Paula Leen in Zimbabwe that I thought would be interesting to share...Just received an email from
Just discovered in the last couple of days that the current severe drought here is my fault! The chief sent a letter to me informing me of this fact!
He informed me that he had communed with "the spirits" and they told him they had caused the drought because I was having people bring leaves for our fields and they were collecting them from sacred places and graves! He told me I needed to provide him with 60kg of sorghum and 20kg of something else and a goat and a chicken. The two first items to make beer so as to appease the spirits!
I had someone write him a note that he was looking to cater to the wrong spirits, because the Lord's spirits would never ask for the makings of beer!
This will likely anger him and he will be communing with the spirits again! I told him if he and his 50 or 60 dependents were hungry I would try to help, but not in beer-makings! He had ordered all of those who were bringing leaves to stop immediately, which they did. I called them together yesterday to discuss something else they could do so they wouldn't starve. We'll see how it works. It is a little strange that the chief decided all of a sudden about this, because it is many of his own relatives that were bringing the leaves as well, but he has convinced them that indeed the spirits are angry and it is my fault!
It does look as if it is going to be a VERY bad year food-wise as when I went out yesterday I discovered that we are already having to haul water. Never before have we had to start hauling water so early! It is barely the end of the rainy season. Our maize that was developing so nicely is starting to wilt.
Some of you have read the news and realize of the approximately 9 million people left in Zimbabwe approximately 7 million need food NOW!
Yesterday evening Suzette and Kudzi went to the hospital to visit the one little girl that was brought in Wednesday on our truck, which appeared to be in the last stage of starvation- thankfully the doctor had her admitted, and I was told by Dr. M that since they were so low on meds, nurses and everything else at the hospital they would try to only admit the most severe emergencies, but there were 14 of that kind in the children's ward last night, one a 4 year old with an abdominal tumor so huge she couldn't even sit up! When Suzette asked why they didn't bring the child to the doctor much earlier it was the usual answer- "we kept hoping it would change". We see this over and over in children's conditions, and most of them don't make it!!.
With the fiasco of getting the last shipment of food here, and the head on collision with a combi, with 2 dying and one severely injured that when the food was transferred to another truck that hungry people helped themselves, because we've recorded the following shortages: Minus 82 cans of tomatoes, 17, 4 liter bottles of oil, 25 cans of baked beans, 10kg of sugar 14 large packets of laundry soap, 72 packages of dry beans and 12 packages of ProNutro. I'm disappointed, but I feel pity also for those who took the things because probably most of them were very hungry too!
Yesterday there was the inauguration of the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangurai, and he has high hopes but likely his hands will be somewhat tied, but we are hoping and praying for better days to relief some of this suffering.
We are going to see what we can find in the way of food locally today because yesterday I heard that the aid organizations operating in our area were only able to give 5kg per family for a month- not enough to keep large families alive, so please say a prayer for us.