Saturday, September 25, 2010

Our first visit to our apartment in Maputo....

Here's some pics from our first visit to our apartment in Maputo.  We are excited about getting the place fixed up and ready to move in!
We will live on the first floor of this house!  Luke, Abby, Charlie, and Angie came with us to show us around.

the street in front of our house.
Walking down the driveway to our back door....
Amanda unlocking our back door....
I'm excited about the air conditioner in our bedroom!  A luxury in Mozambique!
comfy chairs in our TV room!
Angie, Luke, and Amanda went to check out the store on the corner .
We'll post more later!  Bye for now....

Praying Over Bags

Hey everyone!  This is Chris and I wanted to share a little story about how the Lord provided a blessing on our travels over to Mozambique.

When I was purchasing our tickets to go to Mozambique, I knew that we would have a very short "layover" in Johannesburg, South Africa.  According to our flight itinerary, our flight from Atlanta would land at 4:45pm and our flight to Maputo would depart at 7:10pm.  While normally a 2 hour and 25 minute layover would be plenty of time, I was a little nervous because our bags had not been checked all the way through to Maputo, and I knew that claiming our bags, going through passport control, security, and then checking back in at the L.A.M. (Mozambiquean airlines) desk and then going back through all the security and finding our gate would probably be more than the time would allow.  Well, on top of all that, our flight didn't actually land until 5:05pm, and we didn't get off the plane until 5:30pm.  YIKES!

We walked for about 10 minutes, and came to a "cross-roads" in the airport arrow pointed to the left towards "Passport Control" and "Baggage Claim" while the arrow to the right pointed towards "Transit," which is where we would normally go if our bags had been checked all the way through to Maputo....but remember, our bags were not.

Providentially, underneath this cross-road stood a uniformed airport official with a badge that read, "iHelp."    Well, knowing that we couldn't claim our baggage and still make it to check in on time, I humbly asked for help.  After showing him our baggage claim tickets, and also our e-tickets for our LAM flight to Maputo, he quickly looked at his watch and said, "Follow me."  He led us toward the "Transit" line, got us through passport control and then on to the L.A.M. desk to check in.  What we didn't know was that the L.A.M. desk closes at 6pm, and by this time it was 5:50pm.  Whew!!....we barely made it in time to get our boarding pass.

Our new airport helper friend, Hassan, told us that he needed to hurry off and find our 4 bags, and get them checked in with L.A.M.  He looked me in the eyes and said, "I will not disappoint you, my friend.  I will be back in 20 minutes."  Wow....Amanda and I sat down and waited patiently....I have to admit, nervously knowing that the fate of our bags was in the hands of our new "friend."

Sure enough, Hassan came back in about 20 minutes.....with the tags off our bags, and new baggage claim tickets from L.A.M.  YAY!!!  Well, he then told us that our bags were too heavy for the L.A.M. flight and that according to flight regulations we would owe over $1,000 in fees.  What?!?!  Well, come to find out, each airline places their own weight restrictions on bags, and while Delta allows 2 bags at 70 lbs each....L.A.M. only allows 30kg (66 lbs) per person!  Yikes!  Well, after talking with Hassan for a few minutes, he told us that he would talk to the baggage claim people and try to get them to allow our bags on for free.....well, as Hassan walked away from us, I said a little prayer, knowing that their conversation would have a large impact on our wallet!

A few minutes later, Hassan came back with a big smile on his face....saying, "Your bags are taken care of.  I owe the baggage lady a Coca-cola."  WHAT?!?!  haha.....I laughed and told Hassan thanks!  He glanced down at his watch....6:20pm.  Our flight would soon be boarding, and we still had a long walk to get to our gate.  "Follow me".....he said.  And he took off, weaving his way through the airport traffic, knowing when to take the elevator instead of the escalator, or when to cut through the corners of a restaurant instead of going around.  Hassan pointed us down the hallway towards our gate, and said he had to run off to personally get our bags on the plane.  He said that if they didn't make the plane, they would be on the first flight tomorrow morning.

We arrived at our gate at around 6:45pm....immediately boarded a bus which took us out to the plane.  We sat down...buckled up....and the plane began taxiing down the runway.  WHEW!  We just made it.....

An hour later, we landed in Maputo, made it through passport control and nervously waited at the baggage claim belt.....and thankfully saw all 4 of our bags!  YAY!!  Hassan was true to his word.  Amanda and I said a quick prayer, thanking the Lord for providing a blessing for us on our travels.  I don't know if we would have made it to Maputo on time with our new friend Hassan.....Thank you Lord!

Friday, September 24, 2010

You Know You Teach in Africa When...

Today we had our "orientation" at the school.  We found out that we would begin Monday morning, which is good for us.  But here are some of the things I learned about being a teacher in Africa.  Here's the scenario...I came here thinking that I was going to teach Bible and then ESL.  But...things are always open for change!

Yesterday was a sad day for the teachers and students at CAM in that one of the teachers lost her daughter.  She taught the high school literature and the 4-5th grade history.  So today, I (Amanda) went from a Bible teacher to a literature teacher and maybe a history teacher.  Right now Chris will take over the history classes, and I might end up taking one of the classes later in the semester.  Monday morning I have to be ready to administer the Silas Marner test for the 9-10th grade, and then Tuesday I begin Macbeth with the 11-12th graders.  You may ask, when was the last time I studied these? Well...I was 15 and that was 16 and 13 years ago.

This should be quite the interesting year as I adjust to the ever changing life of teaching overseas.  Needless to say...I DID have a moment where I became overwhelmed, but my precious husband calmed me and reminded me of the great theory: "You only have to stay one day ahead of them!" :) :)  I love that man and the encouragement he gives.  So...please be in prayer for us as we begin this new adventure of teaching.  You never know what will happen...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

We Made It!!

Well...we have finally made it to Maputo, Mozambique, our home for the next nine months.  We left Tuesday at 12:00 and arrived here on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.  So...needless to say, it was a LONG day. We are actually up and moving about, but I don't know how long we will make it.  My prayer is that only a short nap will help keep the eyes open.  Crazy thing about jet lag is that if you don't stay up then you don't sleep at night.  So please pray for us AND our worn out bodies. Pray that we adjust fast, and we will be ready to serve by Monday.  I promise to post pics soon...when we actually get off the couch long enough to take some :)  :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Big Changes Ahead!

Well...the Modern Nomads have some huge changes ahead, but we are completely excited about it!! Wait for it... :)  Chris and I will be moving to Maputo, Mozambique at the end of this month!!  We are so excited about this new adventure and opportunity God has given us.  Chris graduated from seminary in May, and since that time, we have been seeking Him about what He had for us.  It has been a long few months of prayer, different possible opportunities coming up, and then realizing it wasn't what He wanted for us.  As most of you know, Chris and I have a heart and a passion to take the gospel to the nations.  We always knew that serving internationally was going to be part of our life, but we had no idea just how fast God would move us in this direction.

Chris served in Maputo before we were married, so for him, it feels like he is returning home. I've never been to Africa, so this will be a new adventure for me.  We will be teaching at an international school and working alongside some of our friends in the more rural church plants.  We couldn't have engineered a "job" like the one God has for us. We ask that you guys please pray for us as we make this transition.  We will have internet, so we will keep up using our blog and facebook to keep up with everyone.  We have two more weeks left in America before we leave, so we ask that you pray we get everything done that needs to get done.  We have a few things in our home that needs to be boxed up, AND I (Amanda) have to make the Wal-mart run (which will probably take several trips).  :) :)

God has been so good to give us direction as we seek Him. So...more stories to come from the Modern Nomads :)

Our New Home


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weekend of Walkers

Well...we are back on the road! It seems like the only place I blog is when we are in the car driving somewhere.  This weekend we are headed to Little Rock to spend time with Chris' siblings and our cute nephew.  We will stay with Craig (Chris' brother) and Nicole and then see Cara Beth (Chris' sister) and Brent tomorrow. We are excited about a weekend away from "regular" life.  It's always nice to change your scenery a little and slow down a little.  We will head back Saturday and go straight to the LA TECH vs. Grambling game.  It should be quite the football game with TECH beating Grambling in the football game, but Grambling dominating in the battle of the bands. :) :)  At least it should prove to be quite entertaining. Hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!!

Sunsets, whales, and big waves....

Hey guys, this is Chris....and I am finally contributing to our blog!  I thought it might be interesting to post some our beautiful pics we took while on our honeymoon at Maui, Hawaii, in January 2010.  I know this is from a few months ago, but we hope you enjoy....
Quick stop while driving on the Highway to Hana.

looking down the 300ft cliff in our backyard!

This is the view from our back porch

the grocery store we shopped at while staying just outside Paia

We went searching for "JAWS"...the famous surf on the Northshore of Maui.  We think we found it!

One of many beautiful waterfalls we spotted while on the Highway to Hana.
While driving in the "Upcountry," looking down at Wailea-Makena & Kihei.
Dinner at Mama's Fish House....Yummy!
Amanda wrote our names in the sand while waiting for the "Feast at Lele" to start.
Enjoying the picture perfect sunset at the Feast of Lele.
Whale watching with this great organization.
We saw at least 5 whales and got some great video, but this was the only picture that came out decent....a "pec slap."
On our whale watching expedition!
The entrance gate to where we stayed on Maui!
This flower was near our front door....big, bright, and beautiful!