Monday, November 28, 2005

The Bulawayo funeral house

It was my first visit to Betty's uncles place. I had expected a fairly modest dwelling but I found them living in a large farmhouse on the outskirts of Bulawayo. The house was somewhat rundown on the outside byt was very well kept internally. The warmth of the welcome we received was overwhelming especially given the circumstances - they had just lost their son! We arrived on a Saturday afernoon. The family had just returned from their church service (as 7th Day Adventists they worship on Saturday.) Betty remained in the house with the women whilst I greeted the women before venturing outside to join the men around the open fire. It was daylight but there was a nip in the air so the warmth of the fire was welcome. The grounds of the house were immaculately kept. Vegetables were growing and elsewhere the lawn was neatly mowed. If I hadn't had known better I would have thought the family to be quite prosperous. Infact they were well off not long before but Mugabe's tyranny, especially against the Ndebele people in Matabeleland, had made their saving worthless. Betty's uncle worked as an inspector of schools. A good well paid job in normal times but like any other Zimbabweans, outside of the Presidents inner circle, the family were living from hand to mouth.

Betty's uncle is an inspirational man though. Despite the hardships he was suffering, the economic ruin and mostly the loss of his son he refused to be downhearted. His faith in God obviously sustained him and his family - although they had many questions they wanted to ask God!

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