18 February 2007

Missions and more flooding

We have just got back today from another flight.

Similar to last week, this also turned into a dual purpose trip.

We took some guys from a church in Cape Town to visit missionaries in Marromeu, Moz. Two of the guys were actually thinking of moving up there to join the team. It's fairly rough where they live - no electric, and water comes from a well. Baths come from standing in a large tin bucket and chucking water over yourself with a cup. They have limited solar power and candles, but when the sun goes down it still gets very very dark. What you probably can't imagine is how ridiculously hot and humid it is there - you never really get dry after a shower. And then there's the insects....

The team there work with the communities along the Zambezi and especially down into the delta region where it flows into the Indian Ocean. They have recently obtained a boat for these purposes but we used it the one day to scope out the extent of the flooding on the river. As we traveled we heard of people who needed help. At one village we found a mentally challenged boy who had been accused of stealing - he didn't know it was wrong just to take food when he got hungry and so he was a good target. This time though, village justice took it's course and he had his big toe cut off with a machete - a month ago. He was very reluctant to get on the boat and had to be carried by the villagers. We ferried him back to Marromeu and took him to the local 'hospital'. After fetching the A and E guys ourselves he did get the stump cleaned and bandaged. He has no family so we took him back to where we were staying and put him up for a few nights. He will go to hospital again this coming week and then likely back to his village.

Relief organisations are mobilising for flood relief and we did another survey flight for Food for the Hungry International (FHI). It was interesting to compare water levels with what he saw last week. The river is certainly higher but not at the levels that the popular press would have you believe. Still, the situation is cause for concern and Mercy Air's helicopter flew up to the area today to be of help if needed.

We have flown over 30 hours in the last eight days, and we will definitely be trying to have a couple of days off this coming week.

Thank you for your prayers.

Mercy Air team

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