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Issue 37: March 1996

The Rains have come! As we travel in the Mazda we can hear the crescendos of the "Christmas beetle". Its proper name is the Cicada bug and an encouraging creature it is. The noise reminds one of that heard in a factory, maybe, where machines are in action. The bug makes the noise with its wings against the body, of which the skin is stretched tight like a drum - hence the piercing, whistling noise from many Cicadas. It lays its eggs in cracks in the bark of trees and when these eggs hatch the nymphs drop to the soil below, where they use their strong front legs to dig down to the tree's roots. They feed on the sap of the tree-roots for a long time - it can be as much as 17 years before the nymph becomes an adult and climbs back up the tree where it lives for only a few weeks before laying eggs, after which it dies. The male is responsible for the noise. The female does not sing. - Why am I telling you all that? - because it is interesting and it makes one wonder at nature, how God has arranged things. The creature was maturing for 17 years under the ground, getting ready to herald the rains. The spiritual lesson is obvious – when we are mature in God then we are fit to announce the gospel of Jesus Christ. We do rejoice in God's temporal blessings upon us at Ameva. Already every­ where is beautifully green as so far, the rains have been excellent. We have had more rain since the end of October than the whole of last season. Both the dams are beginning to fill. Louise Harper from Tear fund is a civil engineer, and she has done a survey of the dams and we now have a measuring rod in each dam telling us how much water is in the dam. Both dams are now about 40% for December has been very wet with some very heavy falls of rain. It is now holiday time, so we are able to take things a lot easier. There was quite a busy time at the end of the term as we ·were told the minister of education was visiting the Chegutu schools. After several changes to the programme the minister was only able to come on a one-day visit but Ameva was still included on the programme. It was a successful visit to both the secondary and primary schools. The minister was very pleasant and caring and she was impressed with the progress at. Ameva. John Valentine asked her to come next year for the official opening of the secondary school. She agreed to come. One sad incident at the end of term was a tragic accident involving some first form pupils from Moleli school. They were taken on a journey to a lake and 32 pupils went on a boat trip. The boat was over­loaded and had two decks. It overturned and the pupils in the lower deck were trapped and 22 lost their lives. They were only 50 metres from the shore. There was a special service held in the Methodist Church in Harare to remember the lost and their families.

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