Saturday, September 04, 2010

Riots, Fire and a Good Ending

Mozambique made CNN news. Unfortunately, the news was not good. There have been riots this week in several major cities, our nearby provincial capital of Chimoio included. The riots were sparked by reports of a 25% increase in the price of bread, as well as price increases for fuel, water and electricity. Tough news for a nation still trying to pull itself free from the grip of poverty. Yesterday, Dwight tried to go to Chimoio to pick up supplies like fuel so the work here could continue. The clinic also needed to refresh its stock infant formula for orphaned babies in the milk program. But no such luck. Because of the rioting, looting, and the stoning of vehicles, the whole city of Chimoio was in a state of lock down. Nothing was open. No business to be done. He turned around, empty handed, and returned home.

I guess it’s just been one of those weeks. Because of some or other problem at the cement factory, there has been no cement available since last week to carry on with our various building projects. So staff have kept busy doing other chores like hauling bricks/stone/sand, cleaning up building sites, digging holes, etc in preparation so that when cement is available again, things can go forward. We trust this shortage is short-lived. Here are photos of the clinic construction as it currently stands.

It’s also been a week of wild, uncontrolled fires.

That’s not unusual for this time of year though. As soon as our weather warms up and snakes start making their appearance and seed pods on the trees start popping, brush fires start burning in full force. For days now, ash has been blowing around and floating around and settling on everything.

They're like the huge snowflakes we get sometimes in winter in Canada, except these are black. And it’s warm outside. :)

And, of course, we’re in Africa.

We’ve done our best to protect our boundaries and are thankful that so far, mission land has been spared from burning to a crisp. The sheep, cows, litchi trees, etc are much happier this way. ☺

On the bright side, the week started off with a trip to town with one of the orphan boys who had fallen during a soccer game and hurt his elbow. His granny brought him to us Monday morning saying he hadn’t slept at all that night due to pain. His elbow, which he kept securely guarded in a sling, was quite swollen. We were going to town anyway so took the boy and granny along so he could get his elbow x-rayed.

The provincial hospital has seen some improvements since I was last there. The shiny new floors, chairs in the waiting area, and even a TV to watch while you wait, impressed me. We left the two, rather wide-eyed in their new surroundings, while we ran to get some things done. (Looking for cement being one of those things. Only one shop was selling it, but they wanted double the normal price.)

When we were done we headed back to the hospital. I fully expected to see a little boy, arm bound all up in a hard, white cast. Instead, he and his granny were strutting toward the gate looking pretty much the same as when they went in.

“So, did you get seen by the Dr.?” I asked, looking at him. Had to make sure, of course.

“Yep. And the arm’s not broken.” His granny answered with a big smile. The boy smiled too. As we drove home, he munched happily on cookies in the seat behind us

while the sun set red on the horizon ahead.

All’s well that ends well, I guess.

To wrap up the week, today Dwight and I decided to head to town to see if peace had prevailed and if businesses were open again. It had, and they were, so we picked up the essential items and came home.

Tomorrow we get ready for our trip to South Africa. The Cessna’s engine is “timed out” and needs to be replaced, and Bero goes for his 2nd round of restorative surgery on his right arm.

Here’s to the new week.


(Click top photo for photo credit.)

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