16 March 2011
Today was a moving day. That is President Packer decided to move a few things from the old mission home to the new mission home. We already live at the new mission home on the second floor above the mission office. The new mission home is located in a section of Lubumbashi called “Golf” because of the golf course located here. The principle reason for the move is that the electric power is much more reliable here. The office couple have been without city power for 4 days, relying on the generator of the owner of their apartment.
A trademark of the Church is how well it takes care of its missionaries. Here is a picture of the 3-filter water purifier found in every missionary apartment. I assume that the missionaries in Hong Kong also had this device. The missionaries in the famous city of Laputa (where there is no electricity) use these filters attached to a hand pump. Laputa is famous because the Church installed a fresh water system for this town of 150,000 people located deep in the heart of the Congo. There are 4 missionaries there and 3000 members.
Here on my bed you see an example of Congo money. The highest denomination Congo bill is 500 francs. The lowest is 50 francs. US money is used for bigger bills. There are no coins.
This large avocado we bought on the street cost 1500 francs. Move the decimal point 3 spaces to the left for an approximate cost in dollars: $1.50. We ate half of the avocado with sliced tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs for dinner last night. It was a little hard at the base but ripe and flavorful at the top.
We also bought bananas on the street. We stopped a woman carrying a very large basket of 50 to 75 bananas on her head. Since the basket was so heavy, the avocado vender helped her lower the basket to the ground. 1000 francs bought 4 small bananas. The bananas looked a little bruised and overripe but were in fact still a little green tasting.
The electrical outlets are mostly European types, though our toaster needs an adapter from British (like in Hong Kong) to the two round prongs. We found a Chinese power strip fulfills all our needs. We found it when we bought our rice cooker in the Indian-owed “Groupe Jambo”. If you have read any of the “#1 Lady Detective” novels about Botswana, you will remember that many stores in Africa are owned by Indian companies. The “2nd floor manager” is from a town in central India and will be here until 2012.
On the 1st floor we bought a few more groceries. We bought 21 items for 40,854 francs (40854 francs/911 = $44.85). The checkout lady refused my $100 bill because it was printed in 2001. Brother Wilson had a bill printed in 2006 that was accepted. The mission president takes these older bills to South Africa where the banks aren’t so picky.
In a future blog we’ll explain our new assignment here. The day we arrived, we were changed from “public affairs” to “whatever the mission president needs”.
We know that all is well with you because the Lord is mindful of your needs.
Elder William and Sister Ann Moore