Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week #19 - She Says

Dear Family and Friends,

Sunday, August 18, 2013
Rough day – with all the rain and the continual erosion of the roads, it was so difficult to get anywhere in a timely manner let alone a smooth ride. The only bright spot for me was a teaching appointment with the full time missionaries in Grafton. They are teaching a family and for some reason she wanted to meet us and the missionaries said we would come. So we did, and she was thrilled (don't ask me why). She had a lovely home with lots of family living there – herself, two children, her parents, two sisters (one with a baby), and 2 nieces and a nephew she took in because she felt they weren't being cared for properly. That is the charitable nature of the women in this country – taking in extended members of the family.

Me and the sisters meeting with a family halfway up the mountain.

We got home, ate dinner and then I went into my “I don't want to talk” mode and sat in the bedroom asking myself why I am in this country and can I possibly do any good or make any kind of impact.

Monday, August 19, 2013
I was outside most of the day because it wasn't raining!!! Yay!!! So, because all of my shoes are dirty from so much rain, I decided to wash them, then I washed the car mats, burned all the trash, hopped in the car with Scott and Rachelle (Ostler) and off we drove downtown to do a little shopping at the “Great and Spacious Building.” It is a huge warehouse that is filled with junk and authentic crafts made by the locals. Just fun to walk around and look at all the stuff. I bought some beautiful African material and going to have my tailor, Santos make me a skirt and top. From there we went grocery shopping. It has been a delightful day. I think I will stay in Sierra Leone for awhile longer; yesterday, not so, no way.

Ah, clean shoes and of course the bleach bottle is part of the process.

Great use for the ladder - a shoe drying rack. 

Laundry day!

I came across a couple of great quotes today (unknown authors) – sure could have used them yesterday.

He who kneels before God can stand before anyone. Do not pray for easy lives, but pray to be stronger men/women.”

Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks.”

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Very sad this day. We pulled into the driveway to the mission office, and our adopted African dog wasn't waiting at the entrance for us. Three months ago tomorrow, we pulled into the mission office driveway and as I looked out my window there was a dog lying on the ground who had obviously been hit by a car. By the time we had parked the truck and I went back to see if I could help him he had already crawled into the bushes. I was beside myself and didn't know what to do to help him, knowing full well that the locals would do nothing to try to care for him. I got a towel out of the truck to cover him, but when I came back later to check on him, he was gone. I just figured he went off somewhere to peacefully pass on.

The very next day, as we drive into the parking lot, I see him and he is in terrible shape with one leg badly injured. I am thinking this guy is better off dead than he is alive, but he doesn't seem to want to give up. We can't have pets here of any kind, and we are counseled to leave the dogs alone because they are mostly sick and are carrying diseases, but I tell Scott, if he is alive on day 3, lets try to help him by feeding him our scraps.

Day 4 we pull in and see him again, and this time we have some food for him...fast forward to this past Sunday, this guy is thriving, the leg has healed, he is acting like a normal dog (if that is possible in Sierra Leone) because when Scott goes to feed him every day, and he sees Scott, he jumps up and runs to him, barking and tail wagging like crazy. Mind you, we have never pet him.

Yesterday, we didn't go into the office because it was our preparation day. When we pulled in today, he was nowhere to be found, so we figured he was hiding somewhere from the rain. I had gone up to the office, and 15 minutes later, Scott shows up with tears in his eyes and informs me that Will 2 (will to live) is no longer with us. He was in the driveway waiting for us yesterday, and one of the workers at the mission home site pulled into the office in his truck and didn't see him and you know the rest of the story. 

Later on in the morning, Scott climbed the hill to ask about what happened, and the workers were sad about what took place. They even picked up the body and buried him up on the hill near our future mission home. I think it was quite appropriate he was buried on church property because for the past 3 months he waited for us almost every morning at the entrance to the mission office/home. I wish now I had taken a picture of him – a mangy, skinny, ole dog, who was probably never pet a day in his life, but if only for the past 3 months, we loved him and he knew it, and perhaps we taught some of the Africans who live near our mission office about loving and caring for animals. In their own way, they tried to console Scott yesterday as he was trying to find him and couldn't; they were sad as well. I was always anxious each time we approached the mission office wondering if he would still be with us; I won't be feeling that anymore, but I will miss seeing him.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I found peanut butter on sale at Freetown Market for 10,000 leones, regularly 26,000 leones, so I purchased 10 jars of it, and took them to the mission office and posted a “peanut butter for sale sign” on my distribution closet door. There are plenty of American missionaries who don't buy much peanut butter because of the usual cost, so I plan to sell it to them for this bargain price.

Abu John, one of our a wonderful African members from the East came into the office today, to make an exchange on his reading glasses. I have wondered if donating glasses to DI really makes a difference, and I have seen the positive results right here in Sierra Leone. We have a box of donated glasses for distance and a box of donated glasses for reading. I have always loved helping people pick out glasses and today was no exception. Only problem, the glasses we had that worked for him were styles for women. I couldn't talk him into a pair that were a zebra design, but I did convince that he looked great in a black and maroon pair with points that made him look a little like the cat woman from Batman. He walked out of the office a happy man.

Abu John and his glass fitting. If I do not remove the he will not. 

Friday, August 23, 2013
Hudson celebrated his 3rd birthday today. It was so nice to Google hangout with them last night and have enough internet bandwidth to sustain the conversation. We have missed other birthdays because we can't get through when it is the right opportunity to talk due to the 7 hour time difference. Makes me long for home to be with them.....

Saturday, August 24, 2013
Had a wonderful day. We were out in Grafton for a baptismal service that started at 11:00 am and afterward went with two missionaries, Elders Pond and Manzini to call upon some recent converts and had such a delightful time with them. These two young men are 19 and 18 respectively and such dedicated young men. I was so impressed with their teaching skills and love for the people we visited.

We left them, and traveled home and actually arrived before dark! We were invited over to Robert and Berta Campbell's home for dinner at 6:00 pm. They are the people we met at Freetown Market about 3 months ago in the frozen food section. Scott and I were so desperate for someone to talk to other than ourselves, we struck up a conversation with them, and became fast friends. They have been out of the country for 5 weeks on vacation and were back home in North Carolina for the last 3 weeks. Robert is into food, and has had a craving for Honey Baked Ham. So, just prior to coming back, they purchased 2 hams and a smoked turkey, froze them, bubble wrapped them, etc. and placed them in a suitcase along with other food items, and brought them back. We were the recipients of the ham tonight – was it ever good! The meal also came with fresh string beans, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. I am not one to talk about food (I eat to live) but this was a treat beyond words. To top it off, Berta sent us home with some extra slices. Ham sandwiches – yay! They continue to be so kind to us and as we express how grateful we are for them, they comment on how happy they are to have us as friends.

Peanut Butter! So, I made inquires among the missionaries if they would have any interest in peanut butter at this price – all 10 jars were all sold within 24 hours. So, coming home from Grafton today, we stopped by the store and I bought 10 more jars along with two big boxes of Kellogg Frosted Corn Flakes at 10,000 each. I am taking it all out East next week to sell. When I told some of the missionaries out there today, they were ecstatic about the price and were lining up to place their orders. Wait till they see the frosted corn flakes! 

Another snap from the week:

Just waiting for an investigator to show up.

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