Saturday, December 05, 2009

Pairs, tools, and working together

A pair of pigeons was left at the mission in June this year as a thank you gift from a local family to the Prairie team. Of course, when the Prairie team left to go back to Canada, the pigeons stayed here in a cage beside the guinea fowl.

I’ve never kept pigeons before though and, as with anything new, there’s been a learning curve.

Lesson #1: Just because pigeons come together as a pair does not mean they’re a “pigeon pair”.

Turns out we had 2 males, so we had to look for a female. Oddly enough, there is a shortage of females and the nearest we could find was from someone who lived beyond our road, across the highway, down a footpath, past several villages, across the valley and over some hills. I didn’t hike there myself but a kind staff member brought the female pigeon on his bicycle for me.

Lesson #2: Pigeons don’t understand “personal space”.

Some of the staff felt it would be best to move the pigeons into a proper pigeon house in our yard. “They do better when they live by people,” they said. So we got them a house and moved them down.

“Perfect for pigeons”

As soon as they got moved, they promptly hopped down off their stand and set about exploring our yard. I wondered exactly where all they felt they needed to explore so decided to keep an eye on them. Turns out they needed to explore everywhere including the car-port, window ledge,
veranda, ironing board, table and pile of clean, folded laundry.

If I'd let them, they would have even been inside the house!

Um, no guys, “shoo, shoo, shoo…” I gently chased them away. “No exploring MY house, thank you very much. Go back to your own home.”

Lesson #3: Pigeons are more stubborn then me. (I think)

They went away only to come back later, while I was gone. I shooed them away again. Then they came back again, and on and on this went. This morning they were up several hours before I was, sitting on the veranda, making their pigeon noise and making it really hard to sleep in on an otherwise peaceful Saturday.


Anyway, onto more important things.

This week was Intensive Seminar week at the mission. We host two of these each year here at the mission then the remaining seminars are held in remote areas at other times of the year. It’s always a great time to get together to learn,

...To get to know each other better

...To exchange ideas

and of course enjoy good food!

Keren shared a session on women’s health since she's developing that part of the health manual right now.

She used the illustration of a truck that needs all its tires in good condition (good health) in order to get the job done. She also talked about men and women being equal but unique in their gifting and purpose. She illustrated this by showing how tools are used for specific jobs too. It was a good session and one to remember, often. (But we couldn’t help but chuckle about the tool illustration on the way home. The sessions were held in Portuguese so it meant nothing to the monitors, but in English referring to someone as a tool carries a rather different sort of meaning).

Actually, unique jobs and working together characterized this week since as the seminar was running, the routine work of the mission carried on.

Rick had to make an emergency trip to town to get diesel for the generator. Last month’s use was heavier than usual so we ran out of our supply a bit early. No fuel = no generator = no work and no water!

Alta and the litchi orchard staff harvested some of the first litchis and Jeff hauled them to Chimoio to sell. He and a team of guys also dug loads of dirt and hauled it for backfill at construction sites.

Here, high school students who are sponsored by the mission help with meal preparation.

Besides contributing with a few of his skills, including his IT savvy to revive a dying computer and taking photos and video footage of the week, here Carey demonstrates one of duct tape's many uses :)

Joao (to Keren's right), a sponsored student who attends university, interprets for Keren. He spends his school breaks here at the mission and helps us with his skills in administrative work. We appreciate his servant heart.

So what unique job did I do this week? Well, besides editing the Portuguese handout for the women’s health session, organizing my house some more, meeting with health staff, treating a few sick people and a smattering of other tasks, I’ve been chasing stubborn pigeons off my veranda.

Sorry to say it, but the pigeons may have to go. At least I know they’ll likely make someone else happy. After all, they come with a cute little pigeon house, and since we managed to track down that rare female, they are now a proper pair.

1 comment:

Patti said...

Awww..... I loved your pigeon story had a good chuckle over it & your pigeon photos were awesome :) Luv u!!