Sunday, June 07, 2009

Kid's Day

Children's Day is a big thing in Maputo, we're finding out. Last Monday the schools (at least the private ones) were having parents bring food and gifts for their children. Today we celebrated at our church. The children sang two animated songs and it was fun to see them get into it, as in the past sometimes it has been "oh ho hum, I gotta sing."

In Sunday school they got crowns to show they are princes and princesses in God's Kingdom, snacks and parachutes (made with plastic bags, a string and a little man made out of pipe cleaners). Thanks, The Chapel for giving us the extras from your recent trip.

At the end of the day one of the teachers said "Well done." My response was, "I'm glad it's done!" It took some work to pull it together but I think the kids had a great time and with everyone pitching in it was not hard.

Here are a few pictures from the last church team that came in May. Here's Sybil working the crowd at Kid's Club. There were oodles of kids! Oh, I've got to tell you about one of the moms at Kid's Club. When a kid was acting up, she jumped up and started yelling at him. Sybil told us later she as saying "These old people came all the way from America and you're not listening!" Hmm, wonder who she was referring to?

Parachute fun!

Here's the row of containers waiting for the dedication of the new water point in Chaimite. This is the third one and they have made a huge difference for the villagers. Now they do not need to fear being eaten by crocodiles in the river (it happened many times) and they can get to their fields to work earlier because they do not have to carry water as far.

For more pictures of the trip taken by Mike and Shelise Boso you can go to

Monday, June 01, 2009

Safari Park in Maputo

Yesterday we visited the Mucapana Safari Park just outside Maputo that we read about. They have giraffe, buffalo, 6 zebras, some impala and ostrich. It is a nice outing if you want to see some animals but can’t go to Kruger. It takes about 1 hr from downtown Maputo if the traffic is not too heavy. It is quite brushy and hard to see, but giraffe are not too hard to spot! We did not find the zebra. It is not a huge area to drive around – about 40 hectares. Here are some pictures we took.

The reason we went now was because the Nicaraguan who is staying with us for awhile could not get a visa to go into South Africa with the rest of the visiting team. Our Cuban friends have also not seen any wild animals since they've been there. It was great seeing and hearing their excitement to see giraffes up close. They even walked up fairly close to them. You can do that when there aren't lions and other predators around. In Kruger you cannot get out of the car unless you're in a fenced area.

Here's what we read in an online travel magazine.
“Maputo is one of the places in the world where anything is possible. A
city with a rare beauty, it is the entrance to tourists from all over
the world to enjoy the beaches,wild life parks and other places and
things this mystic country called Mozambique hides within its land.
By arriving in this town also known as “acacia” city, tourists don’t need
anymore to wear boots as if they were going to climb Everest, carry
heavy bags with camping supplies,cover the body with mosquito repellant
and get on the road with potent 4x4 engines because the wild life they look for outside Maputo has come to them. That place of adventure tourists want to reach can be found 35 km from the city centre in an amazing and paradisiacal open area called
Mucapana Safari Park. An idea of Philippe Gagnaux based on examples of big parks like Gorongosa,Mucapana is a sanctuary to appreciate wild life. It has emerging fauna, fruit trees such as Marula and is populated with giraffes, buffalos, zebras and impalas. On venturing further into the park, it is possible to see ostriches
in a cold bath in small lakes below the vibrant and beating sun. To complement this fascinating landscape and wild life environment one can enjoy by visiting Mucapana,
there is a restaurant called Mbala Madoda that serves traditional dishes from Maputo and all of Mozambique.

How to get there?
It is very easy to reach Mucapana Safari Park. The only thing you have to do is
drive to the police checkpoint of Zimpeto on the Xai-Xai road. Upon leaving the
police checkpoint, drive for another 3.8km and then turn left at the green & white
“Safari Park” sign. It is a well maintained dirt road – normal cars are fine. Drive
along this road for 12.8km until you see a sharp right turn in the road. At this point,ahead of you is a large white house and a sign, “Florique”. Turn off to the left before the road bends to the right, drive 4 km (approx) and park your
car in the white-painted house compound. YOU HAVE ARRIVED! From the police check point, it takes about 25 minutes if you drive at a reasonable speed.