Dear Family and Friends,
We had another appointment in Kissy last week that was scheduled for 5:00 pm. We left in plenty of time – 3:30 pm but on our way to the Kissy chapel, there was some sort of traffic holdup, and we didn't arrive until after 5:30 pm. But, the real fun began leading up to the traffic jam.
We were initially delayed when a big green armored truck was backed up to the entrance to the local Freetown prison, which by the way, is just down the road from the mission office – less than 5 minutes away. So they are unloading prisoners, some shackled at the wrist to one other, some not (it looked to me like they were tied together with a rope), with ½ dozen or so uniformed guards with their rifles. Traffic blocked on both sides. Keep in mind the streets in Freetown barely fit two-way traffic and I am forever rolling down the window to pull the side view mirror in because of my concern that Scott is going to tear it off because he has gotten too close to another vehicle, or human being for that matter. Anyway, back to my story. We finally are given the green light to proceed and because we are going to be late as it is, Scott proceeds to pull forward and around this big green armored vehicle with another stopped vehicle just to the left of us and perpendicular to the truck. He is always telling me to relax while he is driving (even though I am “breaking” with my feet all the time, closing my eyes, and sucking in my breath), but this time, he cuts it way too close and sure enough, a screech with the rubbing of metal against hard rubber around the wheel well. He knows he has hit something because I see his eyes popping out of their sockets, and I am coming a little unglued. His immediate reaction is to stop the car, like you would when you get in an accident at home, so you can exchange insurances. But he has just scraped our truck against an armored vehicle transporting prisoners with armed guards everywhere! I tell him, “Hit the gas and go!” We did and never looked back....our silver truck had a green streak for awhile on the right back wheel well, but when I looked this morning, it was gone. Scott used some elbow grease and it looks as good as new.
I have been taught recently the 3 S's for cockroaches – Smash, Sweep and Stomp! That is how you terminate these crunchy little critters. If they are on the counter, you smash them with the palm of your hand, then you sweep it off the counter to the floor and finally stomp it with your foot. They really are very hard to kill! The other day, I found a big one belly-up in the freezer. I won't touch them, so I got Scott to come and get it out; he had it in the palm of his hand and within 15 seconds, it started to move! You can't even freeze them to death! Then, just last night, I was re-heating spaghetti in the microwave and as I took out Scott's plate, there was one in there! I know it wasn't there when I started, so they must hide out in the vents; took care of that little guy - left him in there and microwaved him for 10 seconds - gone!
The rainy season is coming and we have had a couple of torrential downpours during the night; it is actually kind of magical to watch the city green-up. We found a different driving route to take to our area of service, and it cuts out at least an hour of travel and it takes us through the country, such as it is, but it is lush and green and gives me a change to look out the window and see something other than crowds of people, podas and motorcycles.
p.s. Here are some pictures taken from Leichester Peak. Interesting fact - Elder Richard G. Scott dedicated Sierra Leone for the preaching of the Gospel in 1989.