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2nd October 2009

It was good talking to the folks in Ballinlig last Sunday, 27th and hearing that the weather was kind for the end of the harvesting season. Also good to hear that they got some small square bales to supplement the rest of the fodder. How fortunate to have the silage and hay made early before the bad weather arrived!

I had a draft message typed at the weekend but it got lost somewhere in the system. I sent some messages from Mutare on Sunday/Monday but they did not register as sent.

As planned, I took Ambrose, the old physically impaired man from St. Bernard’s outstation, to Mutare on Thursday, picking him up at 8.00am.

On arrival in Mutare, we discovered that scans were only done on Tuesdays. I got some Ibuprofen to relieve his pain and had him back home by 12.30pm.

Fr Desmond brought him to Mutare on Monday. I took him to the hospital on Tuesday at 7.15am, where he had a scan, x-ray and examination by a white Zimbabwean doctor, named Kit Kat. A gentleman working in very limited conditions. Ambrose will have to have prostrate surgery in the near future.While at the hospital I met two nurses from Rusape who were very helpful. It is impossible to imagine the scene at the hospital, hundreds of people at outpatients, waiting patiently to be attended to. For example, the rubber tyres on the wheel chair had worn. Only the steel frames or rims of the wheels were working. Benches in the waiting area with broken seats.Nothing is ever repaired.

I went to Denzva last Friday for Mass in the early afternoon. The locals had built a make shift church with a grass roof supported by strong poles The poles were tied together with the bark of the trees. All environmentally friendly! The old structure collapsed during the rainy season some years ago. God willing, I may be able to build a more permanent structure in the future. The location of the church is on top of a hill. There was a strong wind so I had to leave the wine in the bottle and consecrate it as I was afraid the chalice would be blown over.

On Sunday I had Mass at a long distance outstation, Nembaware.Thirty minutes of the one and a half hour journey is on dirt road. The church was full when we arrived and the people were singing the Gloria. I said to Sr Thomas we well continue from there. After securing the truck, sister and the chairman came to me looking very serious. Between them they had let the bottle of wine fall. It broke on the sanctuary. No wine no Mass. We had a liturgy of the word. Frustrating to say the least.

There was an evident change in the weather on Monday morning. The sky was overcast. As we approached the sixteenth hole on Hillside, thunder rumbled around the dark sky as drops of rain fell. We abandoned the game and made a quick return to the club house. Thunder and lightening continued into the late evening but little rain fell during the night. Of course, the temperature had dropped significantly.Those sudden changes in the weather are difficult to deal with as one has to bring clothing for different conditions.

Life is busy with all the preparations for confirmations and ordinations. On Saturday a group of locals were cutting the withered grass next the road. They decided to burn the rubbish not knowing that our telephone lines were underground. We are now without a phone as are some of the neighbours. A maintenance crew are working on the site at present. Painting is going apace at St.Joseph’s while I wait for the company to start work on the borehole. My classes with the novices have been put off until Oct. 12th.