Sunday, October 30, 2011

Exciting moments, other types of moments, and bugs.

I know some of you will want to skip right down to the bug photos. Not most of you though. So let's start with the non-bug stuff:

This week we celebrated the arrival of our new, long-awaited backup "Genny" (generator). That may not sound so exciting exciting to you, but for us it's as exciting as getting a new toy. Especially considering the mission had a power blackout last week when the main generator's starter burned out. Without a generator here, you have no electricity. Not fun.

Because the new backup is real easy on fuel, it'll get used anytime it can handle the workload.

2 liters of diesel/hour

Vs. 4 liters of diesel/hour (main big genny in the background)
It's sure nice to know there's a more "no power" type surprises.

Finally getting "SAM Ministries/ASAM" embroidered shirts for key guys here at the mission created a bit of excitement too. Nice smiles, and these guys sure help to keep things running too!

New sunglasses are exciting too.
(Right: Celestino, socorrista, my right-hand-man in the health program.)

The guy on the left struggles with eye problems caused by leprosy. These sunglasses are primarily protective with the perk is that they're pretty trendy too.

And there was more excitement when Peter (in blue), our main bricklayer, was selected to receive a plow (and 2 cows to go with it).

Most people out here prepare their fields by hand. These fields must produce enough maize (corn) to feed them and their family for the entire year. That's a tremendous amount of work so every member of the family participates in some way.

What back breaking work. Imagine what a relief a cow and plow are!

Another celebration this week is that SCHOOL'S OUT! Summer and festive season holidays get wrapped up into one for students on this part of the planet. They won't go back to school until late January or early February.

Preschool year-end party.

One of the not-so-exciting moments recently was when the mission's trusty old Isuzu, which has put on over 300,000 tough kilometers, is critical for everything from transporting orphan food to lugging bricks, and which has been resuscitated many times over...broke down. Apparently the back end started to make a loud whistling sound. That's not a good sign.

Matthew was on his way home after picking up students' school supplies when the Isuzu (nicknamed "Izzy") broke and left him stranded at the side of the road. I don't have the full story yet but somehow he dismantled and reassembled the back brakes, then Izzy limped home. This is Izzy now, with bricks behind her wheels.

Izzy's rear left wheel.

Note the black oil spattered pretty much everywhere and the smudge on the fender made by the pinch-hit mechanic as he labored to patch Izzy up enough to get home.

We all agree--it's definitely time to replace Izzy!

Ok, onto the bug part of the post.

African Cicadas, noisiest ones in the whole world.

It's hot right now in Moz. Like +35 to +41 hot. And in heat like this, we start getting thunderstorms.

And cicadas emerge from their cocoons by the thousands.

Cicadas on our kitchen screen.
Can you see all 10 of them? (Hint, look closely at the bars and wooden frame.)

Cicadas are our favorite bug even though their constant and deafening "zweeeee"ing around the clock almost drives newcomers insane.

We like them because they have an amazing life cycle and because their clumsy flight and bumping into walls makes them entertaining to watch. We also like that they seem to respond with a short little "zwee-zwee-zwee" when you rescue them from the floor and toss them back toward the trees. As if to say, "gee, thanks!"

A few more bug shots. I found this mud wasp's nest in our shoe cupboard today.
Each mud hump holds a larva plus several paralyzed spiders that are its "fresh" food.

That's a lot of mud for one little wasp to carry!

Those wasps get everywhere. These wasp larvae fell out of a lawn chair's hollow legs the other day. Don't care so much for these particular bugs! :(

Anyway, let me sign off for now. Much work awaits me. We're revamping our website, preparing for intensive seminar again, and trying to organize an upcoming furlough.

And I think there are a few more cicadas that need rescuing from last night's wall bumping fiasco, too.

1 comment:

ruth said...

Hey we miss you!! It's fun seeing people we know in your photos now! Those shades look pretty good on Sero (?sp). Please ask Joao how he keeps those pants so nice and white :)