Monday, January 08, 2007

Dona Elena

This is the axe that was made for me by one of the boys who used to attend our school. He is now a young man who farms his plot of land and does a bit of iron work/tool making on the side. I ordered an axe from him because we had no axe at our house to cut fire wood with (to use in our hot water outside tank under which a fire is built). I told him if he makes nice axes I would like to order one. I usually order from another older gentleman, but he was not around on this particular day. "Oh yes, I make good axes. I'll bring yours next week." So one night of the following week when we arrived home late a found an axe leaning up against my veranda wall (I nearly stumbled over it on the dark sidewalk). I was happy to see he had made it so soon, but my heart really melted when I saw the local version of my name burned into the handle! I'm usually addressed by other terms of respect, as in this culture there are several (Mama being one of them), but none of those include my name. Except this one, Dona Elena (or Mrs. Lynn). The last thing I felt like doing was send this axe into the bush to be used to chop wood, but alas, a cold shower isn't terribly appealing either!

As promised, here is the picture of the 10 boys who are apparently on their way to Grade 6 at a school about 15 km down the highway. We've received a report that they have vacancies at the school, now we just need to find a place for them to live. The mission, parents and school are working together on this and things are proceeding in an orderly fashion. We've learned some of what to do and what not to do from previous experiences. And to answer the question, "Why only boys?", actually, after our last school meeting we were approached by several parents whose girls do in fact also want to go on to Grade 6. The parents of the girls will be responsible to make sure there are vacancies, locate a hut where they can live and make sure someone responsible can remain there with them. You can bet that there are 10+ very excited younsters there! Some of these boys were pulled from field work for the photo shoot...

Orphan food distribution day is always a special time in its own way. Here mission staff unload bags of maize, rice, oil and other pertinent items. The home we're delivering to is the home of a widow who cares for 7 children. But the point of this photograph was actually to point out Joao, in the white shirt. His dad took Bible studies through the mission but passed away about 3 years ago. Last year Joao, after completing Grade 12 and some Bible study as well, approached the mission with an interest to serve as a volunteer but also with a request for the mission to help sponsor him through university in Maputo, Mozambique. He's a fine young man who has served the mission with his whole heart over this past year while he has awaited notice of acceptance from the university. Last week he had the opportunity to go to Maputo himself to follow up on his application (only 2 students from each province are accepted per discipline). We were sad to see him go, it felt like another of our kids leaving the nest (he often called me "Mae" or "Mom"), but at the same time we're excited for him. We know the Lord has something special in store for his life.

This feels like a long entry so I better close for now, besides, it's past lunchtime and am I hungry! I put on several km's I'm sure back and forth from generator to office to wooden hut and back again just to get all the hook-ups organized to work on the computer AND email. Bush life is sure labour-intensive :). TTYL.


Anonymous said...

You put up more people pictures!! I love hearing about your life in the bush- and seeing it too! We are praying for you. God Bless, Love Heather and Rick

Russell said...

Wow, 2 students from each province per discipline! That's really small.

Liked the pictures, especially the ones with the overcast skies :)