Rising Food Costs

With food in Zimbabwe becoming more and more expensive, the ZANE teams often combine food delivery with a visit to check on the wellbeing of the recipients:

ZANE deliveries:  At one home I delivered food parcels to John and Rosemary. I spent time with John as he is slowly coming to terms with his recent lung cancer diagnosis. He is a remarkable person who has led a very hard-working interesting life.

At the age of 40, he was hospitalised with pneumonia and took a long time to recover, having smoked since he was a teenager. His health continued to decline and now he is very ill with advanced emphysema. X-rays and scans now show he has a small amount of cancer in his right lung, but his lungs are so badly damaged from emphysema that no amount of surgery or other intervention will work for him now.

So, John has lived with the knowledge of a small life expectancy for a long time and is more or less used to the idea. This cancer means his prognosis is now much shorter. His flat is hugely cluttered and he now spends his days sorting, tidying and throwing things away because “I don’t want other people to have to sort through all of this when I die.”

He is always considerate of other people and has spent his life being kind and helpful. He managed to say that what he most wants help with now, is the assurance that he will not suffer terribly at the time of death.

Then I delivered to Mim, Rika, CJ, Lorraine (new recipient).  CJ is in good form, doing excellent maintenance work at the care home, living rent-free because of this. He and his wife Lynne are now more financially secure and Lynne is working in the mornings at a nursery school (receiving no pay for this).

They are both feeling more useful, and happy and CJ was able to talk freely with me about his Bipolar disorder. He said if he is not preoccupied and busy doing something he is good at he quickly falls into a deep depression which can last weeks or months. It is absolutely wonderful to see him in this good frame of mind and he is so enjoyable to talk with.

Mim is not at all well, suffering from a blood disorder and painful legs. This is obvious in the chaotic mess in her flat, which we talked about. We agreed she needs to discard much of what she has in the flat and she has already started to gather a pile of blankets and clothes to donate for the PA shop.

Whenever I offer to help Mim with her medical problems, she politely refuses and I do see she has many family members who always help her with this.  Lorraine was beyond excited with her first ZANE delivery and I’m sure all of the residents at her care home must have heard her joy!

Her European exuberance is not something I see in most people here.

* Names and images may have been changed for privacy reasons

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