Saturday, October 6, 2012


Jim taught these children how to play hopscotch.  They all wanted to do it at once.

This is a fresh water inlet near the sea; such a beautiful sight--what he didn't take a picture of was the garbage lining the shore.

These pictures were taken in Sierra Leone--it was the reddest sky I'd ever seen.  The first was taken by
Sister Burns.  The next two by Sister Roggia, Mission President's wife.

Beautiful African children.
Friday, October 5, 2012

Dear Family & Friends,

Once again I got the lucky/unlucky straw of being held back here for lack of room in the car.  I am not required to look at the same stuff we saw last trip.  And the hotel has a nice room, TV (when it is working) and Internet (when it is working) and a restaurant.  They have, like many other hotels in Africa, remodeled and expanded since we were last here.  Jim is taking the Miles’s around to see where the projects of wells and latrines will be built.

E/S Miles don’t have a vehicle to drive!  Sometimes in Africa their ways don’t compute with our logic at all!  Their boss told them to ‘get acquainted’ (for three months!) until their truck became available the first of the year!  I have thought of ways that they can get around, but in the end they will be renting a vehicle that Prince can locate them for $50 a day, a real bargain in Africa.  Elder Miles checked with a regular car rental place and they told him he (1) had to use a driver (2) it would be $175 a day!  The NGO’s don’t mind paying those prices, but we certainly do! 

This is behind a marketplace and it is where they have some old latrines.  Even though it is again littered with garbage, it is not the huge mound we saw last time we were here.  They said they would clean it up.  But, will they ever change and keep it that way?  I doubt it.  It is a way of life here, what to do with your garbage.

Elder Miles is former military and a farmer and I don’t know what else.  His wife no doubt likes to drive tractors, but even so yesterday’s jaunt left her rung out.  They went in Bundor’s car and he doesn’t have air conditioning so you just get hotter and sweatier as the day goes along.  By the time they got back at dinnertime, I think they wondered how they would do here!  I assured Sister Miles that it would get better.  Their truck would have air conditioning and it would make all the difference. 

This is the dip well that they will use to flush their new latrines when we build them.  Bundor was having a fit seeing the filthiness here.   Wherever he goes he is always training the people in hygiene practices, not that they need it or anything…

Back at the hotel I found that if I walked in the morning before 9 AM I would not melt.  It is the cooler time of year, raining off and on during the day and night.  As I made my jaunt I was a curiosity to the workers who wanted to talk to me to find out why I was walking.  I assured them it was because we drive everywhere and we have to walk for exercise—they don’t need to belong to a gym or ‘walk on purpose’, going nowhere in particular like we do.  One man wanted to walk with me on his day off—I told him I was going to be in church on Sunday.  Africans are always so sweet to talk to, so friendly and nice (of course, often after that they want you to ‘sponsor’ them, send them to school, take them to America, etc.)  Today as I walked I saw them removing the garbage from the day before from the kitchen area—it makes you not want to eat the food, although I’ve never gotten sick here before.  I walked with the smells of rotting fish and garbage in my nostrils.  I didn’t envy the guy having to clean it all out.  One man called me grandmother as I walked and I said that indeed, I had 27 grandchildren, to which he replied, “Praise God.” 

Bundor was to arrive here at the hotel at 9 AM.  He finally did, at 11—even that is pushing African time…as for me, I find plenty to do in my room, including some sort of a perverse pleasure of doing my wash by hand.  I think they frown upon this here at the hotel, but I can’t seem to help myself.  I have to wash just enough to get us home again.

In honor of E/S Burns’s experiences and now E/S Miles, I’m adding to my increasingly silly song, which I thought of while walking:

Accidents are happening, you see them everyday;
Elder Burns is now a part, of the country way. 
Hot contentions do abound, we see them everywhere,
Sister Burns will be a prayin’ they will not have a care.
Elder Miles and Sister Miles arrived with their high hopes,
Now they fear they will not drive and cannot learn the ropes.

Love, from Liberia

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