Unexpected Pets

It was very hard to leave Simba and Samson, our two Great Danes, back in Malawi. Ever since then, we have been talking as a family about whether or not we will get another pet, and if so what kind? Bird? Fish?

And then one day I got a call from Matt while he was working at the church. The gardener at church had caught a mother and baby sparrow, and would we like to take them home and release them later? I confirmed that the baby could fly, and agreed to our first temporary pets. We only had them for about an hour, and then let them fly off. The baby was very docile, and a little confused when it ran into a glass door, so Abi held it for a little while.

Soon it was doing fine, and joined its mother in a nearby tree.

A few days later, Matt came home with another box, another temporary pet: a tiny, scared bunny, that was quickly named Charcoal and given a temporary home in a tall planter. Very temporary: in less than an hour Charcoal had escaped and hidden either under the low decking or under the wooden storage building in the yard. “Temporary” quickly became “we can’t catch her!”

And so: we now have a pet rabbit living in our back yard. We didn’t choose her, but I guess she chose us!

She eats leaves (like in this picture), but prefers red hibiscus flowers. She has been with us more than a week, and if we ever do catch her, I’m not sure if we would take her back to the church property or if we would keep her. I’m guessing she would stay! So much for temporary!

Week 1 in Our House

We are in!

There were a LOT of boxes!

And a lot of things to fix and rewire.

We took a few breaks along the way.

And we made some great progress – enough that we’ve been back to school for 3 days already!

Some parts of our house are looking better than others. These bookshelves look pretty impressive until you look closely and realize that the books are not sorted at all! That will come. Still lots of unboxing and sorting to do, but this place is starting to feel like home!

Container on the Move

Last we heard – Friday morning – our container was supposedly crossing the boarder into Zimbabwe (orange circle in the pic below). We are told to expect it at our new house sometime the middle of next week!

Container travel to Joburg

There’s still a lot of geography between our container and our home, but we are glad to hear it’s on the move!

Moving Next Week… Maybe?

We are set to receive the keys for our new home on Sunday, so we are working with our moving company to send our container down from Malawi to be able to move in Monday or Tuesday next week. We are finalizing things on this end, but we got this message from the moving company:

“We are preparing the Customs Export Entry now and want to load this week but opposition has called for strikes again this week threatening to close the airport and borders. So we have to see how it goes and will keep you informed as we go along.”

Malawi is a bit unsettled these days, and our hearts – and apparently our plans – are still very much tied to our former home! Please pray with us that our container can clear the boarder in the next couple days without incident!

moving boxes

This is what we are waiting for… lots of boxes! 

Birthday Girl!

Abigail turned 9 this weekend! To celebrate, we planned a couple adventures for her – one with our family and one with new friends.

girls with lion cub

Our family went to visit a lion park nearby. We got to drive through the park to see lion, cheetah, and wild dogs, and the girls got to pet lion cubs too! This one was a 5 month old white lion.

abi feeding giraffe

We also got to feed a giraffe, which was a lot more fun and a lot less messy than we thought it would be!

matt with map

For fun time with her new friends, we made a treasure hunt, complete with map, hidden messages, and a treasure at the end of the hunt!

girls hunting

It took a bit of work and a lot of cooperation, but they worked hard for over an hour to figure out the clues, follow the map, and find all the message bottles.

treasure.JPG

At the end: buried treasure! All things sparkly and fun for little girls, including gold wrapped chocolate Kugerrands!

abi with balloons

We love this little one, who is growing up so quickly these days! She is a joy to us, and we thank the Lord for her life every day of the year!

Exploring

One of my favorite things about moving is exploring and trying to figure out new places. Where is our new favorite grocery store? Our (my) new favorite coffee shop (his new favorite tea)? And best of all: anything great quality, great price, and nearby!

Today I found 2 new favorites. Danielle, our hostess and guide to all things South African, pointed me in the direction of a fabric outlet and a butcher.

Ok, I should probably never be allowed to visit this place on my own! It is multiple warehouses of ideas and projects just waiting to be brought to life!

I love the feel of it, the smell of it, the potential of all these racks of fabric!

The girls caught on to my enthusiasm! 😊

We will definitely be back!

And then it was on to the butchers’…

This store had our mouths water from the first moment. It smells of delicious cooked meat… Abi said it was the best smelling store she had ever been in!

And you can get your own breakfast haggis!

Or, more likely for our family, a delicious treat of ostrich steaks! Unfortunately, no crocodile, but I guess you can’t win them all.

The big score at the butchers’ today was fantastic biltong! It was the first time I actually thought biltong was better than American beef jerky. This packet didn’t last 5 minutes once we got home and I had to say “Take the last piece out of your mouth so I can get a picture before it’s gone!!” Yay for new favorites!

Foreign Patient Liaison Officer

When we lived in Malawi, I always knew that any major medical issues would require a trip to South Africa – possibly a med-evac. Thankfully the Floreen family never had any major medical issues during our 10 years in Malawi, so never made the trip to visit a South African hospital. However, as soon as we arrived in SA, we headed to the hospital to see a good friend from Malawi. And this morning I’m sitting in a different hospital, waiting for another friend from Malawi to come out of surgery. The Dr just came to tell me the surgery went well and she is in recovery now.

Meanwhile, I wandered the hospital a bit, and I found that they have an office for me:

Ok, I’ll leave that official job to someone else! But I’m so glad we can be here to help these friends as they go through difficult times!

First Visitors

The prize for First Visitors goes to the Vieira family!

Amanda sent me a message on Saturday night to let us know they had decided on the spur of the moment to spend the end of their holiday time in Johannesburg and they would be coming to church with us the next morning! They joined us for church and then for the church picnic, and it was so wonderful to see these friends from Malawi. The girls loved being able to play with Cici again! We are thankful for friends old and new, and so glad we go to spend time with these dear ones again!