Friday, August 07, 2009


Actually, it really wasn’t the most smiling kind of week. It was crazy busy, internet didn’t work, people were sick, conflicts needed resolving, blister beetles had to sting, the truck got stuck, we ran out of water pipe connections for our house, etc., etc. But as Dwight and I sat together on Friday evening discussing the week’s challenges, he wrapped things up by saying that despite the many bumps, he was “smiling on the inside”. And I knew that I was too.

The recipe for “inner smiling” that we came up with quite a few years ago consists of:

1. Being in the right place
2. At the right time
3. Doing the right thing.

On Monday this week, there was much to be said about being in the right place and smiling, when Mozambique’s president visited the nearby town of Vanduzi. It was quite the event and everyone...

and everything...

turned out to welcome the nation’s #1 man. This is a “Nyau” cultural dancer. We can’t see his face but maybe he’s smiling inside there too?

The mission was invited, by local authorities, to please attend the event (we’d planned to anyway). What we didn’t know is that they had reserved a place for about 7 of us in the greeting line—to shake hands with the president! The beginning of the line is to the left.

These men in uniform are local community leaders and chiefs.

Then to our right, starting with the man in the grey suit, stood the war vets in plain clothes.

After 6 choppers landed, the President finally emerged and walked across the field toward the head of the line.

I had the "ok" to go ahead and snap photos, so I ignored some stares from security men with big guns :)

I won't post all the play-by-play photos of hand-shaking because there are just so many. But the next few were pretty special.

Dwight exchanges greetings with the president (in the cream-coloured shirt). We felt pretty honoured to be right there at that point in time!

And I’d say the same is true here for Tendai, an orphan girl that Rick and Heather are in the process of fostering to adopt. I mean really, how many kids get held by Mr. President??

Afterwards, there was lots toasting Mozambique-style, with Coke, Fanta and Sprite. (below: some of the mission staff)

And of course, more photo taking.

Dwight and Francois pose with the traditional chief of our area.

Me with the little girl who stole the whole show for a few moments.

The mission, as a member of the community, contributed toward preparing and decorating the landing/greeting area.

Moving along...

Actually, there were many reasons to smile this week. One was the fact that the foundations for the bridge (on the road to the airstrip) got poured. Getting this job done before the onslaught of the rainy season is very important.

Although I couldn't capture them all, here are a few other smiles of the week:

Food delivery...

and clothes for orphan kids.

I'll close for now.

Keep smiling. Especially on the inside.

(Photo credits: Thanks Heather for the Nyau Dancer, Tendai and I, possibly others? And thanks to Joao and Simon for some of the other great shots too.)


Russell said...

Cool post. I have the feeling something like this happened before where the President singled out Francois and dad at a similar event.

Ruth Trekofski said...

Hey what a wonderful blog ... loved the shots and this event will probably be one of the most memorable of all. Baby Tendai is so sweet ... hope the sdoption goes through real fast.

Karen said...

What an exciting event for you. God bless you for being in the position of being so included with your countrymen. And what a great 'recipe' for smiling inside - a choice that I think adds substance to all the easier exterior smiles.

ruth said...

Pretty Lynnie and cute baby:) and I'm facinated by the bridge building...and how awesome to meet the prez-I think God's got some plans for His glory there.