Sunday, December 30, 2007

Challenges of 'The Simple Life'

The past week has been pretty much committed to spending time with our kids since they’re here such a short time. We drove 6 hours to pick them up in Vilanculos then turned around and drove another 6 hours back home. Needless to say, after a bedtime cup of tea we hit the hay! We were sure tired, and the kids were jetlagged on top of it. Amanda was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the very next day and anxious to do some baking, so we decided on gingerbreads.

On their 2nd day here we figured we’d venture into town for a few groceries and to pop in on a few friends. Well, our poor old road had started to develop another boggy spot and wouldn’t you know it, as we drove through, it decided to give way under the car. So there we sat in our finest, up to the bumpers in mud. 4X4 and diff lock were of no use to us because we were high centered. The tires on the side that had sunk into the mud simply spun like beaters in cake batter! Hours of digging and ingenious ideas to try to extricate ourselves only resulted in sinking deeper! The guys finally resorted to winching us out with a rope and chain. Thankfully there was a strong enough tree nearby. I guess this was re-baptism by fire for our kids—“Welcome back to the bush guys.” They took everything in stride, but that night we nursed sunburns.

Same mud hole 2 days later.
Yet another very squishy, soft mud hole in our entry road. It's getting more and more difficult to find terra firma to drive on around here!

Otherwise, it’s been a great time with lots of talking and visiting old friends. We dropped in on Fred who worked for us for 10 years and is now retired. He was happy to see the kids, but was especially awestruck with Russell’s size. He kept looking at him, head to one side saying, “This is Russell? ....Ayeee *click* ayeeee...he is big now. . .Ayeeeee. He is a man.”
But even the arrival of our kids couldn’t coax the sun out of hiding for more than a few hours before heavy rain clouds would move in and deliver their quota of yet more rain. We had a dandy of a thunderstorm one night. Bolts of lightning struck alarmingly closeby and the crash of thunder made us cringe. In fact, we were eating supper on the veranda with friends and the rain was so loud on the tin roof that we couldn’t hear each other talk. We shouted, gestured with our hands, exchanged shocked expressions and laughed. We unplugged any electrical appliances to protect them and we already don’t have cell phone coverage. While the rest of the world rushed forward at its usual hectic pace, we out here in the bush sat fairly cut off from it all, engulfed by rain, eating our supper and laughing. The challenges of bush life have sent many running back to civilization, but it is simple in its own way. (The rain water drainage from the highway forms a small river as it crosses our entry road...women actually come here to do their laundry.) Good news: Our internet modem was hand delivered last week and is now hooked up so we’re online again! Yay! Or shall I put it into local dialect and say...‘Ayeee, *click* ayeee.....ulululuululu’!

Less good news: It’s still raining ALOT! Weather forecasters on Radio Mocambique say it’s going to keep raining like this until March and we can expect cyclones too. Wow. I’m starting to wonder if our little home will get washed away by the raging river tide! Water now completely covers what used to be the mission garden.

In fact, it rained so hard the night of the thunderstorm that the water rose several feet and nearly ripped our river pump off its perch high on the rock. If we in the higher altitudes are feeling rained-out and flooded, I hate to imagine what Beira is like right now since the city is downstream from us and is below sea level. No, this is not a good time to visit Beira. It may also not be a good time to drive the low-lying highway through Mozambique to take our kids to Jo’burg to catch their flight home! We may have to take the Zimbabwe route, regardless of the chaos in that country. I know one thing for sure, our kids may like ‘the simple life’ here in the bush, but they don’t really want to miss those flights back to the frozen North!


ruth said...

Your stories make our rain in Seattle a little more tolerable. How can we complain? There has been a lot of flooding south of us but we've escaped unscathed. In Salmon Arm it's snow snow snow. Beautful. We're praying that the sun comes out and evaporates some of that water. I don't know if your kids would be too sorry to miss their flights:). Although I know how stressed Amanda would be even if it meant she got to spend more time with mom and dad.

The Nelson's Dog Patch said...

Ahhh.... I too realized that my whining about too much snow is rather unwarranted after reading & seeing the water situation you have going on there!! I know your time with the kids must have just flown by. I have actually been feeling quite sorry for you guys because I know you're trying to make the days last as long as you can to prolong their eventual departure. Buth none the less the days fly by of their own accord & there's just no stopping it!! We are very happy that at least we are able to communicate with you again & to enjoy your very interesting ongoing 'blogging'. Lots of love from our house to yours & Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the picture of the garden really got me. I can't imagine how you are handleing it, or anybody for that matter. It makes the -15 celcius not so bad. I think maybe father Noah(Dwight) and yourself should think about building a large boat soon.
Wendy Dafoe

david santos said...

Nice photos, congratulations,

have a good day,

Russoft said...

david santos?

Anyway: Son fulfilling 1-comment-per-blog obligation.

Awww froggy!