Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Fun

So we looked out our window and down where the bananas are usually sold was our very own Mozambican elf selling Santa hats for all to wear. They must have sold quickly because he was gone in a matter of minutes. We will be looking for the hats walking around town, appearing above the mangos selling in the markets, floating in fishing boats in the morning and entering and leaving the little mini-buses that pass through the streets of this tropical city. Actually, this begs a question. I wonder how Santa lands his sleigh in Moz?
African Travels

Yesterday was an interesting day. We were stuck in Johannesburg after retreat for a few extra days. Despite the damage the lion did to our tire, the fan belt broke while a group was traveling in downtown Jo-burg to the Apartheid museum. We have gotten used to staying places longer than planned. It usually happens that some mechanical problem or other detains us and we keep 'hanging around'.

That said, we were on our way to pick up the car and were stopped at a stop light where we watched (in slow motion of course) a truck fly through the intersection and smash across the front of a car who had pulled out too far. Fortunately no-one was hurt and we left the scene where the one driver was hugging and consoling the second.

We managed to get the car fixed and a new tire to replace the one that the lion found so tasty and headed out of Jo-burg. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to pass by a pack of monkeys while we hurried down the N4 heading toward Nelspruit. However, they were quite near, actually on the shoulder. I was happy we did not have a chance to really examine our similarities as primates with a head on encounter. From there the trip was fairly uneventul until we reached the almost 2 hour entry into Maputo. The traffic was especially odious as we entered downtown near our house. At one point we were stalled at a light where a big screen shows films and advertisements on a smaller scale than Times Square. Aside from this entertainment we watched as someone else felt like entertaining us by running up to the car in front and yanking the cell phone from the drivers hands while she were talking. Of course, we were not so much entertained as astonished and rather shocked. Not that we were overly suprised because this sort of thing happens but it had never happened right in front of us. We promptly rolled our window up so as not to let it happen to us. We then thanked God for safely brining us home.

Thus another normal yet abnormal trip in Southern Africa.
Hungry Lion

We always used to laugh at the South African chain next to the supermarket in Chimoio which seemed to be imitating the ever popular American fast food chains. The food, though we never tried it, was said to be less than appealing but the name, 'The Hungry Lion' seemed very fitting.

It was especially fitting this week. We were in Johannesburg for Southern Africa retreat this past week. It was a good time but we had a few mishaps. Each day activities were planned for people to participate in, going to the apartheid museum, hiking, and such. It so happened that one of the activities was visiting a lion park. It was said to be fascinating but this particular time the lions were more interested in our cars. I was no with the group but as it was told to me, one such lion chose the spare tire on the back of our car for its affection. The driver said that he felt the car shake and in moments the lion had bit through the tread and sidewall, deflating the tire. Thank goodness he chose the spare.

I guess our car fared the better. A lion jumped into the back of the second car, puncturing the tarp and scratching the side. Apparently it had been feeding time and that car looked similar to the one that brings the meat.

It seems that we had heard of a similar instance where some other MCCers a few years earlier had been to the same park before going camping, marinating barbeque meat and all in the back of the trailer. I guess they had quite a pack of lions following them through the park. I guess we should have learned.

Picture to come