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Zigzagging around Zimbabwe: Jodie Sandford

Posted by Jodie Sandford Oxfam supporter

13th Feb 2012

Jodie Sandford's a mum with two children, who works in IT. She's also an Oxfam supporter, and she's agreed to fly to Zimbabwe and visit the charity's projects. Out there she'll be meeting people, asking questions - and reporting back in three guest blogs. So how has Jodie found the first few days in Zimbabwe? Read on...

Well, here I am in Zimbabwe, in the Gutu region. The roads were quite nice to start with, but as we got further and further away from the capital, Harare, they got worse and worse, and as we approached the areas where Oxfam actually works, the roads got really bumpy. It's really hot, there's no air conditioning in the car and the windows are only opened now and again.

It's been very windy as well and there's no running water where we're staying - so I shall be using my dry shampoo and my wipes!

When we finally arrived today, we met all the local chiefs, which was really interesting. The Oxfam staff showed us how to greet people in the traditional way, clapping people's arrival at the meeting place. It's a courtesy, really - making sure everyone knows what we're doing in the area.

On my second day we had an early start. We left at 7am, and spent something like seven hours on the road, travelling 75km to meet the Magarinya family.

Esther Magarinya is 34 (just four years younger than me) and a new mum to twins Thomas and Kefas. They're just one month old, and so lovely.

In the shade of Esther's home it was still so hot. I don't know how they can all cope in there when they all have to sleep. It's so small with mum and dad and all the children in only one small living space.

There are no luxuries at all here. No sign of any baby kit which you just come to expect at home. There's no cot, no Moses basket, no bottles, no steriliser. Nothing you'd expect to find when there are two new babies in the house.

The babies are already eating a flour-and-water mix and they're only a month old. When I asked Esther, she explained that when she has less food to eat she can't produce enough milk to feed the two of them. So that's why she's having to supplement that with solid food. That's just something you'd never hear of back at home in the UK.

See for yourself: Jodie's trip to Zimbabwe

Blog originally posted on Mumsnet Bloggers Network

Blog post written by Jodie Sandford

Oxfam supporter

More by Jodie Sandford