Mt. Selinda Update

Things have calmed down a little and we have been working at Mt. Selinda and surrounding parish.

Things have calmed down a little and we have been working at Mt. Selinda and surrounding parish.  Jack has been calling in the mountains again.  He loves that.  He climbs some steep mountain paths with Rev. Mugidaya, age 33, who always says tomorrow he must rest.  Not Jack, age 76.  He keeps going every day, all day.  Midge does paperwork at home in the morning.  She also supervised the use of the guest house.  Today we expect Rev. and Mrs. Multuvhenye, UCCZ President for a few days.  Maxwell and I cleaned and made the bed yesterday.

Jack and Midge have been going to the Daisy Dube Children’s Home to tutor the children.  Jack works with the high school on their homework, times tables and understanding a map.  Midge has been working with the 5-7 grades and one of the mothers (caregivers) with the younger ones.  I have made flash cards using cereal boxes of abc's, words and times tables.  The teachers at the school have to be creative and make their own teacher aids as well.  Far too many students are not making passing grades.  However, I saw teachers doing a good job here at Mt. Selinda.

The kids at Daisy Dube often need some help with their homework.  That is what we are trying to do.  Only one mother working as a tutor is not enough.  There are 36 children at the Home, ages 3-18.  At 18, or completion of high school they must leave the Home.  Mt. Selinda sometimes is able to give them jobs, but some must look elsewhere, such as the tea or coffee estates.

The mangers of the tea estate came for dinner last week.  She (Pegs) brought me avocados, nutgies (like a tangerine), and a stalk of Chinese cabbage.  We will try to do a stir fry for lunch.  Maxwell never heard of a stir fry.  He is chopping vegetables. 

Jack is learning to drive on these terrible roads.  He drove to a preaching point on Sunday.  Three ladies, including an interpreter went with us.  Upon return I treated them to banana cake I had made for Pegs and Russell.  They wanted the recipe.  It is good to use as we have an abundance of bananas.  There is a roadside market very near to our home.

We went to a school very near here.  They have established an orphanage.  They have 5 boys who share 3 twin bed mats on the floor for sleeping and 6 girls who share 2 double bed floor mats.  There is a nice cook house.  There was, of course, lots of singing.  There was some original poetry.  One was called Abuse, Abuse, Abuse.  She was glad to have safe shelter. 

Each child has their own bed at Daisy Dube.  The children are well behaved and play well together.  The older ones look out the younger ones.  But, they are not really very motivated for learning.  We hope we can help with this. 

Keep up your prayers for us and Mt. Selinda.  We love your emails.  I usually hear from several after an update, but then nothing.  The most familiar sound from home is snap, crackle, pop.  Yes, we can get Rice Crispies here. 

With a prayer...
Midge and Jack

Jack and Midge Barnes are serving as Short-term Volunteers with the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe.