Friday, September 28, 2012

 Had a flat tire.  Took it to the local version of Big O.  They did the whole job with a couple of steel rods and an iron block.  The compressor is behind the man in the pale blue shirt.  It looked and sounded like the boiler from the African Queen, complete with old oily rags tied around the pipes to hold pressure.  The patch was done with a 2" diameter chunk of inner tube, glued to the inside of the tire.  They had no pressure gauge.  The worker removed the valve core, pushed the hose over the valve stem and filled until it seemed right.  Then he held his finger over the valve stem as he quickly reinserted the valve core.  We have driven it many miles and it's still holding.

 Coconuts from the mission office trees.

 Siaka skinning a coconut so we can drink the milk.

 Elder Appleby downing the coconut milk.

 Sister Lauritzen thought it was "okay."  I love it.

 It was transfer time and we took a load of elders to Bo.  The school kids here all wear uniforms.  This group of girls just got out of school in Bo.

 There are lots of shacks with grass roofs in the interior part of Sierra Leone.

  Cows in Grafton on their way to market in Freetown.  Their horns are all tied together and they walk line abreast for miles.

Cattle stopping in the road for a rest.

 Back on their way.

Another moving day.  We moved the Wellington elders to their new apartment in Allen Town.  Marlene liked  all of the flowers.

This is the view from the Allen Town apartment porch.

The Allen Town elders, Markus and me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

 Marlene seems to like to catch me eating all the time.  This was our first melon here.  It's from Guinea.  It was delicious.

 This is President Markus Wallace.  He is president of the Freetown Branch.  He is also our mission driver.  He fought in the civil war and has lots of stories.

Markus was working on a car and then buttoned his collar.  He left big brown thumb prints on his fresh white collar.  He had to go home and change, but stayed around long enough for us to get this picture first.  He is the mission president's right-hand man.

Monday, September 10, 2012

We see these snails everywhere.  They like living with the lizards among the decomposing vegetation under the banana trees.  We waited for this guy to stretch out, but he was taking too much time so you see him just beginning to come out of his shell.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

 Driving to the mission office this week we saw people by the side of the road looking across the valley.  Just behind the top of the rusty pillar you can see that half of a house collapsed ... probably from the heavy rain that has been pounding us since we've been here.

 This is the Freetown Ferry at Government Pier.  We just dropped off two new missionaries on their way to the MTC in Accra.  They're in the white bus.  One was excited and the other was nervous.  They go across the mouth of the Sierra Leone River to Lungi Airport.  We were trapped at the pier for an hour due to the heavy traffic.  The ferry was full and they were turning people away so it got very congested.

 We went for a walk today after church in Wellington.  We watched a football match in the cistern for a while.  On the way back we passed this little fellow pulling his train along the road.  He proudly posed with it.  The cars are sardine cans with plastic bottle cap tires.  The axles are nails.  We've seen these home made cars before.  Very creative and doesn't he look proud of it.

 We visited the Aberdeen Island water taxi.  Sometimes we use this taxi to get to and from the airport.  They have real boats, but we liked this sign by the only jet ski we have seen in Sierra Leone ... Sea Coach Express.  You'd have to be pretty brave to take that jet ski across the river.

This is Pademba Road.  The mission office is just up the road to the right.  This is the only intersection in Sierra Leone with signal lights.  They haven't worked for as long as anyone can remember.  You can see the traffic policeman in the center.  Motorcycles (okadas) and taxis everywhere.  There are a few road rules for the cars ... none for the motorcycles.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

 Time to change the number one filter in our filter system.  We catch the rain from the roof in big tanks and run it through these filters before we drink it.  Filling up water bottles is part of the daily routine.

This filter was pure white two months ago.  It's a good system.

A welcome dinner for the Burns at the mission home.  They just arrived.  They are from Meadow, Utah.  They are the first full time humanitarian couple in the Sierra Leone, Freetown mission.  Elder and Sister Burns back left.  Elder and Sister Randall front left.  Elder and Sister Lauritzen back right.  President and Sister Roggia front right.  Sister Lauritzen made taco soup.  Sister Randall made buttered toast and oatmeal cookies.  It was a delicious dinner.

 Sister Lauritzen sifting flour through a colander.  She made three chocolate cakes for the zone conferences last week.  Everyone raved about them.  The mission president said, "For a moment I thought I was somewhere else."

 Someone had to clean the beaters.

Elders Hales and Symons and Sister Lauritzen in front of the mission office.  The Elders serve in the Hill Station district.  They are always cheerful ... you can see it in this picture.  Elder Hales is from Spanish Fork.  We had to make sure his picture was in here for his mother.  He says, "Hi, Mom."