It is really nice to be here and begin our adjustment and transition. It is quite a bit different than, and quite similar to, what we were accustomed to in Brazil. The kids have said several times that our surroundings, in general, feel quite familiar.
We’re adjusting to the altitude (about 6,000 ft) and feeling a bit nauseous and “off” but not ill. We’re sleeping a bit better each night (jet lag).
The portuguese is easier to understand but it will take some adjustment in speaking. Everyone here knows three or four languages so we are language wimps. English is spoken nowhere.
The city electricity is on for only a few hours a day, sometimes. We will live on generator power, mainly in the evening. We’ll have no power through the night so we will learn to get around in the dark and use the generator minimally during the day. The city water is untreated so we will purchase good filters for drinking water and they are available here, though expensive. We went shopping to check prices and, as expected, everything is quite expensive. For example, our generator, fridge, stove and washer will likely cost close to $10,000. We have been hugely blessed in that the SIM mission has offered to us furniture, a table and chairs, several beds, and a freezer left here from previous missionaries. This will so help. We have been so blessed by our Father financially though so many of you, yet we will have to work hard to stretch every dollar.
A new grocery store opened six months ago and is just like a smaller version of the stores in the States (first one like it here) and will be ten minutes from our apartment. Some things are cheap and some very expensive, so we will learn what to buy at the outdoor markets and what to buy there.
The city is crowded, unorganized, and has few traffic laws with many roads like I only experienced in the Amazon interior (huge ruts, rocks and holes). While driving in the city, one must be both cautious and aggressive. I’ll first learn about part of the interior when I drive with a friend 800 miles to pick up our ordered truck in Namibia. Crime is high, mostly thievery, so a lot of good sense is needed in moving around town. About every time we turn around, we are confronted by someone begging, often children. We will gain some perspective over time.
We have been so warmly welcomed and this has been good for our souls. We have had meals made for us, chocolates delivered for Easter, rides around town, and so many of the missionaries willing to spend time orienting us. This thorough orientation will mean so much in coming days. We’ve so much to learn. We feel like we have joined a family.
Another family arrived a couple months ago with kids the exact ages and gender of our kids. They spent the day together yesterday and had a great time. What a blessing! We are not worthy of such treatment (arriving at about the same time as the Fox’s) but our Father continues to show His affection for us in so many ways. We had a restful Easter Sunday, beginning with a large, city church service with the most remarkable choir I’ve ever heard. Worship appeared genuine and I look forward to getting to know some of the folks in the church and partnering with them in reaching out to those living remotely who don’t know our Father’s affection for them.
We are staying in the home of Steve and Peggy Foster, the leaders of the medical work here, who are currently visiting their daughter in Botswana. The house in situated in a missionary community and allows an easier first week for us. We so look forward to working with Steve and Peggy.
We hope to move into our apartment at the end of the week. This 2nd floor apartment will be more than adequate for us and is located in the middle of town, about 10-15 minutes from the hospital. It has a living area, a nice sized kitchen, three bedrooms and two baths. It also has a front balcony and a room that will double as a school room and office.
We will begin today looking for a used second car and appliances while spending the afternoon cleaning the apartment and fixing screens, as malaria is everywhere, though less during the dry season, which we are entering. I will focus on getting us situated and perhaps begin working at the hospital next week.
Our challenges begin! We look forward to being spent for the rural Angolan people, that more might see Him as He is, and know His heart for them. We begin confident in our Father’s care for us and that we work and live with your support and with so many cheering us on and praying for us. Thank you so much for your encouraging emails!