, is very expensive. With quotations from five different shops Fr. Desmond and I collated the material and highlighted the cheapest prices. There was a quite a difference from the most expensive to the cheapest. On Friday 9th I went to Mutare with the construction teacher form the local Secondary School to buy the essential pieces to have some of the toilets functioning for Oct 24th. It was a worthwhile exercise as he knows his trade very well. By chance I tuned into the Heineken Cup game between Leinster and London Irish. It was a very competitive game. London deserved to win. They were much sharper as they had already played five games. I stayed on in Mutare to conduct a seminar/input on liturgy in St Joseph, Sakuva in the location. About twenty five people, including some from the parish council, the choir and readers attended. Most of the input for the three hour session was from the Instruction on the New Roman Missal , which I have studied.The publication of the Missal is being delayed because of translation problems.

It was back to Rusape with the materials which I had purchased on Friday. Some of the iron piping was six metres long. I had to drive slowly. I had an easy weekend church wise. Mass at Tsanzaguru on Sunday was well celebrated with a full church. I went on a sick call to a local elderly lady who told me she had no family left. I told her that the family of God would look after her. The group of parishioners sang and said spontaneous prayers as we celebrated the sacraments.

It was golf as usual on Monday. Playing in the midday heat tests the energy. I had gone to the Clinic in Mutare on Monday morning to get the results of the blood test on Ambrose, the handicapped man. I waited for an hour as they phoned Harare. Come back later. The blood sample or the results had been mislaid. He would have to have another sample taken. Thankfully, it can be done in Rusape. Not a great start to the day.

I made my way to Kriste Mambo early on Tuesday for a day of recollection with the brethren. It was very relaxed and restful as the place is six and a half thousand feet high and much cooler than Rusape. I stayed on for the week taking the novices and prenovices for class on Human Development-Erikson and Jung. It is a subject that energizes me – talking about growth being a life long process.The recent projection that people born in the West during the past ten years may have a life expectancy of a 100 is interesting.

The political situation here is anything but stable. During this year eighty white farmers have been driven off their lands. It is estimated that about sixty thousand farm workers are homeless. For some weeks, some have been squatting along the side of the road to Mutare at a place called Odzi.They live in temporary shacks with no facilities. MDC are threatening to withdraw from Cabinet meetings.

I got an emergency call in Kriste Mambo on Oct. 15th, the feast of St. Teresa of Avila, to return to Rusape as the drilling company had arrived. In a few short hours they had drilled forty meters and found nothing. I requested them to drill a further thirty meters.The white stone poured out as powder. Sadly, no water. As the Africans might say “We tried.”

The death of Stephen Gately(former member of Boyzone pop group) and the coverage of his funeral resembles that of Michael Jackson. Media hype knows no limits.

Water, electricity and phone connection to email/internet continue to be problems.

With love and best wishes.