Sunday, August 07, 2011

Warming Up

Winters in this part of Mozambique are cold, and this winter has been especially cold. Some guests from colder climates sort of smile when we say this. I suppose once you've tented in -10C, +10C doesn't exactly rate. But this week, it didn't look like anyone minded standing in the sunny spot for morning devotions after a long Mozambique-cold night.

At 7 a.m. the sun's rays are still rather weak, and only come in at a slant, so sunny spots are scarce. But when you're really cold you find those spots. I do anyway, and it looks like these guys do too.

You know how some days take a weird twist? Well, I seldom take my camera to morning devotions to take pictures. I'm not sure why I snapped this one below either, and I had no idea at the time (neither did they) what was hanging in the tree right behind them.

Until Heather, who was beside me, pointed and whispered, "Is that a SNAKE hanging from that tree?!"
Yep. A twig (bird, or vine) snake.
Cleverly disguised and swaying ever so gently even though there was no breeze.
Probably he was cold too and this was the only unoccupied sunny spot he could find!

It was sure hard to stay focused on devotions.

Dwight later lifted him onto the branch so we could see him better. I think he's stunning.

There's been an increase in snake-track sightings this week (by me, anyway), and thankfully our days have been warming up. So I guess the +40's are on their way.

Big fat snake track.

Little, skinny (juvenile?) snake track.

Unfortunately, the cold winter has meant we've seen an increase in then number of burn victims at the health posts too. Mostly it's children sleeping too close to hut fires to stay warm at night and the blanket or their clothes catch alight. In one particularly sad case, a young boy sustained extensive 3rd degree burns to his chest, back and one upper arm. We couldn't get to his home by vehicle so had to walk there to get him and take him to hospital.

The men carry the boy the 20 minute walk, on a grass mat, to where our vehicle is. Concerned women family members follow.

(This happened during seminar last week. Several monitors who were visiting a local bush church came across this home and helped out by calling us then gave money to help with related costs. I was moved by their kindness.)

Because the burns were so extensive, and because the child had other special needs, he was taken to Vanduzi Hospital.

We are thankful that the others can be treated at the health posts and for donations toward blankets that have come in for them.

Moving along here... Besides being a cold week, last week was a busy one too with people coming and going.

We welcomed Rick Cogbill, Todd Green and Ed Hyslip who are here to teach a mechanics course, fix vehicles, and contribute in a number of other ways. We also said goodbye to Tony and Leila, and Urs as well.

(Urs, straight above. Willing servant...everyone misses you already.)

It was great to have Tony and Leila here participating in the seminar...

And Leila's Brazilian Portuguese came in very handy for interpreting for a few days for the mechanic's course.

Todd Green teaching a session while Leila interprets.

Some of the donated materials for which we are very thankful!
To see more photos of their activities, check Rick's latest blog post.

Otherwise, there was the usual hum of building activities.

Here, trusses go up for our car port. (The previous one dangerously collapsed during rainy season.)

Andy making progress on his carport/room he hopes to move into soon.

This water tank was purchased largely by a donation from Brazilian partners. It will be used to provide running water for the mission's primary school and health post.
Running water is a good thing :)

Work carries on at the training center. We're so thankful for this machine that helps speed the job along!

We're also thankful it actually got up to +29C one day this week. Even if it means snakes are out and about more. And even if it means we'll soon to into the intolerable +40'sC. Somehow it's always nice when things warm up a bit.

No comments: