Saturday, May 23, 2009

Isac Pequeno, Celso, and Belson.


This morning I woke up to a big commotion outside. I went to the window to see what was going on and found that there were goats everywhere, kids trying to catch the goats, and Simba chasing all of them. It looked very chaotic and completely entertaining. Unfortunately for me and my blog pictures (though probably good for the goats) all order was restored by the time I got outside.

Monday is Children’s Day in Mozambique so the governor’s wife sent the orphanage a little herd of goats for a gift. Watching Simba with the goats was very funny because Simba is a good guard and he knows that other animals should not come inside the wall. All the goats were basically bigger than him and when they all baaa-ed like sheep he was very suspicious of them and what they were doing here. The goats were also very suspicious of Simba and kept giving him “the eye,” also kind of entertaining (I think more to me than to anyone else). Anyway – at first it was a lot of work keeping Simba from biting the goats but once he calmed down we all enjoyed watching him police them.

Samito and Mauricio with the goats.

Simba guarding the goats (very suspiciously).
Simba continued keeping his eye on each goat throughout the day.

Victor’s Broken Foot

There is one bad man in Nampula who wants to grab every foreign woman and kiss her. This may sound funny but it is not. He has done this to many missionaries and aid workers and last year he went to jail for these unwanted assaults. A few weeks ago he got out of jail and immediately started back at it. On Tuesday Victor and I were coming out of a store when the man tried to get me. No matter what Victor did to keep him away he would not give up and Victor had to physically fight him to protect me. After that the police came and got the man and we had to drive all of them (the man and two police officers) to the police station in our car (which is very normal for here). Now the man is back in jail and we hope that he will stay there. Also, Victor actually broke his foot protecting me – so basically he is the best husband ever!

Victor’s talking to my dad on the phone, telling the story about how he broke his foot.

Visit from USC Students

This afternoon we had a delightful visit from a group of business students from the University of Southern California. They are visiting Mozambique for about two weeks and we were very happy to get them for a few hours here at the orfanato! We are always encouraged and rejuvenated by visitors!

Visitors from USC with all the kids!

Boys Dorm Progress

We now have steps in front.

The porch wraps around the whole building. During the rainy season this will make a perfect place for clothes to dry.

We planted papaya trees in the space between the back porch and the wall. (I wish everyone reading this could hear the huge party that was happening on the other side of the wall when I took this picture.)

Today (all day and all night) the neighbors RIGHT next to us have been having a HUGE party with music blasting into the orphanage for about 20 hours straight. Besides some traditional African drumming and American hip-hop music I think a full Celine Dion album has now been played several times.

More Daily Life . . .

Nolita, Estela, Virginia and Mena carrying water to the shower hut.

Merecido and Canito hanging up laundry.

Janete and Gisela cooking.

One of today's big activities was finding out who could jump over the plastic toddler car.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Few Pictures From This Week

Unloading Wood for the Roof

We are ready to begin putting the roof on the boys dorm. It was really exciting to get the wood for the rafters this week!

African Dresses

Anabela, Clara, and Graça

We are finally getting special outfits for the kids in the band. We took the girls to the market to pick out capulana material and then went to the same dressmaker who made the bridesmaids dresses at our wedding. The girls chose styles they liked from pictures. Now look how beautiful they look in their new African dresses!!! The boys (and Sara’s) outfits will be coming up next!

Workers Day

Mama Maria, Marta, Miranda, Domingos, Da, Daniel, Silva, Helder, Janete, and Victor.

May 1st is Workers Day, a big holiday in Mozambique. Everyone chipped in a little money and then Janete made a great dinner for the staff. Some of the kids were “mad” about not being included and tried to hide cooking pots and knives and things, which was funny to hear about.


Simba walking under a banana tree leaf.

Sometimes Simba can be really embarrassing! This morning I went for a walk and of course Simba came too. He is so cute how he always accompanies us out of the orphanage, but walking with him is a little bit stressful because you never know what he might do! (No, there are no leashes here. Well actually I did get a leash for him once but he immediately destroyed it and that’s another story.) Anyway, today everything was going fine and he was happily trotting along down the road with me until he smelled some of those little dried fish (the ones I wrote about not liking the smell of in a previous blog). Well Simba does like the smell of those fish and was immediately attracted to the neighbor’s little fish stand. First I hear a little boy calling out, “Ola!” and then I hear his dad screaming “No cow!!! Cow no!!! Cow no!!!” (The word for dog in Portuguese is cão, which is pronounced like the English word “cow” – and yes this is always funny to me.) I feel responsible for Simba’s actions if we’re out walking together so of course I apologized for his embarrassing behavior (though the man chased him away before he actually ate any of the fish). Simba is a very unique little dog because people don’t have pets here. Many passer-by used to throw rocks at him but I think they’ve stopped because they’ve finally had enough experience with him to know that he’s not going to attack them. I think people around here also give him a chance because they know he’s from the orphanage and see him walking to church with the kids each week. More Simba stories soon to come.

An Interesting Drink

I found somebody drinking a refresco called “California Pine Whizz.” I was too scared to try it myself but it smelled kind of like lemon air freshener but more chemicallyish (no, that’s not a typo). Hmmm . . . in Mozambique they have the “California Pine Whizz” fizzy drink and in California they have the “Mozambique Steakhouse and Coastal Lounge” (in Laguna Beach) . . . hmmm . . . very interesting.