It is going to be a challenge to report on a week away, so I will break this up in two. We started with a plan to go North, to Harare, to get Donna and Jenn at the airport, attend Zimbabwe Christian College graduation and visit the Fortescues in Doma (remember, we support them). They came in on Friday, so we headed off on Thursday. We had several plans to get there, as they would keep changing. In the end, we had a couple of students who were scheduled to graduate at the Bible college (more on that later). The trip is long with a variety of terrain, long straight roads and curvy mountain passes. (Not Cascade but maybe coast range.) Six hours after departure (with a stop at Chicken Inn) we arrived at the college. The principal took us to a very nice restaurant. We had some shrimp for a change.
On Friday, we made our way to the airport to get Donna and Jenn at the airport. That evening there was a graduation banquet, serving, you guessed it, chicken and sadza. After eating, the principal shared a story about each graduate. He is quite a character. There were forty graduates so it took a bit of time. The event was outside and it was cold. Yes, Africa gets cold at night in winter. There were fires for people to sit around. We learned that almost all the graduates were hard working. The running story was “he came to school single, he left single.” Or married.
Saturday we had graduation at 9:00 A.M. On Friday I was asked to offer a prayer of dedication. It was a privilege to be asked. The service was typical of a graduation, except no student speeches. There was one issue which turned out to be better than the original plan. The program called for a “guest artist” but they were late. When they finally arrived, and started setting up, we went on with the Principal’s speech. The artist was then scheduled to sing, but didn’t have the right cord to hook up. As all this was going on, the Principal leaned over to me and said, “the man who is suppose to hand out diplomas isn’t here. Can you do it?” Wow, of course. So as there was a missing cord we jump ahead and passed out the diplomas. When done, the artist was ready. She was actually a famous Zimbabwean singer and the audience (which was limited because of you know what) got very excited. She did three songs and there was music and dancing, and laugher and joy. Actually having her last worked out great. One other funny thing was as each graduate came off the stage with the diploma, their family would greet them, cheering and giving gifts. One grad was handed a sheet cake and had to manage it with all the other stuff. His whatever she was insisted that he take it right then. I was honored to be a part of the event. Oh, and of course we had to have our picture taken.
The day ended with Sidyne taking us to dinner again. There was traffic but we finally made it to a very fancy restaurant. We looked over the menu and the least expensive item on the menu was T-bone steak, so as we have had about two dozen chickens to eat we went for it. It was a tab overdone for my taste but was still quite good and a relief from chicken. Then it was home to the college and to get ready for our next great adventure. (Next blog, maybe tomorrow).