RUSSELL JOHNSON – DRIVER
I left Duiwelskloof 02h30, Saturday morning, 08/06/2018 to be in Malelane early to load for the trip to Zimbabwe.
We loaded the cooking oil and everything else that was on the list to load.
I went out to Hymans Kloole for the promised donation of 400 litres diesel: having gotten my diesel, I left Malelane and headed back to Tzaneen . I got to Duiwelskloof at 16h30 Saturday afternoon, had supper, showered, and at 21h15 I left for Mussina. Once there I filled up with diesel and slept at the petrol station. I woke up at 04h00, and left for Sediba Clearing Agents at Gateway Truck Stop. When they opened at 07h00 on Sunday morning, I got my papers to cross the Border, and proceeded down to the Border Post where I went through to the Zimbabwe side of the border. There I waited all day Sunday for Condem clearing, which was done Monday 10/06/2018. At 13h30 that afternoon. I travelled to Bulawayo, arriving at 16h30. We took Angela and her brother home and spent the night at Coronation, Hannes’s flat.
Early Tuesday morning I took Hannes’ bakkie to fetch Angela, and her brother John, as Hannes was too sick to come with (he had bad flu). We loaded the boxes and then spent another night at Coronation.
Wednesday morning, I picked up the truck and left for Gweru, Boggies Trust, where Bruce and all the Boggies people were waiting for me. I spent about an hour with them and then left for Huisvervegsig. I met all the people, and they were so happy and grateful for the help. I took foto’s and spent some time with them. Then headed out of Gweru on my way to Redcliff.
I arrived at Redcliff and went to Huber Lee, where I offloaded and once again had a wonderful welcome from all who were there. One hour later, I was headed for Kwekwe, to Lynbrook Cottages.
When I came in, I received a wonderful reception. All the people there were so thankful for their boxes, and all gave me their letters of thanks for the support they receive. The help of these boxes of food is such a lifesaver in Zimbabwe.
From Redcliff I was on my way to Kwekwe, to LynnBrook Homes which I found with no problem. I must say I am finding my destinations a lot easier than in my previous trips, which makes the travelling so much more enjoyable.
I then left Kwekwe and headed for Kadoma. On the way, about twenty km out Kwekwe, I picked up something like a piece of metal or something, and it broke the tap between the two fuels tanks, making a hole in the main tank, which caused me to lose almost all of the diesel in the tank. When I came into Kadoma, Clive O. Rilley came out to meet me, as I had let him know that I had this problem with the diesel tanks.
Well, we parked the tuck in West View Yard, and early next morning, Clive organized Danny and some helpers to take out the tank, and then he took it into Kadoma, where he welded up the hole, and we brought a new tap to replace the broken one. By ten o’clock the repairs were done and the boxes offloaded. All I can say to West View’s Clive, Danie and the rest who helped is ‘thank you’. ( oh Clive also took me to the petrol station and had them put 200 litres of diesel in, which I had lost, so that helped me to get to Harare, which was my next port of call on my journey.)
I left Kadoma, heading for Chinhoy. I got there with no further trouble with the diesel tanks, and found my way, and met all the people at Sunningdale Cottages. There is a new secretary at Sunningdale - a Mister Bill Bone. Well, I took a lot of foto’s of all the people who were so happy and smiling, the drive out of Chinhoyi, and headed for Harare, where I arrives at about 16h50. I phoned John Herbst and arranged for him to meet me at the Trek Garage, which he did, and I followed him home where I spent the night with him and Leonie. I had a wonderful night with them almost forgetting about my stress from the day before.
Well John gave me one of his most trusted people who worked for him to show me the way to Marion Futter’s. I met Marion for the first time, and felt just how special she was.
When we finished offloading by Marrion, I was shown the way to George Avenue, where, where I went to Vic, who supplies us with 200 litres of fuel. Vic wasn’t there, but I met Alex, one of his managers, who was only too pleased to give us the diesel which they donate to us. I must say that donation is a lifesaver to us. Thank you Vic for your love and support.
Well I got finished in Harare, and off I was headed for Mutare to Des and Sally Bekker. I must say going to them is always like being on holiday!
I got to Des’s warehouse, and we offloaded all the boxes, and locked up the truck for the night. Sally took me home with her and they have a flat, which they have made into Bed and Breakfast, in which I had the privilege of being the first person to stay and sleep there. I had the most wonderful night. We went out for supper at the Portuguese Restaurant and had a wonderful Portuguese Grilled Peri peri Chicken. Thank you so much Des and Sally. This is always the highlight of my Zimbabwe trips.
Well, the S.O.A.P., EHT and Strickland boxes were offloaded by Des at his warehouse, and he would see to it that all the boxes are given to the people who must receive them.
From Mutare I went back to Rusape, Resthaven and had a wonderful time with the Resthaven people. We had tea, cake and assortment of eats.
From Rusape I headed for Chivu to Piet and Frieda. I arrived in Chivu at 18h00 that evening at the house, only to find that Piet and his wife were in South Africa. The girl who works for them showed me to my room which is outside the main house, and she cooked me a meal, and gave me coffee after which I had a bath then went to bed as I had had a long day.
Sunday morning we offloaded the boxes and washed the tuck as it was very dirty. At about 09h00 I left for Masvinga, but when I got to the house to offload found only Godfrey there as Dusty and Jonny Nel were in church. I offloaded with Godfrey, then went on my way to Zvishavane to Lynne D’ews which I found, and met with Lynne to deliver her boxes. I had a cup of coffee with her then left for Shurugwe. I got there two hours later, to find all the people from Muus Lodge waiting for me, as I had phoned to let them know I was on my way. We offloaded, and spent some time chatting as it is so wonderful to see all these people all over Zimbabwe…a person makes such wonderful friends with all the people I meet and see, and it is always sad to say goodbye to them until the next trip.
Anyway, after our goodbyes, I left for Gweru where Bruce Chillcot would be waiting for me. I arrived at Boggies Trust, and sure enough Bruce opened the gate for me. I went into Boggies, and offloaded the empty boxes. This was my last night on the trip so I had a bath in my room and then went over to Bruce and had coffee and toast with him. We chatted for some time and then I went to bed.
I left Boggies Trust at 07h00 next morning and headed back to Bulawayo where I met up with Angela, our lady from the warehouse.
After offloading, Angela took me to Terry from Colbro Transport , as he always donates 200 liters of petrol which helps us while in Zimbabwe. Thanks Terry for the support.
Well, the last goodbye was said to Angela and then I was off to Beit Bridge.
A very big thank you to all the wonderful people who help us in our work in Zimbabwe.
In Bulawayo – Terry Colbro Diesel
In Harare – John and Leonie Herbst, and Vic for diesel
In Gweru – Bruce Chillcott Boggies Trust
In Kadoma – Clive and Estelle O Rilley
In Mutare – Des and Sally Bekker
In Chivue – Piet and Frieda De Klerk
In Masvingo – Jonny Nel and Dusty Evens
In Zvshavane – Lynne Dews.
Head Office Contact details:
Director - Fund Raising & Awareness for the Zimbabwe Pensioner Support Fund
(C) 079 6082676
(T) 013 7900934
Fax to Email - 086 267 8499
Section 21 Co Reg. 2007/034036/08; NPO Number 096733; Section 18A PBO No 930031642
Director: Hannes Botha
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