Thursday, 7 August 2014

Border Crossing- Simple??!!

Is any border simple--no big deal? Maaaybe...somewhere. But certainly not between Mozambique and Malawi. I'm not sure why it had to take so long, but being ignorant with the language and customs certainly didn't help.


Look around you. See all the traffic, even huge older trucks nosing it for a better spot? See all the pedestrians and all the different stops we have to make and all the papers we have to sign. Quite a deal, huh?  I reckon this is a favorite spot for both beggars and sellers! Ah, but they have such appealing eyes...the beggars, I mean, and the craftsmen sure did want us to come to their open air markets. Sometimes they would come right up to us with their goods. Did I actually say sometimes??!! They must spot a tourist a mile away and make a beeline towards us! But hey, we can't help everyone, not that we were even tempted, sorry to say!


There is one unforgettable border crossing though. We had a man and a boy in our truck. The boy had had a club foot that had been surgically repaired, earlier, and now infection had set in so Milton was bringing him in to the Be In CURE hospital. This memory isn't about them though, because they were so quiet, I hardly noticed them.


While we were milling around, mostly waiting, of course, I caught sight of a young mother with a sad face and a baby on her back. She was holding a little boy by the hand. For some reason she tugged at my heart so I said Bon Deah. (Good day) She responded without any light in her eyes, and a little while later I decided to try again, so pointed to her baby and said "Bonita." Surely that would make her smile. I think it means "Beautiful" in Portuguese and doesn't every mother like to have her child complimented? It brought a response alright, but I couldn't understand a single word she said, so Milton had to come to my rescue.


It came out that she wanted just a little money, but our son investigated further and found out that her little boy's arm had gone limp a month or two before, and he strongly suspected that he had Malarial Cerebral Palsy. (Groan) So we  brought her with us into Malawi and to the hospital. It was hard on me having her sit in the back of our covered truck while we sat in comfort in the front, so offered to join her there. I was told that it was okay,  she was probably sitting on our luggage so I went quiet.


An interesting cultural difference showed up at the hospital. She didn't mind if I helped carry her luggage, but when my husband picked something up, she quickly said, "Let it be, let it be."


She was overwhelmingly grateful for the room in the hostel and other assistance All I could do was haltingly try to point her to the Giver of All Good Gifts.


Please pray for her. I hope all is well with her and her family.