Thursday, July 30, 2009

The OCC Team is Here!

This week we are privileged to have a team of very special people here from South Carolina. When Victor started the orphanage almost ten years ago there were several families who were behind him the whole way and have supported this ministry and the children since the very beginning. Some of these people are here for the first time this week and this is extremely meaningful and exciting for us (to say the least). On the team here this week are Mr. Nichols and his son Josh (Mr. Nichols’ daughter Ashley was the first Evanjafrica volunteer to come to Mozambique (ever) and is the one who actually helped raise money to buy the property that the orphanage sits on today), Pastor Mark and his son Michael, Sarah Bryngelson (Michele and Arthur’s daughter), Ashlie (who was here last October), and Nicole.

A few pictures from their first day here . . .

Michael, Mr. Nichols, Victor, and Pastor Mark discussing plans in front of the boys dorm.

Now they are discussing plans for a magnificent septic tank that will probably end up being more amazing than any other septic tank ever built in these parts.

Now they are discussing the tiling that is about to be done in the dorm bathroom.

Meanwhile Sarah and Josh begin Portuguese immersion with the kids. (I am not even going to mention TJ anymore because he has basically just become one with the orfanato now.)

Quite a few games of “rocks” (usually known as “spoons” when spoons are used) were played, resulting in some minor hand injuries and one rock tug-of-war (between Josh and Merecido). (Ashlie, Merecido, Nicole, Nolita, Josh, VoVo, Atija, Michael, Ronilda, Filipe, and Sara sitting in a circle playing “rocks.”)

Sarah , Jose, and Ofeita playing a more peaceful game.

Two GIGANTIC well-drilling machine trucks arrived!!!!!!!!!! The workers were pretty exhausted from their last drill so they parked the trucks and then walked home to rest. They will be back to drill THE WELL tomorrow!!! This is amazing for us!!!!!

After dinner, singing Happy Birthday to Pastor Mark, band practice, and dancing; Josh fell asleep sitting in a chair; Silas, Helder, and VoVo did homework; and Mr. Nichols, Pastor Mark, and Victor resumed planning for construction projects tomorrow morning.

The day finally ended with Jeremias, Ruben, Rock, TJ, Felix, and Carlitos working on science, and Sarah and Filipe (and soon everyone else too) working on language translations.

Actually the day didn’t end because even late into the night Victor and Sarah kept working – here they are soaking the tiles that will be going up in the dorm bathroom tomorrow.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I wish I had nothing to say on this subject but unfortunately I have quite a few things to say about it. I have also been trying to hide this subject from anyone who might read this blog because I don’t want to disturb or scare any of you. But I can’t keep it in any longer! What is it, you may be asking yourself? It’s rats!!! I hate rats man! We never had a rat incident in this house until we put grass on our roof (not knowing grass is like a rat playground) and now we can’t get rid of them!!!

Basically to sum it up . . . a lot of rats live with us now (the real live animal kind, not the “snitch” in gangster movies kind). The rats are not scared of being seen by humans anymore. When we were in Chimoio with Sunny and Peter there were even bigger rats there and we actually witnessed two rats chasing each other around and around in circles on rafters above our heads – leading to a climax of them embracing in a wrestle, twirling around (as they hugged each other) and then flipping off the rafters, falling down below and landing in Victor’s lap. (This sent Sunny into hysterical screaming (and then hugging Peter (out of fear)).)

Well anyway . . . guess what! When we returned to our very own house in Nampula – I got to see another rat show, this time with squeaks too! I was sitting on a chair in the kitchen when I heard a rat chase approaching. There was TONS of squeaking. It got louder and louder until the two of them (the rats) actually APPEARED like less than two feet in front of me on the kitchen floor, embraced in a hug, twirled around in circles wrestling and squeaking, and then finally ran away.

After describing all of this to my mom on the phone (more than once) she wanted to see pictures of it. So I actually sat in the kitchen with my camera for over an hour, hoping that if I ever had to see a rat again in my life, it would at least be in a rat wrestle so that I could take a picture of it.

Well – I didn’t capture any “wrestles” but one loan mouse (a “rato pequeno”) did emerge for a few photos.

Here you might even think he looks like a “cute” mouse from a children’s story book or something.


But now he looks more scary, doesn’t he?!!!

Now look what's happening! (Don't worry - it's not the "cute" little one from the first picture.) (Thanks Daniel.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

TJ

TJ a.k.a “Mano Tay-Jota” is here! After graduating from the University of Washington a few weeks ago, TJ got on an airplane (actually many airplanes), made his way to Nampula, and has now become a part of the orfanato for (at least) the next three months!

Filipe and TJ putting the finishing touches on their new house.

Since every nook and cranny of the property is being utilized while we’re constructing dorms, we really needed another place for people to sleep. We considered making TJ build a house from scratch (which he is actually capable of doing) but then decided it would be even more fun to try and construct one before he got here (starting from the very second Victor got the idea a few days before TJ arrived).

In like two days this went from being a rouge part of the soccer field to being a house! We are all calling it "TJ's house" and TJ is calling it "Filipe's house."

Doorways.

Rafters.

Round roofs are neat.

Nice weather.

The kids watch everything that’s happening and then make their own little versions. (Belson and Canito mixing clay, baking bricks, building walls, dividing rooms, and then putting on the rafters.)

The grass finally goes on the roof of the real house.


Meanwhile the boys dig a septic tank . . . actually Zaqueio digs a septic tank while all his friends tease him (“tease” in a nice way of course).


At the end Zaqueio is exhausted.

Everyone else is more energized than ever!

Time for soccer!

Whether he likes it or not, TJ's new favorite game is now soccer.


The septic tank digging was so wonderful that Victor had everyone dig another one.


This time was even better because the person digging was wearing a jacketless hood. Since it’s normally REALLY hot here, “cold” weather brings out the best outfits.


The girls painted the new house yellow.


Terçia and Silas relaxing on a very painful couch.


Filipe and TJ holding pipes that do not fit anywhere.

We love having TJ here with us and have been SO impressed with his ability to adapt to absolutely every single thing – even eating xima for lunch ten days in a row!!! We don’t know if he’ll have much time to update it, but if you want to follow TJ’s blog – it’s http://tjgoestoafrica.blogspot.com/ . I'm sorry I have not captured all that he has done so far in these pictures but TJ can "do" or "make" just about anything and we can already tell what a great friend he is becoming to the kids, especially the older ones. We feel REALLY grateful to have someone like TJ here!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sunny and Peter

We had SO much fun when Sunny and Peter were here!!!In Chimoio we saw lots of old friends. (Larry, Victor, Christina, Sunny with Lisa, Peter, and Faith with Leslie.)

Sunny immediately dove into every conceivable cooking situation. (Silvia, Alfina, Sunny, and Dora making fried chicken.)

We got to spend (not nearly enough) time with Courage.



When it was time to drive back to Nampula Victor shook as much gas into the car as possible (very normal for filling up cars here).

Our trip went smoothly.



But we found an accident where a truck overloaded with people and goods had turned over. Peter got out his first aid kit and he and Victor tended to wounds. Some people needed stitches but refused to go to the hospital because they were scared since they had no I.D. Many rural people never get I.D. because of poverty and bureaucracy.

Back at the orfanato . . . (Graça and Dorcas, the new baby.)



Align Center

We watched Mozambique lose to Tunisia in soccer (sad – it was the last chance to earn a spot in the World Cup)!



HUGE cooking began, starting with Janete showing us how to make cassava with red sauce. (Janete and Sunny peeling the bark off the cassava roots.)




Yum! It was SO good!!!

Next Janete taught us how to cook this delicious pumpkin thing with coconut chicken and rice!




Victor's favorite drink in the whole world (which is actually just fizzy grape juice) can't be found here so whenever he goes somewhere he searches for it. He was so happy to find some in Chimoio!




Sunny led the whole orfanato in a tae bo leson. The kids could NOT get enough of it!!!




June 25th was Mozambican Independence Day. Everyone ate good food and then had a very relaxing day. (Tercia, Minoca, and Gizela.)




New little Jose is still mesmerized by cameras. Align Center

Some serious conversations happened. (Peter and Estefano.)

The conversations did not stop.

Meanwhile there was TONS of drama involving Simba . . .

Which landed him at the vet (AMAZINGLY there IS a vet here!!!) After roaming the bairro Simba got really really sick and couldn’t eat or walk or anything. We had to take him to the vet four days in a row for antibiotic injections and we found out that he is the biggest cry baby ever! Every time Simba would sit on the examining table waiting for the doctor he would start thinking about what was going to happen (a shot) and cry and moan so loudly that even people passing by would peer in and then laugh when they found out it was a dog thinking about getting a shot. Simba had to be comforted by at least three people the whole time!



Sunny and Peter did a health survey focus group with some of the kids. We learned a LOT from this!



The whole visit ended with an ENORMOUS egg roll samosa production and eating

Sunny made HUNDREDS of egg rolls (a Mozambican version of them)

which the kids folded into samosa shapes! They were like nothing anyone has ever had before! And they were delicious!!!

The whole orfanato went to the airport to see them off.

It was SO sad when Sunny and Peter finally had to say good-bye!!!

(Half of the pictures on this post are from Sunny's camera. Thanks Sunny!)