Thursday, September 11, 2008

The hot African sun

There are some things we like familiarizing ourselves with. And then there are others that, well, we would just as happily pass up on. Like a long walk in the hot sun. But more about that later. First, here are a few shots of Heather making new acquantances this week.

I kinda like him. I think. Hmm, let me think about this awhile (not a direct quotation...but pretty close).

This little guy though, she loved!

(This 7 day old baby is one of a set of twins currently receiving infant formula from the health post’s supplemental milk program.)

We've been doing a lot of walking lately. That's partly because we're busy with the task updating files on orphans and orphan homes that the mission supports. We can drive to some of the homes, but others can only be reached on foot. Doing this has provided a great opportunity for Rick, Heather and Kim to become acquainted with the families and where they live. Getting to know the families has been the fun part. Getting there, however, has not quite as fun--especially considering the fact that last week our spring temperatures were climbing into the mid-30's. These are a few shots of the trips made last week. George and Kim. (George is on staff with the mission and is in charge of food and supplies purchasing and distribution for many of our programs.)
Below is a picture of a home visit that George, Heather, Kim and I went on together. It turned out to be a grueling 3 hour bush walk on a scorcher of a day. We went to visit this little guy. This boy lives with his granny in a fairly remote part of the bush and they have been receiving help from the mission for just over a year now. When we arrive at most homes, we draw a crowd. This home was no different. Here was the small crowd we drew in that community. I guess we are rather an oddity!

One piece of information we needed to get on this visit was a birth date for this boy. People out here often don't know their birth dates since many don't have birth certificates and other useful things like calendars, etc. to help keep track of time. (Even I lose track of dates and I have calendars and clocks all round me :P So I ask the granny if she might happen to know his birth date.
"I don't know. He's 8 years old."

"OK. Eight years old. Do you know if he was born in the summer or winter time?" (Maybe we can narrow down an approximate birth date.)

"Hmm..." She then consults the small group huddled beside us. After some discussion, they agree that he was born in the summer time during the heavy rains.

"Good. Around January then?"

More consultation, then, "Yes. January, 2000."

We asked a few more questions, took some photos and checked to see how her house was holding up, then it was time to head back home. In the intense heat. Unfortunately, the cool hours of the morning were long gone and we were stuck in the mid-day sun. We made a mental note not to do that again.

On Sunday we attended a welcome service for Rick and Heather at Pastor Ricardo’s church. They welcomed them in fine Mozambican fashion with singing, dancing and the waving of scarves. After the service they fed us a wonderful Mozambican meal of rice, stewed chicken and salad. Our compliments to the chef (aka: the pastor’s wife)!
Here we’re enjoying a few special numbers by the youth choir.

Kim testing out her to African bongo playing abilities. Not bad. I wonder if she’ll give up her bass guitar for this? And for those curious to know how progress on our house is going, well, the window frames are being put in and when Dwight gets back from his 10 day trip north doing seminars…we’ll get those roof trusses in place! Getting them up where they are now was an enormous task. But you’ll have to take my word for it since photos of the event went missing with my laptop.

I guess with that I'll sign off for this time. I've had some desktop computer troubles this week so getting this blog pulled together and posted has been quite the challenge.
They say that missionary presentations tend to end with sunset pictures. I can abide by that, especially these days when the smoke in the air produces such fantastic special-effects.

The sun here may be intensely nasty at midday, but by the time it is setting, low in the sky, I've usually abandoned my grudges and savour every moment of watching it sink into the horizon. Yes, this is definitely the best time of day to appreciate the African sun.


Penny said...

I just fell in love with the little boy you visited at his granny's house. (My oldest son will be 8 in less than two weeks.) Thanks for posting his adorable picture.

The Nelson's Dog Patch said...

You girls need to be carrying sun parasols when you go on these walks. That is if you go on any more of them. Sleeveless t-shirts & sunvisors just don't cut it Lynn the NURSE! Besides when you get old you don't want your skin to look like old wrinkly leather ;