We are in the dark here in Angola! Just meaning that we have been without electricity for 12 days and counting! It is actually just our neighbourhood that has the problem, but apparently it is a major one! The first 2 days of our power outage was also a city wide water problem, unfortunately we are not in the loop language-wise so we missed out on the warning, no water for 2 days! The generators that we brought from Canada had a faulty part so we were waiting for them to come, and as I mentioned in my last email we had just purchased a side of beef that we were hoping to keep cool!!! We drove to Lubango for a prayer meeting with the SIM missionaries (thanks for the invite, very encouraging!) and to pick up our parts for the generators. Praise the Lord they were in! On Wednesday we came home and Pete installed the part and the generator fired up... it then proceeded to run for about 4 hours that day, and 2 the next and it went dead! Pete checked it over, couldn't figure out the problem. The man living in our annex offered to take it to a mechanic friend and today it is back, working like a charm! It is amazing how much you count on electricity, you only "REALLY" realize it when it is absent from your life! So I am sure you are asking what happened to our meat... well thankfully (yet sadly) the Joubert's are going home to South Africa for Christmas and their deep freeze was almost empty... it is TOTALLY full now! THANK YOU!
Is that all, you say? Well actually there is a fuel shortage now... we do have fuel in Namibe, but when we were in Lubango we drove around from one end of the city to the other looking for diesel and there was NONE to be had! In fact the line ups for gas were incredible! So we bought some off one of the missionaries at Mitcha and headed out on our way, praying there would be fuel in Namibe. I only had to wait behind 5 vehicles for my fuel this time! There is fuel today but that is no guarantee for tomorrow! This is Angola!
Other than that, well one of our batteries on the truck is no longer any good, Pete let them use it on the water pump when they were trying to figure out the problem and it sucked the life out of it. So hopefully we will be able to make due until we reach Namibia as everything is twice as expensive here as it is there. Which brings me to another point, we will have to travel to Namibia to renew our visas again in the middle of January... no one is looking forward to the trip... although in a way I find it bitter-sweet. Groceries are a lot less expensive and you can find things that you cannot find here! Other than that the bone wrenching roads leave your back a mess for weeks, so it is give and take!
On a much more positive and upbeat note... (not that we are down and depressed over the events of the last couple of weeks... it is just life here and the sooner you get used to that idea the easier it is to handle...) the girls have been going to choir practice several times a week, I am hoping they get brave enough soon to join them on a Sunday morning, but so far they are too shy and unsure of themselves to do it. The sun is shining every day, not easy to get into the Christmas spirit, but we'll survive. The kids were able to get some used books last week, enough to keep them busy for quite some time... even Trevor and Tavis are getting into the swing of reading! It is very exciting! Pete and I are plodding along with our language training, with our new teacher Augusto. He is hard on us, but it is good!
Just a couple of prayer requests:
1. For continued perseverance in every area of our lives (life, language, school, etc) 2. For Rosa's daughter Minda (our house-help, she comes 4 days a week and brings her smallest child with her) she has malaria... she was very weak on Monday and her mom took her to the hospital while we were away, she got medicine and Thursday when she came Minda looked much better, but today again she is not looking great so Rosa was going to take her back to the hospital. Rosa has 4 other children and her husband left her 9 months ago and hasn't returned, she says he is in Lubango.
Thank you all for your continued prayers and encouraging letters you've sent. Thanks for keeping in touch.
Hope you have a Joyous Christmas Season!
Charlene for the Knightly Family in Angola!