Thursday, December 6, 2012

My trip summary

Friday November 23rd, 2012.

Just a quick note before I go off to bed. The flight (IAD-DKR-JNB-VFA) was great and the Thursday night in Joburg was fun. I stayed at Stan and Glenda and we went out for grilled king prawns and chicken.

I met Silvi and Lee at the Falls airport Friday lunch time and after a quick check-in at the Vic Falls Hotel, went straight to the pool. Good to see all my "friends" at the hotel. They were chuffed to see me. I'm always treated really well there.

We went to Mama Africa for dinner. What else but sadza, nyama (meat) and veggies.

I was feeling quite knackered and slightly nauseous post chemo but being at the Falls really helped.

Off to Botswana for the day tomorrow (Saturday).

Saturday November 24th.

Been lucky with the weather. Cloudy skies so it's kept the temp down. We spent the day in Botswana cruising the Chobe river and then after lunch a game drive. Saw a lot of of animals and dodged a few huge thunderstorms. Dinner Saturday night at the Vic Falls Safari Lodge and then contemplated going to the casino at the Kingdom Hotel. Ended up not going. Boring !

Sunday November 25th.

Sunday morning, after a confusing sleep because of the chemo, jet lag and baboons fighting on the roof, we had a really nice buffet breakfast with some friends of ours that live at the Falls. Had to endure multiple toilet breaks. Thank you chemo !

Set out for the drive to Bulawayo before noon and it pretty much rained off and on the whole way back. The heaviest rain was about 60kms from Bulawayo. Biblical proportions but much needed. We dodged multiple humans, cows, goats and baboons the whole way back. We also endured 2 tolls, 1 speed check and 6 police checks. Survived them all.

After a brief break at the Solomons on Hall road we went out for a wonderful BBQ (braai) to the Sommers. Between a power failure and tons of flying ants we still had a good time and meal. The flying ants (termites) are ridiculous after a rain.

Monday November 26th

This morning I sat with Loveness and showed her pictures of late Ethan. It was really sad and tough. Also, seeing the pool where he drowned was very unsettling. But it was really good to give her the cash I had raised for her and the family. Thanks to all the incredibly generous people who donated.

I had to have an afternoon chemo induced siesta. Otherwise doing well. Monday night we were home for dinner.

The Center tomorrow (Tyoosday).

Tuesday November 27th.

What the %&$#, I thought it was supposed to be summer in Africa. Bladdy hell, it's been highs of 70's and lows of 50's.

This morning I got a bucket load of donuts for all the workers at Solomon's. In front of the supermarket the road has been dug up for new electric cables and is effecting the business. What a shame. The construction timetable is on Africa time. TIA.

I then went out to the Center to drop off all the stuff I brought for them. 2 laptops and some medical supplies. Two of the staff have already been trained in CPR and basic medical care. The place looks great. It was good to see all the people there. I was amazed at how organized it is. There are timetables and schedules everywhere of who does what and it's fantastic to see what's available for the kids to do. The computer room (10 computers so far) is impressive. Where would these kids have ever been exposed to computers if not for the Center ?

Had lunch with Silvi at Peter and Claire Einhorn's new coffee shop. Very nice.

Wednesday November 28th.

The sun has finally come out and it's getting hot. It looks like the chance of rain has really gone down which is a shame. It's really needed here.

And then back home for a chemo induced power nap. Another home cooked dinner, a bit of telly, a hot bath and then off to bed.

Thursday and Friday November 29th and 30th.

The last few days have been a blur. I've been doing so much running around trying to dispense the infusion units and tubing. So far I have donated 6 to Mater Dei Hospital, 6 to Mpilo Hospital, 4 to Bulawayo Central Hospital, 1 to Dr. Mark Dixon (a Liverpool fan) and 1 to Dr. Eric Cohen. It took me 2 years to get the equipment to Zimbabwe.

Friday night Shul we had 15 for a minyan. Awesome for Bulawayo. Only 66 Jews left in Bulawayo and mostly the elderly. Then off to the Chitrins for an intimate shabbat dinner for 30.

Saturday December 1st.

Today I went to the Center and I took some special guests. The grandmother, the mother and the sister of the late Ethan (who drowned in the pool). There was lots going on with about 70 kids there. I have already posted some pictures on FB. Privilege got involved with the activities and Loveness and Joyce watched. They were so impressed with the goings on and the Center itself. Just before we left they donated Ethan's clothing to the Center. What was really touching and strange was one of the little boys at the Center followed us and Loveness gave him one of Ethan's caps. Just killed me ! Simply incredible in their time of mourning. I am trying to get a copy of the journal that Ethan's sister wrote after his death. It's very sad and detailed.

The weather has started to become true Africa weather. With no cloud cover like the first few days, it's hot. High 80'sF or 30'sC. I feeling ok but with bouts of extreme constipation to serious other extremes ! But nothing like a good afternoon nap.

By the way, we came 4th in the Nike Fundraiser thanks to you all. The top six all got somewhere around US$30,000 each.

Sunday December 2nd.

I went to the cemetery for the Shmulian headstone unveiling. Cemetery's are not my thing !

Til next time...........

Carpe Diem.

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