It was another hot Lowveld day as I set off to Malelane from Marloth Park near Komatipoort for another trip to Zimbabwe. I was so looking forward to the trip as I get an opportunity to re visit some sites and reminiscent of the country we love and left behind. I also get to see some old friends and family still in Zimbabwe.
Thursday 06 February 2020.
I arrived in Malelane at about 07:00 and met Linda at the warehouse. I packed my stuff into the truck and set off to Hayman’s in Hectorspruit to pick up a donation of fuel. As I entered the truck yard, I had a flat front tyre and I was instantly worried that this could be on of “Those” trips…. But as the fortune will have it, the staff at Heyman’s did not only gracefully top up the fuel, but also assisted with the flat tire setting me on my way to the border. The rest of the road was quiet, giving me time to enjoy the scenery and be thankful for some needed rain, also a bit of reflection on the previous trip. I arrived in Musina without any further incident where I spent the night.
The next morning, I saw Joe and Hester Joubert to get the Manifest for crossing Beitbridge Border, duly prepared by SEDIBA Clearing Agents, their contribution to our cause. After a homely visit, I arrived at the border later than planned and was in for an interesting crossing. The que on the SA side was very long and I chanced my luck in jumping the line as the truck was empty. One Customs agent and some truck drivers listened to my pleas and gave me a gap. The risk payed off and I was into the ZIM side by 10:30. The old “Dustbowl” (Freight waiting area) was choked and this is where I got stuck, there is some construction and vehicles ahead with documentation issues causing a bottle neck. All I could do was wait and let the system go its course, I was out the border after 16:00 and on my way to Bulawayo. Hannes warned me about donkeys and cattle on the road at night, but I soldiered on. I was done by the time I got to Coronation Cottages at 21:00, had a wash and straight to bed.
The next morning, Hannes and I was off to the warehouse where we found all the boxes packed, labelled and ready for loading. Thanks to Hannes, Angela White and her crew for preparing the load. Angela and crew then loaded the truck. We spent the day leisurely and I could visit some family in the area.
The 1st part of my run would be Boggies Trust and Huisvergesig in Gweru. I got to Boggies and was greeted by Amanda, Ashley, Meyer, Jill, Bruce and Babs allowing a small video clip taken of them thanking folks for their generous donations. My favourite, Aunty Ivy Davies who had an operation on her foot was not there. We pray she is on the road to a Speedy recovery. (I missed your snack for the road Aunty. Thanks, as always for other occasions). At Huisvergesig I was met by Vic who took charge of Residents Boxes. Other residents either at Church or out visiting somewhere. Thanks Vic. Hubert Lee Redcliff was my next stop. Folks of the homes and cottages have cleared overhead tree branches allowing easy access for truck to enter and exit and privacy for the offloading of the boxes for the folks. I was greeted by Carol and Mrs. Joubert who are so thankful to all the Sponsors for all that is done for them.
Next, I was off to LynnBrook home in Kwe Kwe and was greeted by most of the residents, all ever so happy and cheerful. Alison thanks so much for your assistance with the register and keeping track of the name list. These folks are so proud and one feels that they don’t want to be a burden on others. It is heart sore seeing these proud people so dependant on the little we provide.
Here I spent a relaxing evening catching up with family and the going on in general. Even these people have little or nothing to say about the Country and the state of living conditions. (They have been let down too many times and choose to live One Day at a Time). We are praying for you All.
Next day took me to Kadoma (West View Home). On arrival at Kadoma I was welcomed by Danie, Anna (85) Years Old, Del Parkins, Jeff & Marnie and Chris. The boxes were off loaded and distributed to all the Golden Oldies. Thanks, were given by the folk who were present. I had a cuppa with Estelle & Clive O’rielly who always welcome us with a chat and a warm before I departed on my way to Sunningdale. Whilst driving through the towns I saw vehicles, trucks and Minibuses queuing for fuel, any which way 3 and at times 4 abreast across the road into oncoming traffic even on the pavements. This must be mind-blowing, frustrating??? Welcome to Zimbabwe.
I arrived in Sunningdale around midday and was treated to coffee and freshly baked scones, jam and cream. This was a very enjoyable treat, thanks Bill Bowie, the Administrator of Sunningdale. I met Jan & Martie van Aswegen, who hosted me for the evening. Lovely couple who once farmed in the area. Bill asked all the folks to meet in the homes lounge where the people could introduce themselves. The ladies and gents put on a great spread of various treats with the limited supplies they had, proper Rhodesian homeliness, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. I was asked for a brief run down on the trip thus far of which I obliged to a captive audience. Marietjie telling me how folks make ends meet, with the ladies baking and selling homemade treats to the Community. All who receive boxes gives an item or two that goes into a storage pantry and should the need arise one is allowed to draw what they require from the pantry. This is an initiative to survive in these difficult times. I was in awe to hear this. Thanks was given for what the ZPSF has done for the folks in the home. The visit was cut short as folks departed to their homes early due to threatening rain of which I am told by folks they had 6 inches that night.
The run to Harare next day went well in lite soaking rain. I was met by Marion Futter and her sons, here she informed me that Mike, her husband had a heart attack and had to go to S.A. next day for a possible stent. There are no such procedures performed in Zimbabwe anymore. Marion and Mike are the central drop point for the ZPSF boxes and they distribute the food parcels to the needy and the Commercial Farmers Union. We pray that all has gone well Mike, and you are safely home. Next stop was at the De Klerks, a few houses from Marrion, they distribute the Chivu area’s parcels. Then I departed onto Vic for our ever-appreciated fuel donation. Sorry did not thank you personally Vic but understand your work schedule.
Next run was for Marondera, then onto Rusape and Mutare. At Rusape met by most of the Rest Haven guys and as always, a lovely spread of cakes and scones on hand to eat. Judy, your granadilla cake was out of this world. Other folks who received their boxes Peter Shaw, Tony, Grumpy and Arthur. All grateful for what is done.
The run through to Mutare once again in lite rain went well, arriving at Des & Sally just on 16:00, boxes were off loaded without incident. I spent a quiet evening attending a Bible Study group. Des had a business meeting early next morning but kindly took me to Strickland Lodge to see the folks. It’s heart breaking to see the elderly, but seeing the care they are given is wonderful. I left Mutare with a lump in my throat, Bless Des/Sally for what they do for the Community.
The run to Masivingo, Pioneer Trust went well with the weather clearing and rivers running strong. I arrived at Pioneer Lodge early and with Val’s help the boxes off loaded and empties re-loaded. I was thanked by a very grateful Grand lady [Barbara] for all that is given and done for our folks.
The run to Lynne in Zishavane went well and as usual I was received by Lynne with her sandwiches and tea, ever grateful and appreciated Lynne. The laying of the tarmac, resurfacing of the road in your street. Well what can I say!
Shurugwi is a tragedy in the making, the stench and filth everywhere is nothing short of appalling. The recipients of the boxes ever grateful. Fortunately, it is a block or two from Muus Lodge. This trip was coming to an end and the beginning of the home run. Gweru/Byo/Bridge and home. I left Shurugwi for Gweru and spent a quiet evening at Boggies.
Early the next morning once empty boxes were loaded and a after brief chat with Bruce I hit the road, first to Huisversig to collect empties then onto Bulawayo where Angela and team off loaded and stored the empty boxes. We spent a quiet afternoon and evening at Coronation in Bulawayo.
I left Bulawayo early for Beitbridge and had a smooth border crossing. On the SA side I stopped at Joe & Hester’s for a cuppa and then off Tzaneen where I spent the evening. On Saturday I left for Malelane at about 06:00. I stopped at Hoedspruit for coffee and a bite to eat and had a trouble-free journey. I arrived at ZPSF Warehouse in Malelane about midday where I met with Linda to give feedback and stall the truck.
To all our regular supporters, donors, prayer partners and friends we say a special thank you again and speak our Lord Jesus favour and abundant blessing on you all. As I have always said and again now declare, you are the ones that make it all possible. You are the ones that give us the ability to do the work.
The ZPSF team.
Head Office Contact details:
Director – Fund Raising & Awareness for the Zimbabwe Pensioner Support Fund
(C) 079 6082676
(T) 013 7900934
Section 21 Co Reg. 2007/034036/08; NPO Number 096733; Section 18A PBO No 930031642
Director: Hannes Botha
The 3 most important pillars of our cause:
UNIQUENESS – being one of a kind and knowing that the ZPSF is driven by good will and very passionate members.
TRANSPARENCY – enforcing the rule that all members must be fully informed before taking part in this noble venture.
ACCOUNTABILITY – Having a traceable paper trail for every cent handled, and regular revues conducted.