Jenny was apprehensive about their new move. On one hand it was exciting. That was the thing she loved about her husband, Joe. They had met in college.
He was a senior in Animal Science, kind of nerdy, but always full of ideas. She had gotten pregnant in her first year of college and had to quit the swim team. All those hopes of her family seemed ruined. That full scholarship to be on the swimming team had been wasted; and for what?
Jenny had been a starry eyed girl off of the farm who had done so incredibly well with her diving and gymnastics. They didn't have money to keep her in school once she lost the scholarship. Fortunately, her husband had plenty of potential work lined up.
Joe's family farmed several thousand acres of irrigated land in central Kansas. The oil wells provided a modest income that made it possible to buy decent farm equipment. Joe was good at farming, but eventually wanted more of a challenge. Besides, the world economy was changing.
Mozambique was a new frontier with good climate and cheap land. It was becoming more profitable for foreigners to buy land there and ship the beef to other countries cheaper than from the U.S.
Joe had several brothers who could help his parents with the farm. He could monitor the financial side from his new home through the internet. He could monitor rainfall, crop progress, etc. from his computer.
It was not hard to get loans from the banks for several thousand acres in this wild country because of their oil holdings. Never the less, Jenny was apprehensive about many things. She was hesitant of pulling her thirteen-year-old daughter, Stephanie, out of school and have to make new friends. The Website from the U.S. State Department seemed guarded; not overflowing with praise about life in this African country.
They had a nice stone house, and several big stone barns that formed the outside walls of a compound with a beautiful view of the sea and river running into it.
Beira is the second largest city in Mozambique. It lies in the central region of the country in Sofala Province, where the Pungue River meets the Indian Ocean. Beira had a population of 546,000. It holds the regionally-significant Port of Beira which acts as a gateway for both the central interior portion of the country as well as the land-locked nations
They did not particularly know, and failed to check on why they were able to buy so much land so cheaply. Never the less, it was in a good location for farming, exporting the cattle, and schools for their daughter.
After they had been settled in for about a year, Joe's parents decided to come over for a visit. Jenny had gone into town to pick them up from the airport. When they got to the farm, Joe had surprised them with a big barbeque. There were several picnic tables under a large picnic shelter that Joe had built. It was big enough to hold about forty people, but this was going to be a small family gathering.
Joe's parents were young for grandparents. Both of them were fifty, which wasn't that unusual for people of their generation. Ken and Laura had married right out of high school. Even after having three boys, she was an elegant woman. Her tall, thin, athletic figure went un-noticed in her black Stetson, boot-cut Levis, checkered short sleeved shirt and short hair. Laura often wore a fairly skimpy halter top and shorts at home when doing chores, so she had an exceptionally pleasantly tanned completion typical of farm people from central Kansas.
Joe and his dad were just outside the shelter, turning the barbequed pig on the spit while Jenny and Laura were inside bringing out the cart with dishes, glasses, silverware, potato salad and condiments to use on the picnic table, when a line of military vehicles came around some trees and pulled into their long front drive, sending a plume of dust up behind them. There were several full-sized ram pick-up trucks, and a large black Hummer. The black soldiers in green fatigues jumped out of their trucks with their Uzis and formed a line facing the startled white family. When the black Hummer stopped, a huge black man with the insignia of a Colonel on his shoulders got out of the back seat. He had a baseball cap, full, wrap-around dark sunglasses and a leather riding crop.
Jenny was alarmed because the State Department Website had indicated that the political situation in that country was a bit tenuous. "Can I help you gentlemen?" Joe asked as he wiped his hands and approached the apparent leader.
"Colonel Letard is my name. I am here to inspect your property. You are new here and this is the first time I have been out here since it was sold last year." The huge man answered with a slight smirk as he eyed the compound. "The last family here was executed for importing drugs. We are here to see what it is being used for now."
"Well, we are raising wheat, and corn to feed our livestock we export back to the U.S." Joe replied with an uneasy smile.
About that time, Laura and Jenny came out the door with their cart of items to set on the table. Laura, a very elegant woman was slightly behind her daughter in law. Jenny had worn thong sandals, a fairly short and sleeveless sun dress which buttoned down the front and fluttered tantalizingly in the breeze. Her time in the African sun had given her athletic body a beautiful tan that glittered from the tiny droplets of perspiration that was growing from the apprehension she was feeling. Her long curly hair hung down her back almost to her waist. Because of the intense African heat, Jenny had been wearing very skimpy bras. They were of the same almost transparent fabric used in pantyhose, and did almost nothing to conceal the size and location of her long-stemmed pink nipples that seemed to want to escape through her thin form-fitting rayon summer dress.
Jenny tried to cross her arms in front of her when she felt the heated stares from the Colonel and his men. They had rarely seen white women before and this was a rare treat.
Their daughter, Stephanie, had been about a quarter mile away, driving the huge John Deere and disking one of the fields when she noticed the dust plume that followed the main road and turned into their family compound. With almost no visitors to their remote farm house, she decided to unhook the disc and drive the tractor back home to see who the guests were.
When she pulled into the yard, she jumped out of the cab and down four feet to land on the soft deep grass next to the drive.
Colonel Letard looked up to see this beautiful young creature open the cab door and spring out of it. This young girl had curly blond hair that bounced as she walked. She had dark brown working boots that laced up to just below her knees. She had a sleeveless checkered work shirt that buttoned down the front and was tucked into her faded cut off denim levis. The jeans were so short that the pockets had been cut and shortened so they would not stick out at the bottoms of her shorts. The bottoms had been hemmed neatly. The blue shorts and brown boots accented her long suntanned legs magnificently. Stephie's budding young breasts bobbed innocently as she walked. Since she had been in the field, her mother had not insisted that she wear a bra. As she approached the gathering, she slowly realized that there was something wrong with this picture. The phalanx of uniformed black men with guns had a menacing stance. Her parents had an uneasy posture and gaze as they watched her approach. They had just as well have preferred that she had stayed in the field rather than come to the house. They were still not sure about the situation they were in, but did not want to say anything un-friendly to their uninvited guests.
"I see that you have some nice food almost done on the barbeque." The colonel said with a menacing grin. Joe looked over at his wife, not knowing what to say. "Would you like to have dinner with us?" he asked, not knowing how to get out of it.
"Thank you." The colonel replied. The men sat down at several of the picnic tables. Joe and his father went back to the grill to bring back the finished pig. Jenny and Laura set the plates, glasses and silverware.
The colonel sat at the center of one of the picnic tables. He whispered something in another language to some of his men, and the men across from him moved to vacate that side of the table.
"Miss Jenny; why don't you and your daughter come and sit on each side of me, please." the colonel smiled as he gestured with both arms. Jenny and Stephanie looked in horror towards Joe for some kind of reaction.
"Colonel, we don't want to appear inhospitable, but I don't feel it would be right." Joe replied making every effort to mask his simmering rage. Jenny sensed the tense situation between the men. "Please, Joe, we can get through this. We'll be alright. Please don't do anything. I'll sit with him." She said quietly with her arm around his waist. Jenny was trying to mask her fear and do what she could to diffuse the situation.
Jenny grabbed her daughter's hand and walked over to the same side of the picnic table as the colonel. She could feel Stephanie's trembling as they both tried to mask their terror as they approached the large black man. Colonel Letard held his hand out as a chivalrous gesture as she approached the picnic table. There was no real modest way to seat herself as she raised one leg and then the other over the picnic bench. The short dress parted somewhat and rose from just above her knees to almost mid-thigh as she positioned herself over the seat to face the table. Stephanie sat next to her daughter and they continued to hold hands for support.
.... There is more of this story ...