Saturday, September 6, 2014

In the beginning ......

We are on a high learning curve here.  As we discuss the transfers of all the missionaries, the cities, the names of the apartments, it all sounds the same to us.  Here is an example:  Dilala, Kabasele, Dibindi, Laringono, Mutoshi, Mambuku, Rakotondrabe, Laputa, Munama, Kolwezi
Did you guess which was which?  
It is in this order: 
      an apartment, a name, an apartment, a name, an apartment, a name, an apartment, a city, 
a name and a city
Did you get them all right?

In our training they are going so fast with all the names we are lost.  When you don’t know whether they are speaking of a missionary or a city or the apartments they go to it is very difficult to follow.  It won’t take us long when we have some time to familiarize ourselves with the mission.  This transfer is not going very smoothly, even rough for here.  It should have been done in a week and now it could be at least two to more.  The flights are not running properly, the airport here is shut down every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Lubumbashi.  The  missionaries 14 missionaries being transferred out of Mwene-Ditu were waiting for there plane coming from Kanshasa picking them up and then going on to Lubumbashi decided not to land in Mwene-Ditu but came strait to Lubumbashi so the missionaries were left stranded.  They are now stranded there for a week.  That is just one example of many problems.  The new missionaries from the MTC in Ghana were to come Friday night and we may or may not get them by Sunday night.  There is no way to check when a flight is leaving or landing or who is on the flight.  We just wait for the helper who gets the missionaries on the plane at the other end to text us saying they are on the plane and the plane left at such and such a time.  Does that sound fun?  I think it is a little stressful.  Because of some area meetings here we will just get this transfer completed (hopefully) and the next week we start planning for the next transfer which will be 3 weeks after this one.  YIKES!!  … and we will be on our own, the Clawsons will have left by then.  

Well, we will get eventually but it may be time to come home by then.  (I hope I’m joking)

Here are some pictures from the last week.

We went through the house to show you where we live.  It is a big home but we are moving to a smaller one in 1 week.  We are happy about that.  We don't want to be cleaning all the time.  haha

This is our home.  We live in the upstairs apartment.
Our front door is behind the tree.  
The door behind the balcony comes off the living room.

This is the living room with the dining area.

This is our kitchen.
Note the lovely cupboards are open for the dust to accumulate.
It is a quaint little stove and the fridge is so tiny also.

This is one of the bathrooms.
The showers are very nice and large!
This is one of the best features.

This is an extra bedroom in case it is needed to house missionaries I suppose.

This is also an extra bedroom.
We keep our laundry things in here.

Just outside the kitchen door if you look to the right this is what you see.  
It is a nice balcony.

This is the laundry room we share with the other 2 couples here.
The dryer has a reservoir that collects water from the clothing and will stop until you empty the container of water.  It holds over a gallon of water.
We discovered that by accident.

These are the stairs we climb up and down to get to our apartment.
There are 21 stairs.

This is looking up those stairs.
Note the plants lining the railing.  They try to make it look nice.

This picture is taken from our door.  This is one of the better neighbourhoods here.
Note the mine mountain in the background.  
Many mine workers live in our neighbourhood so we get good power at night and the water is running most of the time too.  
They shut it off during the day but we are not here then anyways.

A close-up of the mine.

This is taken from our balcony.
Our guards stay in this little building.
When you drive up and honk, they open the gate.
It works quite well.  The guards work 24 hours a day and also take care of the yard and gardens.
They wash off our balcony and stairs each day.

This reminded me of Mauritius, Emily.
Remember all the broken tile they used?
It is quite nice.  I like it.

In the dry season it is very dusty.  
The leaves on this tree are evidence of that.
When the rain comes they will all be cleaned again.

These hollyhocks are in our yard.
Note the razor wire on top of the wall.
The guard takes our garbage to dispose of it and washes out the bags, 
then drys them on the line for re-use.

This is the compound out the back of the mission office.
Note the deep gutters for channeling the rain water in the wet season.
You could break a leg if you went out in the dark!!
See the little garden in the middle.
We'll take another picture

If you want to buy fish this is how they some.
These are frozen and you bag them yourself and take them home.
Kind of scary looking, don't you think?

I'm holding a box of tide.  This box washes 15 loads and cost about $10.

Here is a fellow carrying eggs down the street.
He is balancing them on his shoulder.
It would be a mess if he dropped them.

We went for a walk with Elder and Sister Davis.
Here they are holding hands but note the ditch filled with water and garbage.

The sidewalks are built over top of the gutters.  
You can see the sidewalk is broken up and the gutter beneath.
All the garbage in there will be washed away during the rainy season.

A local business.
They don't seem to be working today.

This is a "super" market.  It is very small inside.

We liked this tree.  Note the interesting root system.

This is a close-up of that tree.  
Aren't the roots beautiful?  These trees are all over.

This is a tree we really like.  We saw them in Florida as well.
Here they are all over the place.

This is a close-up of the blossoms on the tree.
They are so beautiful and the colour is splendid.

This woman is carrying all this fruit and you can only imagine how heavy this basket is.
The women here are always dressed up and they dress very modestly.
..... and it is hot here!!!

Here is a new construction site.  Note the brickwork.

These are the bricks they are using.  They are handmade.

This is a flower on a tree but we don't know the name of the tree.
The flower looks like a bottle brush.
Sister McKinley do you know the name of this tree?

This is a bougainvillea tree.
There are many of these as well.

Another one with a different colour of blossoms.

This is Wilson.  I don't know if he got his name from "Castaway" or not.
He is a very friendly dog.  I love him already.
He is so happy to see us when we come down the stairs in the morning and when we return home in the evening.
Although he did keep me awake for most of the night a couple of night ago "barking it up for no reason at all".
We thought of Brian Regan.  haha

Wilson has a dreadlocks on each side of his head just under his ears.
I don't know how he got them but there they are.

These two birds are on the roof of a neighbouring house.
The bird on the right has soothing in his beak.

A picture of our compound and the guard little house.  
He sits on that chair outside and quite often he sits inside too.
They are so friendly and smiling all the time.
They wave to us with two hands all the time.
That is how everyone waves here.
I love it.

Elder and Sister Davis are buying bananas from these ladies.
This is on our neighbourhood walk.  The ladies are always out selling.
They were very kind!!

This is just after church.  We took pictures of this little girl 'dressed to the nines'.
You should see the size of the purse she is carrying.

This little guy was so cute.  
He stood there staring at us and he wasn't too sure about us as we took his picture.  
He changed his mind when we showed him his picture, then he was all grins.

There was another little girl at church.  Her name is Immaculee.
She was very quiet but stood looking at me for a long time while we were talking in the foyer waiting to go in for Sacrament Meeting.  Then she walked over and rested her head against my side.
She was all smiles when I put my arm around her and held her close to me. 
 She didn't speak French, only Swahili.
We bore our testimonies in church so we sat on the stand.  Everytime I looked in her direction she was looking at me.  When I looked at her she opened into a bright smile each time.  What a darling girl.  I could have taken her home with me.

This is a video of Elder Draper showing how our water works.
As you can tell, he did it with one hand videoing and the other demonstrating.  It is quite awkward as he says at the end of the video.  haha

We hope you are not bored with all the photos.  We want to share what we are doing and seeing here.
It is a wonderful thing to be here on a mission.  There is so much work to do.  These people are in great need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as are we all.
We hope we will be able to accomplish what the Lord has in store for us here.


  1. I am enjoying reading of your adventures.
    (Mary Scott)

  2. I love your blogs! I wish you had time to post more. In fact, I'd enjoy a live video feed:) The video of Dad showing off your plumbing didn't work (at least not on my computer when I tried to watch a couple of times), but I'm sure it's awesome! I've been following Sister Thomas' blog and she's shared a lot of the more challenging things there. It all sounds like a great adventure but I really can't imagine what it would be like to actually live in those conditions and in such a different kind of society. So while I'm griping about the very premature and unwelcome snow that have covered Calgary today, I'll try to be grateful for the great country I live in!

  3. Ok, third time's a charm. I was able to watch your water purification video finally. When dad turned on the tap to run the water, I was thinking...don't waste it! But looks like you've got a great system in place if the tap won't work. So do you pump for each other while you shower too?

  4. We have running water. We use the pump only if the power is out. The water coming through the purification system is good to drink. If it comes through the tap we cannot drink it. We have running water for showers so far. It takes a while to get used to it. Mom

  5. It reminds me so much of Mauritius it hurts!!! Everything looks so wonderful! I am so happy you guys are having this adventure! Keep the pictures and blog posts coming!! Love you both!!

  6. I'm loving keeping up with your adventures and your service!!