Sunday, September 19, 2010


Estefano on his porch.

Sadly, my parents' time here had to come to an end. They were flying to Kenya to see the Fishers on the way home, so on Friday morning we drove to Pemba where they would catch their flight.

We drove out of Nampula Province and into Cabo Delgado. This was the normal scene along the road.
We drove through a scary fire.
We stopped at a gas station and ate tasty chicken cooked by Victor's mom.
We saw this guy carrying empty plastic water jugs.
We arrived in beautiful Pemba.
The view from Estefano's apartment porch. Estefano is Victor's brother who we get to stay with whenever we go to Pemba.
We ate dinner at a nice restaurant. Victor, my dad, my mom, and Estefano.
A fish that one of us (not me) ate. (I think it was nice of them to make it look like that fish was eating his veggies.)
Yohani at work with his uncle Estefano.
Me and my mom, our last day together.
Last breakfast with my parents (at the Pemba Beach Hotel).
Look at this version of Africa!
My parents boarding the plane to leave us. We LOVED having them here in Mozambique with us and we will miss them SO MUCH. Goodbyes are REALLY hard.
Yohani and Victor.
Victor and Yohani.
Some wonderful friends who live in Pemba. Daniella (with Yohani), Emily, Evelyn, and Ronald. (Evelyn is originally from Holland and Ronald is originally from South Africa.)
Brothers in a serious conversation at lunch, Yohani sleeping in his car-seat behind the plant.
Brothers waiting for food.
Me and Yohani.
Another lunch. Victor got to eat a gigantic lobster, which he has been talking about wanting for a year.
We were not yet ready to take Yohani in the ocean waves so we had to settle for this swimming pool instead. (This is at the restaurant where we ate lunch - you can eat and then swim there!)
Victor and I with our little baby Yohani in Pemba.

Our Bairro in Nampula

My Dad, Virginia, and Graca walking on the main road near the orfanato.
Mauricio, Martinho, Salmon, Marino, Manuel, Merecido, Gizela, and Anabela leaving on the path to school.
My parents walked to school with the kids almost everyday.
Once at the school they would find hundreds of children who wanted their pictures taken. They had tons of funny stories about it. My mom said that every time she would take a picture, all the kids would cheer!
Felix, Graca, my dad, Cocas, Gizela, and Virginia walking on the path between the orfanato and the main road.
Stopping at a barraca (little store) to get tomatoes.
Estela, Ronilda, Ofeita, and Atija.

Coming across Victor's parents on the motorcycle.
Gil, VoVo with a cute little girl, Janete, my mom, and Rock at Janete's house. Apparently I am the only person in the orphanage who still feels traumatized by what happened to our pet dog Simba last year because this new dog in the picture has also been named "Simba" by the kids.
Faina is the name of our area and this is part of the Faina market.
More of the Faina market. (Yes, I realize it's not the most picturesque thing.)
A man who is always sitting right there in front of the tile store.
Coffin sheets for sale.
We run into the orphanage truck taking the church youth group somewhere.
Some of the little restaurants are painted very colorfully. This one (in English) is called, "Little Fat Bar."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

TJ is Back!!!

About a year ago TJ came and volunteered at the orphanage for a few months. He made a HUGE difference in the lives of the kids and they were heartbroken when he left. But unbeknownst to the kids, he planned to come back for even longer. We decided to keep his return a complete surprise. This evening Victor took Rock and Cocas to the airport, pretending they had to pick up bags of food. They went up on the airport balcony and watched people getting off the plane. The second TJ’s head popped out of the airplane door, Rock recognized him and screamed, “TJ!!!” After a wonderful little mini-reunion with Rock and Cocas, they drove back to the orphanage where all the kids were in the dining hall waiting for dinner. Victor pulled the car right up to the cafeteria door and TJ got out of the car. The second they saw him, the entire 50 + kids started screaming and all ran full speed through the door and mauled TJ with hugs! All the kids were shocked to see him! They are beyond thrilled that TJ is back! And they just can’t believe he appeared out of nowhere!

You can follow TJ’s stories on his blog . If you do, you will be very entertained by him.

Around the Orfanato with My Mom and Dad

Atija, Ofeita, my mom, my dad, Nolita, Cocas with Yohani, Ronilda, Canito, and Belson watching soccer.
My dad doing a bible study with Clara, Cocas, Nolita, and Minoca. Somehow the language barrier didn't thwart this.
My mom, VoVo, and Gil on the rocks.
Leonora with Baby Yohani. Please notice Little Victor in the background grilling chicken on a grate sitting on a wheelbarrow filled with burning coals.
VoVo, Gil, Anabela, Leonora, Celso, Canito, Mena, and Atija gathered around Little Victor and his chicken dinner BBQing.
A ladder is climbed up in mid air. Apparently you don't need the other side of the ladder or a wall to lean against.
Graca, Baby Yohani, and Virginia with a picture of the Sleppy family.
My dad, Nolita, Cocas with Yohani, Ronilda, and Ofeita.
Samito break dancing in the boys dorm. That floor has to be break danced on!
Of course Little Jose joins in.
Yohani bathing on the kitchen table.
I'm too crazy for how cute I think Yohani is right now!
Cocas and Gizela making banana bread with my mom.
Cocas, Gizela, and my mom in our kitchen.
My parents with the Tcharuwani choir after hearing them sing their whole CD in the office. I LOVE their music - it is SO beautiful!!!
This man lives in our bairro and when we would pass by his house he would come out and say (in Macua), "When are you going to have a kid so I can see what it'll look like?" We ran into him on the way to church this week and he came out and seemed like he approved of Yohani's looks. Here he is with Yohani, Victor, and Dorcas.
Everyone in our little church waiting outside before the service.
My dad communicating with VoVo and Nolita.
Boys playing marbles.
Martinho, Marino, and my dad. I don't know what's going on.
Me and Yohani at breakfast at the Bamboo.
My dad and Victor.
My mom getting capulanas (beautiful African cloth used for everything) for all the girls.
Older girls picking out capulanas.
Younger girls picking out capulanas.
Anabela, Tercia, Silas, my mom, Marta, Leonora, Claudia, and Janete, Regina, and Gizela.
My mom and dad with Nolita, Cocas, Ronilda, Virginia, Graca, Mena, and Ofeita. All the girls loved their new capulanas! And thanks to my mom who took almost all the pictures.