Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our Oasis

It’s supposed to be hot in November, even real hot. And it was, one day last week, when temperatures reached the high 40’s (Celsius) while we were in Kruger park. That kind of heat is suffocating! In the bush in Mozambique when it gets that hot, people start saying, “Eeeesh, with this heat, it’s ‘cooking up some rain’.” Then we usually get a torrential thunder-clapping downpour that threatens to wash us out to sea, and everyone is proven right.

Last week was no different. After a few days of stifling heat, loaded storm clouds moved in and we had some good rain. That would have been fine, long as we weren’t washed away with it, because it cools things off a bit and then the sun comes out again and life goes on. But no, last week things went bizarre when it poured for nearly 3 days straight and our temperatures dropped by 30 degrees. At one point it was colder here than it was in Edmonton, Canada. And that’s not so far from the North Pole! Mind you, they were having unseasonably warm weather at the time. Either way, it is supposed to be summer here and that’s what we packed for. We thought we would freeze, or get washed away—all that splashing through puddles of water and getting repeatedly doused by sheets of rain every time we stepped outside. As my mom would say, it was real duck weather! But strange weather aside, we couldn’t really complain since we were staying (as we always do when here) at Mercy Air—our home away from home—which means we could soak in a hot tub to warm up and crawl under cozy blankets to sleep at night. Ah yes, an oasis is a wonderful thing!

I’m glad to say that we survived the whole weather event thing and now the sun is out heating things up again. And it has since snowed in Edmonton too, so things are as they should be. Hot here, cold there.

I mention Mercy Air especially because this coming week they’ll be celebrating 20 years of service in Southern Africa. When we first moved to war-torn Mozambique and life for us was up-side-down and very difficult, we connected with the folks here at Mercy Air. It was in its early years too and we used to come here to get important business done, for doctor & dentist visits and last but not least, to recover and catch our breath before heading back to “the big M” (Maputo).
(Maputo 1993)
Above: the highway between Maputo and Nelspruit (close to Mercy Air) 1993
Below: map showing Maputo-Nelspruit routes.

In time, our new acquaintances became good friends and very dear to us.

(The Mercy Air family has grown and I don't have pictures of everyone--hopefully this week--but this one below is of our kids with Mercy Air founders, Ron and Barb Wayner.)

In the early years, Mercy Air was (and even now still is) an oasis for us. It was not unusual for us to arrive here weary or sick and in need of a number of things, and we were always blessed by this place and by the people and left here recovered and ready to go back.

We have often wondered if, all these long years, we could have coped without them. Maybe, but it’s hard to imagine how.

The original Mercy Air main house that had a very much appreciated guest flat in the back.

This week we will share in Mercy Air’s 20th anniversary celebrations as we wrap up our time here. The plane’s annual is nearly complete (after one more check in Maputo), and we’ve done and picked up just about everything on our list, even picked up boxes of training materials in the pouring rain without getting them wet. It’s been good, as usual, to be here, but we’re anxious to get back home again too. We still have a house we barely got moved into that needs to be settled, and of course, all the other work that awaits us.


Oh, I’m adding Keren’s blog to my blogroll, so check it out if you have time.

Above: Us and some of our family with Ron and Barb and some of their family too!

Bye for now.


Russell said...

Cool pictures. Bring back some memories!

Laura said...

Such a nice tribute to Mercy Air! I did one a few months back, I think I'll email it to Jo to share with others if she'd like too. Enjoy your respite and your travel home to Moz!
Blessings, Laura

Patti said...

Great tribute to Mercy Air Lynn isn't it wonderful to have friendships & ties like that esp when you spend so much time in the bush so to speak. God knows how important & sanity saving dear friends can be :) I'm looking forward to going to Mercy Air myself & meeting Ron & Barb.
Love you,

Bela Coelho said...

Hi Lynn, thanks for sharing on Mercy air and on your whereabouts. :) Yes, those kind of oasis places are so refreshing and Father does surround us with good friends. Enjoy your time and have a blessed trip back home. I am glad to know that you have moved in to your new home. :):)ENJOY IT! :)

Anonymous said...

Man, the memories. Hey, the original bakkie (sorry, pick up), that thing was as war torn as the landscape. Still, it outlasted the red car.