Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It never rains, it pours

After extending our stay in South Africa by over a week so we could attend to all the business items that needed to get done, we finally left to come home on Monday. The plane was packed as usual with not much weight leeway to spare. With air travel, weight is more an issue than space. But that’s not news since we all know how commercial flights cram passengers in like sardines, right?
(Above: Fuel check and taking off at Kruger Int'l Airport)

After an uneventful trip we landed in Chimoio at around 3:30 pm. The van was in the hangar collecting dust and mice while it patiently awaited our return. Unfortunately, the battery was dead as a door nail, so we had to remove the plane’s battery to give it a boost. After much hoisting, heaving and sweating, the plane was inside the hangar, the bags and boxes of goods transferred from the plane to the van, and the heavy hangar doors drawn shut and locked. We then ventured into Chimoio to pick up a few things. Since it had been a long day, and it was supper time by the time we were finished, we decided to grab supper there instead of arrive home to the mammoth task of unpacking AND cooking. We went to our used-to-be-favourite restaurant, “Mario’s”. It used to be a great place because they had good beef which is a rarity around here. And they cooked it to perfection...comparatively speaking. Things recently seem to have taken a downward slide, but we decided to try the place out again for lack of any better place to eat.

When we arrived, we were the only ones there. That's NOT a good sign. The waiter was very friendly and seated us in our favourite spot. When he brought the menu, we asked him what on the menu was or was not available.
“Oh, we have no fish and no prawns.” He said appologetically.
“So, you have beef then?” We asked.
“Yes, we have beef and chicken.”

Goodie! We didn’t have to think twice about ordering our usual Pepper Steak. He took our menus and quickly disappeared with our order. In about 3 minutes however, he returned.
“I’m sorry, but we have no beef. We have chicken. Roast chicken or Zambezian chicken.” That was the information we expected after our first question. We ordered the Zambezian chicken because it sounds more exotic, but in my estimation they are the same dish.
(Mozambique coastline near Vilanculos)

Arriving back home in the bush is always an interesting event. This time, because our generator was still ‘en route’ from South Africa somewhere, we had no electricity for light to unpack the vehicle by or for starting up our little freezer (We had brought a 2 month supply of frozen meat--remember--we have no decent beef here + Christmas time is comin’!). We have a little putt-putt of a generator for our lights and battery chargers, but our fuel was all gone since it gets used for other mission work as well. So while I started to unpack in semi-darkness, Dwight went to borrow fuel from our co-workers, Francois and Alta. Thankfully they had some that they willingly parted with to help us over the first-night-back hump.

The following day was chaos as we tried to get caught up on all that had happened and was currently happening. We learned that there had been a heavy downpour in our absence and the little dam in our river had experienced a flash flood. This is not good since during the very dry time, we had to move the irrigation pump further into the river to reach the dwindling water reserve. When the torrential downpour came, the dam filled so quickly and unexpectedly that there was no time to retrieve the pump before it was submerged completely under water. It was a lengthy rescue ordeal, but they managed to release it from its base, pull it out, then open it up and dry it out. (Landing at Chimoio Airport)

Joao, one of our sponsored students and a very willing volunteer, had also just arrived from Maputo to spend his summer break working with the mission. He had been sick in Maputo for the past month or so and looked very thin, but he was at devotions in the morning looking spry. We both had work to attend to immediately, but agreed that at 10 a.m. he would come by for me to see him. In the meantime I scrambled to finish unpacking and got busy cleaning the cobwebs that tend to form overnight. In this case they’d had over 2 weeks to form! At 10:00ish when Joao arrived he listed his symptoms. It took me about 1 minute to identify that he had a raging pneumonia! Fever, chest pain, the whole bit AND he had been on a two day bus trip AND out working like that. The 2 courses of antibiotics he was given in Maputo hadn't touched it, so I knew I needed to get some of the better antibiotics in town.

Dwight returned from his morning ‘rounds’ at about lunch time and announced that we really needed to go back to town for fuel for the little generator so we could do some work. The alternator for the main generator wasn’t expected to arrive for a good week yet, so we'd have to make do. I needed to buy medicine for Joao anyway, and in less than 5 minutes we had a list of at least 6 items we needed to tend to on this trip! So I dropped my housework and off we went to town. It was a productive trip thankfully. I actually managed to find the recommended antibiotics, the pump we took in to have checked apparently was fine and not damaged by its very wet ordeal, we got fuel AND even were given a box of apricots for free by a farmer! That was God’s hug to us that day. On the way home we stopped to see our Mayor as we’d heard that the Governor wanted to pay us a visit. I just hoped that the visit wasn’t for the very next day! Turns out it wasn’t. Phew. A Governor’s visit means feeding and touring about 20 people around since there is always an extensive entourage wherever he goes.

Today, it’s not pouring--literally or figuratively. And I’m glad. We need to catch our breath before the next downpour.


The Nelson's Dog Patch said...

WOW!! What a wonderful informative blog posting, you had lots to say!! Life over there just isn't ever very easy for you is it? We are soooo spoiled here in Canada. You've got some gorgeous pictures there Lynn. AWESOME!!

Love you
your big sis

Zookeeper Cat said...

No way!!! Lynn, I stumbled across your blog while randomly surfing. Did the team from Prairie Bible College happen to consist of a bunch of ladies and one lone guy from Manitoba? If so, he goes to our church.

Either way, your blog is too cool. Glad I found you.


Russoft said...

I guess your internet still isn't up. Nice pictures!

René said...

Hi Lynn,

I just read on the webpage that Eunice was bitten by a snake! Is she okay, is she recovering? She is very dear to my heart and i would like to know that she is okay. René