Yesterday, we went to check in on 4 of the boys we have taken back to their families in the last few months. The first boy, Fazinda, lives in Maniça about an hour and a half from Maputo. We stopped along the way and bought 6 large sheets of tin for the construction of his house. Then we headed to Castigo's house which was over an hour from there. We got a little lost trying to find his house and a neighbor in his village had to get in the car with us and direct us to the right house! This was our first visit to Castigo and Fazinda since they had gone home so we took each of them a suitcase full of blankets and clothes. We'll return to their houses again in August to help them start up a small business. Next, we drove to Xai-Xai. I was determined that I wasn't going to backtrack an hour to the main road just to go back in the same direction. I knew there had to be a more direct route . . . and there was but it was mostly dirt roads. So the shortcut didn't really save us any time. But we made it to Xai-Xai where we visited 2 boys, Antonio and Leonel. Antonio was having some problems with the village chief about registering as a resident so we went to his house and spoke with his wife and got it all sorted out. Then it was off to Leonel's house. . . sadly at this point it was already after 3:00 and we still had more than a 3 hour drive back to Maputo so we did not stay long.
All of the boys are doing well with their families! Leonel is the only one in school right now and he is making good grades. In January, when the new school year begins, we'll help the other boys get registered for schools in their communities. Antonio's small business of selling cokes on the beach near his house had failed but he surprised us with the news that he has gotten a job at a little shop near his house! I put together small gifts to take to each of the families - a plastic tub with some basic food items. And thanks to my brother, we were able to take a soccer ball to each of the boys...which was their favorite part of our visit!!!