Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A short note...

We followed the Connecticut tragedy on CNN.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose a child in such a violent manner.  It is incomprehensible.

We have been quite busy with missionaries coming into our mission as well as those going home.  They all come to the mission home complex, where we live and work.  Plus there are missionaries transferred from one location to another...all at the same time.  It is our job to coordinate all of well as arrange meals while they are here.  They are wonderful young people with much enthusiasm and energy.  Other than working here, we have not had a lot of other excitement as we are restricted to the mission home and immediate vicinity because of safety issues.  

Ogun State, near the City of Imodi; actually the country road.  Beautiful.

Ibadan Road, tallest hill I have seen in Nigeria.  A view across the plantations. 

The plantations are a mix of coconut, sugar cane and bananas.

Beautiful river with a sand barge in the middle.

Sand dredgers - very hard work.

Off loading sand to carry up the river bank.

Cut sugar cane in 10 foot lengths - and workers.

Penny in her African wedding costume.

Penny and Elwood in their African wedding costumes.

President Audebayo, our mission President, and us at the wedding.

An African couple at the wedding reception.

Two of the grooms mothers (his father has several wives). 

Official wedding stand with the "high table" on the right.  
The Bride and Groom sit on the couch to the left.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another week...

We just got back from dinner with a family in our ward.  The husband is Nigerian and the wife is from Idaho...quite a combination.  They have 3 adorable children.  We are going to an African wedding on Saturday...I suppose the husband was able to raise the bride price. The tradition is for all the people who attend the wedding to wear clothing made out of the same material so Elwood and I had African-style clothing made for us by a seamstress in the area.

We visited some missionary apartments on Friday near the beach and we were able to see sand and ocean.  Unlike California, land near the ocean is not covered with luxury homes and condos.  People living near the beach are fisherman who live in very poor homes.  Many missionary apartments need generators because electricity is out so often (days and sometimes weeks at a time) that the food in their small refrigerators goes bad and they are unable to get water.  Most apartments are connected to a bore hole which requires electricity to pump the water in.  None of the apartments have hot water so even when they have water it has to be heated in order to wash bodies or clothes.  They do not have washing machines or dryers so all washing is by hand.  Our apartment is luxurious for most Nigerians in that we have hot water, a washer and dryer, and a generator that provides electricity when the power is off.   

We had a little shake up in the missionary office which is where we spend much of our time.  We work in this office with the mission president, two missionaries that assist us (Office Elders) and two missionaries who assist the president.  The two assistants to the president had some issues that caused the president to remove them from the office and bring in two new ones.   

The Christmas season has arrived in Nigeria.  The stores sell Christmas decorations.  A small string of lights costs 2000 naira (about $13).  It is quite expensive to buy most products unless it is grown and made in Nigeria.  We can buy some vegetables, bananas, and pineapple at reasonable prices.  If we ate pounded yams, rice, beans, salty dried fish, etc. and if it were safe to do so we could buy these products rather inexpensively at the many roadside markets.  We did go to one market with a driver and bought zucchini and cilantro...I even made some zucchini bread.

Elwood and a few others siphoning gas from a can into the van.  
Gas stations were out of gas as they usually are.

Fishing village just off 3rd main bridge, Lagos.  This view is from where we got a flat tire.  

The tire blew - looking for equipment to change tire

Fishermen in a typical boat

 Elwood directing traffic while tire was being changed

More fishermen... 

African art carvings 

Penny decorating their small apartment Christmas tree

Penny at the office as Santa