Thursday, June 25, 2009

German Engineering, Part Two

June 2009 017













Perhaps it took a little of that engineering to get all this stuff and the three people in this truck?  We came upon this vehicle as we were leaving Pedro's and since I had my camera out, decided to risk feeling a little rude and took a photo, I couldn't resist! 

This photo really should have gone with yesterday's post but I felt it deserved a post of it's own!

The interesting thing is, this truck has South Africa plates, Gauteng Province, which is eight hours away!  They may not have come all that way, but almost certainly are coming from SA, which means at least three hours traveling like that!

Now it makes sense why people seeking a ride get so exasperated when we say we have no room!

Can you see the little girl in the middle?  And is the man on the right literally thumbing his nose at us???  I hope the man on the left didn't lose his shoes!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

German Engineering!


My good friend Katrin came back to Mozambique for a too-short visit last week.  She was only here in Zimpeto for four days - I feel shorted! (Not short, well technically, I do feel short but that has nothing to do with her visit!)

June 2009 006

(On an unrelated note, I love this tablecloth and took a photo of it and would love to figure out how to use it as my header on my blog!  When I tried, it was HUGE and I couldn't figure out how to resize it.  Anyone???)

Katrin is from Germany, where she came from in 2003 to work with us at Iris, and where she returned a few years later to marry her man and continue her studies. This is her second visit, which I am really grateful for, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is she has no fear of driving trucks that are bigger than she is used to!  So she agreed to be my "motorista" for the day when we delivered beds to my darling Pedro!

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I had to sneak in a few of my most recent favorite "me and Pedro" shots - isn't he growing up handsome?

June 2009 004 June 2009 005  June 2009 009

Here's the "motorista" in action! She not only knew how to drive the truck, she knew how to load it as well.  So efficient!

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Here's the darling Pedro unloading the beds!

I had visions of them getting set up, complete with sheets and blankets while I was there and able to take photos but I should have known that wouldn't happen!  They are set up he tells me and next time I go I should be able to take photos. 

June 2009 015

L-R: Uncle Raymundo, Grandma, nephew Moises, Pedro, cousins Marina and Salvadore, in front of their home.  These hedges are very common boundary markers.

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Here's the mean goat who kicked me when I tried to be nice to it.  Pedro's family all laugh at how much I like animals.  I always have to go say hi to the piggies next door and they have named their cat Mana Laura after me!  A neighbor wanted to sell me a turtle today but I draw the line!  That poor turtle would never come out of it's shell with all these rambunctious boys!

 June 2009 018

After our day of hard work, driving thru horrendous traffic and the physical labor of delivering beds, (I exaggerate, except for the traffic!) we needed a good treat.  We met our directors, Steve and Ros and dear friend Becky at the local Thai restaurant, a favorite of all of us!

I'm not in the photo because I was relegated to my own table because I didn't want to share my sesame chicken.  Hmpf!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to Adilson, Ivo, Paulo . . . well, "Them!"

June 2009 104Oh, how the boys love a party!  Who can blame them?  Who doesn't love a party?  No Mozambicans, I can promise you that.  This is a culture that LOVES  a good party!

We generally have a birthday party once a month for all those whose birthdays were during that month.  Sometimes we combine two months so it's more fun - how much of a party is it with only two boys???

Can I tell you how fun it is to plan a little party when you know that ANYTHING you do, I mean ANY thing, will be fun and appreciated?  Remember, these are the boys who cheered when I gave them a new pair of underwear!  Knowing they'll have a good time no matter what takes all the stress out of it!

June 2009 116 We always have a lunchtime party and have a yummy spaghetti meal with salad and sodas and jello.  I always make plenty of food so they can ask for as much as they want.  In the past, I've always managed to host it elsewhere so it's really special for them, going to another location.  But this time I had to have it in my house - I truly don't think they even noticed!

June 2009 105Tia Laura had a birthday in May too so she came in to join in the fun.  She's such a good sport!

Before lunch we played a couple games.  The best one was a relay to  dress the littlest boy while blindfolded!  They are too cute trying to do things June 2009 114like that.  The little ones being dressed could not seem to grasp how to call out to them so the blindfolded one knew where they were so a lot of time was spent bumbling around, the most fun part to be sure.  


June 2009 122After the lunch came the part they look forward to the most - cleaning up!  Just kidding!  The presents of course!  They each get a gift bag filled with a assortment of goodies.  Again, they are happy with so little.  (I wish I could say the same more often!)  One of the biggest hits was this Darth Vadar mask even though they never seen Star Wars.  They love masks of anything.  


Elidio and Simois were delighted with their gifts before they even saw what it was!June 2009 124   June 2009 121

What a privilege to celebrate with these precious boys they day they were born.  I pray they learn they were created with a purpose, that God has a plan for their lives!  And I pray that this kicks off a fantastic year ahead for them! 

Happy Birthday Elidio, Ivo, Simois, Paulo, Armando, Estevao, Adilson, Joao and Tia Laura! June 2009 011

  PS:  On the actual birthday, the special boy gets to use the much-loved Spiderman bucket, courtesy of my mom's neighbor, Marla, to give out candy to all the boys.  Then he sleeps with Spiderman sheets!!  Have I gone overboard with the Spiderman paraphernalia???  Here, Israel who turned 8 on Tuesday, is giving candy to a very happy Alexandre' while Dionicio looks on.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Can I play with my brother?

June 2009 006 It's a question that kinda breaks your heart when you stop to think of it.  Most times, too often, I don't think too much about it.  What could I do even if I did?  We have a lot of siblings in the center and often they don't live in the same dorm, either for age or gender reasons.  Fair enough.  But still, it makes me so sad that they are separated instead of in their homes, in their families as God created them to be.  June 2009 009

I try to remember to have my boys' siblings over often to play but  before I know it, it's been a month and I think, "what in the world?  where did that time go?"  Today, I decided to write a note with the word "SIBLINGS!" on it and put it up on the wall so I will have something to remind me other than my good intentions. 

It is so good to see them together.  I had been in the center of the June 2009 010 playground with Lucas, letting him play with kids from the Baby House when Julio joined me for some tickling fun.  Then he began pointing at my dorm where his brother, Alexandre' lives.  He then asked, "can I play with my brother?"  So of course we went to my house and I had both of them in to play.  They jumped on the trampoline for a bit then A said "Mana Laura, J would like to play with the little cars" that he must have remembered from his last visit. It didn't seem to matter to A what HE wanted to do, just his little brother!

These two, when A and I walked little J back to the Baby House, Alexandre' took Julio's hand as we were walking and my heart melted! 

March 2009 004 Here's Pai and his sister Eliza.  She lives in the girls' dorm and asks at least once a week if she can come play - usually when I am walking somewhere so I can't invite her in at that time!  Now, after several months of Pai living in my dorm, I learned that in their background story, they have set fire to a house.  Sooooo, no leaving them alone while I go check on the washing, huh?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Introducing Jose', our newest little munchkin!

June 2009 098 Meet our newest little addition, Jose'.  He arrived just two days after I left for the US.  Jose' is six years old and his parents have both passed away.  He was living with his grandmother who was caring for five other children but she finds it difficult to really provide for his medical care. 

Jose' is feisty!  During his first month here, while I was away, he cried a lot, wanted toys for himself, provoked the other kids etc.  I was forewarned so I have taken a firm stance with him from the beginning, with lots of love and hugs and kisses of course as well.  But I'm trying to start with a firm message that he'll need to adapt to living with LOTS of other kids.  Or it'll be a nightmare for all of us! 

Jose' may be a bit headstrong but he's really loving, enjoys a good cuddle and is quite outgoing.  I think he's gonna do just fine here.  In fact, I believe he's going to thrive!

Please say a prayer for Jose' to quickly feel at home here.  I pray he receives, really drinks in, the love of his Heavenly Father as well!  If you'll say a prayer for his teeth as well, I'd appreciate it.  They are really, really bad.  Rotten even to the adult teeth that are coming in.  I'm concerned about what kind of treatment will help him.  So I'm praying God will just touch his teeth and make them perfect!

Sigh - it's so satisfying to be here for these kids whom otherwise, well, you just never know what they might encounter. I'm glad we're able to provide a safe haven and a loving home for little people like Jose'! 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Someday . . ."

Do you know how many people I have met over these last six years of living in Mozambique whom, when they hear what I do, respond with "Oh, I've always wanted to do something like that!  Someday . . ."   I have to confess to having thought more than once, "well, why don't you?!"

I'd like to introduce you to someone who thought "I'd like to go help the kids in Mozambique" and promptly started doing something about it!  Not thinking about it, not "maybe someday . . ." but took a step in the right direction.  Took some action!

His name is Steven and he is 11 years old and he lives in Washington state.  He sent me this delightful email that I received just a couple days ago:

"Hello, I'm steven and im an 11 year old home schooled kid from Washington (U.S.A). i stated a word press call Third World Hope for the Hopeless (visit . the reason for it is that i want to raise money for a plane ticket, a passport, supply's and e.t.c. and i want to go down to your orphanage for a month or so and help and bring supply's . please email me back



Isn't that amazing?  If you click on the link to his blog, and I sure hope you will, in fact, I trust you will, right?, you will learn that he heard IMG_4910about me at a concert at his church.  My friend, Justin Fox is a musician and he always shares about me and my boys at his concerts.  In fact, he wrote a stirring song called Whisper for them that will bring tears to your eyes and a prayer to your lips.  You can check  Justin out at his website,  Very good music, very cool guy, very terrific family!

Back to Steven - I am just so touched by the faith of this young man 011and his willingness to jump in and start doing something about what God put on his heart instead of waiting for "someday."  I am praying that he indeed will be able to raise the funds to come (with a parent!) and meet all the boys.  He told me in another email tonight (where I  got his permission to post this on my blog) that he is thinking of bringing supplies to build them a skateboard ramp.  From one 11 year old to another, huh! 

So please head on over to Steven's blog and leave him a note to encourage him.  If you'd like to support his endeavor, let him know!  Help make his "someday" come sooner rather than later! (And, by the way, I'm always grateful for the people who are supporting me in my endeavor!).

April 2009 043Oh, and another by the way - if anyone reading this wants to act on their own "someday . . ." please let me know, I'll be at the airport with bells on to pick you up and bring you home to meet my little darlings!  Don't you want to come play with these little guys?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Tying the Knot!

Dad's Wedding 084 I'd like to introduce Mr. and Mrs. John C. Anderson!  Or, John and Judi, as most people call them. "Kissing your bride" is still everyone's favorite part of any wedding I think and this one was no exception!

They got married in the sands of Lido Key, Florida, at 10am on a gorgeous Monday, June 1st.  About 40 friends and family gathered and about 100 or so strangers, drawn to a ceremony celebrating love and commitment, especially on the beach!

It was a simple ceremony but very personal.  They chose the selection of readings, they wrote their own vows (or should  say Judi wrote Dad's Wedding 656them and my dad agreed!) and Judi's grandson, Brandon, played a song he wrote especially for the occasion, "You Take My Breath Away."  The woman who married them, Jackie, has been a friend of Judi's for 27 years, sharing the same timeshare there in Lido Key.  That was one of the reasons they chose to marry there - the lovely beach was a huge draw but so were the friends they've made there over the years. 

Dad's Wedding 049 Judi has six children but only her daughter Cathy and her son Jon were able to be there.  Cathy's husband, son and daughter were able to be there as well.  I was the only one representing the Anderson's! We're all pictured above.  Jon walked his mom down the aisle and I was asked to walk my dad down as well.  That was unusual and fun!

Dad's Wedding 111They celebrated afterward with mimosas and cake, here they are toasting their happiness.  A bit later, we went to a very nice lunch at their favorite nearby restaurant, Hemingways. 


I know this is out of order but I like this photo of the Dad's Wedding 014three of us from the night before.  When walking thru the little town square, I saw these coolie cups that said Bride and Groom and they use these all the time so I had to get them for them. I thought she needed some Bling for her wedding!

People always ask if I'm happy my dad was getting remarried or if I like Judi - as I said during a brief toast at the reception - I couldn't have hand-picked a more lovely woman for my dad!  I am delighted for both of them!  Congratulations Dad and Judi!

(Some smart-aleck new relative of mine corrected me in the spelling of Jon's name and charged me a dollar for it - can you believe it?!  I had to make two changes, think I have to pay him two bucks?)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Finding Albano

April 2009 125"Mana Laura!  MANA LAURA!!!"  Well, I braked and pulled over quickly when I heard that being shouted when I was in a town called Matola recently.  Matola is about 40 minutes from our center and I was visiting some friends who had recently moved there.  I was driving out of their neighborhood when the sound of my name being called stopped me quickly. 

As it turned out, it was Albano calling me!  How lovely!  Albano had gone back to live with his family in September of 2007 (click on his name above to read the post I wrote about when he left) so it had been nearly two years since I'd seen him.  Although he wasFarewell Albano Sept 024 often naughty (what we might be tempted to call a kleptomaniac actually!) he was a delightful little boy with a big heart and a sharp mind.  I have missed him and often wanted to ask one of the reintegration team to take me to his home so I could visit.

The funny thing was, as we were driving thru Matola, one of the boys in my car had told me that they thought Albano lived near there.  We were talking about it at the exact time he saw my car and called out to me! 

Welcome Vella Festa 057 We were running late to get back to the center in time for dinner so I couldn't go visit his home then but he told me the general whereabouts and I'm sure, with the help of a friendly person on the street, I'll be able to find him next time I'm in the area.

His clothes were little more than rags and quite filthy but he looked healthy and seemed happy.  I hope that is so!  My little Albano - what a great joy to have reconnected with him again!

(This last photo was taken on his birthday when the boys get to sleep with the Spiderman sheet set.  He's surrounded by all his artwork - Albano is very clever and always took good care of his creations!)