Friday, December 5, 2014

Week #47 - Another Day at the Beach!

Sunday, March 2, 2014
We attended church services at the Kissy 2nd branch today; the branch president, our friend, Sahr Fomba, blessed his little girl. I wasn't aware of it in advance, but he had confided to Scott earlier in the week she would be named after me! Elizabeth Robin Fomba. He spoke so softly while giving her the name, I was still unaware what her name was until Scott leaned over and told me. So, long after we have left Sierra Leone, our names will remain.

Fomba's and Kanzler's

Theresa, me, and Elizabeth Robin Fomba

We left church and drove out to Tokeh Beach to spend a couple of nights with the Ostler's and their daughter Ruth who is visiting for the week. It is quite nice to sleep without a net. Because of the area and the salt water, mosquitoes don't seem to breed – really a nice break.

Scott and I along with Rachelle and Ruth took a leisurely walk along the beach. We came to a point where there seemed to be lava rocks, tide pools and nice sand. I was searching out sea urchins when all of a sudden, I stepped and sunk down to the top of my knees in “quick” sand. By the time I was able to pull out my right foot, my sandal did not survive. Sad day as it was part of the pair I bought months ago when we first arrived for only 10,000 ($2.50) leones.

I stepped in the sand and went down above me knees! Looking for my lost sandal.

Never found my sandal

Monday, March 3, 2014
We took a boat today to Banana Island (see a video here and another video here); an hour and a half trip to the historic landmark where this island used to be owned and controlled by the Caulker family of Afro-Anglo descent who were slave traders. Before the absolution of slavery, slaves were inspected on this island and it served as a transit center for purchased slaves who were then transported to other countries including Great Britain and America. Those deemed healthy and strong continued with their voyage while those considered weak and unfit were stacked in a hole on top of one another and left to die. Our guide showed us what he felt was the remains of one of those pits. Today approximately 500 people live on the island and there is a school for the children, church and a tiny hospital.
With no life jackets, I depended on the naming of this boat that took us to Banana Island!

On our way to Banana Island

Banana Island

Scene from Banana Island

Scott on Banana Island

Scott and Robin on Banana Island

The hand construction of another boat

They build big benches on Banana Island

Website just in case anyone out there wants to vacation on Banana Island

Fresh water well on Banana Island

I was trying to swing on the vine but it broke!

As we walked around there was no shortage of chickens as is the case throughout Sierra Leone and I finally captured a hen gathering her chickens under her wings. Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.” There are so many other ways to teach this principle – I think of fellowshipping the newly baptized and how I need to take them under the care of my “wings” until they are well established. I was beginning to think hens didn't gather their chickens but it is in fact true and was sweet to watch.

Finally captured it on Banana Island. As a hen gathereth her chickens under her wing. 

It was a fun day on the island.

(Here's a video of locals getting the fishing nets to shore)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Just another fun and relaxing day for us; Scott reminded me it was the 1st time in 10 ½ months that we took 2 days in a row to rest and relax. I/we needed it, but I am back home and my head is swimming with assignments and projects to do for the rest of the week.

Thursday, March 6, 2014
Up this morning at 5, out the door by 6:20, picked up the AP's and made it to the Kissy ferry for a 45 minute trip to Lungi to meet Brother William Vandy, one of approximately 10 members of the church in Lungi Town; Lungi houses the only airport in Sierra Leone which receives and returns missionaries serving in Sierra Leone. The mission has decided to send missionaries to Lungi for the first time and Brother Vandy is very happy! He served his mission in Nigeria and returned home to Kenema but moved to Lungi to work for his brother and go to school. It is here that he met his future wife and converted her to the church. Brother Vandy returns to Kenema periodically to visit his family and attend church as well as pays his tithes and offerings. Because the church is not officially recognized in Lungi, there are no church services, and thus his records are still in Kenema where he can pay his tithing. He took us around the area and showed us 4 potential apartments to possibly house missionaries for the next transfer in April. Missionaries in the area will then allow the approximately 10 + Saints to meet, partake of the Sacrament and hold future baptismal services. We dropped William off at the airport as we made our way back to catch the 2:00 pm ferry and had photos taken with him and expressed our appreciation for his faith and perseverance. He was overcome with emotion expressing his gratitude for 4 missionaries coming to Lungi and to soon be able to partake of the Sacrament on a regular basis and baptize his wife. It was a very touching moment.

Elder Sumrak on our way to Lungi

Which way to Lungi?

William Vandy was so thrilled to have 4 missionaries visit Lungi!

Saturday, March 8, 2014
Megan had her surgery on Thursday, and I think my friend Shirley, had her surgery yesterday or sometime this week. Being so far away and with the time zone difference, there are anxious moments as I await notice of the outcomes of the procedures. They are on my mind, heart and in my prayers....

We traveled to Kissy this morning to conduct training of the branch leaders of the Kissy 2nd Branch. They are so eager to learn and though our teaching and training methods are very basic and simple, it is fun to be with them and hopefully help them and watch them progress.

The renovation of the Kissy Chapel is ongoing and I met the replacement construction manager today, though I can't remember her name. She is from Brighton, England and took over this project that should have been completed in September of 2013. She assured me today that by District Conference next week-end, windows will be in, tile laid, and fans installed. She was a delight to talk to today.

Love to all!


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