Friday, December 26, 2014

26-Dec-2014 The Day after Christmas

WOW...This will be a Christmas to remember. First of all, it's 88 deg with 90% humidity.
The traffic is unbelievable. The people are "Super Friendly and Grateful" for what they have and receive. Christmas in West Africa is much different from what we are use to. Not a lot of commercialization. There is sporadic fireworks at all hours of the day and night. Not big displays, but mall "single player" outbursts. They have huge roman-candles that sound like M-80 fire crackers. So every now and then we hear a "Boom-Boom-Boom" for about 10 in a row. I wish I could get some of them home for the grand kids.... They also like to spend time with family. Hence all the traffic.
We talked to a wood carver that we met, and he said that he likes to go around his neighborhood and give useful "Hampers" to the old and needy. A "Hamper" is sort of like an Easter basket in America, it has rice, oil, fish, tomato past, etc in it that they can use for a good meal. Now that's the "Spirit of Christmas" in my book. I think we Americans need a small lesson from them.
We rounded up some of the other mission couples and regular missionaries and went to a Rehabilitation Center that Elder and Sister Dever, the humanitarian couple, are working with to get a functional septic system and well in place. The whole experience was great for us all. The students and staff had fun providing us with music and dance. All of us missionaries had fun interacting with them and showing them "Luke II" for Christmas. I'm going to try and attach a short clip of the party.
Well enjoy these pics and have a Great New Year...

 We visited a gentleman that makes "TieDie" fabric and in his absence,
the grandmother of the clan takes the money.
 While there Sister Barney found a friend.
 Elder Dever  takes a few "Snaps" and then shows them to the kids.
A big hit, as you can see.

 A Zone party on the Monday B4 Christmas. We got to attend two.
 This poor guy lost the top of his foot when he hit a taxi
while riding a motor cycle in flipflops.  We could count
all of the tendons to his toes. Nasty....
 After closing in the back of this vans window with metal, I cant
figure out the reason for leaving the wiper in tact????
 Some of Ghana's finest waiting for the call.
 We spotted this tracked hoe on it's side on the side of the road. A few days later
we passed again and it's all in pieces. Not sure if they take them apart and re-assemble
it in another location or what's going on?
 A few days later, the engine is gone and the rest has been burned.
 Here you go John Deere lovers... I found a dealership.
 A clean (semi-clean) one owner.
 Starting the Christmas baking...I get to open a couple a dozen
"laughing cow" type things so we can have enough for baking.
 The 5 star baker at work.
 Yes she IS cute.
 The finished product... 7 total for friends.
 Wrapping gifts for some of the missionaries that we we work with frequently. 
 We are in the mission office making some "He is the Gift" cards to pass out
to the neighbors that we see frequently.
 Laminating for a lasting gift.
 Two of our Elders in Agona. They were so excited. We make them
promise not to open until Christmas morning.
I think they waited!?
 This is the Mampong Chapel.
The second floor of this business is rented and converted for church.
 Sister Barney teaching one of the Sister Missionaries how to bake.
 Breakfast at Elder and Sister Preator's with the Dever's and Holmes'
 Se the Preator's have a tree and nativity.
No Christmas should be without one.
 This poor Elder was knocked down by a little bug called Typhoid.
Trust never want it.
 104.5 and feeling terrible.
 This is John, the lab guy, we ended up placing 4 Book of Mormons
and talking to John, Dr. Ekow, and two nurses for a couple of hours.
John and the Dr. said they were coming to church Sunday.
 This little cutie was helping some older siblings carry water at the hospital.
 This is "Harmattan Winds" season. It looks like fog at times.
 Here is a pic of some "Hampers" on the side of the road.
 I know just how the turkey in the middle feels.
 Guinea Fowl and chickens waiting for their turn in the pot.
 This is a little place that makes great cheeseburgers.
For West Africa that is.
Typical side street here in Kumasi

Monday, December 15, 2014

15-December-2014 I love Christmas

Wow has this year ever gone by fast. We are on the door step of Christmas and not sure what we are going to do to celebrate. We see very little in the way of decorations. I suppose it's because most of the locals don't have a lot to spend on extras. We have people ask us all the time for a Christmas present, so we are passing out a lot of pamphlets. Our new truck got backed into the other day by a teenage (20) driver, minimal damage, and he and his mom were both very sorry. We and Brother Prosper, the FM Representative here in our area, told them not to worry about it. The young man was extremely relieved. While we were waiting for Bro. Prosper to arrive, we explained that we were missionaries and told him about the three big questions. "Where did we come from? Why are we here? and Where are we going after? He ran back to his vehicle and brought back a paper that he has been writing on, and guess what he had written on the paper? You guessed it...Why...Why...Where...
We gave him a couple of pamphlets and said that we were going to give his name and contact information to the missionaries and hopefully something will come from it. The Lord works in mysterious ways some times. A small dent in a truck door is a small price to pay for a "golden contact"...and possibly bringing the Restored Gospel into someones life. Well I hope you enjoy these few pics. I'll try to post more often. We have been very busy with the training in all of the branches.

 Sister Barney looking down from one of the Elders apartments that
we are going to inspect.
 One of these Elders girlfriends made, decorated, folded, and sent this Christmas tree
all the way from the states so these Elders have a place to put their stash of gifts.
 A very cute girl on the top floor giving me "Cat Calls"
(see the first pic)
 A sweet reward for having a nice apartment.
I really have seen some dramatic improvement in apartment cleanliness
now that we are doing inspections/training.
 Amazing what brownies can do for a sick missionary.
 "Hold on, those are for all 6 of you in this apartment"
 This is called a "Local Apple" I mentioned them previously.
Well here is what they look like inside. They are very sweet, but I 
dont care for the texture. "Pure Slime"
 Local Apple

 Big sisters are so helpful!
 This little girl is wearing an inside out dress from a young lady that she puked all over
while riding in our truck to a baptism. "Car Sick"! Her cloths were really trashed, so Sister Barney
turned the young ladies dress inside-out and put it on her, it was only slightly messed up.
It was a good thing that the young lady had an extra dress in her bag that she could change 
into after the Baptism
 Baptism at Asamong. The Elders are on the ends, and the young lady that 
got puked on is the third from the left.
 This is called a "Champion Bug" or a "Blister Beetle", depending where your from.
If it crawls in you, or you mess with it, it releases acid that reacts with the skin.
There is no pain at the time, so you don't even know that it's on you.
It's about the size of an ant.
 This is what it does. This Elder must have pinched it in his arm
when he folded it.
 This one must have gotten inside his shirt...
We have had several cases in the past few weeks.
We even killed one in our vehicle the other day.
 This is one of only two trees that we have seen for sale. It was Melcom's and Sister Barney
just had to get a snap of it.
 Taken at "LaPatite Pharmacy" where we purchase a lot of supplies for the mission.
 Come on, you can give me a little smile...
 This is a local remedy for who knows what...
It says anti-everything
 I sure wish I would have taken my Doxy.
We kept this Elder with us for a day or so.
His temp hit 105 and he gave us quite a scare. Malaria can be nasty.
 These are 4 of the staff members at a small hospital between Agona and Mampong
where Sister Barney has visited a couple of times. We delivered a Christmas card to them
and they indicated that they want to know more about our church.   "What"
Well I guess we can have someone come back and tell you a little bit.
 This is the first ever Primary Program in the Mampong Branch.
It came off without a hitch, and they had their best attendance ever.
 The Primary teacher and Presidency went around and invited
all of the inactive children and they all came with parents in tow.
It was great.
 Future Primary President

 Looks like Becca is expanding here business.
 Buying tomatoes at a roadside stand.

 These guys were just too curious why an Obruni (white-man) was
in their town. I talked to them about missionary work and bought a small
noise maker from them for way more than it was worth, but I couldn't resist.
They were way too friendly.
 Branch training at the Agona chapel.
The Obruni's are Elder and Sister Dever, the Humanitarian couple that are
helping us with the training.
 I'll be darned...the first Library that I've seen in 8 months.
These two young men from the Agona branch want to learn the Keyboard in the worst way.
Sister Barney has been helping them, and they are really catching on.