Thursday, April 14, 2011

Going... Going.. Gone.

Hi all, we have made it to South Africa, we are safe, healthy and all our luggage arrived too which in itself is a minor miracle!! We had such a great last weekend in Canada, including several fun evenings with friends, and Tendai's child dedication on sunday. After the Sunday service our church held a fundraising chili dinner for us,  and a "silent" auction, it was amazing!!!  (my sis even made chocolates to sell!- if you are interested in ordering some from her, let us know- talk about a good way to talk about missions etc with your kids, give them africa themed chocolates!) The dinner and auction were a HUGE success, and we thank everyone who worked so hard to prepare the food, donated items for the auction and helped to make the day run smoothly. A total of just over 17,000 $ was raised that afternoon, which means we can definetly get a really good start on our house! :) God is GOOD! (and we are so incredibly humbled and thankful for the generosity of our church family!)

Monday morning we got up, had breakfast with Ricks family and headed to the airport. Where we needed a small army of luggage trolleys to get all our stuff inside! 
Trolleys one and two.
add in a stroller and a two year old..
and another trolley.... (three trolleys, one stroller in total)
Thats, NINE checked bags (four of which were oversized) , SIX carryon bags, ONE stroller and ONE toddler and TWO adults. ACK!
we were expecting to pay quite a bit (upwards of 300 dollars) since we had three extra bags, and Air Canada does not allow humanitarian bags like other airlines. Turns out since our original tickets had been purchased in september- we got a snazzy break and instead they only charged us 60 bucks for all three bags total, since at that time the charges were lower and the baggage limits higher! how nice!

once we arrived at Heathrow for our ten hour layover (that turned into 11 since we arrived early after a fast flight with good tail winds), we settled into this little corner. Most comfortable ive ever been in an airport to be honest!! (in this pic we are coloring with color wondor markers.. these things ROCK for when you are traveling!)
Tendai LOVED the kids area "trial project" thing they had going. Sure hope they keep it going since it was a godsend for us! she got to play, we didnt have to worry (it was supervised) win win for everyone!! Here she is giving you her best "growl" like a gladiator. arent you scared???!!

We arrived safely in South Africa, after a VERY long flight- made longer by the fact the plane was COMPLETLY booked. not an empty seat to be seen, and miss Tendai was not interested in sleeping for a good portion of the flight! Once we arrived we made it thru passport control (immigration) very quickly and were very suprised to find that we did not have to pay the 1000R fine for Tendai staying a day past her visa date in September (long story, but God obviously did some work in that one!). We also made it thru customs with no problems whatsoever. The one officer who even asked us anything told us to go right on thru and smiled broadly when we said all those rubbermaids were filled with clothes, toys and toothbrushes for orphans! 

We are enjoying a few days in Pretoria with good friends, and getting a few errands done here and there, we head up to Mercy Air on Sunday and will spend monday trying to organize our DIRE (residence permits for Mozambique) issues with the Mozambican immigration folks in Nelspruit. Your prayers would be appreciated for that. We were out of country when our last permits expired, and will be asking for grace, to renew again, instead of apply all over again. Then finally, next week we will spend two days at Kruger National Park, with friends enjoying God's amazing beauty, resting and being refreshed before heading back to Mozambique!
Thanks for all the prayers, we know that we have been covered by prayer this entire journey and we know those prayers have made a difference! Please continue to pray for our travels, safety, health and our visits with the immigration folks!
Blessings, Rick, Heather & Tendai!


Anne said...

So glad you were able to have such a good flight/waiting times to get back into SA. Hope you get to enjoy your time there and we'll be praying for your drive out!
Big Hugs

Anne said...

PS Love the chocolates? How would I be able to get ahold of your sister?

Josh and Jocelyn R. Plett said...

glad to hear the travel went so smoothly. thank the Lord for traveling mercies!! (hoping for some of that ourselves in a few weeks!)
all the best in your paperwork and relaxing and readjusting to home life in moz.