The IRIS base at Pemba (Heidi and Rolland Baker) is fairly developed and the schedules for the day, the size of the base and seeing some white people was quite a shock when we arrived! Iris seem to have really allowed people to take forward the variety of ideas they have for projects into the community so there are a lot of work going on.
We have spent the most part of the past three weeks in the vocational school, which is set up to try and help provide vocational training and to assist people in transitioning into jobs. Beth has had the chance to help with the business planning for a couple of small businesses that are starting/have started here to provide jobs for local people, and has also visited the microfinance class to hear about the various business that women have started there. In addition, together, we have been running "preparation for work" classes which aim to help tranistion people into jobs and help them start small businesses, by providing help with interview skills, CVs and basic training in budgeting etc. God seems to have timed our trip here very well. The couple who run these classes were unexpectedly returning to the UK for a month so we have been able to fill in for them whilst they were away.
We've also been involved in the Friday night nail painting session :) for the girls in the community and Ed has been speaking at a few of the discipleship groups for the boys at IRIS.
The highlight of this week was Ed's 30th Birthday!! We had such a special day. After opening a few presents, we walked along the beach with the sun shining on us. We started the celebrations with a full English breakfast, followed by doing our first scuba dive together off the coast of Mozambique, then a well deserved 'catch of the day' and relax at a nice hotel. Ending the day with some of the friends that we have made here at Iris and a Beth Baked Brownie.
Beth completed her PADI open water scuba diving course yesterday, despite vomiting alot / being very seasick. On our second day we got to see two humpback whales (a mum and her baby) jumping and splashing around near the dive site - awesomeness. Our final dive was down 18m for 33 minutes to 'The Gap' (this is a spectacular wall dive, located on the edge of the continental shelf 600 metres/2000 feet from shore on a drop-off of 80-120 metres/260-390 feet).
One of the most amazing things about the past month has been the number of people we have met from different countries. It has been a priviledge and so nice to hear their stories and get to know them.