Today, has been busy! We have been in contact with many people (many of whom I can’t remember their names) and have been able to buy, get quotes, and brainstorm ideas for many aspects of the school!

First up, we visited the Bank to enquire about opening a personal bank account and also a business bank account. Turns out it’s really easy! 2 forms – 1 for each account, some photos, a copy of passports and marriage certificate, and a letter from the church proving we live here. That’s it! And the debit card can be used in every country, bonus! So we have the form which we are filling in and will be applying tomorrow – so should be set up within the next week! Business is a little more complex – they want a copy of the constitution (not too sure what to write there!) and the minutes of a meeting, but once we’ve got the paperwork – account will be up! Very efficient.

Next up we visited one of the rural areas to begin searching for craftsmen who could create us storage units and small tables for the classrooms….this was a crazy busy marketplace with many many people assuming that as we are white we will buy everything and pay lots for it! Luckily we had Pastor Musora with us who, in manly sounding Shona, told them to leave us alone! This place however did not provide the sort of handymen we needed – so we continued our search.

We drove to Highfield – Pastor Musora’s hometown – where Greg had to practice the art of pothole dodging – sometimes unsucessfully due to the pothole taking up the entire width of the road! – until we reached the centre of the rural area. We wandered down some back roads past some small children, playing what looked to be an extremely fun game involving hiding in a cardboard box with just your head sticking out and scaring passers by! Here we found, under a small canopy, some carpenters making shelving units – perfect! So we hastily drew on the back of some sawn off wood – sketches of what we required – 2 large cubby hole units, 2 large shelving and cubby hole units and 8 small classroom tables – after some haggling we received a good price and should have the units within a couple of weeks!

Next up we visited a warehouse for items such as child toilets, child sinks, shower heads, paint, tiling and so on. We now have quotes for some large tubs of paint and items for the school toilets so moved on!

We then returned to the center to meet with the plumber whom we had called this morning, to discuss whether the current 2 large adult toilets in the school area, could be converted into 4 child toilets, 2 sinks and a shower cubicle. He was initially concerned that the walls surrounding the toilets were so thick that it may be impossible to knock them down to make room, however we debated for a while and think we have come up with a solution to move toilets and cisterns etc around with only needing to knock one smaller wall down. Amen!

The builder is coming at 8am tomorrow morning to discuss with us the possibility of knocking that wall down, and also removing items we don’t need, fixing concrete in the playground area, putting up a wall, fixing doors and windows and gates and other jobs. The plumber has kindly agreed to also return at 8am to converse with the builder to brainstorm the best plans so that we can get cracking!

Once the builder and plumber are sorted, we can contact the electrician and get him to come and sort out the dangling live wires and sockets in the rooms! And the lighting for both rooms and the toilets.

Then once they are done, we can decorate! So not much to do as you can see…

We are also hoping next week to go into town to start pricing and budgeting for all the resources we will be needing – I mentioned before that they do not have a warehouse to buy resources from, so we need to go and do some haggling in the city -in bulk!

We have been really fortunate to visit a school for handicapped children run by a woman from the church here. She is very knowledgeable about the academic side of Zimbabwean schooling and is coming today to bring us documentation regarding all areas of the school including policies, curriculum, registration, health and safety, assessment, observations and so on! She has also said she will take us next week to where we can buy government documents that we should have in our school just in case they decide to spring a visit – however she said she opened in 2000 and has not been visited once by government!

We are also going to be spending a day or two in a local pre school next week to see how they run their daily timetable and the way in which they teach – which we are sure will be an eye opener! Punishment in Zim is treated very differently to England – they still smack/cane children and children are expected to be very obedient from a very young age.

So it’s been a whirlwind day and we are running rather than walking through each day but it is so encouraging to be seeing wheels in motion!

We also had a meeting yesterday with Pastor Musora and Pastor Gatsi to discuss the practicalities of the school and to discuss finances. The church here is struggling financially and we are ever so grateful to those in England who are supporting us so far with the project. Please do continue to pray about us and the project and if you are able to give financially please do use the stewardship form on the support page of the website. There is SO much to do and it all costs money! We are financing as much as we can but we continually need your support.

We would be very grateful for your prayers and contact messages as these strengthen us and keep the project moving forwards.

God Bless,

G&S

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