Friday, October 28, 2011

Boys, Boys, Boys!

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Here they are, my latest group shot of my darling boys!  And three of my ladies who work with them too.  Aren't they gorgeous? 

Oh, and in case you can't read Portuguese, the sign says "We love you!"

I currently have 29 boys, with two perhaps arriving in early November from the Baby House.  Please keep us in your prayers!June 2011 087 July 2011 048

Monday, October 24, 2011

My mom!

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I'm having a great time in New Jersey, visiting my mom and Larry for three weeks.  I've visited enough here that I have my little routines that I enjoy: the library every day, pilates on Mon and Thur nights with cousin Sally, church and the diner afterward with Sally and her family, the thrift shops on Monday and Thursday, yard sales on Saturday, Taco Bell and Costco hotdogs and lots of football and British comedies.  So relaxing!

This photo of my mom and Larry was taken on their porch before going to her high school reunion - she graduated in 1955 - class valedictorian! - but her school just has all the graduates together at the same time every few years of so.  They look great, don't they?!

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I went with her to the reunion, she loves to show me off.  It was fun to meet so many high school friends and hear old stories!  What a privilege.

Hi Mom!  it's been a great visit, thanks for everything you do for me and all your love for me!  I love you too! I'll miss you guys!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chefe Appreciation Lunch

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So all you lovely readers must realize that I don't raise my darling boys alone!  Not only do I have my Tias ("aunties" in Spanish, the Mozambican women who work in the dorm with me) but I also have young men who come and help, known as "Chefes."  They are sort of like Resident Assistants in college dorms.

Will you believe me when I tell you all of these young men used to live in my dorm?  Can you believe my darling boys dare to grow up into handsome young men???  I can't believe it!

Anyway, Natalie and I wanted to take these young men out for an appreciation lunch at a nearby restaurant.  Unfortunately, the servers neglected to mention that they weren't prepared to start cooking when the boys arrived and ordered so after 1 1/2 hours, when I asked if the food was almost ready, they said they hadn't started yet!  Crazy!  This restaurant, in the best of times, takes        1 1/2 hours to give you your food after your order so this meant we had waited 1 1/2 hours already and had at least another 1 1/2 hours to go! 

Sadly, Natalie and I both had other obligations so we couldn't stay but the boys opted to wait and eat their chicken and pork filets and french fries and salad and soft drinks.  People are patient in Mozambique!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Family Reunited

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This is my little Pedrito and his mom, left, and grandmother.  I've written about Pedrito moving home before here, along with several other places in this blog!  In August, he left us and went to live with his family.  We felt it wise to give him some time to adjust to living at home so I didn't visit until the very end of September.  It was SO good to see him looking so well cared for, in great conditions, with family that clearly enjoy him. And as the proud owner of a puppy!  Boy is he loving that dog!  He makes these little whispers to him constantly and was really gentle with him.  They haven't named the puppy yet but perhaps they will have by my next visit.

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September 2011 014 So we didn't get a great shot together but that's ok.  I just love having one with that precious face!  I sure miss this little guy and think about him and pray for him every day. 

The neat thing is, his mom is quite open to keeping up a relationship with us - the other day my phone rang and it was them.  She said Pedrito just wanted to say hi to me! Ahh, break my heart!  Please pray that Pedrito continues to adjust well to his new family, home, neighborhood and school.  Pray he flourishes!

Friday, October 14, 2011

All Africa Games held next door!

This is how close the stadium is - this photo was taken by one of my colleagues from her garden in our center!  This was part of the opening night extravaganza.  There have been fireworks there a cool time and the boys love running out to watch them.  Come to think of it, so do I - and my Tias!!

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So when I say "next-door" I mean it!  This is the new national stadium for Mozambique and it is in Zimpeto, the same neighborhood I live in.  In fact, it is walkable, as you will see in the photo below with my Tia Laura as we walk up to the stadium with a bunch of kids.  You can also see how rural it still is, even though we are 1 kilometers out of the heart of the city of Maputo.  Of course, this is the "side entrance!!!"

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Don't ask me where everyone else is - we had I think six adults and about 30 kids with us - where in the world are they???

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Just a smattering of the crowd that was with us.  We weren't actually in the stadium you see in the photo above, we were at the swimming venue right next door to it.  The boys had never seen a pool that big, nor a setting that big for that matter.  I'm not entirely sure they understood why we took them to watch OTHER people swim instead of them!  We actually didn't get to see a lot of races but we did get to see the para-olympians  warm up which was amazing and inspiring.  It was so cool for the boys (and Tias) to see people with one leg or no legs or one arm, on crutches, prosthetics, in wheelchairs, to see them swim was a once in a lifetime event for these kids.  It created a great talking point for faith and perseverance and hope and dedication and choice.  I hope they never forgot what they saw!

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An Olympic size swimming pool in Zimpeto - who knew?  And who knows what they will do with it now?  Perhaps we can take the boys for a swim every so often!

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We arrived well before the races and got to see these men practice raising the flags, I kid you not, at least 30 times, if not more.  We were cracking up, but all that work paid off as they did great.

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This is two members of the South Africa team taking gold and silver, two of their Bazillion medals they took at the games.  They were the country who took home the most medals, lekker bru! 

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As we were leaving one of the events, Hyundai, one of the sponsors of the games, saw us and gave us all these shirts and hats and soccer balls.  The boys could care less that the shirts are a teensy bit big, they love them anyway.  We are so blessed!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meet the two new boys!! Garrett and James!

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This is Garrett!  Mano Garrett to the little boys.  His sister Aleya worked with us last year for six months, during which time he came to visit her and returned home with a vision to raise funds to build our nursery - so he did.  To the tune of about $25,000!!!  Oh, and he did this while he was still in high school!  So he graduated this year and has come to Zimpeto for a year or so.  His first duties?  To move into my home and look after my darling boys while I am in the US.  I love his courage!  You know what else I love?  In his blog,, he calls them "my boys!"  Not "the boys I'm looking after" - I love that!  Please pray for Garrett that he will learn the boys' names quickly, learn Portuguese quickly, that he will find some personal, private time and that he will have a wonderful time loving on his boys!  (Did I mention he's a wrestler?  How perfect is that for 4-8 year old boys?!?)  Thank you Lord for sending Garrett at the perfect time!

And this is James!  James is from South Africa and will be attending university in the US in January so he found himself with some free time.  James spent a year at a children's center near us and used to visit us a lot during that time.  That center closed and a few of the boys actually live in my dorm now.  He visited in September and spent a lot of time with my boys so I felt led to ask him if he would want to return for any portion of the time while I would be gone to work along with Garrett.  He prayed about it and agreed to come for the month of October.  That is so wonderful that he and Garrett can love on these boys together, giving them an example of Godly men who love the Lord.  James is teaching the boys rugby which I confess I find slightly frustrating since they don't know the world's greatest sport yet, American football!  But it's a small price to pay.  Please pray for James that he will continue learning Portuguese and that God will provide all he needs for school (and that he won't miss out on any financial income for taking this month to spend in Zimpeto!).  Thank you Lord for sending James at the perfect time!