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!

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!

Signed a Lease!

We don’t have a house quite yet, but we signed a lease today!

The owners move out in the next couple weeks, and Lord willing we get to move in about mid-August. It’s a great size for us and a great location! We will be 7 minutes from the church!

To celebrate, we went out for Mexican food.

And wow… after 10 years of making our own Mexican food in Malawi, this was so good!

Smiles all around!

We Got Wheels!

Not so long ago, and not so far away, we had a gold Toyota Fortuner.

It was a great car. It was big and safe, it could hold 7 people, it had traction control so could do muddy roads, and it had a great manual transmission with some serious get-up-and-go. It was, for our family, the perfect African vehicle.

We were sad to sell it, but the Lord had good plans for it. A pastor friend wanted to buy it, and a church in the States that knows both him and our family helped us all out by making sure that the pastor could get the car and that we could sell it before we left Malawi. Win-win, everyone is happy! Just a little sadness at leaving behind such a great car…

Fast-forward a couple months, and look at what we got:

A silver Toyota Fortuner! It’s one year newer than our Malawi version and it’s silver, but otherwise it’s exactly the same car! Same interior, same 7 seats, same traction control, same perfect-for-our-family African vehicle.

And similar to the Malawi side of the story, the Lord had good plans on this side as well. This Fortuner belonged to a family who are emigrating to New Zealand on Sunday, and the Lord not only provided us with a car, but also provided a way for this family to sell their vehicle before they move!

One funny difference between Fortuners in Malawi and Fortuners in South Africa is how the name is pronounced. In Malawi it is pronounced FORTUNE-er. Here in South Africa many people say for-TUNE-er. For the life of me, I can’t help but hear “I went fishin today an caught me for-TUNE-er fish!” 🤣