Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Week #37 - Christmas? It was 87 Degrees!

Sunday, December 22, 2013
We attended church with Kissy 2 Branch and low and behold the newlyweds showed up! Decided to come to church before leaving on their honeymoon – NOT! They probably spent their first night together as husband and wife in one of their parent's homes. I did notice that Brother Kamara had taken his blue tooth out of his ear. He wore it for his wedding announcement pictures as well as his wedding yesterday – nice accessory.

We had dinner today at the Ghazzawi's – wonderful Lebanese food and people. It is always a treat to be with them. Marian gave me a skirt for Christmas and Manal gave me a pair of shoes – I feel pretty special.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
What do you do in Sierra Leone on Christmas eve? Leave at 8:00 am in the morning to meet up with “finders” and investigate apartments they have found, and blessed day, we rented one for sure with a second pretty secure as soon as we determine the price. Here in this country, you rent for two years from the get-go and you pay the entire two-year lease amount up front prior to taking occupancy. When we arrived in Sierra Leone 8 + months ago, there were 11 existing apartments in Freetown East and West. As of today and our involvement with finding apartments, we have found 11 more (with at least 10 more before we complete our mission). I say “found” loosely, because of the belief I have, we are just instruments in the hands of the Lord; we do the walking, driving and asking and the people come forward who either own the apartments or who know the owners. In September when we were first given the assignment to find 4 apartments and got a bonus of one, I was very stressed and anxious the entire 6 week transfer period. But as we get more entrenched in this part of our service, it is quite wonderful to see the acquisition of an apartment unfold; it is truly a miracle.

We got home tonight to internet for about one hour and then it went down so I have not been able to complete my email for the week and all the accompanying pictures. Hopefully we will have it tomorrow so we can contact our families.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Woke up this morning to no internet; that isn't good with our desire to make contact with our families today....

We had a brunch with the Burns, Ostlers and Lauritzens which was nice. Food was good as well as the company.

Walked this morning with Rachelle – not too much traffic – even better.

Very uneventful Christmas day – able to Skype Loren, Ryan and Megan, Dan and Bethanne, and Deb/Stan/Mom Kanzler. My family on the other hand – I zigged when they zagged and we did not get to speak to each other today; it made me sad.

Thursday, December 26, 2013
Week continues to be slow and quiet. Scott drove out to Calaba Town to finalize the apartment with a contract; I stayed in the office and don't really recollect what I did....not good.

Friday, December 27, 2013
In the office again after two apartment inspections out east, for a transfer week meeting in order for everyone to be on the same page. There is a lot that goes into transfers, besides the acquisition of apartments such as, setting up the new apartment(s), new missionaries coming from the MTC, companionship assignments not only for the new one's, but existing missionaries, orientation, food prep, transportation of new missionaries to their areas of assignment, and farewells for any missionaries going home. Whew! We the senior missionaries are always relieved when the week is over with relatively few hiccups. Oh, and by the way, transfer week is next week!

We went to lunch with the Burns and Ostlers after the meeting and from there drove down to Aberdeen near the hovercraft dock and did a little after Christmas shopping. No sales per se, just a lot of bargaining in order to reduce the price. Bought some fun stuff, one being a great looking West African shirt for Scott.

Saturday, December 28, 2013
Back in the office today around noon, and I spent a good portion of 5 hours putting away supplies for 3 new apartments, while I kept out all that was needed for the Calaba Town apartment that will be occupied in next week's transfers. There really is a lot to getting an apartment ready.

We are hardly into the dry season and we are already having water issues; the more apartments we acquire, the more water problems we will continue to have; my challenge is discouragement over this and concern for the missionaries particularly when I can't seem to solve the problem within a day.


Downtown Freetown on Siaka Stevens Road

Back road beautiful scenery

Drying clothes on a beautiful winter December day.

Fishing canoe inlet in Waterloo

Young boy with 40 pounds of water on his head.

Young boy and his brother each with 40 pounds of water on their heads.

Young boy, his brother and their mom each with 40 pounds of water on their heads.

We were driving through this crowd!

Just being missionaries on our trip to Calaba Town to check out an apartment.

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