Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Happenings

We started the Thanksgiving celebration a couple of weeks early, before missionary transfer day.

A simple reminder on our wall.

This is the long foo foo paddle the Congolese use daily to stir their manioc.  The little hanging sign says, "For health and strength and daily food we praise thy name, oh Lord."

Thanksgiving prep.  Pulling the amaranth leaves from our little garden plot.

The missionaries finishing off their Thanksgiving meal.

The Ilungas are the first Church supported Congolese missionary couple.  They stayed with us for a week before being sent to their assignment.

This is Congolese Thanksgiving.
 White corn from Zambia makes the foo foo ball and a can of corned beef and spinach are the condiments.  Very tasty.  No utensils used.  It is pinched with the fingers like play doh. 

Sister Ilunga and Sister Moore at their early morning exercises.

One of the many political parades marching by in front of our house.
 Elder Moore was ready with the camera.


Another group not quite as large as the previous, but just as colorful and noisy.

After voting, the thumb was stained to avoid duplication.  It is a non removable dye that will eventually wear away.

Time for the first official District Conference.  The mission rented a hall for the occasion.

A nice shot taken before auxiliary training.  Sister Moore is wearing her Congolese skirt. 

Getting ready for the Conference Sunday morning.  Front row seats are nice.

Missionary Zone Conference on Monday at the District Office.  
 It has been a busy month.

A fine group shot of all our Missionaries.  Too bad the last two rows are standing in the shadows.
 Remedy that next time!

Time for the Christmas decorations to be displayed!
One origami star was made each Sunday afternoon since we have been here just for the occasion.

Elder Moore's contribution.  Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Morning Exercise

Almost every morning except Sunday we exercise: Bill walks and skips rope; Ann walks, dances, and stretches.  We have a favorite route through the garden: 200 long steps = 200 meter track.  This blog is mostly for us.

Off the porch and past the monk's hood.  

Around the garage.  Notice the triple padlocks on the rear gate.  

Out of the garage toward the front gate.  To the left are lovely tiny yellow-flowered bushes and the sentinel's shack.  We don't have a night sentinel but rely on the Lord to protect us.  The gardener uses it for his stuff.  

A peek through the front gate.  We are on the busy road from the airport: men and boys pushing bicyles laden with plastic yellow water jugs, carts, motorcycle taxis , school children, street children,  jobless men (90%+), and always women with babies strapped derriere and something on the head.  .  Some mornings the army peace-keeping unit marches by counting cadence.   Lately we have trucks with loudspeakers spouting music and political slogans.  Hope the election at the end of the month is peaceful.  

Some mornings the little lizard living in the bush suns himself.  

We have 3 pepper plants - all volunteers.   Now they are tall and producing little red peppers, very hot.  All our visitors go away happy.   

Here is our volunteer pumpkin.  It is growing in the dirt accumulated at this drain. The vines are now about 15 feet long with lots of flowers and 4 pumpkins have appeared with two already victims of brown rot.     

At the steps into the gazebo this lovely 5-pedaled white flower  keeps producing.  

Today on the gazebo the air-condition repairmen has left some parts for cleaning by his little assistant.  I gave them both  "Restoration" pamphlets and Frere Tyty and his wife have now accepted baptism.  Frere Tyty knew our Frere Beau Beau in school in Kananga and now those seeds are coming to fruition.  

Another day on the gazebo 2 papaya and 10 mangos grace our blue table.  A Mr. Simon Pierre dropped them off.  He also showed interest in the Church but the missionaries have not been able to make a rendezvous.
Of interest is what is no longer on the gazebo: our table and chairs.  Thieves scaled the wall one night and stole 6 chairs and the table.  We had at one time brought all the chairs into the house at night but we got lax.  The gardener says this is the first theft in his six years here.  Astronomical unemployment and poverty increase crime.  But the police shoot thieves.  

Obstacle: the kitten hiding on the step from the gazebo.

Past the voyager palm.  It's called "voyager" because new leaves appear in the middle, one  growing to the left, the next to the right. 

The gray truck with the "laissez-passé" in the window.  The paper used to get me into the airport inner parking plot but no longer.  

This moth decided to spend the day on the concrete wall of our house.

Sentinel lizard on our yellow wall against the background the the neighboring hotel.  I checked out the hotel a couple of days ago (on the same occasion as I complained to the loud-speaker truck).  Rooms are $80 and $60.  Showers in the morning if you tell the clerk and two buckets for flushing the toilets.  He said there was air conditioning.  

After the 20 minute walk is the jumprope.   I'm up to 250 repetitions. Looks like I really enjoy it.

After her walk, Ann swept the front porch.  

This is what she swept.  If she had waited an hour, these little ants would have completed the sweeping for her.

We look forward to continuing our walks, especially around Oquirrh Lake and down Lake Bridge past the temple.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bamboo Kitchen

(Double click on images to enlarge)

The bamboo kitchen prior to food prep.
Who would think that somewhere on this beautiful savannah is the making of a perfect setting for an outdoor kitchen?

The basics of cassava preparation includes the manioc flour,  corn flour, water, a big paddle and hard work.

The bamboo kitchen is in full swing.  

The kids know exactly when it is dinner time.  Does anyone recognize little Willie from the previous blog?

Another group of waiting children.  Little Willie is included again.  His sister is the beautiful girl in the orange dress.

The pot of greens.  These are amaranth leaves.  Notice the ingenious cooking fire.   These two bamboo poles are crossed under the pot and pushed in when the fire need arises.

She is grinding peanuts.  They are usually put in with the greens and add a little protein.

These are the cassava balls cooked, shaped with a plastic bowl and ready for eating.  Pinch a little of the ball and rub it into the vegetable dish for a nice little flavor with each bite.

If you make enough noise you are the first one served.  This little guy loves the green sauce and knows the secrets of dipping deep.  The dog waits around for a spilled treat.

These two girls are probably a little lethargic with malaria.  They have a nice little blanket spot and yes, the sandals look brand new!

Clean up time in the bamboo kitchen.

You can never rest too long!  Time to get ready for another meal.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Waters of Mormon

In our blog of September 24th we first visited the village of Tshitenge and met the Saints living there.  On this our second visit we came for the first baptisms.  

Here is the branch president's home now under renovation.  At his own expense, he is  enlarging his home.  The Church building supervisor will come in January.  Maybe he will OK the building and lease it for the Tshitenge Branch building.
(Double click to enlarge photos) 

Eight-year old son of the Branch President.  He would be one of those baptized today.  
This young man, whose name is Willie like me, almost never left my side. 

Missionaries teaching under the mango tree (where the mother hen brought her chicks on our first visit).  Most of the teaching is done in Tshiluba, not French.  

We all walked to the "Waters of Mormon" along this sandy road (about 30 minutes and 2 kilometers).  Those to be baptized carried their baptismal clothing.

The weather threatened rain but it didn't rain until the evening.  The rain filled up our rain barrels at our home, but it didn't rain hard enough to fill up the font at Muya Branch so the missionaries hauled yellow water jugs from their apartment to the other font at Diulu Branch and those to be baptized came to their baptisms on the back of motorcycles.   .  The young man wearing the "Wendy's" shirt is studying medicine during the week in Mbuji-Mayi and returns weekends to his village, walking the 10 kilometers each way.  

Baptismal clothing needn't hinder the holding of hands.  

We passed the railroad station of Mbuji-Mayi.  Only problem is that the rails were never extended here.  It's the mission president's dream to establish rail service.

Also making use of the "Waters of Mormon" is this brewery.  We will turn left, down the hill, turn right and descend to the lake.

This sister has her hymn book.  We didn't sing any hymns but she was prepared.

Half-way to the lake, Little Willie clasped my hand and we walked together.  After his baptism he was thrilled to ride back to the branch sitting on my lap in the truck.  

Voila the "Waters of Mormon".  It's my name for this natural spring.  There are many trees to hide from the wicked King Noah, but I don't think the Waters of Mormon were any more beautiful than these.  Do you think there were also little nude boys swimming where Alma baptized? 

The water was clear and people were catching fish.

We gathered for the baptism.  About 100 locals curiously looked on.  Other Christian denominations use this spring for baptisms too.  

Little Willie after his baptism.

A ward missionary, a full time missionary, and Frere Beau Beau, a branch president from Mbuji-Mayi.
Notice the water pump in the background with little boys ready to dive into the lake.  No, it is not for the brewery.  This spring and this pump with 8 inch (?) pipes supplies most of the drinking water for Mbuji-Mayi, a city of 2 1/2 million people.  No wonder there is a scarcity of water in the city. 

Women's work.  All the wet baptismal clothes (21 baptisms and 2 baptizers) were loaded back into the bag and a good sister carried it dripping back up the hill to the truck.  I couldn't entice the 20 year old future missionary (male) to take a turn.

The next day in Mbuji-Mayi the branches had 28 baptisms.  One man had ridden his bicycle 150 kilometers for 4 days to be taught and baptized.

Next blog: a look at Congolese cooking in the village.