Field Notes

Behind the Scenes: Zimbabwe

by: Meredith Maines
November 10, 2014


In January, a handful of Living Water International’s communications team visited Zimbabwe to capture stories of our transformative partnerships with local churches. Not only did we see the most immaculately cared for wells in the history of our team’s travels, we also met pastors and community members whose selfless dedication will stick with me forever. Here’s a behind-the-scenes view of our campaign, One Body One Spirit!

We spent a short afternoon at a nature preserve and got this close to zebras, giraffes, and impalas. (There were jogging trails INSIDE the park. I wish I’d worn my running shoes.) Also, it was my mission to make our stoic tour guide laugh—I finally succeeded!


 

When we first met our friends in Overspill, they graced us with this song. The lyrics mean something like, "Who could have been so good to give us this well? It must be from God."

 

Women in Zimbabwe are so strong. They simultaneously carry babies on their back and gallons of water on their head—I don't know how they do it! So I could experience a taste of her daily life, Fadzai, Overspill's well caretaker, entrusted me with her youngest daughter, Sharon. Step one: lean over and balance baby on your back. Step two: wrap towel around both of you; tie top corners around your chest and bottom corners around your waist. Step three: try not to fall over!

 

Reverend Dube is the general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ). If there’s ever a lull in a meeting, count on him to break into a melodious chorus of a local hymn—what a character! (Hear the whole EFZ staff sing here!)

 

Mark, our photographer, single-handedly made all of Overspill’s children break into peals of laughter, just by trying to pronounce some phrases in their local language. (Want to see more? Watch the whole vocabulary video, here!)

 

Traveling to Zimbabwe is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so we convinced ourselves to partake in a local delicacy, mopane worms. Instead of being squishy like I'd feared, they were actually quite crunchy—not too bad!

 

Our friends from The Crossing, faithful Living Water supporters near St. Louis, traveled with us and shared a message at a gathering organized by EFZ. Pastor Moses’ church was packed to the gills! Mark snuck away for a quick moment to grab this night shot of the church’s borehole.

 

It takes a special personality behind the camera to get shots as good as Mark's. Luckily, we had Josh, our videographer, do some silly stunts for the kids in Overspill. Their laughter is priceless!

 

My favorite color is yellow, so when this sweetheart showed up to our impromptu birthday party for local orphan Ropa Fadzo (not pictured) in this perfect yellow ensemble, I could barely contain myself. Mark captured this epic shot, which I’m planning to print poster-size and hang somewhere incredibly conspicuous.

 

What would you like to see more of from our trips to visit those we serve together? Tell us in the comments!

 

 


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