Saturday, October 31, 2009

Making do, temporarily

It’s surprising to me how many supposedly “temporary” things in my life have become more or less permanent. Like when we moved to Mozambique 16 years ago we picked up a white plastic picnic table because we had no dining table (among many other things). “This is temporary” we told ourselves “until we get settled and replace it.” Well, that white plastic table has been through an awful lot since then and, due to a number of reasons, 16 years later still holds its position as our main dining table. I’m hoping that’s about to change though.

“Making do” and “temporary” is something we do a lot here at the mission in general, partly due to poor availability of supplies, and partly because there are just too many “Priority-A” items on our list.

The mission office is a good example. It serves not only as the hub for administrative activities, but is also used for:
1. housing the staff “First Aid Room” (in what will one day be the bathroom)
2. conducting a variety of classes and meetings

Here, Jethro, a Brazilian missionary/agronomist, conducts a mini agricultural seminar in the back yard of the office.

Summer holidays are now on, so students came to the mission to write letters to their sponsors on Monday. There were so many students they couldn’t all sit in the office, so Matthew arranged chairs on the front lawn. Most of them, plastic chairs, no less.

A lot of thought going into these letters!

Then the students did a few chores like cleaning the mission van. It gets a lot of use!

But back to the office though--it is also used for storage for:
a. camp supplies like tents, dishes, mattresses, beds, linens, etc.
b. used clothing awaiting distribution
c. intensive seminar items (cooking pots, blankets)
d. old computers/keyboards/etc. that could just come in handy one day
e. spare furniture—comes in real handy too. Usually.
f. Etc. (Because there’s a surprise in just about every bag or box in there.)
It’s also our main internet and modem set-up/hook-up spot.

Here, short-termers Keren and Glenn, along with Matthew, work on VBS preparation, school database updating, developing the women’s health section of the health manual, and so on. Note that it’s sort of squishy space-wise since they share the space with the internet system and boxes of stored items!

We’re very thankful for our office but we’re sure looking forward to the day when the training center is ready for occupation. At this point, we’re still back-filling the foundation though, so I guess we’ll be making-do with the existing office space for a while yet.

Last week I promised pictures of our weekend group trip to Paindane, so here they are.

Paindane Reef and crystal blue waters in the background, coconut palm thatched cottage in foreground.

Morning sun from the thatched gazebo. There were even whales tails to be seen splashing in the ocean.

I was so taken with this little local girl that I took about 30 photos of her. She smiled but her little brother on her back was sure shy.

The guys went to the local market looking for, ideally, surfboard wax. :) All they found were ordinary candles.

Which they warmed in the sun to help make the wax spread-able. Ah yes, making do. Actually, I got the whole gang (myself excluded) in this shot although those near the water look like mere dots.

It was nice to get away but also nice to get back to carry on with our work. We’re half preparing to move into our house next week. Even though it still needs a lot of finishing work like cupboards, screens, and more bathroom fixtures, we figure if the key rooms are functional, we can cope. I mean, it would only be unfinished temporarily. Right? ☺ Here are some photos to update you.

This is the shower I tiled. The pebble mosaic on the floor was a real nuisance to work with so if you think you ever want to tackle it yourself, I have some good advice.

Dwight busy installing the kitchen cupboard he and Murray made. If you’ve ever worked with plumbing, you know Murphy’s law that states (making this up as I go) that any pipe that has been wrapped, once, twice, thrice, even more, in plumbers tape and has been perfectly joined to another pipe will leak immediately as soon as the water is turned on. 10 times over. Arg! “Ok hon, taking a photo now. Can you smile?” He’s such a good sport!

I’m glad to say that the leaking pipe finally got sealed. The cupboard will remain as is though. Temporarily (no, really) so other jobs can get done.

And after that long post, I should run along. Got a house to work on.


PS: Oh yes, presidential elections were held this week in Moz. So far, things are peaceful, so that’s good.

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