A pastor's committment!

5:33 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

One of the pastors I had previously met at a training seminar, arrived recently in the village where we were training. He had travelled 3 days by bicycle, sleeping on the side of the road, to be at a leader’s meeting. On his journey he hit a cat (well the cat ran into the front wheel on his push bike) wrecking his front forks (I didn’t ask how the cat was) and throwing him into the dirt. Fortunately the pastor was unhurt and smiling as he arrived on foot a day late because he had walked the final part of the trip so not to miss the meeting.

The last I heard, the other pastors at the meeting were raising money to purchase him a new bike as the broken one was old and the Pastor travels a lot visiting churches in his area. It certainly takes a huge commitment to be a pastor in the African bush.

Uganda: Over 30,000 prisoners at risk of starving to death

5:56 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

Uganda's Daily Monitor says "an estimated 34,000 prisoners countrywide may starve to death this financial year" if the government fails to mobilise just over US$9 million to feed them. It says food and health care are seriously under-funded.

The Kampala Declaration on Prison Conditions in Africa, signed in 1996 by 40 African governments, said most African prisons were overcrowded; they were often a breeding ground for disease, including HIV/AIDS and TB, and in many countries prisoners depended on family and charities to provide basics such as food.
Source: IRIN (Reuters)

An Instrument in the Hand's of God.

5:26 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

Isaiah 10:15 Can the axe boast greater power than the person who uses it? Is the saw greater than the person who saws? Can a whip strike unless a hand is moving it? Can a cane walk by itself?

Who are we to think that we do the work? We don’t save anyone, we don’t build the church and we don’t build a ministry; God does. He faithfully uses us as his instruments and that is our place. We have the ability that God has given us and without it we could do nothing.

Thank you Lord that you chose to use me as your instrument. Help me to follow your will and to listen to your instructions not racing out in front, but letting you guide my steps.

Bush bridge

2:07 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

The local church made sure we could access their village by constructing rough bridges across creeks. This bridge was made from railway line covering logs. Other bridges were made from reeds lined up in rows to give us a firm base to drive along. You don’t want to break down here, it is a long walk to the nearest “garage”.

Aussie sign

2:29 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

I wish help was this close in Africa

Nice road

4:18 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

Yes this is the “road’’ we travelled on to get to a training session. It took nearly 3 hours to travel 80km. The people we saw along the way could often be seen diving for cover in fear as they saw “white men” coming. The road started out as a track but ended up as a bike track for the last 20km or so.

Malaria on the increase in Mozambique in 2008

4:12 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

At least 182 people died of malaria in the first six months of 2008 in Mozambique's central province of Zambezia, 31 more compared to 2007, the daily Noticias reported on Wednesday.

The increase was attributed to the lack of sensitisation on the disease on the part of health workers. Patients were also not finishing their medication, the report read.

According to Unicef, malaria in Mozambique was the primary cause of ill health, accounting for 40 percent of out-patient consultations, 60 percent of paediatric in-patients and a third of hospital deaths. - (Sapa)

Pongue River

10:24 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

This is a picture taken of a canoe on the Pongue river. We visited the area to hold some training. The river has hippos and crocodiles but this does not stop local people from fishing and traveling on the water in boats with very little freeboard (height) above the water.

The Zambezi River

5:17 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

Some geographical information of interest, courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Zambezi (also spelled Zambesi) is the fourth-longest river in Africa, and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The area of its basin is 1,390,000km², slightly less than half that of the Nile. The river is 2,574 km in length and has its source in Zambia and flows through Angola, along the borders of Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, to Mozambique, where it empties into the Indian Ocean.

The Zambezi's most spectacular feature is Victoria Falls on the Zambia / Zimbabwe border, the world's largest waterfall.

There are two main sources of hydroelectric power on the river. These are the Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe, which provides power to Zambia and Zimbabwe and the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique which provides power to South Africa.

Caia is a town on the south bank of the Zambezi River, Mozambique. It is the site of one of the largest ferries across the river, a vital link on the main north-south highway which runs the length of the country near the coast. The ferry is often unreliable and may not operate when the river experiences its annual flood.

In 2007 construction started on the longest road bridge to span the Zambezi. With a length of 2376 m and width of 16 m the Caia Bridge will cost US$80 million.

Mozambique to invest in gas powered vehicles

6:01 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

MAPUTO - Mozambique will invest in gas powered vehicles to reduce its dependence on imported fuel and cut down its soaring oil bill, a minister said on Tuesday.

Environment Minister Alcinda Abreu, told reporters that Mozambique's plentiful supplies of natural gas could play a big role in achieving the country's energy and environmental goals.

It has already imported several gas-operated buses for public transport from China.

"Mozambique is a country with huge potential in the energy sector and natural gas is a resource that occupies a special position, with reserves estimated at 3.6 trillion cubic feet in the Pande and Temane fields (in the southern province of Inhambane)," she said.

Mozambique will this year spend $700 million on fuel imports due to the increase of crude oil on the international market.(Charles Mangwiro - Reuters)

More chicken trouble

12:03 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

I asked the neighbour of our house if she would like to sell some chickens. I asked for brown ones not white one's as here the brown chicken breeds seem to be stronger than white. That's when I got confused, she told me she didn't have brown just white. I could see brown chickens and had never seen a white chicken at her house. After going inside she came out with white cotton and handed it to me and said sorry I just have white. I saved face and said thanks but I really wanted brown. I walked away thinking I would get chickens another day, but wondering what went wrong with our conversation.
As it turns out, I asked for Galinha (chicken) and she brought me linha (cotton)misunderstanding my accent.

Rapid phone connection.

7:21 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

I turned on the computer this morning to update our blog and could not get an Internet connection. I checked the phone to find it also was dead. Friday night is the night of "movement" so I walked outside and found someone had stolen 70 meters of phone line along the street.
It seems I have friends in the phone company because the phone line was replaced within 2 hours on a Saturday. The boss wanted me to call him once it was fixed. He asked what are we going to do as we are in Africa and thieves will keep taking the wire. I suggested underground wires and he is already organising a crew for next week to bury the line. This is great service considering the part of the world we live. We thought we would go without Internet for 1 or 2 weeks, yet it was only 2 hours so we are very grateful for the prompt response.

High Rollers

11:51 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

We were following these guys on a major highway the other day. People travel for hundreds of kilometers perched up on the load like this. It makes you wonder how many fall off. I have seen one guy pick himself up on a dirt road, he was covered in dust and the ute was waiting for him further along the road. If you ask me he would have been brave to get back on for a second go.

Computers - what a wonderful helpful tool?

7:36 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments


I am very aware of the lack of computer experts in Mozambique. With this in mind I carefully backed up all of our data before leaving Australia and back up regularly here. We have had a hardware problem that weeks of fixing could not cure. It was time to format the hard drive. Ouch… I read online how to do this and backed up all the documents. I also used Norton Ghost to copy the complete hard drive onto DVD’s. I copied the names of all the drivers for components on the computer just incase some of the drivers did not reloaded properly. A great fool proof plan, or so you would think.

Would you believe it Norton Ghost can’t access its own files to reinstall the hard drive information. I don’t know if it’s a dodgy DVD or a dodgy program. So back to the original installation DVD’s. For some reason now I am without Microsoft Money 2005 yes I have a registration key but no installation disk (must have left it in Australia). I can download the program online that needs to be installed on machines with a date older than 2006, guess what my machine is considered new by Microsoft due to the reformatted hard drive.

Six days later I am still three drivers short, but at least the computer is working.
The fun we have living in the third world, you have to be an expert because there often is not someone else. The leading computer shop in town has a reputation of reformatting the computer hard drive to fix everything.

If you know of online sites that can provide me with MS Money 2005 and or the following drivers;
Texas Instruments PCIxx21/x515 cardbus controller
ATI RADEON XPRESS 200M (display adapter)
Texas Instruments PCIxx21 Intergrated FlashMedia Controller.
Please email me with solutions and I will name my next child in your honor. (no Kim is not pregnant just a figure of speech.)

Language hiccups.

1:26 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

I was buying some hens to keep for eggs. (I would like meat chickens but with Gabi and Thomas wanting pets this might not work.) I saw some running up the road about the right age so I found the owner and asked to buy some.

No problem, until I said hens only but no cats. She was confused and got her son. I repeated no cats and then he too was puzzled. Until I crowed like a rooster and said no cats. I meant no roosters but the word for rooster is Galo and the word I said was Gato. A couple of locals will smile every time they see me.

Access to Clean Water

10:24 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Monday urged the African Union (AU) to reaffirm its commitment to place drinking water, sanitation and water resources in general at the centre of the continental agenda.

President Guebuza said that the Mozambican government is committed to ensuring that 55 per cent of the population has access to clean drinking water by 2009, and that this indicator reaches 70 per cent by 2015.

As for decent sanitation, the targets are that this should be within reach of 37 per cent of the Mozambican population by 2009, and 60 per cent by 2015. "The fact that indications show we will reach the millennium goals at the current pace does not satisfy us", stressed President Guebuza. "We are aware that many of our fellow countrymen will still be walking long distances in search of drinking water, and will be competing with wild animals for this precious liquid". - (AIM NEWS)

Recent Training

5:28 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

We recently travelled north, for a week to run two seminars in the bush. The teaching is given in Portuguese which a number of people understand, then interpreted into a local language for those who don’t speak the national language. (In the bush this is the majority). Why don’t we just learn the local language? There are over 20 to learn so it might take a while! We sleep in tents and eat beans and rice for lunch everyday. For our night meal we eat whatever our local hosts prepare - sometimes beans and rice. Other meals consist of corn-meal with fish or chicken. The pastors who attend these seminars are starved for bible teaching. They are otherwise isolated without resources to access to help them. The training is well attended and much appreciated.