I wake up at 2:00am and listen.  I hear a sound I’ve never heard in Zimbabwe, in all the years I’ve been coming to this amazing country and I am confused. Then, I realize I am hearing raindrops -slow, steady, refreshing.  I step outside the hut and smell the rain. The floor is wet, the dirt is wet and the grass is wet as far as I can see in the light of the moon.  I can’t help feeling overjoyed and one must share joy, so I wake Eric up with, “It’s raining” and I can hear him smile in the darkness.

Twenty of us from all over the country are in Matopos, Zimbabwe, volunteering with AFCA and doing various projects that need to be done.  We paint a small preschool, build a playground, fix a fence for a village chief, repair a gate, put up fencing around the preschool and church. We start our day with a hot breakfast of porridge and fruit, coffee, tea, and toast and walk about 1.5 miles to our worksite where we work until lunch time.  Walk back for soup and salad and back to finish out the work day.  At 5, the sun is getting lower and the surroundings grow shadows, with rock formations making amazing shapes. We walk back with a little less pep in our step, but we know we’ve done a good thing today, so we talk and laugh all the way back.

The sun sets, allowing stars to pop out into the blackest night.  The Southern Cross and other constellations of the southern hemisphere show up and the temperature drops, as we are in the middle of winter.  We put on our fleeces and gather with headlamps and flashlights around delicious warm food that makes our bellies happy.  Coffee, tea and a few games keep us awake for a few hours, but the group thins out quickly with folks headed to bed as early as 7:30 because the darkness makes us feel tired and sleepy.  Some of us make an effort to last until 9pm and when it is 9 on the DOT, we head to bed, ready to cuddle under warm blankets and to sleep under the absolute silence of the Matopos.  This silence has been broken, though.

It is still raining.

I so love being in the middle of a miracle.