Last week was an important one for us as we hosted a visit from the provincial governor. The original plan had been for him (and his supposed entourage of 20-30 people) to share a noon meal here with us. A week or so later, the meal plan was changed to just sandwiches. Apparently he was on a tight schedule. After we had purchased cold meats, cheese, etc for the sandwiches, we were told there would be no time for that either. Just time to meet, take a quick tour, then out again. Also, the day of the visit was changing from Thursday to Friday.
The first four days of last week ushered in a fairly steady stream of officials from district commander to police to government security personnel to a delegation from the ruling party...all to help plan the exact route the governor's walking tour would take while on the farm. When Friday finally rolled around we were as ready as we felt we could be. We had his gifts lined up and at least coke and cookies to serve as ‘quick’ refreshment.
A vehicle with event planners/security people was among the first to arrive. They made sure everything was in order including us standing at the side of the entry road to form the appropriate greeting line. We weren’t sure how long we may stand there waiting so we did our best to shuffle into the shadiest spot while still maintaining the position/stance the security folk thought was best.
Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long before the vehicles started roaring up the road, among them were more security, police, militia complete with camouflage outfits, news reporters, TV cameras, and heads of just about every government department between here and the border! There were at least 10 vehicles with+/- 70 people in all. The governor was the first to come shake our hands, then other heads of departments came after him. We gave the governor a quick introduction to the mission, its vision and work while cameras snapped photos and microphones were thrust in faces. Dwight then presented him with a Study Bible for which he was very thankful. He commented that he also was a religious man affirmed that he would make good use of the gift, then expressed his appreciation for it. He was interested in all the mission’s activities, especially the orphan program and he shared good words of encouragement with us.Before he went on the tour of the mission, the much-rehearsed route pattern was quickly changed. So rather than see the mission structures first, they saw them last. When they happened by our house that is currently under construction, the governor said, “When you are ready to inaugurate your home, I would be very happy to join you for the event.” So—I’d better get planning NOW. This will certainly be a grand affair :)
-We are anticipating the arrival of a team of six student nurses from the University of Saskatchewan later this month. They will be involved in a number of prevention and intervention health activities with our health posts, schools, women’s ministry and local community groups. You can check their blogspot at: (http://www.mozambiquenursingpracticum.blogspot.com/)
-Mercy Air is bringing a work team up this month as well to help complete work on one of the guest cottages and to transport the Saskatchewan team from Beira to Chimoio. This will be a very busy, productive time indeed!
With that I’ll close, but no without leaving you with another picture of other oh-so-famous visitors who just move in wherever they want. At the rate they come and go, it’s a good thing there’s no pomp involved here!