Monday 16 March 2020 – Johan
We got off to an early start at 05:30 from Malelane with Dave Austen and Johan Schultz driving. (Linda’s husband. Having met him previously I got to know the man a little better. With the threat of Covid-19 (Corona virus) being the subject on almost everyone’s mind, Johan was prepared for a Hygienic trip and a fully stocked “Kitchen for in case”. (Dettol Wet-wipes, hand sanitizer and all).
We had an uneventful trip and arrived in Mussina just after 15h00, refuelled at a local Fuel depot that Joe advised us to go to. Here we had trouble starting the truck. We push started the truck and went to the NG church to park for the night. Having already made contact with Rina (NG Church Musina) to park the truck in a secure area (much appreciated) we left the truck in the Church yard and went to Joe and Hester’s place to spend the night. We received the Empty Manifest from Colleen (SEDIBA Clearing our SA agent) who had a royal time printing the document between load shedding and internet signal loss. Thanks for the effort you put in. We were then spoilt with an ever-appreciated hot meal, shower and Bed.
Tuesday 17 March 2020 – Johan
We awoke at 04h30, wanting to be at the Bridge by 05h00. Joe and Hester woke with us to see us off. Joe dropped us at the Truck by the Church and thankfully the truck behaved well and stated like a honey. On the way to the border we were stopped by a Traffic Official. As I (Johan) approached the lady in uniform, she asked me to keep a distance, I had my licence in hand and she told me to leave, clearly unsure of the Corona situation. We still joked and I asked what she would do if I coughed in the document, she laughed and walked off. On arrival at Beight Bridge, we were 5th in line and looking good for an early entry. When the line started moving, the truck decided otherwise and started playing up not wanting to start. We lost our position and some of the local vendors assisted in push starting the truck. Luckily, she was empty. We eventually got into the border and saw how afraid and confused the border staff was with the Corona Virus. Some wearing gloves and others with face masks. Most of the people just going on as usual but keeping a clear distance from each other. On the Zimbabwe side we had our temperatures checked before stamping passports. Thanks to Robert (KRASSELL Marketing), our Cross border agent in Zim, we had a quick pass in an almost deserted border, except for the freight, the old Dust-bowel was still choked, one can now begin to see the plan for the rebuild of the border on the Zimbabwe side, it is looking good with roads laid out. After clearing and making turns to stay at the truck keeping the motor going, we’re across both sides by lunchtime. We just kept on wiping ourselves with the wet wipes and sanitized with our stock.
Dave took over driving just before Bulawayo and we arrived at the Warehouse late afternoon. We noted there were a lot more cows, goats, sheep and donkeys on this road, but we arrived safely.
We were met by Hannes, Angela and staff who took charge of loading the truck with our Golden Oldies box’s for Dave’s departure the next day. Johan would stay with Hannes to do the Bulawayo and surrounding areas we were to meet up again in Harare.
We spent a quiet evening and were spoilt with a plate of sadza and HOT curry.
Wednesday 18 March 2020 – Dave
The next day Dave set off to Boggies in Gweru where he was met by the ever appreciated and helpful folks. Aunty Ivy was in good spirits after her stay in hospital and it was good to see you again. We pray for complete healing. (Our old folks in Zim are strong like Lions). While off-loading the boxes I heard my name being called. On looking up was greeted by Jenny (nee Whitaker). We grew up together in Kwe-Kwe. Good to see you again Jen. Of all the robots (Traffic lights) in Gweru only one set is still working. It has been like that for ages!! Rules of the road: Yield Don’t turn in front of on-coming traffic, give way to the right. Works well with the folk’s down that way??
The drop off at Huisvergesig went off well. I was met by a lovely young lady, Vicky. She was very reluctant to allow me to take a pic of her. Oh well, maybe next time. Thanks for all you do Vicky.
At Hurbert Lee in Redcliff (Risco) the drop went off well. Folks who met me was Joanne, Carol Ferreira and Faith and was asking about the Covid-19, as I was asked at other Homes as well and the bridge crossing. I could not tell them much as very little if anything was evident.
Next drop was in Kwe Kwe at Lynn Brooke. I was met by Pam, Clive and Alan who assisted in the off-loading of the boxes. Thanks so much.
From Kwe-Kwe it was a quiet drive to Kadoma (Westview Cottages) where I was given a lesson in Darts by Estell and partner. I thoroughly enjoyed the game and the evening spent there. I was fortunate to run into another old school friend Hennie Smit. It was good to see you and chat Hennie. He did his Trade round 1968/69. Hell, that’s a long time ago. I Passed on your greetings to folks down this way. As always was good to see other folks not met before. Hazel & Mike Wrench, Liz Ogilvie, Avril & Carlos Gama. Thanks all for your hospitality.
Thursday 19 March 2020 – Dave
Saw me climbing into a dead truck once again. After some gratefully received assistance, we managed to get the truck started and I was on my way to Sunningdale Cottages (Chinhoyi), the trip from Kadoma to Sunningdale was pretty quiet. Some guys having planted maize and tobacco and the crops were looking good next to the road. I met a couple at Sunningdale I have not met before, Willie & Sonnie Scott. It was great to meet and talk to you all. Maritjie & Jan, thank you so much for hosting me again and sharing what little you guys have. Enjoy the novel Maritjie.
I received a lot of letters and notes of Thanks and Appreciation from homes. There is a great appreciation from the Golden Oldies for the parcels.
Friday 20 March 2020
I left Chinhoyi early and was on my way to drop the Harare parcels at Marion Futter via Harare the suburbs. Marion, Mike and son Thanks for assistance with regards to our boxes for all folks and what you do for the cause. Mike glad to hear you are up and about again. I noted not many robots (Traffic Lights) was operational. At one intersection I saw by a Points man with a difference. This man is a Paraplegic with deformed legs and on Crutches in the middle of a busy Intersection directing traffic. Local resident clearly know he is there and obeying all his Instructions. Give that man a Bells (Well done man). I did a quick drop off for Chivu folk’s at Michelle, then on my way to be fuelled up at Vics. Ever so Grateful Thanks as Always Vic and Concrete Structure for the top up.
I was by this time leaving from Bulawayo to Harare with Hannes. With a pot of Coffee and padkos (left over braai from the previous night) sorted setting off at 07:00, only an hour late. Dave reported that the truck is still giving problems starting and the load bin was swaying, looks like the spacers between the chassis and load bin moved, but he is well on the way to meet us in Harare. We have a 4-hour drive and Dave is an hour and half from the meeting point. Along the way I get lots of stories and history lessons on the way. Dankie Hannes. The road was very quiet. Only 4 mombies (cattle) one roadblock at Ngezi mine just before the town Slous. When entering Harare I notice the extreme Fuel ques at most of the stations filling stations.
We joined up with Dave and the truck at around midday. Dave and myself were off in the tuck immediately to Marendera and Rusape. At Rusape we are met with all the folks as always. With Tony’s help the list was ticked off and updated and the offloading done by Tony, Don, Andries and Dave. Sorry we had to miss Bingo planned for the following week. We will get to that soon. One anonymous recipient thanked me in saying that “thanks” seems too small a word to describe the appreciation for the parcels received, these parcels was more of a lifeline than a gift. The donations are more valued than just a small word. We had tea and home-made snacks put out for us and a little high tea enjoyed with the Oldies. Reluctantly we had to be on our way to Mutare to Des & Sally where we would spend the night. This part of our trip all the way to Masivingo still takes one’s breath away. The beauty of the countryside. (Our Lords Creation). Massive granite boulders and solid hills with huge rocks on balancing acts as far as the eye can see. Coming down Christmas Pass the sheer beauty to the eye of the Beholder. Remarkable County and true African Beauty.
On arriving at Des Beker’s, we were blasted by Des with his own concoction of Sanitizer enough to keep us sparkling for the rest of the trip. At Des Becker’s warehouse he has his staff waiting to offload. First, we secure the load-bin on the truck that started tearing in the back door. We strap it up with tie straps. It just has to last until we back at ZPSF HQ. In Zimbabwe we useds to drive on the left of the Road, now we drive on what is left of the road. We spent a relaxing evening with Des and Sally. Thanks for the Piri Piri chicken at the Club, it was lovely to chillax with a good meal and a Cold one. The Club is empty for a Friday Night and a lot of talk about the Corona and home-made hand sanitizer recipes. In bed by 20:00 and sleep like the dead.
Saturday 21 March 2020- Johan
We’re off after a hearty Breakfast made by Sally, what a spread with home-made Jams an all the frills one can wish for. Two cups of filter coffee later were on the way to the truck for the next leg of our journey. First stop was to be at Peter and Phillis Banks in Marendera. We are sent off with a letter to Linda and some home-made cookies and a cold drink. Many thanks Peter.
“Peter & Phyllis at Marondera – Dear Friends and Donors,
We are truly overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity in putting together and delivering of our “goodie” boxes. Nothing is easy these days and the hazards on the roads must be quite tiresome for the big truck drivers, but you all keep doing it. Thank you so much!!
We have been receiving your boxes for about 5 years now and each one has been gratefully received, and there is always some little treat inside!! We had to leave our farm about 17 years ago and like everybody lost our livelihood, savings, pension etc…. These boxes keep us going!!!”
From there we were back on the road on our way to Masvingo Emslie (Close and Pioneer lodge). We were greeted by Val Hundermark and her cheery staff who assisted in the offloading. It was lunchtime and the Golden Oldies were in the dining hall having a snack. Lots of thanks and smiles when I entered to tell them the ZPSF truck was here with their parcels. Aunty Barbara (Pic Attached) came out on her walker to pray for us add the donors… almost had me in tears. She mentioned the Corona case reported from the Falls and the first thing she said was that she hoped this person gets better soon and no one else catches it. This is the type of thoughtfulness I’ve seen with the Pensioners. We then left for Zvishavane as Johnny Nel waved us off. We dropped off the boxes in Zvishavane with John and Lynn D’ewes and had a tea and sandwich. Thanks for the spoil. Then off to Shirugwe (Muus Lodge). This is a very bad bumpy road up the pass, this was the first time Johan approached Muus from this side. We stopped at Muus and was met by Val Gouws standing in for Geoff Ackhurst who fell ill and was in Edith Duly Frail Care in Bulawayo. Everyone is worried about Geoff. Some went to see Geoff in Bulawayo, but with the Corona the vising has been stopped into the Frail Care. We then left for Boggies in Gweru where we were spending the night. We decide to get a couple of beers, just to find the local stores do not accept SA Rand…🥺 so we leave the idea and stop off at Boggies. In no time Bruce and a group of the old folks loaded the empty boxes back into the truck. I had a quick hallo with Mr Fred Munger and then to Aunty Ivy who was making us burgers for supper. We have some coffee and then off to the cottage for a bath. After bath had a delish burger and off to bed.
Sunday 22 March 2020 – Johan
Up at 0630 and out at 0645 after a cuppa. On the road and pick up empty boxes at Huisvergesig. Once this was done we were off to Bulawayo by 0700. We arrived at the warehouse and offloaded the empty boxes and did a quick stock take of the boxes returned with Angela and Collin. The team place them in their homes and into storage for next time.
Once this was completed, we were treated to some downtime and time to take a breather for the rest of the day. Bright and early we were off to SA just before 5am on Monday morning.
Unbeknown to us straight into a lockdown…….
At this point we again want to thank all our donors, suppliers and supporters for the great work you are doing in enabling us to transport the goods you directly as well as indirectly give us to hand over to the needy in Zimbabwe. Without you we cannot do it, in fact we are totally reliant on your continued generosity. You people really do not know how great your blessings to us are. YOU ARE STARS!! We however pray our Lord’s richest BLESSINGS for you and your businesses for the goodness you put out there. It is indeed seed for a bountiful harvest.
Due to the damage to the load bin on the UD90 we are currently looking into fitting a new one, this will give the truck a new lease on life. We are now looking for a donor or donors to help us with the cost to replace the load bin on the UD90, due to the lockdown we currently do not have a quote for the replacement but from what we have been able to google we are looking at more than R100k. Mechanically the truck is 100%, but due to years of wear and tear on the bin from the lovely Zimbabwe roads we now have to take this drastic step. Please if you do make a contribution towards the repairs on the UD 90 if you can put UD90 alongside your normal reference so that the funds can be correctly allocated. I will also be creating a PayPal account link for the truck repairs.
We will be going all out during April on a drive to raise funds for our Golden Oldies.
We pray our Lord’s Blessings for you all….
Head office South Africa contact details:
Linda Schultz – email@example.com – (C) 079 6082676 (T) 013 7900934
Johan Schultz – firstname.lastname@example.org – 082 4979328
Hannes Botha – email@example.com – 084 5893221
Section 21 Co Reg. 2007/034036/08; NPO Number 096733; Section 18A PBO No 930031642