Grace and Peace,
Subject: Chidamoyo Update
Chidamoyo Christian Hospital Update 24-January-2009
Welcome to another week of Survivor! As my neighbor to my flat in Harare said to me recently, "we are all like reformed alcoholics—one day at a time!" This week all of the nurses in government hospitals walked off the job on Wed night when they went to the bank to see how much they had deposited into their account. It was equivalent to $3 US and 2 kg of sugar is $5 US. The government doesn't care and continues to pay them so they have decided not to come to work at all. Before they would show up 1-2 days and pretend to work; now they will just stay home. Another sad day for Zimbabwe !
The government announced this week that as of Tuesday you can take your full amount paid by salary out of the bank with proof of your salary on a pay sheet. Sounded too good to be true because money is always hard to get out of the bank, and sure enough—no pay slips came out this month from the government! It isn't worth going to get the trillions of dollars from the bank as no place will take Zimbabwe dollars—except our hospital. Everyone wants Obama dollars!
Inflation continues to rage on and we have to change our prices almost once a week. We know when to change our prices when we can't find change because people are bringing in bills we don't have change for! We are now allowed to take Obama dollars, Rand , or other foreign currency, so that helps us when we go to buy things for the hospital. We also barter and this week we got everything from a blanket to cooking oil to chickens and goats for our services. Six chickens or 2 goats equals an X-ray.
This week we had an Inauguration party and the 2 doctors, Major's family, our medical student, Nura and Lori and I attended and we all had to wear red, white and blue! We watched the swearing in of Barack Obama as President of the United States live and more for the next 4 hours. We served an all-American dinner of hamburgers, chili, potato salad and chips and a R-W-B jello cake! We were impressed and excited to view this piece of history live on CNN.
From Obama's speech on Tues:
"To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds." We do wish someone here might listen!
We had 2 C/Sections this week and lots of other very seriously ill patients and we continue to be busy at work. We are now up to 521 cases of cholera and more are coming in. We keep praying it might wind down, but not yet! Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts.
Our new doctor, Dr. Vernon Murenje, is getting lots of experience and seems to enjoy it! He called me up to do a vacuum extraction this week while he watched as he hasn't had much experience. I am teaching Dr. Zimudzi how to do anesthesia for a C/Section so he can cover for me when I am away, and Dr. Murenje did the C/Section.
Thanks for all your support and love. Our electricity seems to be a bit better this week—sometimes 24 hours in a row! We had it for dinner 4 nights this week—a record! We even had it for our Bible Study and movie night this week—wow!
Thanks for all your prayers and support! In His Service, Kathy