Tuesday, April 29, 2014

4/29/2014 Sort of a tour

We were scheduled to go to 3 different Zone Meetings with a sister from Accra Ghana (Area Offices for West Africa). She is the Mental Health specialist for West Africa, but she was bumped off her flight, so now we'll try for next week.

So President and Sister Ostler and the Barneys checked out the Mission Offices and the new Mission Home that is scheduled to be done in May. I hope it's true. We will be getting a pretty nice move up in the neighborhood.

We met the Mission Home Elders and the Zone Leaders that live in part of the Mission Offices. They are really nice guys.

Elder Kanzler and I took a South African missionary to the sea coach so he can go home for a while to recoup from a medical issue. He'll be back...

Here are some pics for the day:

                                                                          Mission office
                               New Mission Home that is to be completed in May if all goes right!!
                                                            Ours will be bottom left half

                                                             Some local "lite" traffic
                                                  The "Sea Coach" during the day.
                                    This is where we got off in Freetown from the airport in Lungi
                                                      Anyone for a nice cool dip?
                                            Elder Melese and I at the dock. What a great guy.
                                         New construction, check out the scafolding... NOT ME
                Sisters Barney & Ostler selecting some fresh mangos and other fresh fruits and vegies
                                            Sister B. processing the new haul with bleach water.
                        This is the only golf course in Sierra Leone. Can you tell its the dry season?
                                                I exchanged $900 american for $4,050,000.00

Monday, April 28, 2014

4/27/2014 The Journey

We have finally found what we have been preparing for, and words could never describe what we have experienced over the past few days.
We left SLC on Friday after 4 days of medical training . We prayed over our luggage to ask the Lords help in getting everything there in one piece and un-pilfered. You know it worked!
We had some real crazy looks from security, but nobody seemed to give it a second look. They checked 1 bag at SL and pushed us through. We sailed through Chicago after a 4 hr layover and on to London.  A long 8+ hours then landed in London at 9:30am or so.
We had to go through London security again, and we thought "Here goes" but nothing again, they just smiled and said thanks. 3+ hours in London and on to Sierra Leone at 12:30.

We landed in Sierra Leone at 6:20pm and it was getting dark fast. We stood in line to go through customs and I dont know how it happens but we were almost last in the line. We were far from last for the longest time, but people just kept going off to other lines. Oh Well... We passed through customs and the on-slot of charletons begins. "Can I get you a cart?? only $10 American". "Can I watch your bags so they'll be safe,,,only $5 American? Luckily there were 2 elders and another young man named Daniel that let the people inside know that he was waiting for us.
 Then we were able to skip the rest of customs (inspections where its like Christmas for the inspectors) and move to the head of the line. When we got outside the door, Daniel and the Elders came up and gave us big hugs, hauled our luggage to the loading area and paid for everything(with our money,of course) and told us to not give money to anyone else. That was good advise. We had guys try to protect our bags for $5 or see that our bags were on the same boat that we ride on, or make sure that the bags were safe at the other end for $5.... on and on. Oh well I guess I'd do the same if I were in their positions.
We loaded on a bus that took us to the dock for the "Sea Coach". A really nice man made sure that we got on the first boat when he saw our name-tags. He said he really liked our church. A quick speedboat ride across the bay and President Ostler and his wife were there waiting, loaded all our bags and off to the mission-home where we have an Apt in the basement. There are 3 Apartments, one for the Ostlers, one for the Kanslers (the housing couple) and little old us.
The poverty is unbelievable. Will soon send more pics. Can't go out today,all the missionaries called in. It is a holiday and the streets are extra crazy with craziness.

                                           Leaving the Marriott with all 10 pcs of luggage
                                                     Salt Lake to Chicago flight
                                           Sister B. is pretty wired as you can see here.
                           Chicago to London. The young man played a video game all night

                                                                     London Hethrow

                                     Reader board at Heathrow...Check out the Freetown listing, an after thought
                              Looks like nobody wants to go to Freetown, but it did fill up at the last minute
                                                              Looking out at Hethrow
                                      First sighting of Freetown. Its hard to make out with the haze.
           British Air is much much better than American. Meals, food, entertainment at no extra cost.
                        The plane parked about a quarter mile from the terminal. Smaller than Pasco

                                                                 Customs crowd
                                                                   Almost there
            Our welcoming party... Daniel on the right was a big help. He kept the shysters away.
                                           Loading on bus to the "Sea Coach" (Speed Ferry)
                                                     Holding spot for the "Sea Coach"

                                     Pier that goes out into the black where the speed ferry docks.
                                                              First night at the apart
                          And all 10 pieces of luggage...with unopened locks. Miracles have not ceased

                                                Lets see...how can we close those curtains
                                        Everyone should have a pillar or two right where you walk.
                                                           Kitchen laundry combo
                                                                      Master suite

                                     Lets see....how can we cover the window in the shower...
                                   Sister B's new most favorite necklace... You'll have to ask her!
                Couple of views from the kitchen...bars,cement walls,razor wire,broken glass shards. Safe at last!
                                                       More mountainous than I thought

                                    Front gate....Notice the concertina wire and broken bottles...

                                                            One of our guards...Member
                                     Let there be light...and its new and most important... its quiet
                                                       Front door to all three apartments
                                              Not sure what this is....Mission Prison I guess
                                                                      Back neighbors
                                                           Apt door again. The Ostlers vehicle

                        Notice the tanks...Our water thats filled periodically. We have 5 or 6 tanks.
                                  These lizards are everywhere... the males have really dark orange.