Kruger Park South Africa

June 29th, 2008

We left Maputo Friday the 27th to safari in Kruger. We spent the night in a beautiful lodge on the Crocodile River, woke early and were in the bush before sunrise. It was cold and windy in the open Land Cruiser.

We were at the site of a kill as the sun rose. A giraffe carcass was attended by the victorious pride of lions as hyenas and vultures waited expectantly for a turn at the breakfast bar. We stayed off at a good distance and watched and listened to the ruckus as the hyenas boldly attempted to steal a bit of food. The lions were fiercely physical and vocal in driving them away. A pair of young male exiles were impatient to join the feast but wise enough to wait and watch from our position. The vultures stood silent and still in a tree.

Young Male longing for breakfast

Hungry boys

Hyena making a move

Giving up for now

Their turn will come

Breakfast’s cousin

Pimba

Tasty Impala

Big Butts

Big Baby

Campfire Patrol

Hippo and baby

Hippos and Crocs

More hippos and crocs (more lens or more megapixels needed)

Our ride

It’s a cold morning

Cape Buffalo

Wildebeest herd

Kudu

Bushbuck

Waterbuck

Baboon

Crocodille River supports much animal life in winter

Stalking Impala with us alongside

Preparing to flank Impala from the left

Cubs learn bringing up the rear

The Impala caught wind as the flanking lionesses closed in. They ran beautifully. But, my battery was dead. What a thrill! I could have touched them, that is if I jumped out and wrangled one. I guess I’m too old for that though.

Bye for now,

James

Boane Mozambique: Business & Service

June 28th, 2008

We were honored to attend the delivery of the first chicks at a growing operation owned by two women in Boane. They have borrowed money to build a facility and stock it with 1,000 chicks and feed. They have been caring for AIDS sufferers and orphans for the past five years as volunteers from a small home church in this village of 10,000. World Relief assists them with training and encouragement to serve these vulnerable people. The new entrepreneurs will continue their voluntary ministry and, hopefully, enjoy a substantial increase in their income.

We next went to join other volunteers at their church’s meeting place where we were greeted with wonderful singing and a warm welcome. The Pastor led us in prayer. Several members of the congregation spoke sending blessings to our churches and we expressed our gratitude and admiration for the work of love they are performing. There was more song and prayer before pictures and departure to visit some of the sick and orphaned.

We sent small parties out so as not to overwhelm the hosts of our visits. My party met with three sets of orphans.

We first met a sixteen year old boy who is a student hoping to study engineering and his four year old sister who has Downs Syndrome and may be HIV positive. The volunteer helping them cares for the little girl everyday while her brother is in school. She helps them in other ways as well and has two other households to care for besides her own. The second of her families consists of a grandfather, who can’t walk, two boys and a little girl. The boys attend school. The grandfather and the girl require daily care. Finally, there is a teen aged girl and her little brother.

There are thousands of volunteers from small home church congregations doing this work in their own communities in Mozambique. Their churches are growing and replicating but the needs of the sick and vulnerable exceeds their capacity. Many pastors are theologically untrained and World Relief is working to equip them for the service they perform. These Christians desire your prayers and send their blessings.

Pastor Tembo, Volunteers and their kids and Pastora Jaoquina

Chicks arrive

Neighbors

Neighbor’s flowers

Neighborhood Laundromat

Neighborhood church

Ladies singing welcome

Pastors, Volunteers and Visitors

Walking through the village

Stone house under construction ?

Volunteer and Brother and sister

Their house

Brother and sister

Their house

Two volunteers and one baby, “bella!”

Oil & Water

June 26th, 2008

Wednesday we left early for a log drive to Inhambane to see an virgin coconut oil production plant. We spent the night at Tchaimite Village and saw the AfricaWorks water projects. Before 2006 village women walked 2.5 km to fetch water from the river. In 2004 32 women were killed by crocodiles at the river. The village children had a 25% mortality rate by age 5. There have been no croc attack fatalities this year and the child mortality rate has drop to 9%.

Our night in the village was the most comfortable to date. We slept under mosquito nets in grass shacks after eating a fine meal and walking under the stars. The sky was crystal clear and the stars, overwhelming. The galactic center is high in the sky and the Milky Way is thick and bright. There are advantages to electrical scarcity.

We met Heidi Lum and John Park who lead Advocates for Africa’s Children. They were on their way to Swaziland where 40% of the population have HIV and 10% of the population is orphaned children.

Ocean View

Restaurant Entry

Restaurant’s Dinning Room

Also Restaurant’s Dining Room

Coconut Oil Plant

Cracking the nut and draining water

Scrapping out the meat

Drying the meat to be pressed for oil extraction

John (JP) Park & Heidi Lum (”www.afachildren.org”)

Corner of Grass Shack

Morning in the Village

Cashew Tree

Cashew Nut

Mike and Jim Showing Off

Raking the sand

Water in the village center

Construction of Guest House/Inn

Loading Up

Bye Little Guy

Unirrigated Fields

The River

Tending the cowpeas

Waiting for Mom

Farmers

President and VP of farmers association

Thanks to a $70,000 AfricaWorks loan and technical assistance 65 onetime subsistence farmers are now enjoying a surplus of crops and clean water in their village. Praise God!

James

Nampulo Mozambique

June 24th, 2008

We flew to Nampulo on Monday to see an economic development project called New Horizons. Andrew Cunningham is developing a chicken industry in Nampulo. Starting with a small breeding and feeding operation 4 years ago, it has grown to include a feedmill and chicken processing plant that employs 150 people. Only a few of these people had ever been employed before. 210 subsistance farmers have been established as feeder owner operators, feeding 500 chickens for market on a 35 day cycle.

New Horizons works with local village and church leaders to identify prospective operators. Operators are given micro loans to build, equip and stock their feeding parlors. They purchase chicks from New Horizons who guarantees to buy grown chickens at market price. The operators commit to attend Bible studies but are not required to be Christians. New Horizons staff provides business training as well a spiritual counseling and personal encouragement.

Andrew is a great leader and is successfully developing great leaders. I’m deeply impressed and humbled by the talent, commitment and love of Christ possessed by those who work to advance the business and it’s ministry. The Lord is doing something wonderful in Nampulo.

Driving out from Nampulo

Into the Country

Andrew

Incubators (14 in all)

1440 eggs per incubator

Hatching Racks

One Chick

Feed Mill

Packing Plant

Back Yard

Side Yard

This girl is drawing water from a well at a feeder’s farm. She was so delighted to see her picture in my camera’s view screen that her joy was contagious.

At this point my camera’s battery ran dry. There should follow pictures of Pilatos and Moses, two great young men of God who work with the farmers feeding the chickens. Their joy was also contagious.

Battery recharged, time for more cloud pictures!

Good Night,

James

Maputo Mozambique

June 22nd, 2008

Sam Grottis and his wife Debbie picked me up at the airport this morning. Sam is the South Africa Director of World Relief. They are Zimbabweans. Sam was a revolutionary in his youth. At 19 he was imprisoned, tortured and held in solitary confinement by the Rhodesian Government. There he commenced a long conversation with God culminating in a decision to follow Christ. After Robert Mugabe came to power Sam went to College and studied economics and worked for the Marxist government of Zimbabwe. He came to believe that the poor would be better served by Biblically informed Free Market approaches to economic development. He founded AfricaWorks to pursue that goal. He is also devoted to service to the sick and orphaned. He leads Word Relief’s HIV/AIDS program in Mozambique. He is convinced that AIDS and poverty are link and must be fought simultaneously.

Sam drove me to the Monte Carlo Hotel through the heart of Maputo for miles on the wrong side of the road. Eventually I got used to it and began to observe my surroundings. Maputo is densely populated, colorful and poor.

After check-in we joined four other guys for a walking tour of the wealthy section by the shore of the Indian Ocean. We passed the embassies and Nelson Mandela’s home. Mandela married the widow of a President of Mozambique and they have a mansion overlooking the ocean. No photos allowed. We walked five miles, talked with one another and had a great time. We shared a great meal and discussed AfricaWorks and our agenda. Now it’s time for bed because we have a plane to catch at 7:30am.

Here are Today’s pictures;

National Seal of Mozambique at Maputo International Airport

One of hundreds of ruins in the city

Uncompleted building started in the 70s

Kevin Bergman, me (or is it I), Sam Grottis, Jim Louwsma, Mike Barrett and Paul Sjolund

Mosaics installed by art students on existing retaining wall

One third of the installed mural

Beautiful Park

Beautiful Tree

Garbage in the park as almost everywhere

Tree Tectonics over decades

Beautiful Museum

One of only three American cars in Mozambique (the other two are pristine 1956 Fords)

Goodnight,

James

James

Arrived Johannesburg SA

June 21st, 2008

After a 21 hour flight I have arrived in Johannesburg. I walked to the Sun Hotel after a smooth check-out. There are only 6 hours difference between here and home but I’m a lot farther from home than I’ve ever been before. It’s Winter here and surprisingly cold. I’m amazed by how easily we travel halfway around the world.

I saw a great movie on the way, “Bella”. It was beautiful, full of Grace and life affirming. If you haven’t seen it, do.

I met an interesting man on the way over. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1968, the year I graduated from High School. His name is Jack Augustine Coahan (sp?). He’s a Ugandan corporate pilot and is looking forward to retiring next year after 40 years of service. President Kennedy established 200 college scholarships for Africans to attend school in America and Jack received one. He and his family still live in Uganda and he flies all over the world. We had a delightful conversation.

I can’t resist posting some flying pictures. Forgive me.

Clouds Over PA

Clouds over PA

Clouds over The Atlantic

Dakar Senegal

Clouds over Botswana

ruffin\' it tonight

This is much nicer than a seat in economy.

It’s time for a shower.

Good Night All,

James

James

AfricaWorks Tour of Mozambique

June 20th, 2008

I’m departing from Columbus today June 20, 2008 at 2:21pm on United Flight 7827. At 5:40pm I should depart from Washington, DC on United Flight 4590 and arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa 4:45pm June 21 (10:45am EST). The next day I’m scheduled to arrive in Maputo, Mozambique at 10:45am. The weather will be very pleasant, highs 78-80, lows 60-62, sunny.

I hope I’ll be able and motivated to post frequently.