Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sights and Sounds

If you mention 'Africa' to most people, they will conjure up images of lions and elephants, and the sounds of monkeys in the trees. But there are many, many more sounds and images of Africa that will tell us more about its culture, provided we take the time to stop and observe. Here are some sights and sounds we have come across recently here in Mozambique...
A Praying Mantis

Children playing in the river

Crowded city streets

Bob finding his favorite rock (so far...)

A father and daughter heading home from working in the garden

Local chicken coop

Domingo taking his water pump to the river...on his head

Bee hive made out of bark

Force feeding a baby Duiker

A Tailor catching 40 winks on a hot afternoon

Crossing a crocodile infested river in a bark canoe

Rosa, who lost a foot to a landmine during the civil war, receiving a new pair of crutches to replace the wooden stick she's been using for years
These are just a few things we've been immersed in over the past 3 1/2 weeks. In two days we begin our journey home, and we're looking forward to being with our families and friends once more.

But the sights and sounds of Africa will be with us forever.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who's on First and What's on Second...

With all due respect to the old Abbott and Costello routine by the same name (seen at this link), sometimes there are so many needs, that it's difficult to know which job needs to be done first. Here are the ASAM farm in Mozambique, the Mercy Tech Mission team is elbow deep in a number of endeavors. Here is just a sample...
Rick, Ron Wayner, and Andy Kuret testing out Rick's first house wiring job on the Mercy Air house

Moving one of Bob's takes 14 guys. That's one heavy truss.

Trusses on their way to the Training Centre

Checking out the final section of concrete flooring at the Training Centre

Rick fixing a motorcycle tire for the local constabulary...

Bob and Andy visit the cattle pens across the river

Izzy needs more repairs...again

Ron Wayner sizing up some logs for the bridge to the future airstrip

Loading the logs onto the hand (photos by Bob the Logger)
Rick inspecting the progress at the Training Centre
Rick trying to find Bob...

...who's playing hooky with Magnum down by the river (not really)
In the end, there are more jobs to do than there is time in a day...the trick is in discerning priorities, and remembering that it is all about people first. God is doing some amazing things in the lives of the Mozambican people, and it's a privilege for us to be a part of it.
Fani playing the new cajon during morning devotions with the workers.

That's all for now, so have a great weekend...and don't forget Who's on First.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Who'll Stop the Rain...

The rains that usually come in February have now begun in the middle of March. We've had some real downpours, enough rain to find the tiny holes in our tents and dribble across the floor. While it's great for the farmers, it does slow down the work. Yesterday, the humidity was 91%.

But you do what you can. Here are a few photo updates:
Bob discussing window frames on the Mercy Air house with Ron Wayner

Removing a layer of bricks to make things fit

Rick installing some house wiring (thanks to Barb Wayner for the above photos)

Replacing the front brakes on the Toyota Van
The reason we want to build a maintenance shop!
Then there's the Saturday afternoon projects, like building a cajon (a Peruvian drum)

Bob the Builder is at it again...

You use what wood you have this case an old packing crate.

Then Bob got to visit a nearby school
He even took a stab at making lunch...
And of course, the obligatory ride around the school grounds in the missionary's truck before leaving.
And now for the rigors of everyday life...

Shopping for food
Shopping for lumber
Getting to know the locals
And for those who are worried about our diet (especially our wives), you can see that we eat pretty good
For the record, the best tasting of all these healthy foods is the Mint Crisp (middle left)
Thank you for your prayers. So far (other than the withering heat and humidity) we are doing well. Pray for good weather so that we can finish the projects we've started in the remaining two weeks that we have left here in Mozambique.

A special thank you to those who have given financially towards this trip, as well as to the Mozambique Maintenance Shop project. Your generosity today will reap great rewards in the days ahead as we seek to provide skills training for the people here in this needy land.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Making Sawdust; Moving Soil

In keeping with the theme of this blog, we're deep into our work getting dust on our shoes and dirt on our hands. Here's a few photos to bring you up to speed.

We begin with sawdust...lots of it.

Bob's truss factory...
Proof that the big guy is getting his hands dirty...
Mozambicans are always ready to pose for a photo

Now we get to the 'moving the soil' part...
Clearing brush for the site of the new Maintenance Shop
Marking out the foundation
Digging the hand
The big hole marks where a tree stump had to come out
But it's not all work and no play.
Badminton anyone?
Rick makes a mean Hamburger Helper...
Bob and Joao cleaning some locally-caught fish (tasty, but boney)
Bob the Builder transforms into Bob the African Bushrunner
Rick checks out the foundations for the bridge to the airfield (obviously still under construction)

Then there's always church on Sunday...where the visitors get asked to preach the sermon...
Both of us...
Can you guess which white guy was more long-winded than the other?