Thursday, May 28, 2009

We survived...barely!

Well we survived our first 5 days in Muembe. It was not a pretty sight, but we did it. We were a little unprepared. Our first mistake was leaving at 2:00pm on Saturday instead of right away in the morning. On the way, Jalea, our dog, threw up all over and caused a little bit of delay as we sat at the side of the road trying to wash out the car, Karis' foot, leg, and shoe with our limited supply of drinking water. We didn't end up arriving until about 3:30pm and the water pump was about to go off, so we had to really quickly run to the well and get the water we needed for the night. Then we thought we better get a fired started to start our dinner. We bought charcoal from some locals on the way up. Tim tried to start a fire for over an hour before Pastor Matias came over and let us know that we had bought bad charcoal. We didn't know there was such a thing as bad charcoal. So finally he helped us get a fire started and we started our dinner of rice and chicken. By then it was almost dark and we still didn't have our beds set up or anything. Our solar powered laterns didn't work because we didn't have time to set them out in the sun to charge and I realized we had left the silverware at home, so we had Kallen's baby spoon and a spatula for all 4 of us to eat from. So for the next four days that is all we had for utensils. We are perfecting the art of eating with our hands, although soup doesn't work that well with your hands, so we either drank our soup or shared the baby spoon. We took freezing cold bucket baths. Karis didn't even mind, Traeger threw a fit! It was pretty miserable I have to admit. Traeger got sick and threw up one night three times and it was really fun cleaning up throw up in the dark with buckets of water. The one night all of us were sleeping on the blow up mattress together because Traeger was sick, and Karis wouldn't sleep alone, so needless to say it was a sleepless night.
On the bright side, overall it was very valuable. We learned a lot and made a huge list of things we had not thought of or had forgotten that will make our next time there much easier. We were able to really get to know Pastor Matias and some of his family better. Traeger made great friends with one of his sons and is rattling off his portuguese again. The kids had a great time getting dirty and playing in the wide open spaces. The people were very friendly. We are literally the only white people in the village, so the first day we walked into the little market, everyone in the village stopped and just stared at us. The kids followed us around everywhere and at one point all surrounded Karis and pet her hair. she just stood there staring at me with a look that said, help mommy!!! The kids would all stand in the grass outside our door yelling "usungu"(white person). We would wave or say hi and they would all scream and yell and laugh. Overall it was good to really be able to walk beside the Africans, living life exactly how they live, but also makes us really glad to be able to come back here to Lichinga for a little break now and then.

Here is a picture of our bathroom(after it has been cleaned). It isn't a pretty sight, but at least we have a toilet. We flush it with a bucket of water.

Here is Tim carrying water on his head like the Africans do.

Cooking our dinner on the fire.
Doing dishes by the well.

Traeger playing at Jilo's house(one of pastor Matias' oldest sons, and one of his daughters is the girl in the yellow).

Here is Traeger's new friend, Armindo. They had so much fun together.

Giving Karis a bath in the trash can:)

This is why Karis needed a bath. I about died when I saw her like this, but of course I got myself together enough to take a picture. Oh and she dressed herself by the way. She sometimes just goes in the house and comes out in totally different clothes. This day she for some reason decided to wear my underware, pajama pants and a t/shirt(both inside out). Hey, it's Africa, I don't care!
Thankfully we were able to come home to this. Now that our container has arrived, we have everything put together and it is so nice to have a place to come home to. The girls on the couch are some fellow missionaries kids.
Here is Traeger and Karis' room.
This is Kallen's room.

Here is Kallen after having great fun with our spagetti sauce spoon. I was doing some dishes after dinner and came back to find her like this. I had left the leftovers on the table, unfortunately.
The kids all clean again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our Container has arrived!!!!

On Monday, Tim was out running at 6am, when our container passed him on the street. We were unloading it by 8:30am. It is such an answer to prayer. However it did cost a lot more for transportation than what we had estimated(because the original company refused to drive to Lichinga because the roads are so bad). And now they are trying to tax us on our appliances because they were new, even though we had to buy new ones because we needed 220volt instead of 110. But all in all, it has been wonderful to unpack and get things set up here. It's the first time in 2 years we have used our own things and we are loving it. The kids are finding toys they had completely forgotten about and it feels like Christmas. We are able to sit on the floor for the first time and we just discovered that Kallen knows how to sit. She has never been sat on the floor since we arrived here. She is either in her car seat, in her bumbo seat, or being held(since all the floors are either dirt or cement). Thank you to everyone who has been praying!!! Some good friends of ours said that we needed to be sure and take lots of pictures of it arriving, but we were so excited and surprised when it arrived, I never even thought about the camara. So no pictures, but I have pictures of Lake Nyassa. We spent a day down at the lake with some missionary friends who live on the lake. It was beautiful and the kids had a great time swimming. These missionaries don't have a house, but a small building they sleep in, a storage building and a bathroom all separate, and it is beautiful. Their kitchen and living room is in a tent. Here are some pictures.

The road to the lake is terribly bumpy. 60 kilometers of all dirt roads with huge potholes and it took us about 2 1/2 hours to drive it.

Oh, and some very fun bridges to go over.

But so worth it when we got there!

Here is there sleeping building and kitchen/living room.

Here is Tim and Keith going for a boat ride.
Tim even got to try water skiing, which makes the only two times he has ever been water skiing, on the Amazon river in Brazil and on Lake Nyassa in Mozambique, kind of ironic since he has lived his whole life only a half an hour from Lake Michigan and has never been water skiing on it.

Here is Traeger and his new friends, Zoey and Jade, on a boabab tree that fell over about 5 years ago, but continues to grow from the ground.

Here is their bathroom, which has an incredible view of the lake(and Traeger on top of the rocks, if you can find him).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May update...

We are planning to move to Muembe next week. We made a trip up there this week and moved our beds and some furniture. We will make another trip this weekend and then next week move for good. Please pray for the transition and that we would learn the language quickly. We are beginning to realize how hard hauling water from the well will be and how hard it will be to cook over charcoal everyday. I have so much to learn and I am hoping we don't all starve before I learn!

We learned some really exciting news this month also. We have mentioned that we have been going out to the village of Caia on fridays with Janice and one of our guards, Jeffrey. Well last week one of the men told Janice and Jeffrey that he wanted to follow Jesus with his whole heart. He shared this with the whole group and said he was willing to be baptised as a step of faith. In a muslim community this means a lot because he could be totally rejected by all his family and friends for this. This week we will talk more with him about this step and if he is still willing set up a date for the baptism. Janice and Jeffrey are very excited because they have been going to this village for a couple years now and this is the first real fruit they have seen. All it takes is one though, if this man is willing to be baptised and take this step, others could get the courage and follow. Please pray for him and his spiritual growth and courage.

Another answer to prayer, our container has arrived in Nacala. We are now working on details to get it shipped up here to Lichinga. Please continue to pray that it will arrive here safely and quickly. We have been going back and forth with our clearing agent trying to get all the details taken care of, but it seems like something keeps coming up.

This is the kids new favorite thing to do, climb on top of the car(it's there house of course).

Another thing we did was attend a ceremony for our collegues, who are going to be building a house in this village. They had a big ceremony where all the officials of the province, distict, and village came together to give them permission to live and work in the village and introduce them to all the people. It was a very interesting cultural experience. Our collegues, Alfred and Belinda, provided food for all the officials and we had a feast after the ceremony with all of them. The adminstrator of the district gave a speech which was very welcoming and he even told the people that they were missionaries and were here to tell them about God and that SIM is a good organization and recognized all over the country. It was very encouraging. These are the people of the village that attended the ceremony.

Here are all the officials with Alfred at the ceremony, Alred is on the far left and Janice is sitting next to him.

This was at the feast afterwards, Kallen took her nap on Janice.

Here are the kids eating their rice, without silverware again, to their enjoyment.

This is in Muembe. Karis wanted to help all the ladies carry their water from the well back to their houses, Karis is carrying a jug to our neighbor's house for her.

Here is Tim at the well getting some water for our cleaning.

This is our house. These guys live next door and help watch it while we are away.

Here is the veiw from our house. We have this great Papaya tree in our yard. I love papaya, so I am excited to be able to enjoy fresh papayas from our own tree.

Karis cries and complains about taking naps, but if she doesn't get a nap, she will still fall asleep somewhere at sometime. It's always fun to see where she ends up crashing.

Here we are with Bonamar enjoying a great snack of suger cane. All the kids love it.

Here is Karis, looking so grown up these days.