Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Weddings vs. Funerals
Growing up in West Virginia, I have seen some beautiful mountain views. But anyone who has been to Mutare, Zimbabwe will tell you that nothing can compare to the view as you pop up over the top of Christmas Pass Mountain and wind your way down into the city with thousands of homes dotting the valley far below. This view is second only to coming back over the Pass on the way home from town. Layers of mountaintops are spread out in light and dark purples as the sun sets behind them in brilliant oranges and pinks. I know when I see those mountains, I am almost home.
I arrived safely two weeks ago to this home among the mountains, with Francie, Casey and Aaron. They are here visiting the children’s homes until this coming Sunday. It has been great to have company in the house, and all three have brought their own special talents and skills. We also share the household chores, such as who will kill the giant spider in the closet (sorry to all my spider lovers who don’t approve:) and who will chase the neighbor’s barking dog away with a broom handle so the others can sneak out the door without being attacked (we are hoping his bark is worse than his bite).
Within the first week, we had attended both a wedding and a funeral. (this picture is of the some of the children at Fairfield who made up the mini-bridal party:)
Out of all my time in Zimbabwe, this was only my third wedding, while I have lost count of the funerals. But it appears that the atmosphere in Zimbabwe is changing for the better for many. There have been countless invitations to birthday, graduation and kitchen (bridal) parties in the last 2 weeks. In the years before, many people could not afford to have any special parties, and I am happy that they are able to now enjoy after so many years of true hardship and suffering. There seems to be a spirit of hope and joy in more lives, although many in the rural areas are still struggling to survive.
I was happy to find out when I arrived that my visa was extended until the end of October 2012! It is nice to know I will be settled in one place for some time and can begin to make a home. Nyarai will be moving back to House 11A with me soon, and Benji and Chipo will visit for a week at the end of the August holiday before going back to boarding school. The beginning of life in Zimbabwe is good and I appreciate all of your prayers and support for the children and staff of Fairfield and the HOPE programs!