I got use to the routine by now.  Wake up at 05:00 – a ‘quick’ bite of muesli (by the way let no one tell you muesli is just a quick bite – you chew until your jaws can take no more – and then you start again!  Very time consuming breakfast!) and get yourself out of the door as quick as possible.  Luckily the 90 minute trip to Marromeu is not happening this morning.  The helicopter came to fetch us on the Nenza base.  It was raining outside and I wondered how the flight in the helicopter would go.  Today we were tackling the most difficult village and the furthest.

But before we could get there we had to fit everyone into the helicopter first.  Strange ‘educational’ tools were forced into the helicopter as we got underway.

  I thought at first that carrying your own ‘airbag’ is a little bit extreme.  But hey … anything when it comes to safety …. yeah?  Keren Reuter with her Pilate’s ball boarding the helicopter.  I guess she got away with it because she was the pilots wife.
The flight took us nearly over the lenght of the Zambezi river.

Matteus Reuter in action!

Some Delta scenery as we were flying!

Not a great photo due to the rain (and a not so good camera) but yes that is the ocean where the Zambezi flows into.

Back into another far away village

Farming in areas where flooding happens very frequently is the only sustainable way for the people of the Delta to survive.

The Zambezi river flowing strong.
As it has become a custom by now – the village was up and ready to receive us as we arrived.

Tinica, a previous missionary in Tanzania, knowing the drill by now.  Out with all the equipment to start the training sessions.

The heli would drop us off and continue to collect another group to continue the training at various villages.

Visiting a village is not just about teaching – it’s more about caring, visiting and just ‘being’!  Praying for the chief of the area’s wife.

Getting into the action!

I could just never get use to these amazing smiling faces.  When they realized that they could read and understand what is being taught ….. it is amazing to see people’s reactions.  It truly is something to behold and really make it worth coming to these extremely remote areas.

So as pedagogue it was my turn to teach consonants to people who has never heard them.  Pronunciation to students who have never heard the letter pronounced was an interesting experience – specially for a teacher who had Accounting, Business Economics and Mercantile Law as a background.  

“Sounds like …..” Oh my goodness was this part difficult.  I had to jump, laugh, perform do just about everything to form words!

Individual testing ….. with the woman.

I think by this time I was wasted and tapped from all my creative juices.  But it was amazing to see the people react and the way they sucked up the teaching!

The community leader receiving his first soccer ball with a pump!

Flying back to the base was an even more interesting experience as we flew at more than 280 km/h in the rain with a strong tailwind – and that in a heli.  Amazing stuff.  We arrived back at the helipad (above) just to rush off to catch our fixed wing aircraft from Mercy Air back to Chimoio.

This was an amazing experience that left me with many a tear.  Tears because that so many people around me cared enough that they would offer their aircraft to see forgotten people developed.  A tear because of the extreme hunger from the people to learn.  A tear because through their nothingness – the looked us in the eye and would proudly proclaim:  “I can read and write now!  Come back again with a story book!”