Praise the Lord I arrived safely to Lichinga, Moz. Monday morning Mat dropped me at the bus stop in Chipoka, Malawi at 6am and I only waited a few minutes and a minibus picked me up. I got to see a lot more of Malawi traveling by minibus than going by boat. I rode in two minibuses and then my final leg of my journey in Malawi to the boarder was in a little over loaded pick up truck. It didn't look to bad but once we got out on the road I noticed it had several problems. There we these two wires hanging under the steering column that the driver had to plug in every time he started it and when we got going say 60km/h the whole front on the truck would shack very bad. I timed it every five seconds for about a second or two the front would shack and the steering wheel would shack back and forth and it would do this over and over. I am not sure what was wrong but the driver just acted as if it does this all the time.
They dropped me at the closets point they could to the bordered and I was greeted by about 6 guys with bikes wanting to take me across the boarder. They were grabbing my things and tring to strap it on the back of their bikes before I even new what was going on. There is about a 3 or 4km distance across the boarder that you can either walk or ride on the back of a bike to get across. After getting my exit stamp from the Malawian office I hopped on a bike while another one carried my things and we headed for Moz. It was nearing 4pm and I wasn't sure if I should be crossing this late, because I wasn't sure I could get a minibus this late in the day to Lichinga and if I couldn't I wasn't sure I could find some place to stay the night. I went ahead anyways because I was eager to get back "home" to Lichinga.
The bikes dropped me by the road where there some others waiting to go to Lichinga as well. After waiting almost 2 hours and now it was almost 6pm and starting to get dark and no minibuses, we were starting to wonder what to do. Then this guy with a tractor all in pieces in the back of his truck came rolling through. The waved him down and worked out a deal that a few of us could get a ride with him. I was told to ride in the front. I am not sure if that was because I was the only white person or because I was the only one in shorts and a t shirt and it was going to be a cool ride, but not being able to communicate in Portuguese I just did as they said and I was very thankful to be getting a ride. I was under the impression that it was only a 2 or 3 hour drive from there to Lichinga because it was less then 150km. I guess I forgot that we were not traveling on Malawian roads any more and that we were now in Moz. That was one of the worst if not the worst road I have ever ridden on. It was so full of pot holes and mud that we had to go so slow that after 5 hours we finally rolled into Lichinga at 11pm. It was a rough ride and I was very sore and I was riding in the front not sure what it must have been like for those in the back. Peter Wilcox came and picked me up and brought me to my house. From start to finish it was a 17 hour trip, but still at least five hours shorter then going by boat but not as relaxing.
I slept in and took it easy on Tuesday. They wouldn't let me do any work and told me I had to rest to make sure that I am fully over my malaria. In the afternoon I went into town with Elias on the motorbike to get a few groceries and things. Wednesday again I was told I should rest so I stayed down at my house. In the morning I made the oven for Jesse and Tanya that I brought the metal back from Malawi for. I now just have to make or get two shelves made for it and we can start to bake a few things. I rested for the afternoon because I was starting to get a head ache and not feel so good. That was probably because I wasn't drinking enough and didn't have a proper lunch. At supper I roasted peanuts for the first time. For the first ones I had too much oil and deep fried them instead of roasting and most of them burned. Then I tried it with a lot less oil and they turned out much better, with a little more practice I think I will get it. Sometimes I get a craving for peanuts and the only ones I can by are the raw ones that I have to roast myself.
It seems like the priority on some of the jobs here has changed while I was in Malawi. They have a family and three single ladies's coming in a few months and they need places for them to stay so they want me and a few others to start working on the administration building as soon as I have the kitchen cabinets, bathroom counters and pantry shelves done in the girls house. There is so much work to be done on the admin building. If any of you feel you would like to come and give a hand in some work here for any length of time you are more then welcome.
Thursday I got the last cupboard doors made for the kitchen. Friday I sanded them all and got a coat of varnish on one side of them all. I also finished the oven for Jesse and Tanya. We haven't had a chance to try it yet. I have copied a design of an oven like this that I have used before. The gas burner stove underneath is supposed to give enough heat to bake whatever our hearts desire. I will let you know how it works. Yes the racks are way over rated for this application but it was the thinnest material i could get that would work. I guess we can roast a thirty pound turkey in here and not worry about the shelf bending, it will just have to be a small thirty pounder.
Saturday everyone at the base is taking the day of and we are going to the lake for the day. We are all looking forward to a day of fun together. I think that about brings you up to date on things here. Thanks again so much for your prayers for travel and for my Malaria. I feel like I am totally all better and I am trusting the Lord that that is true.
Yours in Christ,