‹ back to previous page

4th March 2010

Greetings from Rusape!

At long last the tropical rains have come. I was in Denzva for Mass on Friday,where there is a temporary thatch roof supported by light poles. It is like an umbrella.We had just reached the truck at about 2.30pm when the heavens opened. It rained constantly from then until midday on Monday. The reservoir/dam, which had been very low, is now overflowing but our water supply is sporadic and uncertain. Not enough pressure to fill the tank, which is about fifteen feet high. It is back to the bucket and sponge instead of a shower.

I had a feast of rugby on Friday night and Saturday evening. Ireland left it late to beat England but it was a good victory.Three tries in any game is a good score. Sunday was a busy and long day with mass at St.Joseph’s at 8.00am and at Nembaware 12.00 noon.It took one and a quarter hours to drive the 54km(about 35 miles) journey, half of it on a very slippery dirt road. There were small numbers at mass in both places. I got back to Rusape by 2.45, had a quick lunch and set off in the rain to Mutare. My neck and shoulders were very tired from the shaking on the rough terrain.It rained heavily through the night.On Monday morning it seemed unlikely that we would have golf. However, by midday it cleared up. There was surface water on the fairways but we had an enjoyable outing.

Four attempts at getting diesel from Reddan fuel station failed. Their station in Juliasdale, 60km away from Rusape, is closing. However, we are fortunate there is another one 30km from here on the way to Harare.Water supply, electricity and phone services have been very erratic in recent times.

Monday was another dark day for Zimbabwe.The Government, ZANU PF, passed legislation in 2007, under the title Indigenous and Empowerment, that all businesses, valued over five hundred thousand US dollars, should be 51% owned by local people in five years time.On Monday they were trying to reactivate this legislation.The mining industry which is underdeveloped and undercapitalized will remain unproductive for years to come.Having destroyed the farming industry as well as tourism, the third plank of the economy, in the past, is now doomed to failure. There is an element of self-destruct in politics. It will be interesting to see if MDC(formerly in opposition but now in partnership with ZANU in government) can prevent the implementation of this crazy policy. While in Mutare I browsed through the book on Terenure College. It is very well written. A trip down memory lane!

Fr Kilmurray completed his visit and returned to Dublin on Saturday to severe winter weather.He would have got a flavour of tropical rain in Harare before his departure.

My summer schedule is falling into place. I fly home on June 23rd and return to Zimbabwe on September 9th.I have booked the Carmelite Cottage in Wicklow, beside the sea and a golf course, from June 25th to July 2nd. A wedding in Rathfarnham,Dublin, on July 2nd.I will fly to the US on July 8th to do Mission Appeal out of New York from weekend 10th/11th July until August 16th. My Carmelite confrere in New York will arrange the places where I will preach.The details will come later.

Love and best wishes to all.