Monday, April 28, 2008

A Yard Sale In Mozambique?

Who'd a thunk it?  Not me!  But boy was I excited! 

The Marine Guard House (where the Marines live who are on duty at our Embassy here in Moz) hosted it and lots of expats came and sold their stuff. 

It was a bit overwhelming to walk around all that stuff, especially as most of it is from the US, with a smattering of things from other countries.  Most of the people selling work for the Embassy or NGO's who've had posts in other countries previously. 

But I quickly found my stride and here are some of the treasures I came home with.  Lest you think I exercised incredible self-control, this is probably about only 30% of the stuff I got!

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I didn't come home with the two boys, those treasures I already had!  But Domingos got these new shoes and a cow toy that makes lots of noises.  He's blind and developmentally delayed so I thought he might engage with this toy.  Simois got a new shirt from Target, tag still on it!

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Here's an assortment of the highlights, including the blanket which has a mint green reverse side.  A Sit and Spin!  I couldn't believe it!  An Eddie Bauer backpack, racing cars, a black dollie, a skirt and top for me, some books, Spiderman, lots of videos, a mechancial monster/dog/thingie.   You can barely see the edge of a shield on the left - I got a whole dueling set.

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Here's the best thing I got - if it works!  A Canon Rebel camera! It's not digital but it was $20!!  The battery is dead so the lady gave me her phone number so I can call her if it doesn't work but she said it does.  She said she thinks she even has another lens at home she'll give me.  The lady who sold me this, with her co-worker, volunteer at something called International Club of Maputo where they support NGOs.  So they gave me lots of clothes and some games.  Several people gave me free things when they found out I work at an orphanage.  One person told me to come back at the end and whatever kid stuff she had, she'd just give me.  It ended up being a BIG bag of things! Mostly for the Baby House but that's awesome!

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These earrings are a special find.  I've been buying jewelry with this stone for my mom each time I've passed thru London on my way here.  I love it too!  So now I have something for myself in this gorgeous green stone!

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This might have been the best overall bargain (especially if the camera doesn't work!).  It was $1.00!  There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, I think it's such a darling basket!

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The most amazing thing I found was this chopper.  Only the day before, I had thrown mine in the trash because I had broken it trying to chop clams and left one in the shell, not good.  The very next day, here's exactly what I need.  God is so sweet to even bless us with the little things!

Well, I'm off to find homes for these and all the other goodies I came home with!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saturday, in the Park

During school holidays, I wanted to get the boys out of the center for a bit.  You might remember from my post a few days back that we went to the reservoir.  Last week, we went to the city park for a picnic lunch!

Park Excursion 171Who can remember the first time they ate ice cream?  I think Aurelio will be able to!  He's our newest boy and everything we did was accompanied by a big "wow!"




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Yummy tuna, cheese and tomato sandwiches, hard boiled egg, chips, an apple - oh it was exciting!  Afonso loved it!





Park Excursion 153  Adilson, a budding football star, before we were asked not to play on the grass!  At a park!  I guess it is looking a little bare in that spot!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More baking fun!

There aren't any photos to prove it to you but none of this batter ended up splattered all over the kitchen!  Just a bit of flour that didn't make it in the bowl.  But here's the end result - yummy banana spice muffins that the boys enjoyed helping make and loved eating even more!

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Cake Making in Mozambique

Well, I cheat.  I still use the box mixes I love from America.  I always bring a couple with me when I've visited the US.  They are just so good.  And I don't know what it is, but the flour or the sugar or something here is different - the homemade cakes here just aren't the same as at home!

So today I decided to make a yummy cake for our Staff Meeting.  I had forgotten that I had had to buy a new hand mixer because my last one broke the first time I used it - the ejector button pushed all the way into the handle and that caused the speed indicator to stick and that was the end of that!  (that was my second mixer by the way, my first one had broken too.  when the second one broke, I asked around to see if I could borrow one from anyone and every person who had one - you guessed it, broken! but I digress.)

So I plugged it in, stuck it in the batter, turned it on and - nothing.  No power.  So I shut it off and went outside to look and see if everyone was without power or just us (sometimes we or the dorm next door does something that trips the breaker and only affects us two dorms).  I couldn't really tell as it wasn't dark enough for lights so I was heading back to my door when the power came back on - yay!  EXCEPT, not yay, I quickly discovered that what I thought was the off position on my new mixer was really the highest setting so I walked in to the mixer whirring away and chocolate cake batter everywhere! 

Home Life 003I decided to laugh thankfully and not cry. I also decided to scrape that batter off every half-sanitary surface and make that cake.  Hey, it's from America!  I can't waste it!  (and I did not consider the floor even close to being half-sanitary so what

landed there did not make it into the cake!)

Home Life 004After it was baked however, I did decide I couldn't in good conscience bring a cake made from scraped-off-the-toaster batter to Staff Meeting - well, more for me!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I love having Pedro visit!

It's school holidays so Pedro came to visit for the first week.  It does my heart good to spend time with him.  I love his heart for God and people, his joy, his smarts, his sense of humor (including his giggle) and the way he wants to help his friends here in the dorm to know more about God and, let's I'll be honest that I love this part -

how to obey Mana Laura!

We always have so much fun together.  I recently bought an Uno Attack game from someone in the city and we had a lot of fun with that.  We went out to eat a couple times and of course he joined us for the dorm adventures.

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Even standing on his head he looks like he's getting so tall!


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At the Thai Restaurant where he tried to use chopsticks!

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His first time at the beach with real waves!  Normally the boys only go to the bay.  He was tentative but loved it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sad about Selso

Friends, I'm sad to add this post that Selso has run away back to the streets again.  Almost two weeks ago actually, but I have been behind in blogging, and it wasn't until I saw him on Friday begging at a street corner that I remembered I hadn't told you all about it.  He ran from us (Pedro was in the car with me) which broIMG_3648ke my heart.  It's hard to love a boy and raise him for two years and have him run from you, even if I can understand a little from his point of view why.  We still want to be his friend, even if that means quick visits on the street. 

We will not use force to bring him back and it isn't decided whether he would even be allowed back if he wanted to come.  You see, this time, he took four boys with him.  He even tried to get our new seven-year old, Gaspar, to go with him.  He knew having a little one would bring in more money.  So, since he's posing a temptation to others, we will have to use great wisdom in deciding if he can come back if he seeks us out.

But the members of our street ministry team, myself and the other missionaries who see him in the city - we all want to keep in touch with him, bless him and pray for him and see how the Lord wants to use us to help Selso.   How I wish he would choose to love and follow Jesus and entrust his life to His hands.

Please keep praying for him!

(This gorgeous photo of Selso was taken by my friend and Iris visitor, David Ford.  Looking at it makes me cry.  Anyway, David's website,, has lots of amazing photos of our children, as well as many others.  I want to make sure and give him credit for his talents!)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Are there crocodiles in there?

IMG_6562We've just begun two weeks' holidays so I thought we'd do something fun.  There's a reservoir about 1 or 1 1/2 hours from here that I've been wanting to take the boys to.  My plan was to take one room at a time, in lieu of the afternoon program, IMG_6542but decided it would be to book the ministry bus and we could all together.  So off we went on Wednesday morning for lunch and a swim.  We met up with some visitors who were at our Iris center in Boane.  So there were 46 of us all together.  It was such fun and having the whole dorm together on the bus certainly felt like an adventure! IMG_6560The boys absolutely loved it, as you can tell!



















Thursday, April 10, 2008

Home to bugs, noise and lovely boys!

Ahh, it's good to be home, especially after a long bit of travel with more than a normal share of hiccups.  But God is amazing and already had a solution to each dilemma.  I felt very peaceful even when not knowing what would happen next!

I arrived home on Sunday and it was so good to see the boys!  It was also so lovely to realize how many people had been praying for my mom and me as so many approached me and asked how she is. 

Some things that weren't fun, in no particular order:

- bugs and bug debris in every cupboard, on every dish!

- sand, although Sarah was a doll and cleaned up so much for me, it still seeps into every drawer, every book, even the cushions.

- spiderwebs in the kitchen cupboards

- being awoken at 6 the next morning and realizing the days of lazing in bed late in peace and quiet are gone again!

To end on a good note, here's some of the pleasures:

- having a pristine fridge/freezer after the power was off for an unknown time while I was gone so Sarah cleaned it out, along with the . . .  maggots!  Gross!  Even CSI couldn't have found a trace of them!

- Pedro awaiting my arrival with tangible excitement

- Joao Macamo not needing to ask Sarah "when is Mana Laura coming home?" every day

- Aurelio, a new boy with a big smile and an evidently huge heart racing to see who this "Mana Laura" was he'd heard about and welcoming me with a big embrace!

- Lots of hugs and kisses and shouts and cheers from all the boys!