Sunday, January 02, 2011

Ringing in 2011. Bush style.

No, we didn’t stay up til the clock struck midnight on December 31st. We didn’t set off fire-crackers. And we didn’t sing Auld Lang Syne either! But we have had a memorable entry to our 2011 adventure anyway.

Life is an adventure in general, but even more so when life is lived in the African bush. And we were pleased when long-time friends (Ray and Julie) from our home church in Canada came to share some time with us. If you consider that it’s -32 where they come from, and +32 here, that’s almost adventure enough. Never mind the bugs, language, new food, and slightly behind-the-times bush living conditions. But they have been game for it all, plus some work too.

We spent the first few days taking them around, introducing them to the place.

"Buck & Co." checking out the Litchi orchard.
(I think our little klipspringer thinks he's a person, or a dog. Mushu, our real dog, is just ahead of him in the picture.)

The training center taking shape

A foundation only really serves its purpose when you start building on it :)
And I love how when the walls go up, things start to take on the look of things to come.

Making iron rod structures for pillars.

The airstrip as it currently stands:

Getting to the airstrip was one of Ray and Julie's first Mozambique adventures. Recent rain had created quite a muddy mess on the little bush bridge where other vehicles had gotten stuck. Here, Dwight checks how close to the edge we can get in order to not sink into the quagmire but also in order to not slip off the side...but don't worry. We made it just fine.

Then, they met some of the people.

Neighborhood and orphan kids at one of the orphan homes.

At the community water pump. Taking and showing pictures is sooo fun!

Ray took some video of one of the ladies who is crippled. She loved seeing herself played back in action.

Then, they jumped into some of the week's work here which included putting finishing touches on the Chitundo Health Post:

Julie, making a stencil of the heart part of the mission's logo

Ray and Gabriel putting up shelving

Painting the red cross on top and the name on the front.

The Consultation room:

Marco, cleaning paint drips off the floor.

The stencil I spent painstaking hours cutting out--a recognition of those who contributed to make this health post possible.


No job is ever done 'til the prescribed number of photos have been taken...

On New Year's Day, we made a home visit to Jose, a staff member, whose son had been ill. Finding the home--a hut on a hillside--was sort of like finding a needle in a hay stack since there are many huts around here. First, we took a wrong turn or two. Then we stopped to ask for directions from someone, but he didn't know where the home was. Finally we found someone who knew, and he ventured to give us verbal instructions that went like this:

"First, you go back down this road you came up on. Then, at the turn, you go right, straight, down by the river. Then you turn again...."

We decided that drawing a map would be best. A bush style map, that is, in the dirt.

When we felt fairly certain that we knew where we were headed, we turned around and headed the right direction. Two teams of cows with plows happened to get onto our return road just ahead of us, so we followed them for part of the way. The guy directly in front of us let go of his team's reins and started singing and dancing and snapping his whip.

Nice to have some entertainment when one is in a traffic jam! :)

Finally, we found Jose's house. It is in the most beautiful setting.

Jose, welcoming his guests.

A dish rack with a view.

Dwight trying to make friends with a young family member.

Jose showed us around and we had a nice visit. And thankfully his son seems to be on the mend.

Today, we visited a church in a community about 1/2 hour's drive north. The pastor received his training through the mission, and the church runs an orphan program.

Ray shares a greeting from Canada with the Mozambican congregation.

This little guy was trying to figure out what to do with his very wet, wadded up sleeve!

The drummer boy and his friends wanted their photo taken.
Photo taking is a popular thing to do here.

At the end of our time there, we were given a gift of green mealies (white field corn) and bananas.

So far, we have had good rains here and spirits are high since it looks like there should be good crop production this year. For that, and for many other blessings, we are so very thankful.

Welcome 2011!


Andrea Pavkov said...

My heart is SO happy to hear that the rains have come and that crops will happen this year. Praise God!

Russell said...

good to see all the developments. Everything is looking very green. Hope this year is a good year for food.