Saturday, May 26, 2007

Canadian Prairie comes to Mozambican Bush

The team of nursing students (mentioned in my previous blog) from Prairie made it safe and sound and have survived the first week of bush camping! That says a lot. But they’ve done much more than just survive. They’ve hiked for hours, killed bugs, tolerated temperature extremes (from 7 to 30 Celsius in 24 hours), ate new food, walked some more, cuddled babies, played with children, dressed wounds, held hands, got VERY dirty, taught lessons, cared for many, walked more yet again, and I could go on. They’re still smiling though and they have been lots of fun. Here are a few pictures of their first few days here.

Sunday with a difference...

A long walk to church

And a little love!

Next week will surely be as busy as the first, so I'll be back with more photos as soon as I can.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Visiting...both near and far

A few weeks ago, Salena and I made the monthly visits to deliver food support for orphan homes in our immediate area. And since our cold weather arrived early this year, we decided to throw in a few extra clothes and sweaters as well. Here are a few shots of our visits to homes of those who receive help from the mission. The grass mat we're sitting on is customarily rolled out when guests arrive. It is always an interesting time together as we first exchange pleasantries, then get down to the chatting. Here's one of the girls trying on a fun item from the bag!
This granny who struggled for many years with leprosy receives help because it has become increasingly difficult for her to work her land and therefore feed herself. She lives alone but her grandchildren come to visit often. She is a very special lady!

When we pulled this blue sweater out of the bag for her, she said, "Oh, I was just about to mention that I have no warm clothes for this cold weather!" Of course we didn't know this beforehand, but God knew. And sometimes there are a few other surprises in store...

A few days ago Nat Zook, one of the members on our missionary team, returned from a brief furlough with a team of visitors (Jortosh Ministries) from Canada. Everyone here is happy when visitors arrive! And tomorrow Dwight and Domingo, the mission's driver, will go to Beira to pick up the visiting team from Prairie. We've been gearing up for this for quite some time and things have fallen in to place quite nicely. The recently purchased van arrived just a few days ago (sorry, no photo yet), we found a trailer to borrow from some very kind neighbours, the camp is set up and ready...and last but not least, the schedule of visits is in place. The teams will visit schools, clinics, homes, churches, etc. We know many interesting times will be had by all in the next few weeks!

As you can imagine, we're going to be pretty busy for a few weeks. If time doesn't allow and this blog spot seems to have been forgotten by its author, you will know it's just temporarily being set on the back burner. But as soon as I can, I'll be posting pictures and more stories of how things are going here in the African bush!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Days Are Just Packed

…or unpacked again as it would seem! This is not another picture of our new yard just after the move, although it does resemble it. One of our tasks this past week was to repack our shipping container so we could fit more stuff inside! Yes, the stuff from our month-ago move sitting in our yard. We decided that since the container needed to be emptied, we would also move it to a better location not too far away. We did it bush-style with lots of improvisation. The main thing is, it got to where we wanted it to be!

This presented me with the opportunity to rifle through boxes of goods I’d packed away over 2 years ago. There were important items in that container that I really needed to find, like extra cutlery, kitchen utensils and bedding to kit out the campsite for the short term team from Prairie Bible College in Alberta that’s due to arrive. Pretty much all our earthly possessions were in that container, and one look at some of them made me wonder why we’d kept them for so long! Some items, on the other hand, were precious for the memories they held. Items like well used toys, old birthday cards, music tapes and of course, photographs. The photos drew the most attention from the guys working on the container. They wanted to know who was who in my photos, what they do for a living, and by the way, could they also have a copy so they can show their kids at home?

With the container now nestled into its new place I hope to finish repacking it by the weekend. Busy times indeed!

News update:

The pregnant woman bitten by a crocodile gave birth last week to a baby boy. Baby seems to be fine and mother is doing better.

In about a week’s time we will welcome a group of nursing students from Prairie Bible College. They are coming to visit the mission for just over 2 weeks and will be participating in health teaching in grade schools and ladies classes, participating in home visits in the communities, conducting a variety of check-up services at the health post, etc. But mostly they’ll be involved in the best part, an intercultural exchange with some of the world’s most wonderful people. We know this trip with broaden their perspectives and touch their hearts. If you come, you cannot leave here unchanged. And that’s a good thing. So to them right now, I wish “Happy Packing” and good travels.’

Well, it’s well past missionary midnight, 9p.m., so I better “pack” it in for now. The one good thing about activity-packed days is that night sleeps usually are better.

These two agree that the end of the day is the best part!