Sunday, January 13, 2008


Definition – A slang term for a newcomer…Variations: Nube;Noob.

Our son has just started a new job as part of his Engineering co-op program. He’s had to relocate to a new town and a new home in order to start this new job! So I think the term ‘newbie’ definitely applies to him right now! We’ve been in fairly close contact with him to hear how things are going: “How’s the new home?” “Are you comfortable?” “How do you like the job?” “What kind of work are you doing?” etc. We’re parents. We need to know these things.

This silver Toyota pick-up is also a newbie. It is a replacement for the Isuzu (below) that has served us well for the last few terms, but which unfortunately is starting to crumble under the harsh demands of work in rural Mozambique. By my standards, a suitable pick up for the Mozambican bush must have two essential qualities: dependability and durability. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve tacked on a 3rd essential quality: good suspension!
Like our 1982 Toyota pickup, nicknamed ‘The Beast’, the Isuzu (below) has performed a wide variety of tasks in generally tough conditions. It hasn’t been quite as durable as the old Toyota, but its smooth-riding independent suspension certainly added years to our lives. After almost 300,000 km’s of hard work and in need of major engine/4X4/front end/electrical system overhauls, the Isuzu is now best kept close to home, not doing anything too heroic!
Transporting tools and equipment for construction.

On one of its many trips transporting food for orphans and the school feeding program.

Dodging potholes on Mozambique's N1 highway. I rated this portion as mild-medium severity because even though we have to drive on the dirt shoulder most of the time, at least the holes are less than a foot deep!

'The Beast' (below), our first ever Toyota pick-up, did okay in terms of dependability and durability, but its suspension system was sadly lacking! I used to joke that I needed a body brace to help hold me together whenever we bounced and jolted over the ridiculously rough roads! Although it was pure work-horse through and through, its rough, bone jarring ride is partly what earned it the name ‘The Beast’!

The pick up that endured 1001 Mozambican adventures! One day I'll write a book, or at least devote an entire chapter in a book, just to this vehicle and all we went through with it.

The new Toyota will certainly undergo trial by fire on its maiden voyage as it heads for home loaded down with important supplies over the pot-holed roads of a flooding Mozambique! (Hopefully the highway is still intact.) We hope to have all the import papers finished by next week, and believe me, there are many to organize. And at least for the moment, we’ve decided to hang on to the Isuzu. It can likely still be of use on the mission if we just adapt its job description.
Follow-up news:
*Although our kids managed to get back to Edmonton after being rerouted in New York, Amanda's suitcase didn't. I guess it figured it needed a few more weeks of globetrotting. Thankfully, after some stress and much follow-up, it finally arrived in Edmonton, Yay! Supposedly it found its way to San Francisco...does this make sense to anyone?
*Heavy rains have brought flooding to parts of Mozambique. Sadly, crop failures and resulting hunger are anticipated. Mercy Air's helicopter is scheduled to leave tomorrow to assist in flood relief operations.


Amanda said...

nube is a variation?

Russoft said...

nube is not a variation! nub maybe, though it doesn't really follow english rules. Too bad about the floods.