Jan 28, 2016

Week 6 - Completion and Gratitude

And so it goes, another project makes its way to completion.

Celebration dancing
Category:Zimbabwe 2015 
Posted by: Rome

After 6 projects and over 280 USA volunteers, many of whom have participated repeatedly, some things never change.

We head back home and remember the people who sweated beside us.

We remember the kids we got to laugh with.

We remember the long days, sleepless nights and aching muscles.

Most importantly though, we remember why we came.

We came because sometimes we are overwhelmed with gratitude for the lives we lead.

Because a part of us hears that call to be of service, somehow, somewhere.

Yes, we built a building that will outlive us and yes we will return to the routine we know at home, but the truth remains that we are the ones who have received the gift.

People say that we all have our own story to live out. That by the happenstance of our birthplace, much of our life's destiny is predetermined.

It seems that in the end, all our combined efforts are very small given the vast need we find. I'm convinced though that even a drop makes a ripple and we'll never know just how far we have reached.

Personally, I'd like to thank our hosts Kathy and Major for their enormous contribution to our wellbeing, their stories and their indefatigable spirit.

I'd like to thank Ann, without whom this project would not have taken place.

I'd like to thank our amazing cooks who worked endless hours to cool us down, fill us up and help us recover every day.

Lastly, I'd like to thank all of you. You who tolerated my construction career language, my sleep deprived grumpy moments and my silly sense of humor. You all pushed through to the very end without hesitation. It's truly been an honor to be part of this unforgettable time with you all (ok, but I still don't like snakes)!

May you be very proud and blessed.



The Week 6 American volunteers and all of our Zimbabwe volunteers and partners.

Week 6 American volunteers and all Zimbabwe volunteers.


Over 100 people joined in the singing and dancing to celebrate the completion of the building. Here's a video snippet of it.

Singing and dancing


Benjamin cut a window into a container, which was then cleaned up and painted to become an HIV/AIDS check-in office.

Cutting a window into the container.


Jim, Derek and Caleb insulated and painted the container. Barb, Phil and Bill worked on the windows and door. Pictured here - Phil, Derek and Jim.

The finished HIV Check in Office


The local volunteers prepared beautiful new garden beds.

The new garden is ready for planting


Since a fire 2.5 years ago, this hallway has not had lighting - until this week! Phil and Jim worked with the local electrician to install the wire and conduit.

New lighting added to hallway


Tom (pictured) and Kathy applied sealer paint to the base of the building.

Paining the building base


The amazingly strong local workers hand-dug this septic system. The near hole is 10 feet deep, dug through bedrock.

The final septic holes


Chef Tamara prepares goat for the celebration feast

Chef Tamara prepares goat for the celebration feast


Enjoying the celebration lunch - we had goat, greens, rice, and sadza - all Zimbabwan favorites.

Enjoying the celbration lunch


S'mores for dessert!

The locals learn about s'mores


This 6' green mamba appeared on the roof of the hospital's kitchen this week. Beautiful, and deadly. The hospital workers quickly took care of it.

Green mamba at the hospital