From: Bush Bunny Brenda Date: February 15, 2014
OVERLOADING IN MOZ. IS THE “NORM” FOR MANY
This is the REAL thing, folks!
No photo shop needed in Mozambique, you just have to drive down the road with a camera. If it can be stuffed, stacked, or tied on, these “taxi” drivers will make it happen. Note the bags of food on the hood of the car, plus there are at least 2 people INSIDE the car. From the looks of the passenger’s huge bicep, plus the heavy green bananas on the roof, it’s no wonder the car is sagging in the middle.
OUR KIDS ARE SETTLED IN SCHOOL… In Moz. children only attend 4 hours of school daily due to an abundance of students and a shortage of teachers and classrooms. There are so many first graders in Balama that they only study 2 hours/day. Our Youth Pastors provide the students with morning and afternoon activities consisting of sports, games, and study time with individual tutoring. Portuguese classes continue to help our “Magnificent 7” (the 7 new boys in the dorm) to catch up. Without Portuguese, they will struggle to pass this year’s classes.
Our Saturday AWANA GAMES program is extremely popular with all ages of our children. 52 showed up for today’s program. Sadly, the Youth Night has been rained out for the last 2 Fridays. Horrendous downpours of rain started both Fridays, about an hour before the program starts, making it impossible for the teens to walk to the church from all over town. We will keep on, keeping on, as persistence is the name of the game.
All the children eagerly watch as our brick layers and carpenters work together to complete the playground equipment at our children’s center. Due to heavy rains and some challenges getting the right building materials, construction came to a halt this week, just as we were ready to mount our custom built 8 ft. slide. It will be the only one in the whole county! Our goal is to complete it by the end of Feb. if the rains don’t interfere with our morning work hours.
GOATS WARS OF BALAMA
Three weeks ago, a group of outside buyers came to Balama with the sole purpose of buying up ALL GOATS that were of eating size. Why? They started a business where they cook the meat and sell small pieces to men digging illegally in the bush to harvest semi-precious stones including Rubies. The demand for goat meat is tremendous at the moment with 2 different mines (graphite and rubies), and the multiple gas companies all working in this Province (state).
Because these buyers were offering $30/head MORE than the local price, some very bad men formed thieving groups and began to raid the villages in order to sell to these buyers. I heard that 2 villages lost every goat they had. Not to worry, as no one came near our place as our goats are well guarded (supernaturally and naturally).
Suddenly people began peddling in on bicycles, motorbikes, and on foot with goats in tow to our Rovuma Goat Barns BEGGING us to buy their goats so the thieves wouldn’t get them. Most were very good breeding females. Coincidentally, (duh more like divine intervention), we’d just received several gifts from donors to help us increase our herd. Good breeding stock showing up at our door (instead of having to find them village by village) was a real PLUS! God works in mysterious ways for sure!
This is what God means by “ask and you shall receive”. We asked, expected, and then received!
In summary, we now have 153 females (90% are pregnant), and 4 new males to service them. Our children will not lack for meat. One goat fed the 100 orphans in our 22 homes this week, making them a very happy bunch. That was our “back to school gift” to the children who normally only get goat on major holidays.
EVERYONE REMEMBERS CATTLE DRIVES, BUT A GOAT DRIVE?
A goat herder south of us did a “goat drive” by herding his goats 4 days through the bush to get them to us. No horses for these 2 men. It was all done on foot. Estimated distance was over 15 miles. Yep they lost 5 on the way from exhaustion but that is the cost of pushing them too hard.
Thieves are still a problem, but our goats are well guarded by a legion of angels who oversee our THREE, 3 man teams of goat guards. They work on a rotating schedule and are as well armed as Moz. men can be. (Machetes, homemade bow and arrows, and sling shots). These men have used these tools to hunt small game since they were children, and are very accurate, especially with the sling shots. Anyone coming around our barns at night will get a big surprise. The men may be dangerous, but the ANGELS play for keeps!
Blessings, Bush Bunny Brenda Eric Dry And the Balama staff