Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scary Homeland Security Chick

This is a picture from our visit to Isaac's mom and her house in the village.
It was not a good thing that Sydney and I weren't wearing our chtanges (sp?).  That is the long skirt material you see us wearing in the pictures from our days at the orphan care centres.  It is inappropriate to not wear a long skirt and have your knees exposed when you are in the village.  Isaac's mom pointed it out to Alex. 

Well anyway...back to Scary Homeland Security Chick
After 19 hours in an airplane with crying babies, no sleep and numb legs, Syd and I landed in New York. Wow New York so cool … well you’d think except there was no Statue of Liberty greeting us. After being in several airports by this time, Sydney and I had begun to critique them and New York failed miserably - very dull and unattractive. We made our way to Customs and Immigration where we lined up with about several hundred other passengers to wait our turn going through American security. While standing in line Scary Homeland Security Chick starts yelling at this man (from India in his 50’s) about stepping out of line. He just looked like he was uncertain of where he supposed to go to me and had briefly stepped out of line. Okay let me describe Scary Homeland Security Chick to you. She was about mid-height, spiky hair, all tatted up, beefy and seriously packing (like quick-draw McGraw wild west type). Several of us in line tried to avert our eyes and not make eye contact with her for fear that we too would be subjected to scary interrogation. Thus began a very long time where this man was grilled right in front of us. What are you doing here? You should know the rules by now, you spent 3 years in the States before. What were you doing during that time? Were you watching tv? Were you working … what were you doing? You could tell this guy was flustered, embarrassed and scared – who can blame him? I was scared for him. I know it’s their job and I can only imagine what it must be for like for a nation to experience the psychological effects of a catastrophic event such as 9/11 – I totally get all that. But I gotta say, I think I would have had a heart attack if I happened to be the person in that guy’s shoes.

Anyway after New York we flew to LA, then San Francisco and finally we landed in Vancouver. You know what … in our opinion Vancouver had the best airport by far. It is very dramatic when you walk through and see the huge eagle suspended in the air to greet you. Really good to be home in the land of abundance and plenty.

I thought I would update you on some things and talk about others that I didn’t get a chance to before we left.

Nixon And The Law

You might remember Nixon (one of the guards) and getting his arm broken while trying to retrieve the soccer ball from the other village. After this whole thing happened, Nixon was very scared and frightened about retribution for himself and his family. He talked with us about having to move now because these people would make life difficult for him. Moving would be very hard for him because he is just starting to gain some stability and food security for his family. Andre told me that when Nixon first started working for him (guard), he was not eating because his family was starving and Nixon couldn’t bare to eat any food that would make less for his children. Andre and Alex hired Nixon and helped him put a new metal roof on a new brick house (no small expense I’m sure) and moving would mean he would loose all of that in addition to the loss of village support.

We validated Nixon concerning his situation and fear but also encouraged him to stand firm and trust the Lord and then we prayed with him. A few days later Nixon told us he was afraid but he wasn’t going to let that make him move (this is the general gist I got from the conversation). He told us that the village elders also encouraged him to do the right thing and go to the police. They felt he was in the right and those men had done wrong, so Nixon went to the law. Andre had to also go in and make a statement about the event and then Nixon had to pay $700 quacha to the hospital so he could get a copy of the medical report to bring into the police. Nothing is without expense in Malawi. Last I heard Nixon was going to have to go to court on Thursday. I know fast eh! Hopefully that is a good thing.

They Grow Them Big in Malawi

We had to go to the clinic before we left to get medication for that parasite in Lake Malawi and on the side of the wall was a huge snail. I kid you not, this thing was at least 8 inches long. After that we saw a preying mantis on the roof of the car. I’ve only ever seen the one on the cartoon movie Kung Fu Panda (smiling) so to see one in real life was surprising. So there I am minding my business, taking it’s picture and this thing skitters across the car roof and flies at me. Yes it landed on my bag and you should have heard the screams and yells that came out me. Apparently, I provided some rousing crazy white lady entertainment for those in the clinic (I could hear them laughing).
Another creepy crawly I must share with you is my adventure with this long, black thing with red spots. Creeped me right out. You might not remember but one of my prayer requests was for snakes… or rather that I wouldn’t see any because I go ballistic when I see one. Well my friend and her ladies group started praying for me prior to us leaving and was committed to praying for me the entire time we would be away. Knowing this I’ve been cautious but strangely okay with being in the boonies and other such places where I might encounter such a creature. Well that all changed when we went to the Lilwonde National Park. Andre wanted to show Sydney and I this Baobab tree that has a lot of human bones inside - leftovers of a Leper colony. When I got out of the truck I see this black thing about 2 inches thick curling through the grass and I freaked out. I leaped back in the truck and wouldn’t come out. Andre had to take a picture for me. After I freaked, Syd realizes she is several feet from the truck and there is a snake between her and her safe destination. I confess … yes … I have a flaw. I was safe and that was all that mattered (smiley face). Andre comes over and sees it and then tells me that it is a centipede. I could hardly believe the thing was huge, but on the upside the Lord answered the prayers of those ladies and others, and I did not see a snake the entire time I was there.

Later I’ll tell you about our visit with the Colemans in Johannesburg and other things I’ve not had time to write about.

I’ll leave you with another sign – this one for lodging…

“The place with all the necessary facilities for your convenient living.” Funny … no water or sewer - I’m curious what other necessary facilities do they provide?
Stay tuned - more to come.

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