tran June 19, 2012 – Masvingo, Zimbabwe





Juju’s lemon eyes




The morning starts at 5:30am, getting ready for a new adventure to give out sixty goats to children and their guardians. We pluck the kids out of bed while it is still dark and join Ncube, who is driving us. Boiled eggs, peanut butter sandwiches and water accompany us for the long trip ahead. Eric, Ncube and I are in charge of delivering, vaccinating and tagging the goats and I can’t wait.

We arrive at a dusty, dry, forlorn, tiny grouping of houses and hear signing in the distance. Up ahead just a little bit, we see colorful figures swaying and dancing as they sing a welcome song to our little truck as we whip up dust all around us. Before I know it, I am swaddled in hugs and kisses and pats and “welcomes!”. It is a beautiful welcome and I am so happy my family is with me. Eric has not seen a distribution of goats before and I am excited for him to see this joyous welcome and to see the joy that is to come.




Aiden drumming




We are ushered into a tiny church, complete with four hand-hewn benches and a small table on the front. There, more singing washes over us, with clapping added in and the beating of drums. Aiden boldly walks up to one of the drums and adds his piece alongside the drummer. He concentrates on what he is doing and enjoys every minute of it. After a short speech from the village goat project coordinator, we hand out the ear tags to each guardian in preparation for the distribution. We traipse back outdoors into the dust in order to meet the goats and more singing follows and envelopes us.




Eric tagging ears




A para-vet does the vaccinations while Eric and then, I, do the tagging of the ears. This group is incredibly organized and we are done with the tagging in no time. Contracts are signed and we are invited back to the little church for a lunch of rice, sadza and some yummy sauce. We eat with our hands and quickly get full as the sadza hits our bellies. It is so sweet to sit with these brothers and sisters who are so grateful for the goats given to them. When I tell them that I’ve prayed for them and won’t stop doing so, they clap and smile. I love their huge smiles!





Juju and Morgan




One thing they repeat over and over again, in different ways, is their gratitude for the porridge AFCA sent in the past. They are hungry and they miss it. Their children walk 20 kilometers to school (each way) and it is hard for them to do this with no food in their bellies. They can’t concentrate and they fall sick often. The porridge was a life-saver, they say. They even act out a drama about the porridge and how it helps them. I tell them I’ll try to get them more, but I can’t promise. I don’t know if I can provide it or if it is even available for me to send. Shipping costs are extraordinary. Yet, I, like them, pray for a miracle and hold on to hope that we will be able to send porridge once again.



Aiden learning



I am so proud of my children and of Morgan! They integrate so well with all the folks we meet. They share stories. They eat the food given to them. They smile, they clap, they sway to the music. Aiden is so curious – he leans into the man who holds the goats while they are tagged because he doesn’t want to miss anything. Everyone is patient with him and they give him room and allow his little eyes to see all they want to see. As I turn around after tagging a goat, I spy Juju telling a young lady a story of some sort. The girl is laughing and Juju is in her glory. They swap stories and I turn back to tag another goat.



Jodi teaching and Q translating





He has a future!!