Friday, July 23, 2010

Our first real "P-Day"

We have been told that there isn’t much to do around here, so you get to be creative and make your own fun. Our last P-Day was one of those days.

President Calle is one of our 2 branch presidents. He speaks a little English and is absolutely wonderful to try to help us with whatever he can. When we go to church, there are only 2 other cars in the parking lot besides our truck. President Calle’s nice SUV is one of the other 2 cars. On Thursday, July 15, we all loaded into our truck or President Calle’s car and headed for north to Diosso. Our city is land locked and there are few roads going in or out, but the one road going north that takes about 40 minutes to drive, and that’s what we did. We drove about 25 minutes and then stopped at a village "boutique" for snacks.

We stopped at a slave trail museum, but it was only open on weekends, so we didn’t get to go in. We will do that another day.

Then we went on to the “gorge” (Gorges de Diosso) which is a beautiful lookout point that has red rock formations. It was amazing, if you look around the Congo. You don’t see anything else that hints of red rocks.
After the gorge we went to the beach,

where the guys played football. Ed amazed everyone on the first play as he grabbed the ball out of the air and ran a great play.
However, on the 2nd play, he tripped on the uneven African ground and wiped out.
He played the entire time with those 19 & 20 year olds, and had a ball.

The highlight of the day was going to the one and only golf course.
We went over to the only person we could see to see if they had a score card for Morse Travers’s collection. They didn’t. We talked to the man, who seemed to be the only one on the course (working or playing). He said that it costs the equivalent of $40 American to play, plus $20 for the caddy and club rental. I had the interpreter ask if they have twilight rates, like in the United States. He said “No” this isn’t the United States. In my very broken French I explained that we were missionaries and didn’t have very much money. The guy smiled and said in French… “Would you like to play one or two holes for free?” He gave us 6 clubs and 8 balls and the 13 of us headed off to play golf. The elders had a ball. They all caddied or hit or just laughed and ran around like little kids. Several had never played before and thought it was great fun. Ed will now take over a description of the play.

This is my caddy and our zone leader, Elder Chirwa.

After my drive I am actually in the middle of the fairway. Many of you may not think this looks like a fairway, as there wasn't much grass. It made the Kahuku golf course, which we nicknamed the "Eternal Sandpit" look quite plush. It is tough to hit a 180 yard sand iron, so I tried it with a 3 iron.
Looking at this sand trap above, you can actually see the difference between the grass and the sand trap. However, there is really not much difference. If you look below you can see that the grass, or mowed weeds, are sparse. Great form on this golfer, though.
My approach shot was headed for what I thought would be the green. There was a flag there. Little did I know that there would be no grass at all on the green. It was made of hard packed, oiled down dirt. The green actually had little walls around it, because an approach shot would actually roll and not stop on the green. By the 2nd hole, we got the idea that you wanted to hit short of the green and let it roll into the pit.
It was amazing how flat the green/dirt was. It was a very hard surface.
Nice Put. I made it! This hole in the ground reminds me of how when I was a little boy we used to dig holes to shoot our marbles into. There was a metal part at the bottom of this hole that held up the flag.

Three of the first time golfers. Nice form though. This is our district leader Elder Kesler.

Now I can say "I played golf in the Republic of Congo!" I don't think I will go back and pay $60 to play it. Ken... if you come over and work the course, you could maybe get me on free.


  1. Glad to see you are enjoying the country! All the guidebooks list the Gorges de Diosso as one of the must see places in the Congo!

    Check out this guide book for more fun things in Pointe-Noire!

    I found other references to the Golf Club de Diosso elsewhere online, with recommendations that it is nice. Is that the one Dad played at? If so, the recommendations must have been paid for, huh?

  2. From what part of Virginia is Elder Palmer? I came across his blog the other day, but I only just now realize he is from Virginia (thanks to his t-shirt in your pictures).

  3. So fun mom and dad! I'm so glad dad got to play golf! And I love the picture of the elders helping dad up from falling!

  4. So great to hear your little details! Thanks for the pictures of the shopping for food. I was wondering what it looked like.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that dad got to golf! That is so great! I am really happy for you dad, because that will always be a special memory.

    We love you dearly!
    Charise and family

  5. HA HA! That photo of dad with the elders helping him up...Priceless! I was reading it saying oh dear, I hope the man realizes he isn't 21 anymore. So funny.

    Also, thanks for the photo of the golf course. A picture is truly worth 1,000 words! So did you only do the 2 holes?