Monday, October 08, 2007

A side note from Mozambique...For those of you who know my brother, he's engaged. He started dating his future wife, about the same day as Joel and I arrived in Mozambique. It's a little strange to be welcoming a sister-in-law to my family when I have never met her. But my parents say that she's nice and that she's a good fit for him and he's very happy. Here's a picture of the happy couple at a Luau party. Congratulations Loren and Doreen!

Smiles

Today as we were going to our meeting I saw a kid swinging from a rope swing in a tree. Occassionally we come across playgrounds with swings, climbing bars and merry-go-rounds (the one in Gondola creaks for half the village to hear). But I haven't ever seen a rope swing. Today I did. It made me smile.

I guess because of the war, it is not rare to see someone with a missing appendage--leg or arm. We frequently see people getting around in wheelchair that they "pedal" with their arms. The wheel chairs have three wheels--one in the front, two for the seat. The hand powered pedals are above the front wheel. Most people that I see using them are able to get around quite well. Today, I walked passed a man on a bicycle, only on further observation, he had one foot on the pedals and a crutch on the other side. He used his crutch to get momentum before he one-leggedly pedaled off. I smiled with awe at his ability to get around.

Summer is coming. The heat is increasing and we are beginning to sweat more. But with summer comes the anticipation of mangos. I've been seeing green mangos for sale on the street. Today, I saw small mangos that had fallen from trees. I had forgotten that there are at least two types of mangos until I saw the fallen immature fruit. I am looking forward to the coming rains and mangos, which (unfortunately) do not come without the heat. Perhaps this year I can smile through the heat?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Our last trip to Mandie went well, but with a lot of adventures. We left Chimoio on Wednesday the 26th. Moriane wasn’t feeling well when we left and by the time we went to bed in Mandie, he wasn’t feeling well at all. At 10 PM Tony and Mick (pronounced Mickey) rushed Moriane back to Chimoio (arriving at 3 AM). Joél and I remained in Mandie with all the stuff. It was fine—we took the day to clean up plates and organizing our kitchen stuff. The only gliche was that they left in such a rush, that we didn’t have any matches, silverware or pans for cooking, so all we ate was bread! So, Mick and Tony returned around supper on Thursday and on Friday, we went to all the four sand dam communities, dropping off plastic drums for water storage and letting them know that a delegation of MCC higher ups was coming. On our way back to our campsite, our oil filter got punctured so at sundown, we carried all our bags 4-5 KM back to Mandie. We were stranded in Mandie for the next three days until the MCC delegation arrived with a new filter. We lazed around in the sun, read, waded in the Luenha river, and waited for our filter. The MCC delegation arrived at 3 PM and we set off to fix the car and off to the communities. We visited 4 communities in one day and talked with the leaders and visited with them about the progress of their sand dams. It was a good trip—good to see other MCCers, good to show the progress, good for the communities to show what they are doing. On the way home, one of the cars had a tire blow out, which only added to the adventure of the trip.