Tried really hard to cut this down. But couldnt leave anything out.. HAPPY READING.
I have been back in Mozam for about 2 weeks now.
After finally purchasing a car in Durban we arrived in Mozambique with all of our things and no place to stay. What an adventure. We had one flat to see and after that we were on our own. We spent a lot of time praying that this flat was the one that God had in store for us (at that stage none of us were overly excited about sleeping in the car).
So we found a place to meet the man who we were put into contact with about the flat (up till now I still have no idea who he was). * side note on leaving to see the house- I hadn’t drawn any Metical yet, so had to give the car guard the last few coins that I had. He was not impressed with my gesture and in some interesting language told me to jog off. So I got angry at the fact that if he was so desperate he would have taken what I could give him. When we stopped at the robot this car guard (wearing orange swimming goggles) came toward my car screaming at me that he wants his money. He then opens my doorb demanding I get out and give him the money. The quiet Mozambican estate agent next to me began to scream vulgarities right back at him. And I’m trying to stay calm saying, “sir, you have to let me close the door to get money, sir, if you don’t let go I’m going to have to punch you in the face.” CHAOS! In the end I just had to drive with him holding onto my door until his legs couldn’t keep up and he had to let go. Lets just say- the Americans sitting in the back seat were just a bit shocked.. Welcome to Mozambique! *
Any way we arrived at this block of flats and walk into the ground floor flat. The “fully furnished, newly renovated” flat was definitely not ready to be lived in but we had a look anyway. Once we looked passed the fact that the bathroom was not working at all and the only piece of furniture there was, was a fridge there was definitely potential. We met with about 6 different people about the various things that needed to be fixed etc before we moved in. The longer we took in our discussions the more people joined in. Once again, I still am not quite sure who all of them were- but little did I know this was to become a regular occurrence in our house.
We decided that we wanted to go away and pray about our decision that we had to make. So we left them to carry on with their painting and renovating and we went to the beach to seek God out on this flat.
After spending some time together we decided that this flat was going to be an amazing place to begin our ministry. We very excitedly jumped into the car to go and sign the lease agreement for our new home. Only to find that the alarm on the car had decided it didn’t want to work. In simple terms. We were stuck until we could figure out how to cut the alarm system from our car. 6Oclock on a Friday evening is also not the easiest time to find a mechanic. An hour later someone had gone to fetch a mechanic for us and him and all his friends decided to stay on the side of the road and make a party of it. So 2M all around. Music blaring. Beers flowing. Only in Mozambique can you phone your friends and say- “hey I am helping 3 stupid white kids with their car. PARTY time!!”
Finally someone managed to hot wire the car to get is started. . Trying to find a new place at night is not the easiest thing in the world to do. So there I was driving with wires hanging down by my legs driving a car that had been hot wired trying to find our own flat when all of a sudden we get pulled over by a car full of police men with massive AK47’s. Could this get any worse!?! So after about 10 minutes of conversation about how sorry I was that I made an illegal turn (which to this day I’m still not sure was actually illegal) we drove off ready to continue the search.
By 10oclock we were in our flat. Still no bathroom. But we had beds. For the past 3 days we have had people in and out. Fixing, painting, Putting up curtains, bring pots and pans. Its awesome. Its really starting to look like a home. For the past 2 nights we have had people over here till about 12oclock. They arrive from the flats around us. Some are the landlords friends, some just want to say hi. They all arrive, beer or wine in hand ready to hang out or help clean. Some are just pulled in as they are walking passed to see the house and meet the new neighbors. Its great for learning Portuguese fast cause there are people around 24/7.
Its hilarious. At any one time there is at least 2 other people in the house. And when our doors are locked.. No problem. They just use the windows. .. The other night we were all getting ready for bed when I hear someone at my window. “Laurena! Comida (Food)! Laurena!” When I opened my curtains there was our new friend Maninha with a plate of food for us. So at 12:45pm, Alexis and I sat at the table with a very drunk Maninha eating Matapa (a spinach like veggie), rice and liver.
Just before that we had another lady who sat at our dining room table with her beer in hand balling her eyes out cause of promises that South African politicians had made to her and never followed through on. WHAT! RIDICULOUS! Thank goodness for Michael Jackson who was apparently the reason that she learnt English. (She had a dream that she was going to marry him so she needed to learn English.)
We are the only white people living around here. We have guessed this because at least twice a day at least one of us will be asked if we are lost and do we need help getting to another area. Its awesome to be a part of breaking the mould of where the white missionaries “should be” living.
The buildings around us are all very run down and old. The kids play soccer on the street outside our window, in between the chickens that are running around in the street. There is a bar down the road that has a very loud guitarist the plays a mixture of old school blues tunes, reggae and passada on the weekends. Every other day at least one or more of the houses have music blaring all day.
We have already managed to connect with and make friends with some of the street kids that stay on our road. They are amazing little okes who are too amped to just hang out and play and scream from across the street when they see us walking around. They arrive at the flat every day wanting to come in and hang out or wanting us to got to the park to watch them do back flips off the jungle gym. Sometimes they are so desperate to be around us that they offer to wash our car, clothes and house.
This morning, 5 of them arrived at the door. We invited them in to have tea with us and they stayed and just hung out for a couple hours, drinking tea, listening to music, laughing and dancing. This was definitely a memory that I will keep forever.
We are so happy here and really feel like we have moved to the area where we can most impact the kids we are working with. We are completely immersed in the culture and the Mozambican way of life and I definitely have the feeling that we are exactly where we are ment to be and this is definitely the flat God had prepared for us.