Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Goodbye Niassa...

Many of you know, we adopted an orphaned Serval cat for awhile. Her mother was killed and some men were selling her in a bag along with dead fish. A friend of ours rescued her from them and we took her to care for until we could find a home for her. We think she was about 5 or 6 weeks old when we got her. We had to teach her to drink out of a bottle and then she was only bottle fed for a few weeks until we started her on meat and weaned her off the bottle. She then ate the inside of a goat for a few weeks along with cottage cheese for calcium. Then we moved her to chicken and mince meat. Not a cheap cat to feed! She has been so much fun and plays with anything from the kids hair to strings hanging on the end of your clothes to toys and balls. The kids have loved her and she took to Traeger for some reason and would only sleep in bed with him, sometimes on his head. Although when she wanted she was very cuddly and affectionate, she could also be pretty tough sometimes, hissing and batting us with her paws, or even biting if she didn't like something. I think all of us have a few scars to remember Niassa by. After 2 months, we found a home for her and dropped her off just this week at Lugenda Wilderness Camp in the Niassa Reserve. On our way home from Tim's class in Mocimboa da Praia, we drove an extra 4 hours into the middle of NOWHERE and handed her over to capable hands. They let us stay there for the night and we enjoyed a few game drives and saw all her new neighbors, including elephants right in camp, Sable antelope, Kudu, a Civet cat, and even a lion. It was really a privilege to see more of the "wild side" of this country we live in. It was hard to say goodbye. Karis couldn't even look at her without sobbing, but we know this is the best place for her and hopefully someday, she will be able to be independent and truly free again. Here are some pictures of her...

Her first day with us. So tiny and sweet.

Feeding her the bottle, which was an adventure, because she violently attacked the bottle at feeding time.

 Play time, which was pretty much anytime, it wasn't nap time or feeding time.

Getting a little bit bigger.
Obi, our cat, was not fond of Niassa. This was the only time he ever allowed her within 10 feet from her and it only lasted long enough to snap a picture real quick.

School time was always a challenge with Niassa. She wanted to play with the books, pencils, and our feet the whole time.
Eventually, she would tire out and we could get some work done.

Her favorite sleeping spot, at Traeger's head.

Just taking a snooze with one eye open, just in case there is an opportunity for a little snack.

Climbing trees...

This is just a couple days before we dropped her off. She is beautiful. We hope to go visit her again, if she does well at Lugenda. We all want to see her when she is all grown up!

Goodbye Niassa!
I thought I would also put in some pictures of our trip to Mocimboa and Macomia. Tim's class in Mocimboa went really well. He had 8 students for the two weeks. They were all young and really caught on to things quickly. He enjoyed getting to know them all. The training he was taking part in is put together by some Kenyan missionaries. Their vision is to train locals to be missionaries to the unreached people groups right in their own country. Their hope is that these students, once trained, will then go out and live among the unreached and evangelize and plant churches themselves. It has been a privilege to be a part of the ministry there.
 This is a picture of the some of the roads we travelled. We preferred the dirt roads to the paved roads, as you can see. It was a rough trip and we ended up breaking both stabilizers on our car. Also, our exhaust system fell down and went through our diesel tank. Thankfully that happened right as we arrived at the Lugenda Wilderness Camp and they had a mechanic on sight that temporarily fixed it for us, so we could at least get home. So now, we are again having our car in for repairs. It seems never ending...
 Mocimboa is right on the Indian Ocean. It is beautiful from far, but really dirty in the city.

The beach in Mocimboa.
 Carrying the catch of the day into town to sell.
At Lugenda, they treated us to a game drive and they drove up this mountain. Mozimbique has many mountains that are pure rock, they are called inselbergs. They are really beautiful. We were quite surprised when our driver drove right up to one and continued straight up to the top. It was a beautiful spot for a snack and drink.

The kids enjoying snacks on top of the mountain, overlooking Niassa's new home, the Niassa Game Reserve.

These elephants frequent the camp. There are four males that they have named, as they are in camp so often. We were able to see them a couple times.

This is a big herd of Sable antelope we saw on our way out.

The tent we stayed in.
A big male Sable. They are just incredible to see in the wild.