Nate and I currently both have MALARIA. Not exactly my best idea of how to ring in the New Year of 2010. But like with most things in life you take the bad and try to make the best out of it. You know that saying "If you get lemons, make lemonade." So tonight we will try. We have no special plans to celebrate the big event of ringing in the New Year, not even any sparkling grape juice or TV countdown (not sure that exists here) but we do have 4 cold cokes waiting anxiously in our refridgerator to be opened at the strike of midnight and the boys have glow necklaces that someone sent for Christmas they have been saving. We are just hanging around with the boys, watching movies and trying to notice that tomorrow is a new day, a new year.
The Mozambicans seem to notice the New Year. At least the government offices take the few days off to celebrate, fireworks are being sold on the street (which we did not buy becuase they look way too big for our tiny yards). Unfortunately there are bound to be many that were hurt because of lack of knowledge of how to use them safely and too much drinking going on. We are told it will be a noisy night because of the firecrackers but also because many choose to celebrate the New Year by causing mischief. Actually many have chosen to remain drunk from Christmas time until they get through the New Year. Our guard has said that tonight he will sit with the catana (machete) "right next to him" to be sure no one gets out of hand.
We just pray that the New Year in front of us will be one of opportunity to share JESUS with those that need him. And a year where we understand and rely more fully on the power of God that is at work within us through Jesus as we live and serve here in Mozambique.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
December 31, 2009
December 26, 2009
Although it is not raining today nor has it rained for the last several days I wanted to give you a glimpse of what it looks like when the rain comes. Like the local Mozambicans say this very hot weather we've been having most recently is "cooking up rain." It's only a matter of time before it returns.
December 25, 2009
Today is a beautiful, hot, Mozambican summer day. The boys woke us up at 5:45 am because Christmas was here. I love the joy of children on Christmas. Here are a few photos. Hope you enjoyed yours. Blessings!
(Thank you to everyone that made this Christmas so much fun for us!)
We had a fantastic Christmas Eve here in Mozambique. We went out for lunch at a nearby hotel and had wonderful steak, which is a real treat. Then we surprised the boys by taking them miniature golfing at the hotel. It is the only mini golf place I have ever seen here in Moz and although it's very basic and simple we had a great time and enjoyed the beautiful view. While mini golfing some horses came up and came across the course. Micah loved petting them. After our adventures at the hotel we came home and had some fellow American friends over for Christmas goodies. The kids also enjoyed a swim in the pool. Once our friends left to have dinner we opened up four boxes of goodies that arrived on Christmas Eve day at the post office. We allowed the boys to play with anything unwrapped and put the wrapped gifts under the tree for Christmas morning. To wrap up the evening we watch "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" as a family and tucked the boys into their mattresses that were on the living room floor so we could all sleep in the air conditioning because of the hot weather. It was a wonderful day and we will all treasure the memories for a very long time.
December 22, 2009
I LOVE ADVENTURE.....there is always adventure here. Like today when we went to visit fellow missionaries in the bush. We were driving through a police check point and were "asked" (strongly recommended to comply) by a policeman to give himself (who was not so carefully holding his AK-47) and two "witnesses" a ride to another town several miles away. Nate and Micah dutifully hoped into the back of our 4x4 to allow the "gentlemen" a place to sit. Afterwards Nate tells us he had to duck and lay down because the policeman's gun was pointing towards Nate's head. Interesting to be more uneasy WITH the policeman in your car then when he is not.
I HATE ABUSE...I find myself frustrated with the culturally accepted abuse of women and young girls. A young Mozambican couple we know have a "typical" relationship in that he is completely at ease with beating his wife and keeping her in control when he feels it's necessary. Marc spent a good amount of time last evening speaking with this young man and explaining to him that it should not be acceptable in any culture to hurt your wife and that it didn't just apply to us because we are white.
I LOVE THE SIMPLE LIFE....I enjoy the uncomplicated way of life we live here in Mozambique. Much of life is managing survival not wasted time and effort on frivilous activities. This culture is people and relationship orientated. It is refreshing to take time for people and to have people take time for us. There is a sense of community that is often missed in other cultures.
I HATE POVERTY....I get emotional seeing the constant hunger and suffering so many endure. It is difficult to see little ones have such difficult lives when they should simply be able to be children. It is difficult to watch the elderly struggle for survival and have to labor so intensely just to eat. It is difficult to watch men that have lost their minds wander the street with just shreds of clothing on and no one to care for them.
I LOVE OUR LIFE....through all the hardships and challenges I must say that I love our life here in Mozambique. I am grateful that God has called us to serve in this country and to serve Him by serving these people. Sure there are days that a clean house (without red dirt), a shopping trip to Walmart (or any store for that matter), a meal at steakhouse like Ruby Tuesday's (or even McDonalds), and a conversation where English is the only language spoken (and translators are not needed) sounds appealing.
But through it all I wouldn't trade my simple, ant infested, dirty, portuguese speaking (struggling), adventurous life for any of it. There is no better place on earth to be then where God has placed you.
December 20, 2009
Last night was a nice evening celebrating Christmas together with the other missionaries in town. We had dinner, games and lots of fellowship. I think the photos speak for themselves.
December 19, 2009
Yesterday I hosted a Christmas craft day for a couple other home school families. The kids enjoyed doing some Christmas crafts together. I think it helps us all feel more like Christmas since sometimes is hard to remember because it's so hot. Yesterday it was 96 degrees. That does not feel so Christmassy (is that a word?). Regardless, the kids had fun together making snow globes, Christmas cookies and cut out paper snowflakes. It is really nice to have some other home schoolers in the area. I am thankful for that this Christmas.
December 17, 2009
Our friends that are moving back to South Africa were very kind to us yesterday and gave Micah and Nate a swimming pool that belonged to their sons. MERRY CHRISTMAS to the boys because this is the one thing we were really hoping to buy them if possible. Yesterday Marc spent time putting patches on the few holes it had and filling it with water. Currently it is about 1/2 full since our water which is pumped in from another source down the street has not yet come today. Maybe
today tomorrow there will be enough water to finish filling it. So we wait, but don't think that stopped the boys and their friends from enjoying the cool water this morning (sshhh, or Mom & Dad this afternoon). Marc also put up a shade cloth to go above it so we don't all get sunburns. It was 92 degrees in the house most of the day so the swim in the pool was definitely refreshing. I think we are all going to enjoy staying cool for the next few months. Marc and I were talking and we are pretty convinced that a wonderful Christmas day to us is going to be our family sitting in the pool together while drinking cold Cokes.
December 14, 2009
This week is very busy and normally I would be thinking I can't wait until this week is over. Yet this week, I am not saying those things. I don't want this week to end. Not because I don't want to get through all the busy things I have to do but because it will also bring us great sadness. At the end of this week our very special friends, Francois & Charmain, are leaving Mozambique and moving back to South Africa. It is sad for our whole family. They have two boys exactly the same age as our boys and they are best buddies. The boys will miss sleepovers, playdates, video games, running around outside, and swimming with them. Marc and Francois are also good friends and enjoy spending time together. I think they will miss their man chats. Charmain and I have clicked since we first met and I will miss her companionship, her beautiful laugh and smile, and her constant desire for more of the Lord. It has been a treasure to find friends that our whole family has grown to love. At times it doesn't seem fair. Many come and many go in this country because it is not an easy place to live. I sometimes think that when you are so far from "home" and already lonely it makes goodbyes that much more difficult. But then again, maybe it makes goodbyes easier because you are becoming somewhat experienced in it. I don't know all I know is that often people move on from our lives but sometimes they never leave our hearts. This is the case with our friends, Francois & Charmain. Although we are sad they are leaving our everyday lives we know we will see them becasue we plan to make a point of taking a holiday in South Africa and visiting them soon.
December 11, 2009
Last Sunday the boys took part in a Christmas production at the International Church.
I remember taking part in all kinds of Christmas productions as a kid.
It brings back lots of fun memories.
I can also remember watching "The Greatest Christmas Pagent Ever" as a kid on TV every year.
It was my Christmas favorite.
Before leaving the US to move to Mozambique, my good friend Carrie bought me a copy of the book.
It was one thing that HAD to come in our bags.
This week I began reading it to the boys.
Last night our next door neighbors who left today for a month away brought over their VCR (we don't have one) and a copy of the movie for us to borrow.
Marc and I decided it will be our new family tradition to watch it with the boys on Christmas Eve.
I can't hardly wait!
December 6, 2009
Today I have to share my most gross grocery moment here in Mozambique thus far. This to me even ranks about seeing the goat head for sale in the market with flies crawling all over it. And the fried catepillars and termites or even rats. Today we went to the actual grocery store. It is the only grocery store in town, the next one being about a 3 hour drive away. So although it was hot inside the store (because the AC isn't working and hasn't been for about a month) and seems there is no near hope of it being fixed and the store smelled like rotten meat because the coolers aren't freezing and keeping the things that need to be COLD like meat, cheese, yogurt, etc. (which I bypassed by the way). That reminds me have to go to the butcher tomorrow because if I am going to pay an arm and a leg to have meat anyway I might as well get fresh meat rather than rotten. Anyway, that was not the gross part. I'm getting distracted. SO...we got the items we needed at least most since I always seem to forget something. We brought them home along with their lovely nasty smell that seemed to have saturated all the grocery bags. I dutifully began putting them away like usual. It then came time to put the eggs into the egg tray in the fridge. Now, I am not faint hearted, weak stomached or normally a queasy person. I actually loved working in the medical field because I enjoy seeing gross things...they interest me BUT THIS was a different story. I opened up the eggs and there was an awful, rancid smell that hit my nose while I peered down and saw an open, rotten, greenish, grayish slimy mess that used to be an egg CRAWLING with maggots. Blllluuuuhhhh! I honestly almost lost it on the spot. As quickly as I could I ripped that half of the dozen apart and wrapped it up for quick disposal in the trash. Being the
good cheap missionary I am I tried to salvage the second 1/2 dozen but after seeing maggots crawling there as well and more cracked eggs I had to let go of my frugal intents and chuck them all. Sorry, just couldn't do it at least not without losing my lunch, quite literally. After the many shopping experiences I have had here in Mozambique this has been my most gross to date. Hopefully it won't be repeated again soon. Did I mention tomorrow on my list of errands to do is to also visit the local farm that sells FRESH EGGS. Oh to spend one shopping day in a clean, non-smelling, non-rotten food selling, non rat-infested, climate controlled grocery store. It's the little things we dream about.
December 3, 2009
The other day, as we were driving out into the bush to attend our Thanksgiving celebration at our friends mission farm my eye was drawn to the side of the road. There is not much to look at on this journey but what I saw left me heart sick. Several small children were playing and bathing in a dirty, still pool of water about the size of a football field. A few meters away at the same water pool were cattle drinking and wading. As well there were women washing clothes and people collecting drinking water.
Water = Life
Dirty, disease Infested Water = Death in Mozambique
My prayer as we continued on our journey was, "Oh Lord, please help us to be able to do enough to make a difference for those we can reach." So much of life here is simply survival. I understand the Bible tells us we will always have the poor with us. But it is so hard to watch the innocent and unsuspecting reach out for life and receive nothing but disease and death in return. I pray that we always offer Jesus, the Living Water, to those we have the honor of serving here in Mozambique. Only He can turn death into life and our mourning into dancing.
December 2, 2009
Monday we headed off to the coast for the day. It is a 3 hour drive so we knew it would be an all day adventure we just didn't realize how much ADVENTURE we would have on this trip. Hope the photos can explain.
The view from our lunch table
The boys enjoyed the day playing on the beach and staying cool in the water
Can't believe we will celebrate 13 years of marriage on Monday.
An old, famous hotel that since the war has been inhabited by 5,000 squatters.
Our "new" road (trail) that runs parallel to the highway that was backed up because of an overturned truck.
Thank goodness for the 4x4!
The overturned truck to the left and the crane attempting to lift it.
Modern technology in Mozambique pretty impressive to us.
Traffic heading towards us on our new road.
Our adventures for the day also included a speeding ticket but I wasn't brave enough to snap a photo of that.
All in all it was a fun day and who doesn't enjoy a little adventure.