It is with mixed feelings that I once again put pen to paper so to speak for this the final trip report for 2009. It has been a great year as far as helping the older folk go, yet looking back I tend to wonder, “did we do all we could do”? This was without a doubt the most traumatic year for most of our pensioners in that they and many others, lost everything they built their hopes on. Pensions and nest eggs were wiped away overnight as the Zimbabwe currency first crashed and then disappeared altogether. I have never experienced such positivism in the “glaring face” of hopelessness. More about that will be in the 2009 Overview, which will be out early in the New Year.
Our October trip was a new experience for all of us as we had been busy all of September with a drive to raise money for the Fund. As you are all aware, the country is going through a difficult time financially with the rest of the world at the moment and the Fund is also taking strain.
This trip was once again completed using our three trucks with the Toyota Dyna driven by Bob Daniels following the Nissan UD80 Driven by me around the longer Harare route and the Nissan UD90 manned by Daniel Koekemoer and his wife Elza doing the shorter Bulawayo route. This was Elza’s 1st trip back to Zimbabwe for many years especially to places of her childhood that were only a vague memory to her. Daniel’s report will no doubt shed more light on her experiences.
Once again we are happy to report back to you our faithful supporters, donors and friends of the Fund. We had a rather different outing this month due to many “hick-ups” sent our way to test us. Folk intending to do the trip with us pulled out for various reasons almost leaving us stranded and having to do the trips solo. Hannes had also done two quick trips following each other with no breaks in between, carting 20 tons of maize to Masvingo. Spending some nights sleeping in the truck he got a bad dose of flu and was waylaid for more than a week so could not do the trip scheduled for the beginning of July. Praise the Lord, we were able to see the one truck take off on schedule on the 1st and Bob Daniels and I headed off towards the border at lunchtime reaching my home in Duiwelskloof early evening and slept over.
A short trip to Zimbabwe was undertaken by Norman Nimmo with myself assisting, covering Esigodini, Bulawayo, Gweru, Shurugwi and Zvishavane. We left Malelane on the 16 July returning on the 21 July exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually. There is one thing that I have found on these trips is that no matter how much you prepare yourself mentally, for what you know you are going to experience, it is not enough. Even though this was a short trip, it still took it toll on both Norman and myself.
On this trip we were once again driving all three our trucks and the trailer behind the Nissan UD80 driven by myself, and the Dyna driven by the latest addition to the team, Bob Daniels. This was Bob’s first trip with us and says he found it particularly hard . “It really hurts man.” He says also seeing people with weeping ulcerated wounds for which they have no medication, “was too much for me” he said as he choked back his emotions while also recalling the shoeless lady with swollen feet. Yes, folk, these are the realities we face every trip.
A huge Milestone was reached on this trip in that we took all three our vehicles across into Zimbabwe, heavily laden with full loads of food, clothing, a wheel chair and a wheeled walking aid. To this end we give our Lord and God all the Glory for what He has made possible for us to do through you, our faithful donors and supporters.
Otto and I drove up in the new Nissan UD90 with the big trailer and did the long trip around Harare and outlying areas and back out through Masvingo whilst Hannes used the “Glory Lorry”, old faithful Dyna to do the shorter trip including, Esigodini, Bulawayo and Zvishavane. He also picked up on some late requests for medication to folk in Gweru and Kwe kwe.