Saturday, May 28, 2011

Beans, Tractors, & More!

This past week Rick, Tendai and I drove a few hours north with Pastor Mariano and the mission trailer to collect 25 Bags of Beans. Pastor Mariano is not only in charge of our Orphan Ministries, but he also is in charge of finding the maize and beans we buy in for our feeding programs, as we are not yet able to grow enough on our farm to meet our needs.
It was quite the drive to get to the place where the beans were, and it took nearly three hours for them to sort, re-measure, and repackage all the beans (Rick and I went for a drive during that time since they wont let us help with that part anyways).
Once they were sorted, the sacks needed to be tied shut  and counted.
We are able to carry 25 bags of beans on the trailer (it can only handle so much weight). And everything had to be loaded right so that the trailer wouldnt bounce around to much on the not so good roads.
Rick loaded up the trailer with heavy heavy bags of Beans.
this is part of the road we had to drive to the beans (this is the really nice part) Isnt it beautiful?
This is the gentleman we bought the beans from. I wish i could have taken dozens more pictures of him- there is something about his face! He was such a friendly man, and was very proud to translate words into english when he could! 
 In other news, the container of donated machinery from Mercy Air donors in the states FINALLY arrived at the farm after months at sea and weeks waiting in Beira Port. It was a BIG MOMENT when the first tractor drove out! (of course we immediatly gathered the guys in the area for a picture!)
The "little" tractor came with a mowing and tilling attachment- woohooo!!!! (think mowing the airstrip instead of using machetes to get the grass the right height)
After several boxes of supplies, Audio Bibles, inverters and random tractor stuff we brought out the BIG tractor... the backhoe! They needed some weight in the front to get the container off the truck bed, so we loaded the bucket up with staff. (who thought it was great fun). Thankfully we didnt have to actually go anywhere, just balance out the weight. This backhoe is going to be a huge blessing for the farm, there is a lineup of projects waiting to make use of this monster machine! Please pray for safety as Ron trains Rick and Andy to use the two new tractors.
To fit in the container the backhoe had to have the top part taken off, so the guys had to fit it back on.
Last week, to celebrate the one year anniversiary of us becoming Tendai's Official Parents, we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Motel Garuso. On the way there, there is a strange little tower on the top of a hill that we have allways been curious about, so since we were early for the lunch hour, we decided to hike up and see what was up there.  There was a small hut. 
And the tower itself... after nosing around and trying to see if anyone was home, we came to the conclusion that it was probably a lookout tower, either for the tree plantations you can see from there, or else something left over from the war time, though it seems that it is in use currently so not sure its a leftover.
The view from the tower...
we are so blessed to live in such an amazingly beautiful country!
We posed for a quick family photo too- hard to believe its been a year since she was OFFICIALLY OURS!
One of my favorite places in the world to take pictures.... its practically impossible to take bad pictures here! 

Its been a big week here at the farm with the arrival of the tractors and visitors from Mercy Air South Africa here to help paint Ron and Barb's home, and help with building window frames etc. Our house has been moving along as well-

We finally were able to pour the floor for our garage, and now all that remains is to finish the roof. We also will have the foundations for our house going in soon! PTL! Please pray with us that the Cement Factory does not close (as has been rumored), not only will it delay NUMEROUS construction projects around the farm, but it will drive up the price of materials too!
Doesn't the floor look great?!!! So excited!

Thanks so much for praying, prayer requests for the next little while include 
-health and safety for us here, as there have been numerous cases of malaria recently!
-for Rick as he tries to organize seminars for the next month...
-that the funds for our house will come in so we can keep building!
-there are lots of people coming and going at the farm in the next while, please pray for their safety as they travel, and that the visitors here will be impacted positively by their visits.

Finally, here is a shot of Miss Tendai, I was taking new profile pictures for each of our orphans, one by one, and after the last one, she came and stood in front of the tree where we were taking them and posed just like they had... 

Blessings, Rick, Heather & Tendai!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Starting on the house.....

A blog or so ago I talked about the speeding ticket rick got in the non-existant 60 zone... here is a pic of a "cancel 60" sign - seems like more often than not, these are "missing" making it very hard to know what speed you are supposed to be going!
Before we left to drop of Visitors in Beira this past weekend, Rick marked out the foundation trench lines so the guys could start digging right away on Monday. (he is standing right where trench #2 is in the later pics)
Tada! Trench #1 pretty much done!
Trench #2 well on its way! 

Trench #1 again,  but from the other end. Tendai loves to run laps around the foundation.. its kinda funny actually!
Soon they will begin preparing the trenches to pour the foundations- which will be a very exciting time! We are soon going to be ordering our bricks and once the foundation is poured, they will start on the foundation walls, and eventually filling in the foundation to the floor level. Building here involves a LOT of steps... all of which are accomplished BY HAND (unless the tractor currently sitting in Beira Port gets cleared for import any time soon! and even then its still MOSTLY by hand!).  What takes a week or less in Canada to accomplish takes MONTHS & MONTHS here!  I posted a picture when we were in Canada, of Rick's brothes using a crane arm on a cement pumper truck to pour a cement foundation in one day. Here, the guys will mix batches of concrete by hand in a small mixer and pour using wheelbarrows and buckets!

We are praying that our construction will go quickly, that supplies will be available, and that the funds will come in! Our little rental cottage is needed for short term visitors and new staff and there is a waiting list for it already! 

Aside from keeping an eye on our house progress, Rick has been helping raise the trusses at the Training Centre, and working on a promotion video for our home church. 

Last week we were privileged to have two Brazilian ladies join us here at the mission for a week of ministry with local children. Our Amigo Orphan program kids were excited to make all sorts of crafts to help them remember the wordless book lesson!

Aside from these lovely bracelets, they made pins, animal balloons, and a different bracelet!

And last but not least, a pic of our munchkin (s). Here is magnum and Tendai-  Tendai had been on a walk with Oma Barb and picked me these lovely flowers.. which Magnum promptly tried to eat. sheesh.

Rick, Heather & Tendai

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Back to Business!

 This little princess "Julina" lives next door to one of our orphan homes.. what a sweetie!

Well, we have survived our first two weeks home, pretty well actually! Tendai has adjusted back to life and schedule here on the farm very well, and we have even started potty training finally... we shall see how that goes! (luckily for us its quite normal for kids to run around half naked in these parts so im cutting down on laundry by allowing her to "run free" so to speak!)
Tendai...playing in the dirt, in her pretty shoes.. yep. shes a diva dirt queen!!

We have been able to get back into things pretty quickly, including the orphan programs, food delivery, construction projects galore and of course... umpteen trips to town to try and organize our DIRE (residence permits) paperwork! Nobody likes taking trips to town more than the once a week grocery drive... but when you are trying to get paperwork done its a must! 
 Vira, one of our orphan girls decided to "read" my Pretoria street atlas... wonder if she figured anything out? Both girls in this picture are decked out with hair pretties donated by the wonderful folks in Fort McMurray Alberta.
 At the orphan group meetings the kids STILL love to play Frisbee just about every time!
Pastor Mariano, in charge of our orphan programs, loves to hang out with the kids.. and hes pretty good at jumping rope too!

We are also very excited that our garage (the storage part) is nearing completion, and the floor is almost ready to be poured on the actual parking part! We are also hiring the builders we will need for the foundation trenches and walls for our house. Please pray with us that the funds will come in for our house- we are pretty squished in our cottage as is, and we already have our name in with Social Services here to adopt another baby! We have no idea how long it will take to be matched with another child- it could take days or it could take months, but whenever they come this little cottage will be very squishy so we are really hoping to get our house started... and fast! We appreciate your prayers for the money we need to build, that we can find a good and efficient builder who will build straight and level walls, and that the supplies we need will be available! (Mozambique has a cement shortage half the time and a deisel shortage the other half.... other stuff like wood for trusses, baked bricks, etc are usually available, but not usable if you dont have the cement!)
 Rick and one of the guys working on our house lot get the storage room roof on.
Rick brought this toolbelt from Canada- and is LOVING it.
 Gabriel gets the door put on our storage room.
Some of the first few items in storage! YEY!

 Tendai, Magnum and Daddy hard at work.
Tendai having a Tea party with her baby doll!

And, because I know I haven't really posted pictures before, here is a few of our current cottage. There is a main room that has the living area, dining room, kitchen, entry, "hallway" and Tendai's sleeping area, and then one bedroom that also houses our filing cabinets, printers, etc, and a bathroom. Up until now the back verandah has been for storage, but now that the garage is nearing completion we can move stuff over there to the storage room and use our verandah for other stuff... like sitting outside and enjoying the cool air.
 The back verandah in mid sorting/rat disaster cleaning/laundry day stage.
 The front of our cottage, to the left is our bedroom, to the right is the main room. Behind our bedroom on the left is our bathroom.
Kitchen at the back, dining in the middle, living room in front, play area to the right, hallway and front and back entry on the left side of photo, further left and out of the shot is Tendai's sleep area. (her bed sits in the corner of the main room as there isnt space for it anywhere else.)

Lord willing we can get our house started and finished in record time, so the short term cottage we have been long term renting can be used as intended.... for short termers!! :)

Thanks for all the prayers and support, we appreciate you all and miss everyone back home already!
Rick, Heather & Tendai