Nancy's notes from the field: Spring 2019

Saturday: “Nemauzhe: What started out as a normal trip to Nemauzhe Primary School turned into an exciting adventure indeed! When we arrived at the school, we found quite a ‘scene’: new 4x4s, a huge make-shift tent, loud speakers, and all the kids gathered around with excitement. This was a celebration of a new ‘facility’ (a new WC) built by the Jairos Jiri Association.

We made our way to the Headmaster’s office—he could only spend a few minutes with us so he left us with our teacher friend. We reviewed the student list and established that fees won't change (although the currency is now down to 3.5 to 1). After a visit to the tent to say hello to everyone, we went back to the office for lunch with the assistant headmaster, an Education Ministry official from Chivi, a Councillor lady, several village head men, and the Paramount Chief of Chivi South and his wife. The Paramount Chief is a very influential person, someone we had not met before. Prisca talked with him about the project over the years. We gave his wife and the Councillor lady each a basket as a gift, and then we left to meet with our women’s group and the twenty-eight kids under their care. The caregiver group had only one new member, but they had produced many very fine baskets—and we purchased them all! We are seeing great progress in all three regions overseen by Mai Chirigo, our newly elected coordinator. We sent Solomon in to say goodbye to the Chief (as protocol demands). It took forever for him to return, but once he returned and we got underway, he told us that when he got to the tent the Paramount Chief was regaling Zienzele as the kind of organization that has made a big difference for SO many people; he then spoke with Solomon about Solomon’s history with Zienzele and the Chief observed that there aren't enough good mechanics (like Solomon). So that had Solomon over the moon. Also exciting, the Chief sent along to us his phone number, and asked us to let him know when we would be working in the area again. He also wanted to assure us that no one should ever give us a hard time when we are in Chivi South region: he's got our back! Quite a day in Nemauzhe: kids doing great, great baskets, and an influential new supporter!”