Monday, April 29, 2013

Week #2 - Sierra Leone Mission

Monday, April 22, 2013:

Well, 3 “grocery” stores and just under a million Leones spent and we now have groceries in our apartment! That means I now have to start preparing meals, etc. etc. Because the locally grown foods are so contaminated, there is a washing process that I must perform that take approximately 2 minutes per batch of foods; the solution is 2 tablespoons of bleach, 2 liters of water and 2 minutes of soaking. We got home around 5:00 pm and I immediately started he process and finished around 7:00 pm and we didn't start eating until around 7:30.

Our first meal in Sierra Leone together consisted of grilled cheese sandwich, canned peaches, pringles, and we shared a can of soda pop. I am so paranoid about all the germs here, that I am going to error on the side of caution and use bleach with any washing process I do including dishes, counter tops and anything else I can find.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We drove home from the Mission Office in our very own truck tonight! I was pretty nervous thinking about Scott behind the wheel, especially after our experience with him driving in Rome. He was like a kid in a candy shop. The truck is a standard transmission, the roads are narrow, there are no street lights and lots of pedestrians and motorcycles. We made it home, but when we approached the gate to our mission home, I got out of the truck and couldn't watch as Scott drove in and parked it.

I set the alarm for 6:30 am, and when the alarm went off, I felt pretty perky, thinking I had slept through the night – it was pitch black, but I figured it would be at 6:30 in the morning around here; I got up to see the dials more clearly with some light and re-set the alarm for 7:00 am. Getting back to bed for another ½ hour, I accidentally woke Scott up and let him know I had re-set the alarm; he questioned why it was so dark because the previous 2 mornings were light at this time; so he got up and checked his watch and with a little irritation in his voice, informed me it was only 1:30 am. I had forgotten to re-set the time to Freetown time and thus awakened us at UT time - the wrong time – he was not happy with me to say the least.
So the doors to the Mission Office are too narrow, so this is the only way they can move furniture in and out. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We have 5 3,000 litre water tanks, and every morning I activate a pump for 20 minutes that forces the water from the bottom of one of the tanks to the top in order for us to have water in our apartments.

Oh, and by the way, because it is the dry season, there is a water shortage, so when we shower, we must turn off the water between soaping and rinsing, and because it takes so long for the water to heat, the water is usually luke-warm, let alone hardly any pressure.
...oh, and by the way, can't get your face wet in the shower – too risky for getting water in our mouth's and then getting sick.

We sleep under a net treated with some chemical that if a female mosquito makes her way into our home in the evening, when she flies into the net, the solution kills her (and we are sleeping under this net!).

Then I think about the missionaries – they don't even have a refrigerator, or air conditioning, though we/they do have fans.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, that when no one is in the mission home during the day, we turn off the generator for at least 6 hours and hope for the best with the food in the fridge.

Did I mention cockroaches?

And I can't forget that I don't have a disposal, so I save all my peelings, etc. in a bucket and take them out into the compound and throw them out into the dirt. Any paper products we take to a barrel further out and burn it. That reminds me of my growing up days when we had a burn barell in the back yard. I loved tending that fire.

But now, let's get this into perspective and think about the two little boys I met earlier in the week in the polio camp – do they have a mom and a dad? Maybe. Do they sleep in a bed? No, in fact from what we saw of the children's quarters who are orphans, 10 of them were sleeping on the floor in a 10 x 10 dark room (the humanitarian couple delivered a rug this week for them). They don't have running water, they have no toilets of any kind (I found that out the hard way as I tried to find some privacy by a bush or a tree (no such greenery during the dry season). Who knows what they eat every day.....

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Two confirmations, one woman and one young man of priesthood age. The confirmation of the woman took place at the appropriate time, just before the Sacrament was blessed and passed; the boy, on the other hand, came in almost halfway through the meeting and he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and was all sweaty and wet from perspiration. Of course I am asking myself, why he is late and making an assessment of his clothing. I find out afterward from Scott that this boy lives over 7 miles away from the building, and got up this morning at 6:00 am, worked for his uncle for awhile, and then ran/walked to the chapel in order to be confirmed a member of the Church! Unbelievable!

The young man in the middle is the one who ran/walked over 7 miles to be at church
First Sunday Meeting of the Waterloo Branch in their “new” chapel

Primary children in the Waterloo Branch

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