Saturday, May 19, 2007


Susanna Celso aka Plousia

"From the moment I first stepped off the plane onto African soil, I felt at home. It's hard to explain, but it felt like I belonged here. My three weeks in Africa were probably the best time of my life. I loved the continent: such an incredible mixture of hardship, adversity, antagonism; and life, hope, beauty, and love. The people of Africa were so genuinely, heart-warmingly welcoming and friendly, and I was amazed by their capacity to enjoy life and love despite the terrible circumstances they lived in (I spent most of my time with poorer people from the bush, so this may have influenced my perspective). It was a harsh place, yet a wonderful place.

A family. After I took the woman's portrait, the man pushed into the frame and demanded I take another one.

In the one conference session I made it too, a couple were married. He was one of the senior pastors. In Mozambican tradition, the bride and groom are supposed to look as sad as possible to signify their grief at leaving their families. He didn't do a very good job. She did, until a bit later when a smile started creeping in.

Two good friends, boys I also got to be good friends with, cooking. Same-sex friends have no problem expressing affection in ways we don't in the West.

Unloading spinach from the truck after a market run. While I was there, a conference was held which hosted about 2000 people. Feeding that many people is a big chore! The spinach is used in a local dish called "matapa". It is not only nutritious, as a missionary cheerfully informed me, it "keeps them regular".

A beautiful catch brought to the mission compound for sale. Because it lies on the ocean, fish are plentiful and cheap, a good source of protein and nutrition for even the poorest local people.

This was a very sad story with a happy ending. This boy came to the centre for the conference. One of the visitors noticed the terrible wounds on his neck and investigated. Upon pressing, they learned that they'd been inflicted on him by his mother. This boy was immediately taken in to live at the centre and despite a slew of health problems blossomed.His name was Jacob.

This was area just outside the mission "compound". Tall fence and some amazing trees.

African-style. Antonio aka the man supervising from his chair.

The passion of this boy. The children loved to worship as much as the adults did, even more.

I love this little sweetie. Note the umbilical hernia, common in these children. Probably from being born with no medical supervision.

This is a common pastime for African girls, as their hair takes so much time to arrange. The children were much more patient and far more affectionate and willing to serve one another than any children I have seen.

The kids love their photo taken

The cooking arrangement: a pot over an open fire. Very smoky.

A woman hanging out her clothes to dry, Beira,

Beira, Mozambique. I came upon this baby, laid on a sheet of plastic on the ground for its nap, covered over and wrapped up in several colourful capulanas, the traditional skirt wrap which is used for everything from carrying babies to bedsheets.

"I enjoyed my time in Africa immensely, was deeply sad to leave, and hope very much to come back someday."
-Susannah Celso

Susanna’s photos are from a three-week trip she made to Iris Ministries (, Mozambique, Africa; from visits to their Maputo, Beira, and Pemba bases. “Easily the best three weeks of my life.”

More Photos Click here

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