1. “M” is for Monday Morning at Mercy Air. And Male Elephant, too.
On Monday morning, Dwight and Alan Luus (Mercy Air South Africa Director) finished the huge job of packing the trailer with rolls of donated irrigation tubing, repaired tents (6 of our big tents needed their zippers replaced—we depend on these for accommodations for the bulk of our guests), 12 boxes of monitor/pastor training books, roofing supplies, paint, and some used tires.
The back of our pick up was pretty full too.
All together, we weighed about as much as an average Male African Elephant. :o
2. “M” is for Muggy Maputo, Importation Muddle, and Amazing Moments.
The first and smallest hurdle in our journey was the exportation documents for the goods out of South Africa. The next and slightly bigger hurdle was getting through the border with our single exit/entry permission letter (necessary while we await our “permanent” ID cards), then getting the import documents cleared through border customs.
We were thankful it only took several hours.
Vodacom's welcome message to those entering the country, and Maputo.
Once we had the okay from the customs officials, we proceeded to “frigo” in Maputo where all import goods must be left for inspection and document processing. That's our trailer in front of the white truck. It looked a little forlorn in there.
Our expected day or two for processing paperwork in Maputo stretched into 5 days. First you need this release, then that stamp, then a clearance, then payment, then inspection, etc…and so goes the importation muddle.
Well, the added time gave us more time to get to know our new friends and kind hosts, Tony and Leila Frank. We also took a bit of time to drive past some of our old haunts since we lived in Maputo from 1993 to 1996.
We "apartment sat" here for a month for some friends.
A clinic I worked in for awhile. That was quite the era. It looks much nicer now!
Sometimes, when we least expect it, we get amazing moments. One of those happened while we were driving along Avenida Da Marginal toward Maputo’s port. It is a relatively un-amazing drive, then we came upon this beautiful sun-through-the-clouds scene.
On Friday, and only after a fair bit of urging and insisting with the import/export agency, we got the required paperwork, temporary trailer registration, and the “ok” to leave for home. Yipee!!
3. “M” is for Mud.
We made pretty good time on our homeward trip considering we weighed about as much as a bull elephant. ☺ And then…
We hit mud.
Part of the main highway going north is under construction and although the finished product is pretty good, the detours leave much to be desired. Especially when they get poured on!
Everyone was slipping and sliding in the mud/sludge, which is a dangerous game considering the mud reduced the detour’s two lanes to a single one. And especially when much of the traffic was made up of huge semi trucks
that weigh about as much as 5 Male African Elephants.
We had a Christmas CD on, and while we slipped and slid in the mud, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…” played.
4. “M” is for Move Stuff Around.
Once we made it through mud alley, we stopped to rearrange our load.
"Baptism by Mud" for the trailer.
We could see more rain was on its way, and those 12 boxes of training books needed to be in the pick-up’s canopy. This meant that some stuff in the canopy had to be moved onto the trailer. And so the shuffle of stuff began.
What a job!
5. “M” is for Manica (our home province).
It was a wonderful feeling to come home after 3 weeks away. We’re a few days behind schedule now, so the intensive seminar is pretty much upon us. Monitors and pastors, whose week’s accommodations consist of the tents we had repaired and were late bringing back, had to sleep in our open bush school for one night. As I write, the tents are being set up. I bet those tents never looked better!
These shots are for my kids who love Africa and the African sky.
Rain's aftermath, and fore math, in the Manica sky.
5. “M” is for Monday. Tomorrow, already. The beginning of the intensive seminar.
There’s a lot to do and I have a health exam to prepare, so I’d better run!
PS: You can check these team member blog updates:
Ruth & Earl Trekofski (Brazil)