Sunday, June 26, 2011

Update 3: Observations & Occurances

I'm still hoping to have a glorious blog post full of miraculous happenings, open Heaven encounters, and a hot shower, but life in Mozambique with 3 kids allows for little reflection.  I don't even get to engage in the favorite pastime of the other students here: sloaking (sleeping+soaking).  So until then, I keep jotting down little things that we do each day so later I can remember that I was actually in Mozambique and it wasn't just a crazzzzzy long dream.

1. We haven't had water for about 10 days.  It's not completely out, though.  It comes on for about an hour a day - at random times - and then we have a "hygiene" frenzy.  We get water to wash dishes, kids, hands, flush toilets, etc.  I prefer actual running water.

2. Shawn went snorkeling for Fathers' Day.  He had been snorkeling several times since not for Fathers' Day.

3. Shawn had to have a sea urchin spike removed from his foot yesterday that he got while snorkeling.  Fortunately, one of his snorkel buddies is Johan the doctor from South Africa.  Speaking of, does anyone remember Snorks?

4. Now that we get eggs every Saturday (it's a pathetic comment on life here that eggs get us that excited...) our neighbor, Uncle Dan, makes us omelets if we bring our eggs over.  Luci was singing, "Yay! Yay! Uncle Dan!" after she got her omelet.

5. There was a fire on one of the other Iris bases just a couple minutes from where we are.  I was filling up a tub to do some laundry and a staff person came running over yelling for people to get tubs and go help fight the fire.  We could see the smoke from our porch and from a couple houses over - if you climbed up - you could see the flames.  They were able to get the fire out and a few days later Shawn went and helped put up a new water tank because the old one had melted in the fire.

6. We had "dinner with a dorm" night.  Our house and a couple others brought dinner and dessert up to the Fogo (fire) dorm of kids up to 7 years old.  We ate and then played games and mostly ran around with them.  Judah played with a sweet boy named Noe and two other boys, Willie and Jouma, chased Luci.  

7. On Fridays we don't have any sessions, but instead we all have different areas we volunteer in.  Our area is hospitality so we do anything from clean the visitors' bathrooms, to sort out donations, to airport runs.  This seems to be a really good fit for us.  The kids get to help, I finally feel useful, and part of our job description is to hang out and talk with the people visiting.  Not bad.

8. Just about everyone is feeling better - although our standards are muuuuuch lower these days:)  

9. I'm trying to learn some Finnish.  There are a few Finns here and I figure if I learn some key phrases my Grandpa (who occasionally writes me letters in Finnish) will be persuaded that taking the family to Mozambique wasn't the worst idea in the world.  

10. We were going to go to a Mozambican wedding.  Two people who work here, Ed & Rosa, got married and Luci and I even got the matching capulanas (a traditional Mozambican wrap skirt) to wear, but when we heard that it was going to be about 6 hours long, no shade, and no way to leave early, we opted to skip the ceremony.  From the stories of the people who went, we made the right choice.  Mozambique is hot, even in the winter.

11. I'm going to burn - I mean donate - my capulanas when I'm done with this school.  They are hard to walk in and even harder to keep from coming untied.  I only wear mine if I have to, the rest of the time I use it for a beach blanket.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Week 2: Time is Squishy Here

This would be more accurately titled, "Update 2."  It is much harder to get to the internet than I was expecting...  I don't even know where to start either.  It's funny because there is so much going on, but at the same time each day runs together in a blur of sun, rice & beans, kids, and more African kids.  We had a bit of a rough go last week with the kids all having fevers and other "symptoms."  If we were in America it would be easy to guess the cause - teething, another kid's germs, or a mall play area.  Here, it could be teething, so many other kids' germs, or an unknown tropical disease.  Thankfully, the fevers passed and no one is worse for the wear.

I wish I had lots of stories of all the amazing things I've seen and done and learned, but I'm finding that I spend a lot of time with our kids - the further removed from our American home the more intense the kid tending becomes.  And we are REALLY far from our American home.  I am happy to rest in knowing that we are here for a purpose and it doesn't matter whether I get that from a class or from hanging out on our porch with another mom who is missing class.

It's feels impossible for me to collect my thoughts enough to make a cohesive post, so I'm just going to list some highlights and click "publish."

1. On Saturday our breakfast was delayed.  We are usually up between 4:45 and 5:15am and we go get breakfast (a bread roll and sweet tea) at 6 am.  By the time we were able to get out breakfast at 7 we were hungry.  Shawn came back with our regular rolls, but also 5 eggs a piece for each person in our house and a jar of peanut butter and one of jelly.  There was great rejoicing!  It is the simple things around here that get us going.

2. We have had very intermittent water this week.  I don't care who you are, running water is wonderful and when you don't have it - even for an hour - you notice.

3. Luciana has ringworm.  As a mom, from a place that doesn't have ringworm, I was horrified to here that.  But the woman who diagnosed it is a mom/nurse from South Africa and when I showed her Luci's leg, she was unphased.  "Yeh, that's ringworm." She gave me a cream to apply 3x a day for 10 days and that's that.  She said it's really common here and in South Africa and it comes from playing in the dirt.  I said I would just keep Luci out of the dirt.  I wish there was a font for sarcasm.

4. I had my birthday in Africa.  I was planning to run Grandma's Half Marathon, but instead Shawn took me to "Club Naval" and we shared chocolate ice cream on the beach listening to the waves on the Indian Ocean while our new best friend Sarah from Colorado watched the kids.  Being 31 isn't so bad.

5. One of the people in our house figured out how to make brownies.  We are considering selling them and making enough money to spend the rest of our time here suffering for Jesus in the Pemba Beach Resort.

6. Shawn is starting to have an Irish accent - kind of.  He and a guy named Aaron from Northern Ireland have a common love of airplanes/motorcycles/helicopters/food and they spend a lot of time together.

7. A woman from one of the villages who works with the Iris base lost her house in a major downpour and the school gathered enough money to build her another house.  They are going to build it this weekend and Shawn and I went to town today to put together a house warming wash tub for her.  It just seemed to me that if she was going to get a new house she should get to put new stuff in it.  In America I would have bought a nice house plant, in Mozambique it's clothes pins, a mirror, food staples, some dishes, and laundry soap.

8. There's more and I have cute photos of the kids taking baths, but I don't have time to write it all (please take me out for coffee when I get back and I'd be happy to tell you all about it - verrrry slowly) and there isn't the bandwidth for pictures.

9. Can you feel our love?  We miss you all so much and would love to being hugging you right now.  I hugged/creeped out a girl who had just met some of our friends from Ohio a few months ago.  I just loved hugging someone who has hugged people I love.

No big plans here until the 30th - I'm going on the bush-bush outreach with Asher.  Shawn will stay back with Judah & Luciana and then he'll go on a different outreach.  I'm nervous about that, but I've already jumped off one cliff, what's another one?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Week 1: We Made It

We are in Mozambique!  This post is going to be brief because it's my first trip to town and Judah sent me with a Whole Foods bag that he said I could fill with cookies.  So, I have work to do, but I wanted to get an update out before my cookie quest began. 

We enjoyed a variety of flights and layovers to get to Pemba, but the kids were amazing and it wasn't until the last five minutes of the last flight that Asher decided he'd had enough.  The good thing with all the traveling and wildly interrupted schedules is that we all adjusted to the 7 hour time difference pretty quickly.  We arrived at the Iris base at night (it gets dark here around 5:30pm) so it wasn't until the next day that we got a chance to see our home for the next 10 weeks.  We are staying in a small house with another family - the Wicars: Zach, Kate, Levi (3 1/2) and Max (2) and a couple, the Thalheimers: John & Cindy (they have a 23 year old son who lives in Texas and they are our house leaders).

The kids love running around with all the other kids here - African or otherwise - and Asher has eaten more sand than most kids do in a lifetime.  Yesterday I saw Luciana making dirt angels outside our house... I am grateful that they allow families to hire a laundry lady! 

Ok, this one is really short, but the upload time is said to be looooong.  Next time I'm going to type it out and then just copy and paste it.  Plus, I have a bag of cookies to buy.  We love you all and can't wait to fill you in on all that's happened in person.  At Starbucks.

BTW: a blind child was healed during a weekend outreach.  He had been born blind and had never walked, but people prayed for him he was healed and he saw his mom for the first time.  Yeah, God!!!