View from the Perkins' home
Once again, after a super busy day Tuesday, Wednesday morning was a bit slower. After breakfast we did more walks around the school/working areas, observing the projects and interacting with any students we came across. Br. Chris showed us the massive amounts of land the workers have cleared out since his arrival in February. I can only imagine what this place looked like before the hacking began. Behind the school is a large field that stretches for a bit before falling off in the distance. They have almost cleared enough land to get a similar view that the Perkins’ had at their home – rolling mountains as far as the eye can see. A few more trees and a few more yards of clearance and it’s all there.
Michael, the local nurse, and Mark
We investigated a little further and came across another Puff Adder the workers had killed. This one was a little baby, which they had now wedged between two branches of a small tree like a flag. We went in for lunch and prepared for the busier afternoon. We had two interviews lined up today – one with the director of the school and one with the local nurse at the clinic across the street. We headed to the school in search of this mystery director we’ve still yet to see. And we still never saw him.
After checking with teachers, students and workers, the director was nowhere to be found. We went to his office to no avail then tried the assistant director’s office where we found him sitting at his desk. So we decided at this point, the assistant director was good enough. So Michael pulled out his questions, I grabbed the recorder, the English teacher got prep’d for translation and we went at it. He didn’t seem to know or want to answer many of these questions. After 15-20 minutes, we left without much more info than we started with. We sat around the school a little longer, hoping the director would show up. We told the English teacher (who’s English isn’t exceptional) that we would meet him again around 3:00 for the interview with the nurse. We parted ways with him and killed time around the school until 3:00.
We couldn’t find the English teacher in our designated meeting spot, so we began our walk across the street to the clinic and happen to run into him there. He joined us as we walked through the gates of the town nursery. The nurse lives in a small house at the back of the clinic, and he came out to greet us as we walked up. We sat down in his main office and began the interview. Luckily, the nurse was a talker. He happily answered each and every question we threw at him. He was extremely knowledgeable on the area and helped us out with everything. When we told him our idea of building an infirmary at the school, a smile grew over his face and he told us any and all help would be great.
He gave us some final advice and tips on setting up the infirmary and then led us on a quick tour of the clinic, which includes a dentist office (with full dentist chair), a pharmacy, a micro-lab with a microscope and a full maternity center with delivery rooms and a freezer for to keep any injections needed at the proper temperature. The clinic lacks running water because of a broken pump, which runs at about $1,000 to fix/replace. The facility seemed clean and organized, but the nurse said a real doctor only visits about once a month. Our interview with the nurse lasted nearly an hour, and after a quick parting photo with him, we headed back to the residence to look over the abundance of info we had gathered.
Meanwhile, Br. Angel had spent the entire day in Chimoio with the Land Cruiser getting the brakes fixed. He rolled up to the Brothers’ house just before dinner, telling us how “Africa is different.” We enjoyed his complaining and laughing about the adventure in Chimoio over dinner. Br. Chris also invited the English teacher who helped us translate the interviews to dinner. He was thrilled to enjoy dinner and drinks with the Brothers, as the smile never seemed to leave his face. After dinner, Michael and I went back to our house to prepare for our own journey to Chimoio tomorrow in search of a replacement for Michael’s broken camera. Oh, Chimoio.