Unlike being back in Ibiza, or the U.K. or even Thailand where we spend a lot of our time, here in Zimbabwe we don’t have regular access to internet, let alone reliable power to even run the router, so yesterday was a down day for the most part, so I was unable to write about day 8, on the actual day.
There was still time to a few positive things regarding our charity work though, so we went to a number of places searching for the best price and quality to attempt to find someone local who could build us 8 bunkbeds. This would be more than enough to keep EVERY SINGLE CHILD from sleeping on the floor. As you, if you have been following the blog, will have seen on Day 6, the majority of the children sleep on the floor. In place of mattresses are blankets. This is no way for anyone to live, let alone children. They also have to share their sleeping spaces with all the other children. In one particular room there was 9 sleeping all together! So, we have decided to make bunk beds our priority.
We’d heard about a place called the “self help college” and that sounded like a double good deed if we were able to get them to make us our beds. The idea is that this college is a way for those that so wish, to gain a skill so that they can go and set up their own businesses. We wanted to support them, and also get some well made bunk beds for our Orphanage. So, yet another volunteer helper gave us a lift out to the college and we spoke with the head of the woodwork department. He initially quoted $200-230 for each bunkbed but would be in contact later that day with a full quote based upon the fact that its A) for charity and B) we were looking to order 8 of them so would like a discount.
Initially we thought this was a high price for a wooden bunk bed, but he assured us that we’d be very happy with the final price he would be able to give us. Despite being promised that he’d send the quote later that day, he never did… We are still waiting.
Luckily, we are not silly enough to assume that the first deal and the first price is the one that we’d take so we went looking through the “industrial zone” of Chegutu, 30miles towards Harare from where the orphanage is. Here we were sent from pillar to post, but eventually we found an iron worker with the appropriate skills to make a bunk bed. He instantly quoted $140 for a steel double bunk bed, but that we could get cheaper if we ordered a number of them… Music to our ears. Steel beats wood any day of the week and the potential saving of at least $90 per bed means that the money we’ve been collected in donations will go even further.
We will be returning to the orphanage on early in the week to take measurements and to decide if we can have triple decker bunk beds or standard two level ones. I’d personally like to go for the 3 level ones but we’ll see.
With these prices in mind, we’ll now be going to an iron worker closer to home as apparently there is one in the Rimuka township where the orphanage is, and this will solve our other problem of transportation as well.
With that it was time for me to get ready to run for another charity at the Chegutu 12km run. All proceeds were to go towards saving local natural habitats called Wetlands. Those who know me that I like to run, and particularly for charity. I ran the London Marathon in 2013 and raised nearly £3000 for the Royal British Legion which supports ex-service men with their long term health problems after leaving the armed forces, amongst other things. I then ran at the Madrid Marathon in 2015 as one of the ways to make money to bring to Zimbabwe to do the things that we are doing here right now. So any excuse to pull on the running shoes was gladly welcomed. I felt awful running in the torrential rain and started way to fast by trying to keep up with the eventual winner. He won the largest national marathon just a few months previously and was a professional, so quite why I tried to keep up with him I have no idea, but try I did and that nearly ruined my race as I felt exhausted with still 11km to go! I eventually came in 4th and was happy enough with that although a podium finish and 3rd prize would have been nice!
Right, I’m getting to writing the next day and will post as soon as I can. 🙂