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7th April 2010

Greetings from Harare! It was good talking to the folks in Ballinlig on Sunday and hearing that all were well and that farming was going according to plan in spite of the cold weather.I hope all goes well for Michael with the handicapped in Lourdes. After a busy enough Holy Week I took off to Harare on Easter Monday a.m with Fr.O’Regan to play some golf. The Easter Triduum went off well. We had good congregations each day. I celebrated the Easter Vigil at St. Joseph’s, fire outside, procession of lighted candles and of course baptisms.There were twenty ranging from teenagers to babies at the breast. Sunset comes very quickly. It was dusk by 6.00pm. I had to use a torch to read the prayers for blessing of the fire and the candle.As we entered the church it was dark so the procession had a nice atmosphere. I had Eucharist at St. Simon’s on Sunday. The church was packed. The choir and congregation were in great voice. An easy day with no outstation. The Carmelite Sisters invited us to lunch. Four of us, Frs.O’Regan,Horan, a broker from Northern Ireland and myself played golf at Windgate on Tuesday morning.The course is in excellent condition.The African Open will be played in Zimbabwe for the first time in fifteen years, during the latter part of May. Some of the preliminary games will be played at Windgate.Perhaps, the best course in Harare. A most leisurely and enjoyable outing. We had a delicious evening meal with our friends from NI. After working in the Stock Exchange in Hong Kong, he came to Zimbabwe in 1983.He helped us a lot during the currency crisis over the last few years as he was able to get money exchanged at a good rate. Fr.Horan was on his way to an education conference in Terenure, part of the 150th celebration. The Principal and Senior teacher in Kriste Mambo were going with him.They left on an early flight on Wednesday morning. Fr O’Regan and I were back on the first tee at 8.30am on Wed. Another enjoyable outing. The advice of the professional in Hillside last week was bearing some fruit. It only costs Seniors $5.00US to play eighteen holes with eight dollars to the caddie, two dollars for his lunch, plus a tip. Unbelievable value. We played eighteen holes in just three hours. Afterwards, we met Dave Hipwell, a brother of the late Frs. Hipwell, both Carmelites who died tragically, one in a motor bicycle accident in Rusape, the younger in a boating/drowning accident on the River Shannon,near Athlone.Afterwards, we took Fr Louis, a young eighty year old Canadian Carmelite, to Mamma Mia’s for a nice Italian lunch. He is bursar in Mt. Carmel and does a fantastic job on the gardens, growing vegetables with the help of a good irrigation system. The political temperature rose a few notches in South Africa at the week end with the murder of a white farmer, an extreme racist.The youth leader of ANC, Julius Mulema, is also an extremist, singing a song with a refrain “Murder the African Boer”. He was in Zimbabwe at the weekend, praising Mugabe and Co. for the land reform. He was speaking out of ignorance regarding the present situation.. Hopefully, the explosion does not come before the World Cup, which begins on June 11th. South Africa is a volatile violent place. Will make our way back to Rusape on Thursday after a very enjoyable break. Love and best wishes.