Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Week #15 - She Says

Dear Family and Friends,
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Not the usual 12 hour Sunday. We were out the door by 8:20 to take the back road out to Grafton so we could be part of the confirmations of 11 people baptized yesterday, but we got only so far and they had closed the road and turned everyone back including the motorcycles. So Grafton was out and we were too late to Sacrament meeting in Kissy, so we drove to Wellington and attended church there; Scott had some training to conduct in Wellington anyway. We were done by 2:30 pm and headed for home arriving by 4:00 pm.

Sister Awuoche who is a missionary in the Wellington area, continues to remind me of my friend, Shirley Rowley – her personality, sense of humor and facial expressions. Such a wonderful young woman who, by the way, has the same birthday as me – January 29th. I just happen to be 39 years older than her.

Our drive home down Kissy Road always takes us by a huge garbage dump and I keep spotting pigs in there eating to their hearts content, so Scott stopped long enough for me to snap a picture of them wallowing in all the stinking refuge. Remind me to never eat any pork products processed in Sierra Leone!

Thursday, July 25, 2013
Not much activity earlier in this week, but haven't experienced Saturday yet...

We drove out to the Wellington sister missionaries today to help an older woman move from her ground level apartment to an apartment on the 3rd floor and up a very narrow stairway. The sisters made the arrangements and when we got to their apartment, the District Leader, Elder Gherkins and the Zone Leader, Elder McDonald were waiting outside and there to help us. When we got to the sister's apartment, young men were already helping in the moving process so the sisters and I basically sat and watched it all happen, and it was fun to chat and laugh with them. Our truck was needed and that was the main reason we were there, but really the furniture got moved a lot quicker and easier when the locals just loaded couches on their heads and hauled them down the street. The truck moved the freezer that was so big that it wouldn't fit through the last door to enter the woman's home, so it is sitting out on her balcony and will need an extension cord to work.
The sweet woman who had to move didn't have any of her children living with her, but had about 4-5 extended family members' children she had taken in and was raising; this isn't out of the ordinary here – women with no husbands and raising a parcel of children many of whom are not their own.

Our little huddle just before going out the door to help a sister move.

Elder Gherkins and Elder McDonald helping on moving day.

How many people does it take to move a freezer through a door?

I challenged the elders to carry a piece on their heads.

Such cute guys!

Notice the human transport is ahead of the vehicle transportation.

I wonder which leg is mine.

Why would Lillian have diving flippers?

I was too late to stop her from using her teeth to take the cap off of the bottle.

The pet monkey was part of the move but he would have nothing to do with me.

Saturday, July 27, 2013
Started out this day in Wellington for the baptisms of 4 people. One was a woman who had to be baptized 3 times as she was not completely immersed; what is particularly touching is, that most West Africans are afraid of water. There are many beaches in the city of Freetown, and with nearly 2,000,000 people, I have seen only a couple of them at the beach and have never seen them swimming in the ocean. So for this woman to be dipped backwards and to be fully immersed in the water, took a lot of courage. The missionary didn't give up and neither did she and by the 3rd attempt she was successfully completely immersed in the water, though she was very happy to be brought back out as quickly as possible. 

From Wellington, we drove to Kossoh Town to attend a Young Woman activity that was scheduled to start at 2:00 pm. By 3:30 pm, we had to leave to drive to Waterloo and the activity still hadn't started! West Africans seem to have no concept of punctuality; maybe it is because the majority of them don't work and so they aren't required to be on time. We continually get to scheduled activities on time just to wait and wait and/or leave because we have to be somewhere else. It is quite frustrating. The young women were practicing as we waited and I could tell they were excited to have us as an audience, so it was difficult for us to leave.

We drove out to Waterloo and delivered mail to the missionaries, including more letters to Elder Penia. This saga of one young man's desire for mail will not soon be forgotten by him or me as we have been touched by the response of so many who answered the call for letters.

Love, Robin

More Snaps:

Little Bob sitting on Scott's lap.

Momma pig at the Kissy garbage site. It stunk to high heaven.

Note to self: do not eat any pork products produced in Sierra Leone!

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