Sunday, January 12, 2014
We are presently at The Place – a resort (hard to believe, I know) in Tokeh Beach, Freetown, Sierra Leone. Attended church in Kissy and after arriving home, left around 3:00 pm with Dave and Rachelle for an overnight get-away. Quite a rough ride to go a total of 20 miles to get here, but I think it is going to be well worth it, if I can wind down for just a day and try not to think about missionaries, apartments, and everything else going through my brain mission related. After checking into the resort and dropping off our belongings in our bungalow, the 4 of us took a leisurely walk on the beach. A very clean beach with beautiful off-white sand! It was wonderful....the locals had been out fishing all day and were returning with their nets and catch of the day; it caused me to picture in my mind Simon called Peter, and Andrew as they were doing the same so many years ago and the Savior beckoned them to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. Maybe not quite the same purpose what I saw tonight but the fishing done just the same, with hand made boats and nets. In fact I came upon some men sitting on the shore, repairing their nets.
At the close of the day, I think the highlight for me was taking a very hot shower with unlimited time and water! And the water flow coming out of the shower head wasn't a drizzle! Add to this highlight, the air conditioning was so efficient that I actually got cold during the night (1st time in 9 months I was cold) and had to use the blanket; oh, let's not forget no generator noise and we didn't sleep under net (I would have preferred that, but the resort didn't provide them).
Life is good!
Monday, January 13, 2014
Another wonderful day, with a morning walk along the beach with Scott and after breakfast a walk to the village to check out the “mall” and all the “wonderful shops.” We visited a sum total of one shop where the proprietor had some clothing and sandals but we did not purchase anything. The real find came as we were walking back to the resort and came upon a small shed just outside the entrance whereupon the owner persuaded us to stop and look at his carvings. Rachelle and I weren't too impressed nor did we believe it was all his original work; but then outside the shed was a partially finished carving of a West African woman created from a single piece of wood weighing about 250 pounds. She had a baby on her back, juggling a basket on her head, while holding on to a fish she was taking home for a meal. It really was beautiful and I remarked to Rachelle, how wonderful “she” would look in the new mission home. That was all she needed to begin the bargaining process resulting in the purchase. It really was a find and a bargain but as we are walking through the resort gate and passed the parking lot, Scott looks over at the car and asks Rachelle how she thinks we are going to get it in the car and get it home. She didn't think about that but because we hadn't paid for it yet, if it didn't fit, we just wouldn't be taking it with us.
We check out of the resort and stop to make the purchase; there is no turning back now because Rachelle is having the guy carve his name on the base of the piece, we are re-arranging the luggage and laying down Scott's seat so she can fit in the car. I am thinking which one of us is going to be left behind – Scott or me! With the locals, Scott and Dave, they get her in the car and Scott and I will be sharing a seat for the hour and a half ride home, all the while trying to keep 250 pounds of wood from rolling back and forth. We stop along the way to make some adjustments and Dave comes up with the brilliant idea to strap her in with seat belts. Due to the length of the wood, we are able to strap her in with two which helped make the ride home a little more comfortable.
We topped off the night with a round of Hand and Foot.
It was a much needed rest if only for a day.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
9 month anniversary! Where has the time gone?! I have 9 months of journal entries to account for almost every day.
I was in the office all day; with the Lauritzen's gone and office elders filling in, I feel like I need to be there until another senior couple takes over office duties. I ran my monthly report for CDE's and printed out the record of 204 entries for the month of December and I am still behind.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
The Campbell's did such a great job of deep cleaning the Lauritzen's apartment, I have hired them to clean the mission office every Friday. They will be coming in tomorrow. They showed up at the mission home on Tuesday dressed in their Sunday clothes to clean and for 5 + hours they received pay to the equivalent of $3.00 an hour; isn't the minimum wage in California $8.00 + something?
Friday, January 17, 2014
The Campbell's arrived at the office today around 1:30 pm and didn't leave until around 5:30 pm thoroughly cleaning the office; window ledges, fan blades, chair seats, desk tops, copy machine besides all the other regular items. They worked along side each other throughout the process and because of the deep cleaning, I was authorized to pay them more than what we originally agreed upon. I also offered them the mission office safe to secure some of their earnings and begin to build up a little nest egg; culturally, when a member of a family is earning money, he has an obligation to financially assist members of the immediate family as well as extended family members. These two have struggled for months just to survive and I secretly didn't want them to have to give their money to family members; so as I left them to discuss the offer, they came to me with money they wanted to put away. They had accounted for their tithing and transportation to get home with some extra, and then gave me the rest to put in the safe.
I dressed in my skirt that the Dock Lady (Marian Ghazzawi) gave me because we had plans to visit her today but that didn't work out. It is so long that when I sit in my chair and roll around, the material gets caught in the wheels and then I have to yank it out, besides, with so much material, it is hot. So, in the company of Rachelle, I mention this and she comes up with the brainy idea to cut away some of the material and thus shorten the length. Great idea! Then we played around a little bit with a head wrap – not a great idea.
Came home to a scrumptious dinner of Campbell's Tomato Soup and macaroni and cheese. It really was good! Maybe not so good for us, but great tasting!
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Had a meeting in Kissy today at 10:00 am to begin the implementation of a training model to assist the district in preparation to become a Stake. President Ostler presided and trained with the expectation that Scott and I continue with future branch council meetings. It is a focus on one branch at a time and Kissy 2 seems to be the most ready of the 9 branches in the East.
When we arrived at the Kissy chapel, Kissy 1 branch was cleaning the building. With the dry season in full swing, as hard as they worked, by the end of the day there would be a dusting of red dry dirt. President Dassama was leading out with the cleaning and I was intrigued with the pants he was wearing – denim capris! They looked familiar and upon closer observation, I realized they were mine! The Lauritzen's left behind a large suitcase of clothing and I contributed to the cause; Scott in turn took the suitcase to President Dassama last Sunday so he could distribute the clothing to those in need. Apparently he liked my capris not knowing they are for women. I am flattered by his taste in clothing...
The Jests arrived tonight from England to serve for 12 months. They volunteered and Elder Jest has taken a one-year leave of absence to serve. They actually have a nephew serving out in Bo. We are grateful to have another senior couple.
Love to all!