Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So close!

On Friday morning, Kevin and I were discussing at breakfast wondering if the truck could make it through the mud from Torit to the compound. We were not sure where the supply truck was at this point. After about 3 weeks of eagerly waiting for the truck to come from Nairobi, Kevin received a call that it had reached Torit the night before and wanted to wait till morning to make the trek over the rough road to Moti.  It was 7:30 a.m. and we were getting ready to have our morning devotions with the staff.  Kevin excitedly jumped on the motorcycle to go to town to meet the truck.  I waited back at the compound with camera ready and to receive a call that the truck was close.  I wanted to be ready to get the shot of them driving on the compound.  About an hour later, Kevin called and said they wouldn't be coming any time soon.  They were STUCK in the mud.  It IS the rainy season.  They were also delayed by the police in town saying they did not have the correct paper work to be in Torit.  Jackson, one of our staff, talked to them and they let the truck go.  A 6X6 truck from World Food Program came to pull the truck out of the mud.  Then. . . on to another mud hole.  Stuck AGAIN!   This time, Kevin got the tractor from the compound and made about 6 trips to unload the truck to lighten the load.  This time, the tractor was able to pull the truck out.  It went a few feet. . .and, you guessed it, stuck AGAIN!   The guys came back to the compound, it was dark.  The drivers and workers walked the rest of the way, they were only about half a mile from the compound, to try again in the morning.  We were all disappointed to not have the truck safe on the compound, but glad it had made it this far.  Saturday morning came and Abigail and I decided to ride the tractor to see the truck and get pictures.   Romano hired the World Food Program truck again to come and pull it out. The tractor took one load to the compound and while they were unloading, HERE CAME THE TRUCK!  I had just sat down to nurse Abigail and heard the truck coming.  I jumped up and got the camera to get the shot I had waited all day on Friday for.  The men worked hard to get the supplies that were left unloaded, including a hydraulic dump trailer.  Kevin took an inventory of the supplies.  There was joy and disappointment in seeing the supplies.  Working with tools and machines in Africa has its challenges.  There often seems to be a problem or something missing with having the right tools and fittings for machines.  Kevin found this to be true with the supplies.  It is difficult to purchase supplies from another country and ensure that we get what we need.  There were some supples missing and fittings that didn't work. When supplies come from so far away, it is difficult to replace them or get the ones that will work. Thankfully they were small things. Thank you for all your prayers for the safety of the truck and the drivers!

On his way to meet the truck.

The second place the truck got stuck.

The first of 6 trips to the compound with supplies.

On our way to see the truck stuck the third time.

here it is. . .

Unloading HEAVY steel. . .in the slippery mud. . .

. . .more steel.

Kevin assessed the puddle to see if the truck could pass through that way on the way out.  The sand is firm and may be more passable.

The shot I had been waiting for!  It is FINALLY here!

Unloading at the compound.

Lifting the dump trailer to CARRY it off. . .

very slowly.

The tractor pulled it the rest of the way.

Abigail, Moti, and Romano enjoying the rain!

Mango, the new addition to the Massie compound!

The Bylers brought him to us from the Nobles, other missionaries here.  He is in training to catch the many mice and lizards around our home.  He already fits right in with our other "babies" Moti, the dog, and of course Abigail!

Lord of the harvest. . .

This scripture came to me, "Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out the workers into His Harvest", Matthew 9:38, as we were harvesting our first spinach of the season.  We are very excited about having spinach.  We were used to eating much spinach in the states and had not been able to get any here.  Jesus is the LORD of His Harvest as He Has sent His workers here to build Hope For Sudan. Our garden is a symbol of the Harvest He has planted.  

Sweet corn sent to us from the US by a teacher friend from the school where my mother teaches.  Thank you!  Sudanese only grow field corn here and it is really tough on our teeth.  It is almost ready to harvest. 

Tomato plants

On our way to harvest the spinach

Beautiful, bright, straight from the garden, spinach salad!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What would you do for a . . .date?

Okay, so I stole the jingle from Klondike.  Shalene and I took off on the motorcycle Saturday for a date.  We dropped off Abigail at a friend’s house and visited the hotel in town for a cold drink.  As we left for the hotel I saw big dark clouds in the southern skies.  Not a good sign, but not enough to deter us.  We finished our cold drink and saw the sprinkles starting outside.  A quick stop for Abigail and we started our dash back to camp…just a little too late.  What was light rain as we left town turned into a deluge half way back.  We rode the motorcycle through a small river that usually serves as the road in dry weather.  When we got back, we were so soaked that we decided we needed to take these pictures.  It was a good thing we left town promptly, as I discovered when I tried to return later in the day one of the small creeks we have to cross had swollen from a puddle you can step across to a waste high river in an hour’s time.  And what of Abigail…I think she slept through it all!  

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The innocent and the soldier. . .

Last week we house sat for the Bylers, other missionaries here, while they were in Uganda for a week.  Our laundry helper and her sister came to do our laundry and brought their baby girl.  I sat in a chair with my notebook and pen in hand to listen to the women talking and trying to discern what some of the words they were saying meant.  Abigail and the little baby (that I can't remember her name, let alone pronounce it) were joyfully playing on a mat beside us.  I heard some rustling, people chatting, and vehicles in front of the house and at our gate.  Recently, a gate was erected around the entire airstrip that is next door to the Byler's compound.  The Byler's were given a key to the gate because they, as well as all of us missionaries, come and go by plane and receive mail often by plane.  HOWEVER, they were apparently the ONLY ones to be given a key and it was received by the gardener.  So, we didn't know who had given us the key.  A United Nations soldier came to the Byler's gate and asked me to open the gate to the airstrip.  I didn't feel it was my responsibility to be the gate guard and knew that the Byler's were not always home to be able to open the gate when people needed on or off the airstrip.   I told the soldier I was surprised the UN did not have a key and firmly stated that they needed to get their own and then opened the gate.  The sacred moment in all of this confusion and misunderstanding, was when I returned to the backyard where the ladies were doing laundry and the girls were playing on a mat.  I saw a beautiful picture of a Bangladeshi soldier smiling through the fence at our innocent babies.  He even called his other soldier buddies to come and look.  Neither of them spoke Arabic or English and were trying to say something to us. We couldn't understand.  I looked up at the other mother, shrugged my shoulders and smiled as both of us watched these men with machine guns smile and coo at our babies.

A UN Helicopter (I borrowed these UN pictures from a friend to give you the idea).

A Mission Aviation "MAF" plane.  The Byler's home is in the background to give you perspective of how close the planes land.  

The building of Hope for Sudan continues!

The kitchen for the orphanage.  The walls and roof are complete!

Simon, our welder from Kenya, welding doors and windows for the buildings.
Kevin planted an herb garden.  He has been planting some fruit trees and other various "African" trees for the compound.  He is really enjoying being a farmer!

Remember the oven Kevin designed?  Our compound cooks, Grace and Margaret, daughter, and administrator (for translation) came to our kitchen for their first baking lesson.  I had to use a coffee mug as a measuring tool and proportion each measurement according to it (they don't have measuring cups).   We baked a basic loaf of bread.  When it was done, the cooks were a little nervous about tasting this "white woman" bread.  I told them it was bread just like they can get in the market.  I hope they will agree to come for another lesson and I will watch them make the mix.  We desire for them to learn to bake for the staff and the kids!