Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Exploring... Mozambique.... and other places

I know its been awhile.. weve been on the road for weeks it feels like! After returning from visiting Granny up north, we ended up returning to Gorongosa park with the second team of nursing studends, and then spent several days driving back and forth trying to get paperwork and documents for Tendai secured. Then finally her BI arrived (Identity document)! We left the very same day and drove to Maputo, where we applied for and received her Passport- which was amazing cus we actually received it three days earlier than they said it would be ready! Although we were a bit hesitant to head to Maputo (it has a bit of a reputation), we had a blast, discovering all the neat stores, actual restaurants, tuk tuk taxis and oh so much more. We also saw the embassy's of just about every nation on the planet (albeit from the outsides), visited numerous handicraft markets and enjoyed some time in beautiful parks.
Two absolutely beautiful Male Lions we were so privileged to see at Gorongosa with the Team of Nursing students!
Mathew, the mission administrator, sees his first Lions... guess he was a bit scared???
Wow... such incredible beauty! We are so privileged to live in such a beautiful place.
Sunset at  Gorongosa.
Yet another amazing sunset!

 It was a refreshing two days of family time before we headed out on the road again to South Africa, to apply for a Visa for Tendai to visit Canada and get numerous mission errands done. This trip included sourcing a part for the four tonne truck, new tires for our truck, hard-drives, switches, cords, laminated curriculum sheets, ..... etc.
Tendai posing next to the Garden Gnomes at the guest house where we stayed.. she waved hi and bye- bye to them every morning! Hard to believe this very grown up looking toddler is the same teeny tiny baby held by the president last year!
Tendai and the president almost exactly one year ago !

Unfortunately we were unable to get a Visa for Tendai to visit, as the Visa officers felt we needed to provide more documents to support our requests. Please pray for us in these next few weeks, as we had really hoped to be home in early August and its hard not knowing if or when we will be able to arrive in Canada on our furlough.  The very same day that we found out we could not get a visa with the current documents they had, happened to be the one year anniversary of "gotcha day"! Since we were in South Africa we headed to the mall and found a "build a bear" store and created a fluffy friend for Tendai! 
stuffing her new friend
taking her for a walk
she got a lot of attention wandering the mall with her new fluffy friend... what can we say?? SHES SO CUTE!!!

Since I have a few more weeks here than originally thought, I am hoping to find time to do home visits to all our orphan homes and get some new updates done for all the sponsors before we leave.  Every time I think about not seeing "my kids" for six months I feel so sad.. I'll miss them so much!

This week is the Intensive Seminars for our pastors in the Training School... everyone is busy preparing lessons and teaching, and I hope to have some pictures of all the action in the next blog post! Please continue to pray for our pastors and the staff who are teaching this week, as well as for our family as we are somewhat frantically trying to find all the documents being required of us by the Canadian authoritys!  God Bless, Rick, Heather & Tendai Neufeld.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Meeting Granny Zenia!

This past saturday we were blessed to be able to travel up to Marromeu, and the Ruama Baby Home where Tendai spent several months of her life. We met Tendai's biological great granny for the very first time! We knew it would be a very emotional time for us, but we were completely unprepared for the reaction from Granny Zenia- she took one look at Tendai and began to wail, shake and sob, much like they do when someone dies, only her wails were wails of joy and gratitude! It was completely overwhelming to meet her, and to be able to thank the woman who chose to give Tendai a chance for a better life, and in the process became part of God's plan to bless us with a daughter!
We took this picture just after Granny had calmed down enough to take a picture- Tendai was sooo scared of her after all that wailing and shaking, but as long as I was holding her she was happy. Granny could not believe how much Tendai had grown and how healthy she was!
Later that evening when Granny Zenia was all smiles! She told us as much as she knew about Tendai's parents which wasnt terribly much as she didnt live in the same town as them. The first things she told us were... HE was a BIG man (waving arms out to the sides and on top of her head)  :) and SHE was a GIRL (here that means she was probably very young.. most likely under 20, could be as young as 16 when it is legal for girls to be married in Mozambique). I Found it rather interesting that she chose those things to tell us, as opposed to describing their character or personalities- although its very Mozambiquan to do that, talking about the dead is very difficult for them, and in some ways "taboo".
The crib at Ruama where Tendai slept. The lady in the picture is the house mother that cared for her. She was so excited to see how Tendai had grown as well!

It was such a blessing to be able to visit there, and we hope to return each year. It will be so nice to have pictures to show Tendai as she grows up. 
We are still waiting for Tendai's ID document to arrive, but as soon as it does we will be driving down south to apply for her passport, and then going to Pretoria to the Canadian High Commission to apply for a Visa. Please continue to pray with us that the process will continue and that we can get everything done in time to get home on furlough in August. God Bless- Rick, Heather & Tendai