Friday. 7th. After picking up the truck in Malelane I had to do a detour of about 120 kms to avoid the tyre burning, stone throwing, basically mobs of unruly lawless people en route to Tzaneen. It’ so sad to see what is happening in South Africa and its fast going the way Zimbabwe has, we need a supernatural intervention from our God.
Saturday. 8th. Spent the day cleaning and preparing the old nag for the trip and checking all was in order for the 4000 km journey.
Sunday 9th.After church and a quick lunch I set off for Musina where I would overnight with Joe and Hester in preparation for the trip starting the next day.
Monday 10th.We were up early and experienced a good border crossing leaving there at 08.15. We travelled up to West Nicholson where we had a lovely visit and brunch with Shannon and Rachel Wheeler. After that we drove on to Bulawayo where once again the ever efficient team headed up by Angela Engelbreght and helpers saw to the loading of the truck which was done in a few hours.
Tuesday. 11th.The trip began as we left Bulawayo a little later than usual due to a memorial service being held in Kwekwe for Margo Gilby’s late husband. Yes, on this trip we found that many of our dear friends had either passed away, left the home they were in due to financial constraints and moved back to their children in Zimbabwe. Others had left for South Africa to be with friends and family. This news is both relieving and concerning, relieving because we see children responding to the need of their parent or parents and concerning because of the exit from an environment where you were surrounded with friends to a new area where you, in your old age have to be introduced to a new dimension of life. The old adage, “You cannot successfully transplant an old tree is so true yet equally disturbing”
Some moved from frail care because of finances drying up. Then, there is a never ending flow of dispossessed and disenfranchised folk who find refuge in the homes.
Dear friends, donors, supporters and prayer partners, please open your hearts to the developing situation, reported to be going to be worse than the cash crunch of 2008 to 2010.
Then you have a delegation from the Zimbabwe government reporting to the world in Durban at the WEF, (world economic forum) that the country is as prosperous as it has ever been. In reality, there is no reliable cash source in that country and shops are standing empty. Street venders, the cheapest source of fresh veggies sell tomatoes, potatoes and onions at $0.20 each which converted to R 2.73 each, basically 3 for R10. The people who do not work or earn a pittance do not have access to these lovely tasty and flavor enhancing vegetables. We are soon going to need a plan of action where we can buy these and other veggies at a good price we may soon need to incorporate these into some hampers. Some homes have gardens and maybe they can share with others in their towns. We cannot take fresh food across the border so a plan of action is needed.
The roads infrastructure is rapidly falling apart and one road we travelled on took us more than two hours to cover the 57 kilometers. The police were again ever present on the roads to fleece road users of much needed cash for trumped up nonsensical and meaningless issues. Ladies no longer want to leave their properties for fear of harassment by the very people that are supposed to help and assist them. It’s a crazy situation. We experienced no less than 91 roadblocks / police inspection points and 7 speed traps in our 8 days on the road and once again, thanks for information posted to me on Facebook, I had the correct ammunition to throw back at them being it for trumped up charges or bribes. One unfortunate cop, when he could not pin anything on me after about 15 minutes asked me for money for a cool drink. I reminded him that the funding which went straight into his pocket from a commuter minibus he stopped in front of me was enough for him to buy refreshments for all of us. He glared at me and waved me on, in a undignified manner. On one occasion they wanted to see my triangles. I told them they were in the back of the truck. I was made to get out and show him. I opened the back of the truck and pointed to the toolbox under some of the hampers. His response was for me to unpack the truck to see. I confronted him for calling me a liar and he denied it. I said thank you, closed the truck, got into the cab and drove off. Looking into the mirror I saw a very flabbergasted chap shaking his head in disbelief watching me disappear down the road.
Thank you once again to all involved in keeping our wheels turning and your faithful support through the many years. Special thanks to the owners and management of “Guinnea Fowl Rest” in Harare, Dave Payne and team for accommodating us and our white horse.
My health after the cancer attack last year is improving by the day, and according to the homes I visit, I look better every trip, thanks and praise to our living God for His goodness and grace, which is all we can depend on. God bless and prosper you all. Pastor Attie Botha.