Saturday, November 2, 2013

Week #25 - She Says

Sunday, September 29, 2013
Attended church in Thunder Hill today. My friend Fatmata James was there and conducted the music in Sacrament Meeting as well as taught the Sunday School lesson. She is one cute lady! I got bits and pieces of the announcements about someone being in the hospital. Come to find out it is President Kpullum's wife! She was hit by a car yesterday and sustained serious injury to one of her legs and is hospitalized, and will be for quite some time. We didn't know where she was admitted and immediately became concerned due to the condition of hospitals here. We did know she was somewhere close to us in Godderich and only knew of 2 hospitals so we went in search of her.

The 1st stop was so bad just from the outside that I sent Scott in; she wasn't there, so we drove to the Godderich Emergency Hospital; once again I sent in Scott even though it looked pretty descent from the outside. Sure enough she was in there, but no visitors allowed. We got in touch with President Kpullum and he let us know he was on his way. In the almost 6 months that I have been here, I haven't seen much emotion from the people here, even the saints, but when President Kpullum arrived in a Poda-Poda and got out and approached our car, tears welled up in his eyes and he could not speak. Scott reached out to him with love and support and accompanied him into the hospital. The initial estimate is 3 months in the hospital for healing and rehabilitation. I pray it isn't that long.
I feel so ungrateful for so much I take for granted at home; electricity, water, medical care, transportation, home, food, trees, flowers, grass, music, descent roads, church facilities. Where much is given, much is expected. I have no need to complain or murmur about anything though I still do.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
We set off early this morning to get to the office so I could enter into the church's database, the records of newly baptized members. We were just about there, when Marian Gazzawhi called me to inform me her daughter's apartment in Lumley was available for us to see, so we drove downtown to meet up with Marian aka Dock Lady and accompany her to the apartment.

How can I describe the dock lady; I only understand about every 3 words she speaks; she is Lebanese and West African, born and raised here; she has 4 daughters – 2 living in this country, one in America, and one in Beirut; she owns a “plastic” shop downtown at the very end of Shaka Stevens Road. When I say plastic, I mean plastic, and most everything she sells is made in China. But I have compared prices with 3 other merchants, and she has the best so I am sticking with her for supplies to furnish missionary apartments. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I have either talked with her multiple times or gone down to the shop with my very large list of items I need to purchase to negotiate as best I can. Today, as we met up with her, I was greeted with a big hug, kisses on both cheeks and calls me her friend.
The apartment is in a very nice area, but so difficult to get to because of the condition of the road. We can't stay too long, because we must get to the Sea Coach to pick up two returning missionaries by 11:00 am. We part company, but not until I get an invite to Dock Lady's home this evening in order to pick up the invoice for the goods, so I can get a check cut and deliver it to her tomorrow.
We welcomed home two missionaries who served in Nigeria; the young man we dropped off at the Mission Office in order to be released but the young lady needed to be driven to Kissy so we could rendezvous with President Ostler to release her. That worked out quite well until we were on our way to the bus station for her to get a ride home to Bo, when she informs us that 2 of her sisters were in Lungi! They had come from Bo and took a boat over to meet her as she got off the plane before coming back to Freetown. So this missionary took the boat, while her two sisters got on the ferry and came across to Kissy. A number of phone calls later and waiting at the ferry dock for over an hour, the boat showed up and her two sisters were on it. By now, I am a little dismayed because we still haven't made it into the office and my baptismal records are not getting entered. But, we couldn't very well just leave her at the dock with her luggage and let her fend for herself and hope that her sisters were on the boat. So we left the 3 of them and made our way back to the mission office.
We arrived back at the mission office around 4:00 pm and pulling up the drive, when the 2 assistants came bouncing down the driveway and asked us where we were going...they were going to take transport down town, but our day was already shot, so we told them to hop in and we would take them.
Home by 5:00, dinner over by 6:00 and we drove the dock lady's home located near the Chinese Embassy. She was so happy to see us and her home was very big and beautiful and nestled up a hillside in a very quiet area. We met her daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandchildren. It was a very pleasant hour's visit. Such a sweet experience for me to have a friendship with this woman.
Home again by 7:30 pm when I get a call from President Ostler; he had just spoken with President Kpullum who was on his way home after visiting his wife in the hospital. The injury to her leg is so severe, that it must be amputated on Friday. Scott and I are filled with such sadness as this day comes to an end.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Along with the Ostler's, we visited Sister Kpullum late this afternoon at the hospital. She couldn't understand why she must have the surgery because she could wiggle her toes; I didn't understand it either, but the doctor advised us there was no other solution...
Friday, October 4, 2013
Cleaned out the cage to get it ready for all the supplies needed to furnish 4 new apartments before transfers next week! Drove down to the Dock Lady and picked up my supplies from her and forgot to get the wash boards – yes, the missionaries wash their clothes with a board (it is actually plastic).
Hoping for a miracle that Sister Kpullum's leg could be saved, but unfortunately the surgery took place today.

Saturday, October 5, 2013
We attended another baptism in Waterloo this afternoon. It was Elder Burton's last baptismal service and he baptized a married couple in the river in Waterloo, Sierra Leone. I could tell as he was looking around the area he was having mixed emotions, even though earlier before the service, he was talking about hunting season opening the day he gets home and that he would be visiting his friend Katy.
Beautiful mountains of Waterloo.

The last time we walked to the river the rice plants were barley an inch tall.

View of the baptismal spot.

Members and friends gathered for baptisms.

Elder Burton's last baptism. (video from the baptism)

Memorable moment for Elder Burton.

8 miles from the church the 8 huts later a beautiful spot in Makeni for baptisms.

New members of Makeni baptized at the very 1st baptismal service on Saturday.

A group photo of the newest members of the Makeni unit.


Looks like our gecko is back! I turned on the light tonight in the kitchen and saw him scampering off! That explains why our cockroach population has diminished over the last week. Hallelujah!
Love, Robin

More Snaps:
A 3-floor building that needed cement sent to the top. All by hand.

Sister Ostler and Kanzler

Sunday afternoon and the Muslim children walking home from school.

This family wanted their picture taken.

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