Monday, November 24, 2014

Notes in November!!

This computer is not working at all.
I'll tell you what the pictures are here because it won't let me go underneath some of the pictures.
The 2nd picture is of little boys at the river sitting on the banks after a swim.
They have lots of fun here everyday swimming.

The 3rd picture is of two darling little boys in their suits on Sunday.
Aren't they cute little brothers?

The next picture without any writing is of a house with the clothes out on the line to dry.
Everyone puts their clothes out to dry.
The funny thing in this picture is what the person beside the car is wearing. 
A winter coat with the hood up!!!
Really?  It is over 30˚ here.

The next picture is a beautiful garden.
There are many beautiful gardens.  This one has been planted not too long ago.
They grow up fast and they produce a lot of food.
I'd love a garden like this at home.

We are having a great time as we travel a little to see the country.

This is a picture of the river that runs through Lubumbashi.
This is where many women come to wash their clothing.  
They wash is and then lay it out on the ground for it to dry.

        This is Justin (say it with a French pronunciation) who works in our office with his family.
                            He and his wife, Christine, are both returned missionaries.
                     He is the Stake President in the Katuba Stake here in Lubumbashi.
                                   He is a wonderful man.  We love serving with him.

These little children are taken with Neil's white skin.  
Aren't children wonderful?  They don't hold anything back.

This little girl I thought was so adorable as she just took off on her own to go home from church.
I love her little outfit and the determination with which she walked.
You can see that she is walking with a purpose.

This little home has only a curtain for a door.
I thought it was an interesting building in front with a thatched roof. 

Often along the highways there are a few homes like this built up in a little community.
Maybe it is family that all live together.
They spend a lot of their day sitting in the shade visiting and doing chores.
This is a very common sight.

This man was just entering his home.
I thought it was a good example of how they keep the roofs down on their homes.
Sometimes they put rocks on and sometimes branches from trees.

                                        You can find people using their bikes to assist them
                                        in carrying most anything from one place to another.

This is a little group of homes on the side of the highway.
These homes are being used.  This is how some of the people live here.
We should be so grateful for what we have.
None of us in North America live in these conditions.

We were on the highway and came upon this truck.  It is so funny to see people riding on top of the vehicles on the highway.  Where are the safety police?

                                        This is a home with branches holding the roof down.
                             Some of the poorer areas use tarps to make walls of their homes.

As we entered into a town this was the main street with businesses lining both sides of the street.
You'll notice that use of tarps again.

There are big ditches everywhere for the water to run down in the rainy season.
They have to have little bridges to cross to get off the main roads and into the communities.
Some of the bridges are a little scary to cross.
You just hope they will hold you up.

It is common to see vehicles of all kinds abandoned along the highways and roads.
When they are abandoned they are stripped clean pretty quickly.

This is a mound of clay that they make bricks from.
These mounds are found all over, always with trees growing on them.
The people here say they are a gift from God.
They make their own bricks, fire them and build their houses. 
They sell extra bricks for money.
                                          This is how many people make their living here.
                            They will push their bikes for miles and miles to sell their wares.                                      
                 They will return home just to load up again and push their bikes around again.
                They have to work so hard to get it up the steep hills and then work just as hard
                                        going down the hill to keep it from running away.
                           This is such hard work and to do it in the heat must be horrible.

                  This fellow has gathered this wood probably to make charbon to sell or to cook with .

                   Right in the middle of nowhere you'll find a little green plant growing all alone.

There are many trees like this that have been cut down and are just lying in the streets.
I'm not sure if they will use them for some particular reason or if they will just lay there forever.
We see them all over.  They are big trees too.

                          It is hard to say if those bricks will be used in completing this building.
                           It is common for buildings to be partially built and then just left to sit.

We have lots of fun here together laughing about our living conditions.  Many times as we talk about how things are here someone will say, "TIC" meaning "This is the Congo" or "OIC" meaning "Only in the Congo".  We could soon become discouraged if we didn't laugh about our conditions.

One of the sisters here has some cute little sayings.
One of them is:  When you shop here in the DR Congo it is like shopping at Costco.  If you see it, buy it now because when you go back it won't be there.  The quality of what we buy in the Congo is that of a Dollar Store.  The prices are that of a Boutique.

How true this is.  We bought Skippy peanut butter when we first got here and there were about 100 jars on the shelf.  When we went back one day there wasn't a jar to be found and it hasn't been back since.
We saw some clothes hangers at the store when we first got here but haven't seen them since that first shopping trip.  Seriously, no hangers anywhere.  It is the same with clothes pegs.
We are having an American Thanksgiving dinner this week and are trying to figure out how we can have close to what would be a traditional dinner.  It'll be interesting.  Sister Thomas did see a jar of cranberries in the store today.  I'm looking for yams and ingredients to make dressing.  We'll see what we can come up with.  Our pumpkin pie will be made out of a squash with pumpkin seasoning.  It is all good fun trying to make things like home.  It's good we can all laugh at the situation.  We're having lots of fun!!!

We had a Broadcast Stake Conference on Sunday for all of Africa.  It is interesting to see that they speak very specifically to the different areas of the world.  In Africa the topics were about getting rid of their practice to pay a dote or dowery for their wives.  Many men feel that they have bought their wives and by so doing can treat them how they will.  They are property.  We were taught about having faith to pull themselves out of poverty by exercising their faith like Nephi did when he needed to build a boat.  He didn't know how but the Lord told him how to do it.  They were promised that he would also help them in their studies and in being able to find work if they worked for it with faith.  It was a wonderful conference.  Of course, it was all in French.  With the translation, I hadn't thought about it before but these people haven't even heard the voice of the prophets.  We recognize them by their voices but that isn't possible here.  We have so many advantages.  We have a copy of the conference so we can listen to it in English next week for FHE together.

Sunday while I went over to speak to a group of ladies visiting after church, as I shook their hands and said "hello", they all smiled and were happy to speak to me.  Then they tried to teach me to speak some Swahili.  When I tried they all laughed and had a good time.  It was all good fun!!  They are very loving and kind.  I love the people!!

I'm hoping my computer will work for the next blog entry.  Even Neil couldn't get it to work right.  Computers are not my favourite thing!!!

Time is flying.  The days whiz by and the weeks seem to pass so quickly.  We go from Monday right into Friday it seems.  There is much to do and we are so busy and that is the way we like it.  We have so much to do that we often work into the night to get everything done that needs to be done.  We often work on our P-day too but that isn't a complaint.  I love the work and am so happy and feel like we are busily engaged in the Lord's work.  It is a joy to be here!!  Serving the Lord is the best part of life!!  If you are thinking about serving a mission, don't hesitate ... just do it!!

We'll write more again.  Miss you all and will be happy to be home when the time comes so we can go to the temple.  We do miss that here but there isn't much time to think about missing anything.

We love our Saviour and hope that we are doing what we need to do to accomplish what we have been sent here to accomplish.  We love working with our great Mission President!  He is a wonderful leader.  It is easy to see why he has been called here as the President.

Bye for now!!   ... until the next time.  Drapers


  1. When we see the photos of the people pushing their heavily loaded bicycles for miles and miles to sell their wares, we have to wonder at how we feel disappointed when we don't find a parking spot close to the store. Hmmm...

  2. Sounds like you are having a blast. Funny how things are completely different from one mission to the next, but you love them both just the same! Love you both!!! CTR

  3. I hope you miss more than the temple! ;) your trip up north sounded and looked much more pleasant than you first described! Glad you are making the memories fond!

  4. I love the picture of the little boy holding onto dad's hand and looking at his white skin. It's so cute!