Sunday, November 5, 2017

2 November 2017 Eating supper at "The Hub" a restaurant connected with a hotel.  This is our good-by dinner for the Carley's.  They return home on 12 November.  We will miss them!!!  It was a lovely evening, good food, good weather and wonderful company. 

More pictures of birds for Mom.  Last week there were around 50 big hawks swooping around the mission office.  They usually stay up really high but this day they were low and right outside the window.  I went outside and took a picture of them.  This happened one other time last year.  The small dots you see were small swallows flying around with the hawks.  I'm not sure what the ritual is, but it was fun to watch.  It lasted about 30 minutes and then they left. 

 We have beautiful sunsets here.  Not every night but often.  These were taken out the window of our apartment. 

 George Pratt is one of our guards in our compound.  This is he and his wife, Elizabeth and their new baby. They are so tickled to get her.  Elizabeth had another baby about a year ago, but she passed away a few days after she was born. 
                                    She really is a beautiful baby and has a ton of black curly hair

 17 October 2017 Transfer day.  We didn't receive any new missionaries or send any missionaries home.  That is a first since we arrived.  Sister Soja was here though and we had our picture together.  She is heading to Makeni.  I do love this Sister.  She is the sweetest gal and a wonderful missionary. 
19 October 2017  SL missionaries leaving for the MTC.  Elder Mustapha, Sister Dauda (from Kissy Stake) Sister Conteh, Elder Bayoh, Elder Allieu, me and Brent.  The missionaries from Kissy Stake still come and leave with our missionaries from the mission. 
 A couple of days ago I went out to empty our wet garbage, which is the peelings and I just dump the bucket in the banana grove for compost and then go to a faucet out back and rinse my bucket.  I went to step off the sidewalk and saw this toad just on the edge of the grass.  He was pretty big and he is the first one I have seen here.  Kind of neat looking.  I thought the grandsons would like this. 

 Coming home from church last Sunday.  People ride in trucks like this all the time here.  It would be illegal at home, but it is really common here. 
 Also coming home from church last Sunday, we saw these men doing cement work on this building.  They were passing bowls of cement from one to another and the last man would put the cement where they needed it to go.  That is how they do cement work here. 

 Sister Carly with some kind of a fruit.  This was given to her and Elder Carly for a Thank you.  Don't you love her African skirt?  Behind her to the right you can see our snowboard guy.  Elder Kay drew this when he first arrived, about a year ago and we have kept it.  I will take a better picture of it this week and post it. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

 13 October 2017 This is how they set up a Distribution Center in Sierra Leone.  We have been hearing for over a year that we were getting one and it is finally here.  Everything came in crates.  Top picture you can see the white lady and she has been instrumental in getting our store.  The store is in the basement of the church building. 
 Brent was out and about talking to the guards, I had to have him in one of these pictures.  It is history being made here in Freetown. 

 Above is Crispin in front of some of the shelves.  He works at the Distribution center in our building right now as a volunteer.  They are going to hire someone to run the new store.  Below is another picture of the shelves as they were shipped in the crates and along the wall you can see boxes of garments waiting for the shelves. 

 This huge truck delivered the crates and then could not turn around in our compound.  He backed into the tree and broke it. 

 Then the driver pulled forward and took our a bunch of cement bricks along the roadway.  Some of the men started hitting the cement bricks with big hammers and moving them so the truck could turn around.  He hit the other side of the wall too and took big chunks out of it.  The really sad thing is all of those things were just fixed a couple of months ago.  He did something to the truck and couldn't drive it so he left it in our drive way for the day while it was worked on.  There was no other choice.  That happens a lot here.  Where ever a vehicle breaks down it stays until it gets fixed.  Sometimes it is in the middle of the road in traffic. 

Above is one of our care takers that is cleaning up the mess of the tree.  He used a machete to cut up the branches. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

 October 2017  We have found this place called SSL Take Away and it is kind of like Kentucky Fried Chicken.  It is one of the few places in the country we dare to eat at.  We usually buy the Box Meal you can see on the sign by Brent.  It comes with a huge chicken sandwich, fries, a piece of chicken and a soda.  We buy a couple extra pieces of chicken while we are there and take the food home to eat it.  We can eat it for 3 meals and it is very good.  It costs 134,000 Leones which is about $18.00. 

 It was raining the day we were there and they had the door open, to let in the cooler air.  A chicken came walking past the door and right into the store.  I couldn't resist taking a picture.  It actually was a pretty healthy looking chicken.  Pretty brave too considering he could end up fried. 

 6 October 2017 we went to the Peace Musuem not far from our apartment.  It is by the Prison.  This is outside in their memorial gardens.  This was a place during the war that many people stayed.   

 Above, this young man was our guide and he was very knowledgeable about the war.  Below these two boys went on our tour with us.  Our guide goes to the schools around town and educates the children about the war and reminds them so hopefully they will not have another civil war.  These two boys are from one of the schools and was visiting our guide and came on the tour with us.  

 Behind Brent and I is a huge building they built after the war for the trials of all the men responsible for so much destruction.  They do not use them for anything now which is very sad.  They are just going to ruin. 
 Below with Brent is outside the museum and the prison.  Those are the prison walls.  Above, is me looking the other way.  This road is Jomo Kenyatta and we walk this most days.  It was pretty clear of traffic this day.  Also Friday's the African's all wear their African clothes and you can see this African gal coming up behind me in her beautiful dress. 

 A couple of weeks ago they had a political rally outside where we meet for church.  We are on the corner and the top pictures is one view and the bottom is the corner across from the church.  They were yelling and chanting and ya, basically we didn't hear much of the meeting. 

 We have been asked to be in the choir when we have our Branch Conference.  Jeffrey is the key board player and he is very good.  He was helping the guys learn their part and so just moved the keyboard to them.  It usually sits on a stand on the other side of the room.  The brother with the suit is the Elders quorum president.  His name is Minkailu Kamara.  You can see President Rowe on the end of the row. 
 This Sister is the choir director.  I am not sure of her name.  She didn't come for the first choir practice so they asked me to be the chorister.  I was grateful to have her come this week.  She is one of the prettiest sisters I have seen here.  Elder Cluff is the white Elder you can see there. 

 This cute sister is Salamata Kamara and she was my little shadow this day.  All through Primary and then Choir practice.  She doesn't come very often.  The bottom one is with her little sister Amimata Sesay.  She is kind of a pill.  When we first started attending Upgun she would always cry and they would have to send her to her mother.  Then they missed for several months. They have started coming back and the first time she started to cry in Primary I tried to put her on my lap and that was a big mistake.  She screamed bloody murder and ran.  I kind of forgot they are afraid of the white man.  Well over the course of several weeks she has warmed up to me and now I have her sit by me and when she starts to cry I put her on my lap and she is fine.  Kids are the same all over the world. 

 One Sunday on our way to church driving along Kissy road we saw this huge trash pile.  It is the biggest pile we have seen.  You can see all the sacks and trash piled behind the people.  Bottom is a different day, but the blue vehicle is a garbage truck.  They are starting to show up around the city. 

 Brother and Sister Thomas work in the distribution center a couple of days a week.  This day their granddaughter came with them.  She was so cute, but it took her most of the day to warm up to me.  By the end of the day she even gave me a hug. 
 Elder Brimhall and Elder Nyoka, the office Elders, just finished cleaning and organizing the cage where they keep their supplies.  This is best it has ever looked. 
 A big crate arrived with supplies for the new distribution center.  They have been telling us for over a year now that this would happen.  It may really happen this time.  This was a super heavy crate and just getting it out of the truck was a process.  They set it on the tire and scooted the tire along the road to get it out.  Then the loaded it on pallet jack we have here and moved it in the office. 

 Here is the crate in the office.  We are truly stacked to the hilt.  This is our front office and you can't even see the beautiful desk anymore.  President's office is full and the hallway is full.  Below Brent is standing by the front door where they are starting to stack things.