Monday, October 29, 2012

Back in Africa

Beautiful Africa.  The road in front of the orfanato.

Saying goodbye to our family in Seattle was really hard.  I love my family so much and it's a million times harder to leave them now that we have all these little ones.

Belson, Isaque, and Canito.

I'm sorry that I do not have a picture of this but after it being so hard leaving our family in the U.S., after several days of travel, we boarded our last flight to Nampula.  The landing in Nampula is always dramatic because the pilots always do a sharp circle near the ground before hitting the tiny runway.  Looking out the plane window down at the millions of palm trees and condensed mud huts still makes me feel like I'm in an adventure movie that takes place in a remote, tropical, Third World African town (and I use the term "Third World" with intention and affection).  You can just breathe in the humidity before you even hit the ground.  And then getting off the plane and looking towards the tiny little airport - you see dozens of Macua faces with huge smiles and dozens of hands waving at you.  I am from somewhere SO different, but when I saw all the kids waving to us from the airport balcony, I felt happy in my heart like these are "my people" who I know and love and they know and love me too.  After being "home"for almost a year I didn't know I would feel like I was "home" again on the opposite end of the earth.

 The kids all look so grown up compared to when we last saw them!

Our wonderful staff:  Marta, Silimone, and Daniel. 

Yohani reuniting with everyone.

Traveling from Seattle back to Mozambique was the most challenging travel experience I've ever had.  Two infants and a toddler on over 24 hours of air travel is not that fun.  But the worst thing of all - we didn't realize how tough the whole thing was on Yohani and we didn't realize he was not getting enough to drink.  In the intensity of the travel and return he got so dehydrated that we could not control his vomiting and on his first day in Mozambique he had to be hospitalized.  Victor stayed with him in the hospital overnight while he got anti-vomiting injections and IV fluids.  I love Yohani so ferociously and I feel really sensitive about his transition from life in Seattle back to life here.  I still cry when I remember the image of his little face without the twinkle in his eye when he came back from the hospital.  Everything is different for him and I hate that I was not there by his side in the hospital, even though Victor and my mom were with him.  After he got home he kept crying and hitting me.  I have always been a fanatic about keeping Yohani healthy and safe but now that I have the twins I am in a little over my head, which is probably good in some ways.  Thank you so much for your prayers for all of us and especially for our kids.  I am so so grateful that Yohani did not have anything worse, that it was just dehydration and was treated quickly, that he is fine now and that the little twinkle is now back in his eye.

Yohani.

 My dad shadowing Yohani as he explores the orfanato again.

Delicious Mozambican cooking:  Leanora, Victor's mom with Aya, and Milena preparing coconut rice.


Different sizes of mortar and pestols are used for EVERYTHING here.  Garlic cloves are crushed with salt to add to the chicken marinade.


The guys barbecuing.  There is great creativity when it comes to crafting together impromtu grills to cook dinner on.

New cousin Miriam is two weeks older than the twins. 

 Yohani playing with his cousins Vana and Milena.

There are construction sand piles all over the orfanato and they are Yohani's new favorite thing.  Here he is playing with Victor.  The rest of the time he is playing with Jose and Canito.

While we were gone Felix began teaching all the younger kids how to play the different instruments and he converted the old office into a music classroom.  He painted musical instruments and words on the wall.  It says, "Bem Vindo A Nossa Sala De Musica" (Welcome to our Music Class).

My dad got to play his saxophone with the band for the evening church services under the cashew trees.

Dorcas, Alfenia, Cocas, Aya, and Ofeita.

Victor and Leila catching up with men from church.

My mom and Cocas baking cookies.

Graça, Ronilda, Anabela, Atija, and Stela.

Me and my little babies.  I laugh every time they're dressed like this and another person asks if they are boys or girls!