I’m glad that I slept under a mosquito net when my roommate, Dan December woke me up at 5’o clock the morning.  The zzzzzzipping sounds of several female mosquitoes hunting me down brings vivid memories of malaria – the fevers, the shakes …. ‘NO – can’t afford that now, busy day” I think out loudly as I get up from my mattress on the floor.

Day 3 and I can hardly wait to get going.  We leave at 6’o clock to tackle the long 90 minutes drive on nerve recking roads to get to the helipad.  Today would see us go deep into the Delta to meet the forgotten people of this remote wetlands of Mozambique.

I kinda liked this angle of the helicopter.  Mikey from Switzerland in the background – the helicopter mechanic.  (Photo:  Paul Middleton)
Mattias Reuter – giving us instructions on safety before we enter the helicopter.  They apparently don’t have ejection seats …..!
A prayer with the whole team as we get ready to head out into the Delta.
And off we go – buckled up and plastic bag hidden in the background.

We are greeted by Mattias Reuter, the helicopter pilot.  I flew with him once to Tete and other remote areas on the Zambezi.  Meeting him again and knowing who I am flying with brings a slight relief.  A quick, very professional and even funnier flight safety check with Mattias motivates us even more to get to some of the communities.  Quicker than you could say …. ‘bucle up’ … we were in the air.   The most amazing picture from the sky greeted us as we flew over the wetlands of the Delta.  It was a normal rainy season but everything was soaking wet with shades of green.  Buffalo and antilope were everywhere and enjoying the lush pastures.

The helicopter flew at a moderate 220 km/h and we took a quick dive and I could already see the community waiting.  Strangely enough these people have never seen an automobile or a motorbike but they all know the welcoming sound of a helicopter.  Anyway – we unloaded the helicopter with all our teaching aids and got going through the Delta jungle to meet the community who was anxiously waiting at this stage.

As usual the photos will tell a more complete story and will do much better than I can.

The Delta in its glory.  It was amazing to see the amount of buffalo, antilope, warthogs, hippo and crocodile of course.
As we arrived with the helicopter community members were already waiting for us.
Shephan (Director:  YWAM – Marromeu) leading the way into the village.
As we arrived the community was already waiting anxiously.
The best way to start the day was to begin with games.  Speaking Sena was extremely difficult and communication was a problem from the beginning.  The people of the Delta don’t speak Portuguese so games worked well …. with gestures of course. 
With kids …. a few balls made all the difference.
Singing songs and playing more games is a great ice breaker and everyone participated.
The most amazing experience was to see how total illiterate people could suddenly read and understand a word and connect it with a picture.  
The people came from everywhere.  The old, the young – everyone in the village was there.  When you look at some of these faces you can not help but feel good about what these communities are achieving.
Most of the times woman are forgotten in the bush.  We made sure woman was part of the whole experience as we wanted everyone in the village to be able to read and write.  Here is an elderly lady showing us she understands vowels, letters, words and could comprehend the meaning of the word with a picture.

A puppet show in the middle of nowhere.  The puppet show was presented by the locals in their own language and a story from their lives.
The kids were mesmerized by the story.  Their faces tells the story!
The amazing team behind the ‘curtain’.  It was a local production to help people to understand the language and to create a vocabulary.