Thank you for your interest in Orphans Unlimited! Please contact us to schedule an interview before making any travel or other arrangements to visit us in Africa. Your visit must be approved by our office before you will be permitted to come join us on the field.
**Please read carefully as mistakes will cause you much inconvenience.**
To come to Mozambique, our Texas office can help you arrange your ticket from your departure city to Johannesburg, South Africa, with onward journey via LAM (Mozambique airlines) to Pemba, Mozambique. The Moz team will pick you up in Pemba for the 3.5 hour journey by pick-up truck to Balama.
IMPORTANT: A copy of your ticket must be included with your visa application, so you must have the ticket in hand before you can send for your visa.
All visitors are required to have short-term international medical insurance as Orphans Unlimited cannot be responsible for any medical bills you incur during your travels or visit time. www.globalhealthinsurance.com comes highly recommended by other missions groups. Click on “global expeditions” and follow the instructions to get a quote for your trip.
Visa applications can be obtained at www.embamoc-usa.org. Follow the instructions very carefully because any mistake could mean a rejection, no visa, and possibly a missed flight. No mistakes or mark outs are allowed. If you make a mistake, then copy another form and start over. Since the information on the back of the form could differ for each person, please contact the O.U. office before filling in that section. The appropriate information will be sent to you via e-mail.
All visitors entering Moz. are allowed personal items within reason and only $50 worth of new items (such as a soccer ball, CD or DVD) and a receipt must be shown for proof of value. Customs officials are very strict on this and if you exceed the limit, you could be asked to pay a penalty or lose the item.
Always be respectful, polite, and friendly when addressing customs officials. Getting angry and defensive can cause you many delays and increased penalties. It is their country and they are in charge. You have no rights beyond the limits of their rules, so please pay close attention to this, and do not bring over $50 worth of children’s clothing, toys, or candy in your luggage.
All electronics, CD’s, etc. should be in your carry on luggage for best protection from damage or theft.
What to bring:
- Clothing: Daytime weather is warm (70’s F) to hot (98’F) all year round with the exception of the nights from May to Aug. which can cool into the 50’s F.Cotton clothing is a must, as any nylon can cause a skin rash. Good quality running shoes or durable rafting sandals are the norm. Shoes must have nylon tops and not all leather or your feet will suffer terribly from the heat. Low top cotton socks recommended as the sweat from wearing no socks can cause your feet to develop heat blisters and possibly athletes foot fungus.Your travel clothing plus 3 changes of clothing for local missions work is enough as we wash 5–6 days a week. All clothing is hand washed by local women whom we have trained for this purpose. All visitors are requested to donate to the mission the cost of clothes washing.
- Perfumes, colognes, or scented deodorants, soaps, hairsprays, and shampoos tend to ATTRACT flies and mosquitoes and are not recommended. Each person must bring own toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, hair brush/comb, and toiletries as little is available in our area.
- VITAMINS-good quality type are a must! Multi vitamin, plus Extra B and C as these are missing in our diet much of the time and cannot be bought locally.
- Malaria preventative: Arrange a basic preventative like Doxicycline (non chloroquine based, as our area is Chloroquine resistent). Make sure you bring enough to last your entire stay, plus 2 weeks after you get home.
- Everyone must bring whatever snacks they desire (unfortunately, chocolate will melt) as only cookies and popcorn are available locally and are expensive.
- Must bring a flashlight with sufficient batteries for your visit. Batteries sold locally are poor quality. Head lamps for hikers are wonderful as it leaves your hands free to do your work.
- MOSQUITO NETS and mosquito repellent REQUIRED. Nets must have 4 corner ties and not the center tie.
Do not bring:
- Anything needing electricity as we only have solar power. (i.e. Hair dryer, curling iron, electric razor, etc.)
- No IPODS that charge from a computer as this is not possible here.
- We do have 12 volt rechargers for AA and AAA sizes if you want to bring rechargeable batteries.
- Do not bring your USA cell phone, as they do not work in Africa.
- We do not recommend you bring your laptop as the dust is very harmful to them.
- We do have staff laptops that can be used for simple text e-mail.
- No make-up is allowed at the Moz. base as the local people believe that people who paint their faces are prostitutes.
- No excessive jewelry for men or women for the same reason as the make up. Jewelry allowed for women is simple non hanging stud earrings, wedding ring, watch. Men are limited to watch and wedding ring. No ear, nose, or body rings allowed for men or women. Excessive Jewelry makes you a target for muggers, so play it safe and leave at home.
VERY IMPORTANT: NO TATTOS OR ANY KIND OF BODY ART, IS ALLOWED TO SHOW. Must be covered at all times when outside your home. That means long pants or long sleeve shirts AT ALL TIMES if the art is on lower legs and arms.
- Skirts, SPLIT SKIRTS, or dresses are required with no exceptions!
- MID-CALF LENGTH IS REQUIRED for all cotton dresses, skirts or split skirts (long loose fitting culottes that must look like a skirt when one is standing, must not look like trousers). This is the accepted standard for this culture and all missionaries comply with this to prevent loosing respect among the women.
- Length is important as showing your knees is considered prostituting and will not be allowed by O.U. staff.
- Women may travel in slacks, but must change into a skirt once on their way from the airport to the mission base, so carry it in an easy to access place in your luggage.
- T-shirts or cotton blouses with short sleeves or sleeveless is fine.
- NO blouses with shoulder straps, as that is too revealing.
- We live by the BBB rule: no boobs, bellies, or bums may show.
- Underwear: 4 pairs all cotton highly recommended to prevent skin rash and female problems. These items are not easily available in our area.
- FEMALE TOILETRIES must be brought in as they are not available here.
- 3 pairs of almost knee length cotton shorts (no “shorty” gym shorts — as men wear these in Moz. as underwear).
- Required: 1 pair long dress pants for church and government functions with nice short sleeve shirt
- 3 cotton shirts or t-shirts, short sleeves or sleeveless
- 4 Cotton underwear and socks as these cannot be bought in Moz.
- Shaving cream and disposable razors (not available in our area)
Living conditions for Balama:
- Housing: Simple cement brick housing with cement floor and high tin roof. Windows are screened and beds have a foam mattress on them.
- Lights are powered by solar power for night activities.
- We have flushing toilets, but we don’t have running water, so you must bucket the water from a barrel in the bathroom into the toilet tank.
- Cooking in our newly built brick walled, cement floored, fully screened in kitchen is on a propane gas stove. Everyone helps with cooking supper as we have a cook who does breakfast and lunch for us. Dining area holds 15 people and is fully screened with a beautiful view of our bird bath and mongoose/ferret watering hole.
- Clothes washing is done by two local women six days a week if needed.
- Bathing is by bucket bath, and we will warm the water on a fire if needed.
- Refrigeration is limited as our solar refrigerator is small, but it serves to hold perishables and a limited amount of cold water.
- Everyone is expected to help with simple daily chores around the mission houses — such as keeping your living area clean and your room and bathroom clean.