|Tuesday 23 November 2021|
Hi all, Johan Schultz here. Heading to Zimbabwe for my first Christmas trip, I stopped off in Musina just before crossing the border for a quick cup of coffee with Auntie Hester Joubert and Colleen, our customs clearing agent. Well, it was supposed to be quick, but before I knew it, an hour had slipped by, but it was time well spent.
Then it was the battle of THAT Border post once again. The SA side was a breeze, the Zim side not so much. With all the building activity going on, security has been beefed up to deal with those tempted to take advantage of all the chaos to smuggle contraband. A necessary precaution one can understand. In the searching bay there was three officers to each vehicle, a very thorough operation. I must say I was impressed with the friendliness and professional way this was done, well done guys.
From Beitbridge I was off to all the outsiders on the way to Bullies to retrieve the empty boxes. I noted more than usual animals along the main road. The potholes were mostly filled in except around Todd’s where things are still rough. I reached Bulawayo just after dark and was welcomed into the Nel house with a cold one and a warm meal.
The rest of the week I spent preparing for the truck arrival. Angela and her team had most of the packing done and we had the whole lot sorted and ready to go by the week-end.
Friday, 26 November 2021
I Loaded the boxes for Boggies Trust in Gweru into the bakkie and did the delivery there, I was met by most of the residents and got to see a lot of the familiar faces. It was my first trip out of Bullies this year and a great time of year to do it. Everyone was in very high spirts and happy to see me, lots of praise was received for the gift packs and bulked up boxes, goodies like the solar lamps, dried fruit and blankets (thanks to the Mdala Trust in Cape Town) were winners.
From Boggies I went to Fairhill Poultry Farm to fetch the chicken surprise where I met up with Ken Connelly from Kwekwe. Thank Ken for picking up the chicken for that area. We had a visit at Fairview and a cup of coffee. Thanks a lot for the warm welcome! Then back to Boggies for the chicken drop. The response from the oldies was just fantastic and great appreciation was shown. From there, it was back to Bullies for the night and a reload of boxes for the Saturday deliveries in Zvishavane and Shurugwi.
I received a call from the border in the late morning informing me the truck had passed the border and Dave with his new co-pilot, Deon Erlank. The truck arrived in the afternoon and after supper they were off to Coronation Cottage for the evening.
Saturday, 27 November 2021
The next morning, Willem Nel and I were off to do the deliveries in Shurugwi and Zvishavane. Our first stop was at Muus Lodge in Shurugwi. A typical mining town, bustling streets with activity and well covered in dirt, not a pretty town. The folks we met at Muus were all very pleased to see us and we had time to visit and catch a few stories and a laugh or two. I met their newest resident, Mrs Shugra Karim at the tender age of 93.
We missed John and Lynn at Zvishavane as they were in Bulawayo for a visit. We dropped hampers at their house to distribute to outsiders and took the scenic road back to Bulawayo via Mbalabala.
Sunday, 28 November 2021
I took a ME day and would be back in the saddle on first thing Monday.
Monday, 29 November 2021
I started the Bulawayo deliveries. First off, I had to pick up chicken from Big Brother Chickens (the Muller family donated a 2 kg chicken pack for each recipient) before the day’s deliveries began. As we went the response to the Christmas parcel was fantastic. I had one lady inform me it was the first time in a while that she will have flesh in her fridge. Thanks to Mr. Freek Muller and his son Louis from Big brother for the donation that made this happen. The blankets from The Mdala Trust guys, was a very welcome gift that was received very warmly. This was my mission for the next few days, individual deliveries to happy, grateful folks.
Wednesday, 1 December 2021
Then we got the news that there is a new COVID 19 strain discovered in South Africa and the world is shunning anyone visiting the area. So naturally we were once again worried about being stuck away from home. This is unfortunately one of the realities we drivers face. We never know what’s going to change and when or how long you will have to make a plan. But hey it hasn’t stopped us yet!!!
Thursday, 2 December 2021
Dave and Deon after completing a very successful round trip arrived back on the 2nd December in Bulawayo with the truck. Deon had this to say “This was an absolute amazing wonderful trip meeting such beautiful, friendly and appreciative people. Folks were very happy to receive their boxes. One of the ladies excitedly displaying the contents of her box for all to see. Also thanks to Dave with the assistance and teaching me all the ropes regarding the wonderful elderly people. God bless.”
Covid testing was done early the next day and as the results came out, Deon and Dave hit the road homewards.
I continued to deliver to the homes and Kitchens. I also visited Kinghaven Moths in Esigodini, where people were all very happy about the box contents and noted they were fuller than normal.
Saturday, 4t December 2021
I hit the road homeward with the last deliveries towards the border. It was all smooth sailing, and I was in Malelane that evening.
A special thanks from me to:
Hannes Botha, the Boss you are an inspiration. PS we hoping to have you with us on a trip again in 2022.
Linda, my other half for once again managing to get everyone adopted, and the boxes fully loaded for Christmas
Angela and her warehouse team in Bulawayo for getting the boxes packed and sorted, well done.
John and Leonie Herbst in Harare for assisting in the Harare and surrounds deliveries.
Des and Sally Becker in Mutare, still after all these years just as reliable as always, a home far from home.
Willem and Caroline Nel in Bulawayo, your home has become our home and the warmness and care we get from you guys are greatly appreciated.
Heyman Cole (S.A.), Colbro (Zim) Bulawayo and Concrete Structure (Zim) in Harare for fuel donations,
Mdala Trust, donation of awesome blankets
Mr. Freek Muller and his son Louis from Big Brother, for the donation of 200 x 2kg bags of chicken for our Bulawayo and surround Golden Oldies.
All the Care givers, Administrators, Chair Persons, Staff and Medical personnel taking care of our Golden Oldies, Thanks. You are special.
Most important the Donors. Without your donations and open hearts none of this would be possible. Thank you ALL for assisting us make this happen.
My conclusion is at the end of the day, seeing the smiles on people’s faces when you give them the parcels, it is the most satisfying feeling you could possibly feel. In words I cannot describe the warm and fuzzy feeling knowing you are making a difference in someone’s life.
Head office South Africa contact details:
Linda Schultz – firstname.lastname@example.org – (C) 079 6082676 (T) 013 7900934
Johan Schultz – email@example.com – 082 4979328
Section 21 Co Reg. 2007/034036/08; NPO Number 096733; Section 18A PBO No 930031642