We have now been back in the U.S. for a bit over two months. Four weeks were spent traveling, with the climax being our 50th Anniversary Celebration in Shawano, Wisconsin on 25 July (even though the “real” anniversary date was 29 August). We had it at that time so that all the grandchildren could attend and not have to miss school.
Here is a picture of all 34 of us!
Many of your sent donations to MDA as a gift to us – perfect!
And “thanks so very much.”
Shortly after the celebration, Loretta developed quite severe back pain, and that necessitated several trips to Urgent Care, travelling back to stay with our son Tim near Tampa, FL, and then an MRI and then Physical Therapy. It is good that we were here in the U.S. to get the appropriate treatment and the P.T. Fortunately, she is now improving, so we are hoping that continued exercises will help to solve the problem.
I remain quite involved with St. Theresa Hospital. Ms. Hove, the Administrator, sends me monthly reports that include finances, diesel usage, Senior Staff Meetings, and “problems.” The current most pressing problem is that Dr. Murungu is leaving on October 1st! I had been assured that he would be there for at least another year, but an opportunity came up for him to combine working on a Masters in Public Health along with a job at the AIDS&TB Unit in the Ministry of Health. I fully understand that he HAD to take that position, but it still leaves the hospital in a difficult situation. I am busy trying to find adequate donations to be able to fund the “top-up” required for a new doctor. Salaries in Zimbabwe are terribly low by our standards, but it still requires a lot of small donations to find the $12,000 per year per doctor that might be needed.
I continue to plan on returning for a month in March/ April 2010. Possibly one of our donors will travel with me, to see the results of his family’s donations. I am also trying to find “short-term” doctors to go for one to two months to help. They will be able to stay in our house, and I think, have a tremendous experience. IF anyone is interested, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org More on that later!
“Re-entry” for me remains difficult. It is so difficult to be involved in “everything” concerning running a busy hospital and outpatient and AIDS treatment program, and now be involved in mowing the lawn, cleaning out the car, visiting kids and grandkids, etc. Still, this is where God wants us at this time, so I will gradually become more and more involved with “other projects” here. Tomorrow I am going to the first meeting of “This Man is You” at our Church. It goes from 5:30 to 7:00 AM for twelve consecutive Thursdays, with another session in the Spring. I will keep the Blog updated about this! It should help me to meet more people at the very large church that we now belong to, and find ways to answer God’s call right here.