Sunday, December 28, 2014

Larato Creche Christmas

Wayne Grobler, a returned missionary and son of the former Stake President, got the senior missionaries involved in a service project with the Lerato Creche.   The Creche is a pre-school, day car, church and even an orphanage for a few children here in Bloemfontein.

Welkom Thanksgiving

Elder Edington and I work most closely with the Welkom Elders so when we found out that they were not going to have the opportunity to come to the Bloemfontein Thanksgiving or to have one of their own we decided to take Thanksgiving dinner to them.  This was the second of two Thanksgiving dinners we helped with and neither one on Thanksgiving day.  That day was a day of work for us as well as the missionaries so we did not eat a Thanksgiving meal that day.

The Lord, or at least the missionaries where teaching me the importance of being patient.  The Elders were an hour and 20 min late.  One set of Elders had a good excuse though.  The key for their door broke in the lock so they were locked in their flat for a long time.  They actually broke out through a high kitchen window and were able to eventually get the lock fixed.  We are still not sure what kept the other Elders.

The American Elders loved having Thanksgiving with most of the trimmings but most of the black Elders had never eaten turkey before.  (From the people we talked to it seems that most Africans do not eat turkey and think we are a bit crazy for eating it) All but Elder Chathyoka were willing to try the turkey.  He is the Elder in the middle picture with Elder Edington.     

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Bloemfontein Thanksgiving

We celebrated Thanksgiving with the missionaries  in Bloemfontein today Monday November 24, 2014.  We celebrated it today because it is p-day and the missionaries can have zone actvities on Mondays.  Thanksgiving is not a holiday here in South Africa so if we had Thanksgiving on Thursday the missionaries would have only 1 hour to celebrate. Elder and Sister Carlile and Elder and Sister Huls and Elder Edington and I made Thanksgiving dinner with as many of the trimmings as we could find. We had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, homemade rolls, candied sweet potatoes, pomegranate jello salad, cranberries and lemon, pumpkin and pecan pie. We had a wonderful time.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hippo Hunting at Night

We got to go out twice looking for hippos.  The first time we did not see any hippos because we went to the wrong area of town but the second night we were successful.  The night time pictures we took did not work out at all so we used some that Elder Polman gave us.   Hippos spend most of the day in the water and come out at night to eat the lawns and other vegetation around St Lucia.  These big fellow are often found roaming the streets around 9:00 at night.  It was quite a thrill to see these massive short legged beasts.  Can you imagine coming out of your house at night and coming face to face with a hippo.  I though javelina were a nuisance. 

Hippo Boat Ride

On Saturday November 8th, 2014 we went on "The Hippo Boat Ride."  Near the boat dock, artisan had their wares to show.  There were carved animals, hats, beaded bracelets, necklaces and lots more fun things. The Christmas balls that are pictured in the middle row of pictures are carved on the outside of what they called Monkey Fruit.  The monkey fruit had a pale green seedy middle which is removed before carving.  The outside is relatively soft and appears to be quite easy to carve, although getting the design just right, I am sure, was a bit tricky.  The monkey fruits looked a lot like a gourd that we would find back home.  There were 5 or six men carving different designs on the monkey fruit.  It was interesting to watch and listen to them as they talked.

Saint Lucia Wetland Drive

One the second day of our retreat, Friday November 7, 2014 we went on a Saint Lucia Wetland drive and got to go to the Indian Ocean.  We road in a truck just like the ones we used for the game drive so we were able to see everything there was to see, which was a lot.

This was a fun day.  There was a cloud cover again this day which kept the day a bit cool but it brought out the animals in full force.  we saw animals almost continually as we drove around the wetlands.  It was beautiful and a very interesting to see so many different animals and so much water.    To an Arizona desert rat just to see so much water was a fascinating treat.