“Wisdom: Life for your soul and adornment for your neck”
The last bible study I did with them was on the beauty of wisdom. (Proverbs 3:13-35) I used verses 21 and 22 as kind of our theme verses which say, “My son, do no lose sight of these-keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.” I tied in jewelry making with this devotion not only for their enjoyment, but also that they may have a reminder of the importance and beauty that wisdom brings. They had so much fun making necklaces and bracelets and were so creative with the designs they made! After we finished we ended up just hanging out and I took pictures and videos of them being 100% goofy! It was so great seeing them feel so comfortable around me, laughing and playing and having a good time! It is a part of this trip that is most definitely engraved in memory!
Around 5:30pm Victor, Christina and I headed to the SIL church for a thanksgiving celebration with not only a group of Americans in the area but also with people from places like Holland, Spain, etc. When we arrived, with Christina’s amazing pumpkin pies may I add, we hung around for a few minutes and then all sat down to begin. We started out with a hymn “For the beauty of the earth”, then heard a devotional on Jesus feeding the 5,000 which concluded with prayer and then feasting. I think I only recognized a few traditional foods like corn, mashed potatoes, and rolls-but it was all still very good and oh-so-filling to the point that a wheel chair would have been a dream to have by the end of the night! But, I guess it wouldn’t be a true thanksgiving meal if you were still able to walk afterwards, right? After dinner and desert were done everyone sat around and talked for a while and I ended up meeting some really nice and neat people. As me and one younger women I met were talking I all of a sudden see out of the corner of my eye this thing waddling across the floor and 2 men chasing “it”. I turned just in time to see “it” was exactly what I am most terrified of here in Africa: Bunny spiders! (As Christina calls them) They are huge, disgusting, and actually waddle from being so big. So, finally they throw some kind of plate on top of it to trap it and then try to find something to put it in to show everyone. Though I am completely disturbed, the lady I was talking with had never seen one so I ended up being the one to find a container for them to use but then immediately found myself running for the other side of the room when they failed to transfer it over successfully, which in turn allowed it to fall back on the floor to take off again. Let me just add that, though they are big AND waddle, this by no means slows them down from being just as fast as the next. So, finally they have it locked up in the container and kids and people are huddled around being quite entertained- half-way across the room you could here the noise of it clanking around in there too. Gross. Actually, if I sit and think about it enough I can hear it like it’s here with me…moving on.
“Ilha de Mozambique”
The morning of the 28th I ended up having the opportunity and invite to go with Jean and the Snider’s to Ilha de Mozambique-translated to Mozambique Island-for the weekend. I was told by several people here that I had to see the coast before leaving and that it was some of the most beautiful waters; I definitely accepted the invite and excitedly went with them! The drive was beautiful and once we got on to the island it was absolutely amazing. The water was many different shades and so clear! It definitely had the whole “tropical” feel to it. So once we got there Jean walked me around and showed me all the different places; the island is only about a mile or mile and a half long/wide. After that we headed back and joined the Snider’s for a swim in the pool. That evening I experienced my first true African “wait” at a restaurant. I have heard from Christina that the waits can be pretty insane but I had never had the memory of experiencing it for myself. So get this, we go to this place, we’re the only customers, and we start a game of uno. About an hour at least goes by and the game is still going on, which also makes it the longest round of uno I have ever played in my life- ha-ha, and our food is still not here. Finally, after we start to question if we even placed an order, they start to bring out the food and we’re all quit overjoyed. Experience number one :) The next day we end up going for a swim in the morning, and then head off to the Museum. The tour was fun and interesting…and really cheap! How nice. After that we all ended up taking an hour or two to just relax and rest. Before we knew it it was dinner time and we headed out. We first went to this really nice place which over looked the water…oh it was such beautiful scenery. We then ordered an appetizer and then all figured out what we wanted. After about a half hour and finally deciding, we put in our order only to find out they didn’t have anything that we all wanted. This, as I am told, is typical for an African restaurant. Ha-ha. So, after being there about an hour, we head back to the place we ate at the night before, placed the exact same orders in, and waited another hour. Experience number 2 :)
I didn’t mind too much though, I had great company and I was getting in lots of memories from all sorts of angles! After that we headed back and Jean and I had some “big girl” time- we ended up sitting out in the awesomely set up lobby and experienced our first time ordering without anyone there to translate for us. We must have done something right because before we knew it hot chocolate cake with ice cream on top was being brought out to us. ;) The next and last day there we pretty much just spent out by the pool. There was one point I was sitting out with my feet in the water, trying to air dry my bathing suit and I had only been sitting there maybe 5 minutes when I look down and see my legs are burnt with funny patterns on them from where my arms were resting. I’m tellin’ you, the sun here just don’t mess around!
So today is the final day being in Mozambique; at the orphanage surrounded by big smiles, tiny hands and the best laughs. I have spent the morning packing up and sorting out what I am leaving and what I am taking, doing last loads of laundry, and just hanging out. Tonight Victor is making a special chicken dinner for all of the orphanage and the music class (who we invited over for one final hang out party before I leave). I will be picking up ice cream today too for another special treat to add for everyone and then after dinner we will all watch a movie and have desert. It should be a great last evening and I am thankful for the ability to have it with ALL of them. Christina asked me if I was really sad to be leaving or if I was just day dreaming about being back home and you know, it really is a huge mixture of both. I am so thankful for my time here; I would not trade it for anything in the world. God has taught me so much in every situation, moment, child, person, conversation, etc. I have been blessed to the max! I know it is going to be a huge challenge leaving the life I have grown close to through the joys and struggles; I know there will be some challenges that await my arrival back in the states and I am sure it will take me a good bit to re-adjust. But fortunately the same God who brought me here, helped me through each struggle and gave me each joy, is the same God who will remain faithfully here with them and with me as I go back home. A few people have pointed out that I have used “God is the same yesterday today and forever” a lot in my blogs; along with so many things I have learned and become more aware of, this is one of the main. It doesn’t matter where I am, what I am doing, how hard it is, how exciting or fun- God is the same; unchanging always and forever. How amazing! What a solid and unshaken foundation to walk on! This is the source and truth I am trusting in and counting on; I must and will and shall! As difficult as it is going to be, though, I can’t help but also rejoice in the idea of being re-united with all my family and friends at home! As much as I trust God has brought me here, I also trust he is bringing me back home now. Therefore the phrase “bitter-sweet” really really really implies in this exact moment.
“An evening to remember!”