• The Roller Coaster of Adjustment to Change

    “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” ~Anatole France

    I’m so excited to be in Mozambique and settling into life in the bush! One week and a bit down here and it’s been a roller coaster with lots of highs and a few lows. The quote above really says it all…I enjoy change and new adventure but it isn’t always easy. Adjusting to change is something that takes time…and I have time. Already I’m finding more of a rhythm and getting use to things like only having power certain hours of the day.
    This week I jumped into the regular schedule at the mission….starting with devotions and organizing the plan for the day at 7am each morning. It was good to be involved in things and begin to get familiar with my new routine.

    Here are some pictures to give you an idea of the week:

    Monday and Wednesday is the staff literacy class in the afternoon. The class is divided into two groups – those who know how to read and write at least a little and those who are just learning the alphabet and how to write their letters. I enjoyed helping the group that was practicing their reading. We all took turns reading pages from Grade 4 textbooks and helping each other along the way. It was a great opportunity for me to practice and improve my Portuguese as well. I look forward to seeing them continue to progress and learn.

    20140921-155957.jpgCharles taking his turn reading

    Tuesday was a long busy day doing business in Chimoio. Chimoio is about an hour away and is the closest centre for banking shopping, etc. I needed to get some more paperwork done for immigration so I can stay here for a year, get a phone and SIM card and most importantly go grocery shopping. Of course there was all the other mission business to do…
    Wednesday I had my first visit to the mission school…it was good to be back there and see all their smiling faces. We had some children we needed to take pictures of and some we needed to write thank you letters for their sponsors. It’s always organized chaos when you’re trying to do anything at the school…everyone wants to see what’s going on and be part of it! Of course I stand out there and draw a crowd! I had fun taking pictures and talking in Portuguese with the kids….

    20140921-132027.jpgLet’s take a selfie!

    20140921-131846.jpgHey little man…

    20140921-131833.jpgCheck out the candy wrapper bandana!

    20140921-131818.jpgWorking hard on their studies

    20140921-204332.jpgMy little shadow…waiting for me to be done talking with the teachers

    20140921-204537.jpgThis same little guy is sponsored by one of my friends…and I had presents for him!

    Wednesday it was off to one of the women’s literacy classes that meets each week. Lynn and I shared a few words of encouragement and then Jenn gave a health lesson.

    20140923-202440.jpgBefore we got to the class the oil light came on, so I got to put all my years of working at the gas station in Niton into practice!

    20140923-202732.jpgWonderful scene…women with their babies and children studying and learning to read and write.

    20140923-202900.jpg I saw this beautiful burst of color as we were leaving the class

    Thursday and Friday I spent working on different things here on the mission base. There is always lots going on and no end of things to do! In the next few weeks we have a couple of teams coming…so we’re busy preparing for them. One of them is the construction team coming to build the bridge for the school. The supplies for the bridge arrived on Thursday and I got to help unload some of the pieces.

    20140923-204222.jpgThe first pieces of the bridge off the truck!

    20140923-204319.jpgAfter we offloaded all we could by hand…the backhoe did the rest!

    Saturday and Sunday were restful and relaxing! It’s generally pretty quiet here on the weekends…and after a busy full week it was exactly what I needed.
    Each day I’m adjusting more and finding my place here. I’m thankful to be able to serve the beautiful people of Mozambique.

    One item I’d appreciate prayer for is that I will be able to get my DIRE (which is a resident permit to stay in the country for a year). I’ve been trying to submit my application, but there was a problem with one of the documents…so now I’ve been in touch with the Canadian High Commission in Maputo and we are working through getting this sorted out. I have a month to get the application submitted…which is Oct 11th. Thank you all for the words of encouragement you’ve been sending me. I’m thankful for each one..they remind me that I’m not in this alone…I have lots of people supporting me and cheering me on as I continue forward fulfilling my destiny. God has been so faithful and I’m learning to lean on Him in new ways.

    I’m going to finish this blog with another picture of an African sunset. Just about every day we go for a walk at 5pm after the work day is done and on our walk we get to see the sun setting. I think I’ve taken a picture of the sunset almost every day…they are breathtakingly beautiful and the picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice.

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  • It Took Awhile but I FINALLY Made it to Mozambique

    20140913-163211.jpgThe journey to get here to Mozambique took a little longer than planned and had some interesting turns. I left snowy Edmonton at 6 pm on Sept 8th…arrived in even snowier Calgary about 7pm! I think winter wanted to give me one last taste of snow before I headed off for a year where there is no snow. Needless to say it definitely made leaving a little easier….with thoughts of warm sunny Africa filling my mind.

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    I boarded my overnight flight to London and was able to get a few hours of broken sleep. It was 2pm in the afternoon when I arrived in London…I knew I had about 5 hours before my next flight to Johannesburg. I passed the time watching people making the most of free wifi and relaxing in some quiet spots in the airport.

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    Before I knew it, 7:00pm came and I was boarding my flight…happy to once again be on my way. We had just settled into the flight, eaten our supper and one of the pilots came on to tell us that we had an electrical problem with the plane. They were turning around and heading back to London!! Well that set off a flurry of activity and speculation as to what was going to happen and what we were going to do…what about connections, would we be just changing planes and going again….on and on.

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    My thought was…”this is going to be an adventure and make this trip a whole lot longer!” We arrived in London safely and they had arranged hotel accommodations and transportation for us…telling us the flight was scheduled to go the next day at 5:10pm! I was so thankful to get checked in to my hotel room and have a nice hot bath. I used my 30 minutes of free wifi to let people know what was happening and then crawled into bed around 1:30am. It felt sooo wonderful to lay down flat in a bed and sleep. The morning came too quickly! I was still so exhausted that the thought of going and touring London was just too much. So after breakfast and another short nap I checked out and headed to the airport. I went to the special location to check in and find out what was happening with my connection in Joburg…they had rebooked me on the same flight just a day later. For the next 3 hours I got even more familiar with Terminal 5 at the London Heathrow Airport…finally it was time to head to the gate and board the flight. It was the same gate, I was sitting in the same seat and what do you know…we had the same crew! Kinda like deja vu or as we were all joking “Groundhog Day”! I got to know a few people as we were waiting to board…discussing where we had each stayed, etc…so interesting how people bond in these types of circumstances. I met one couple who were also catching a connecting flight and we made plans to hang out together while we waited in Joburg. You’ll never believe…when I got on the flight I was sitting with the same people!! 😉 What a celebration when we finally got on our way…after a couple more delays because 4 people checked in and then didn’t show for the flight so their luggage had to be removed. I got to know the ladies in the seats next to me and a couple of the flight attendants really well…it felt like I was traveling with friends. So cool and way more enjoyable especially on a 12 hour flight!
    We were the first plane to arrive in Joburg at 6am…I said goodbye to my new friends and headed through immigration to international connections to collect my boarding pass for my next flight. Simple, right?? Well not so much…when I got to the counter they said that British Airways had booked me on the flight but hadn’t issued the ticket…so I needed to go all the way back out, go through immigration again, collect my bags and go to the ticketing agent and purchase another ticket. At this point it was almost more than I could handle and being very tired didn’t help. Thankfully I had a lot of time and there was another girl with Mercy Ships heading to Madagascar that was in the same boat…so together we headed off to try and get this sorted out. After several attempts we finally got to the right place and British Airways issued our tickets so we didn’t have to purchase tickets and then get reimbursed! Then I just had to go recheck my bags, collect my boarding pass…and go back through immigration and security. Boy was I ever happy to see the Out of Africa store…it meant I was again on my way…

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    I found the couple I had arranged to meet, filled them in on the continuing saga and we enjoyed a coffee together. They are involved in mission work as well with the Anglican Church…they wanted to pay for my coffee and said, “It’s on the Church of England!” He just happens to be a Reverend with the church! It was so great to be able to share my story with them as well.
    I boarded my flight to Beira with a lot of excitement…I knew Andy and Jenn would be waiting for me with the mission plane and I was so close to the end of my journey! After all my long flights, a hour and a half flight flew by! I breezed through the unorganized process that is customs and immigration in Beira and soon we were on our way in the mission plane!

    20140913-164152.jpgWhat a blessing to be able to fly right to the mission…a one hour flight instead of the 5 hour drive I had to make last time I came here.

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    20140913-164710.jpgI felt re-energized as we made the flight…it was such an amazing feeling to finally be here!! The journey that I thought was going to take about 37 hours ended up being 65 hours!! I made it for a few hours before the “crash” came and I had to go to bed. I’m so blessed to be staying in Rick and Heather’s house while they are on furlough in Canada…wonderful to have a fully furnished place to call home for the next 5 months or so. Yesterday and today I’ve just been trying to get unpacked and get my bearings…and try to adjust myself to the time change…last night wasn’t the greatest. I was awake from about 1:30-4am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Maybe tonight will be better…

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