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12th January 2012

By now you are well settled back to work. I hope all goes well at home for the lambing season. The change to milder weather will be welcome.

The Baptism of Jesus brought the Christmas season to an end on Monday. I celebrated the feast of the Epiphany at Fatima outstation on Sunday. The dirt road was in very poor condition. The homily was an overview of the Christmas season. We opened the Christmas cake for the feast of the Epiphany in Rusape. I brought a wedge of it to the brethren in Mutare at the weekend. It tasted delicious.

A new school year began on Tuesday Jan 10th. The roads were busy with so many pupils going to boarding schools, some of them as young as nine or ten. Classes can be very large. In Kriste Mambo, they have two first year classes of fifty five pupils preparing for their O Levels in four years time.

Big news in Zimbabwe last week was the survival of an Australian bungee jumper, whose cord or rope broke as she jumped one hundred and twenty metres from the Victoria Falls into the Zambezi river gorge on New Year’s Eve. Crocodiles inhabit the area. The persons ankles are tied together during the jump, which made it difficult for the young woman to swim to the Zimbabwean side of the river, where she was rescued by the crew and some medical staff. About 150,000 people have made the jump over seventeen years.

While getting the tyres changed and the wheels balanced on my truck some weeks ago, the technician remarked that the steering knuckles were worn or loose. I bought the spare parts in Toyota on Monday am at a cost of $478.00 and had them installed by the regular garage. Toyota charge $60.00 an hour for labour while the other garage charges $42.00. The wear and tear on the dirt roads caused the problem. You can imagine what the rough surfaces do to ones back!

About an inch of rain fell in Mutare on Sunday pm. The level of humidity on Monday was oppressive and not conducive to good golf. The perspiration rolled off us but we completed the eighteen holes.air track tumbling

I was glad to read in the Irish Times that farm incomes had increased substantially in 2011. Long may it continue. A pity that the news of increase in income was marred by the fact of twenty two fatalities in farm related work.

Meryl Streep is portraying Margaret Thatcher in the film, The Iron Lady. I doubt if it will be on my list for summer viewing. One of my least favourite politicians. More alarming news from the UK is that dementia may begin as early as the mid forties rather than in the sixties. One medics comment was as follows: “ What is good for the heart is good for the head as well.”

One of the projects for the coming months is writing the story/history of the outstations. I provide the note books and biros, while Fr. Desmond has written a list of questions for the project. Hopefully, it will be completed by Easter, which gives them three months.

Love and best wishes