Thursday, February 22, 2007

From Our Computer to Yours...

Although this picture is at least a month old (I'll download fresh ones asap), the scene hasn't changed all that much! The glass panes on the table are now securely puttied in place so the tin roof sheets are no longer needed for added protection against the elements. Otherwise, this is the room I currently sit in and where we spend countless hours sending emails. Today's big news flash is that there is a "powerful cyclone" headed our way. Yipee. Nat, maybe you'll want to secure your tent with a few more pegs!

We spent that last 2 weeks on a trip to South Africa on business and to pick up my cousin Chris and her husband Gary. It was an eventful trip as they often are here with several police stops, a flat tire and a flat spare, and so on. But so far Chris and Gary have stayed the course! We stopped on our long drive through Mozambique to spend 3 nights at Paindane Beach. It poured rain the first day but thankfully the sun peeped through on the 2nd day. After we left Paindane we stopped briefly in Massinga to meet David and Joanne (who was on a trip with the USask nursing students at the time).

In the few days we've been home we've been a busy bunch! Chris and Gary are up to their elbows in tile adhesive and we sincerely hope to move into the guest cottage in the next few weeks. Time will tell...I'll keep you updated either way!

I better run for this time, the wind has picked up considerably. I think the weather report may just be accurate this time. Yes, please do pray for us :).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Great Kids & Doing Things Together

I realized the other day that (I’m quite sure) there are no pictures of our family in this entire blog. So I’ve decided to post some. Here we are with our kids at the Edmonton Airport in November, saying goodbye. The smiles were purely for the camera!

Russell is in his 2nd year of Electrical Engineering and Amanda is in her 1st year of Biochem Honours. Both are at the University of Alberta. Their lives consist of study, eat quickly, study, sleep a bit, study, catch the bus, study some more. Aside from the ton of assignments, prof’s with unintelligible foreign accents and the hours they spend commuting by bus each day…I think they’re rather enjoying themselves. They live in Granny and Grandpa’s basement suite and do their own cooking and laundry when they can squeeze it in. They’ve made some major adjustments and done some quick growing up in the last few years.

Someone asked me the other day, “You homeschooled through to grade 12 successfully. What’s the trick?” After a lot of thought I’ve decided it wasn’t really the books and activities that made the difference. It was the fact that we did everything together (even outside school hours). Together we worked through Math problem sets (ugh), mused over Shakespeare’s writings and attempted our own science experiments. (I’m still only just learning of some of the explosive ones done after-school-hours.) But besides that, we went on walks, had long talks, baked cookies, endured border crossings, and learned to appreciate bugs and snakes together (all things are possible). Doing something with someone says, “You and what we are doing matters to me.” And the neat thing is that in the end, it matters to them too! So what’s the trick? I would have to say, “Make the time to do things together.” Very simple. Very important.

Yes Mushu. You’re important too. And simple, but that’s okay.

Monday, February 05, 2007

In February

… the clouds hang low and rain often and the grass in the fields grows tall and thick.

Mothers walking home along a path through the fields. If you follow this path you will come across the mission’s school “Mucombeze Primary School”.

In February, summer holidays end for school kids in Mozambique. Before school can re-open, the over-grown grass needs to be cut back and the school yard needs to be cleared. Pitch in everyone! Cute kids J

February 3rd was orientation day. Many girls came sporting freshly braided hair and some boys wore smart new outfits. Apparently there was much news to catch up on after the long summer break!

Fernando, the cook, getting back into the swing of things. 150 kids to cook for. Wow!

February also marks the month we’ve targeted to move to our new home. There is no better time to have to move plants, plants and more plants!

This is also trip time for us again. We will be on business for a good 2 weeks in South Africa. Leadership training materials need to be picked up, the vehicle needs repairs, legal paperwork needs to be processed, building materials need to be sourced and the list goes on. Who knows, maybe there’s a little bit of fun to be sandwiched in there too. Maybe even another blog entry. Until then, enjoy February. Be it bitterly cold or muggy and hot, it is our shortest month!