Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 2

Day 2 was amazing! I slept in a bit while Dad and Mom went for their daily run. I will go tomorrow and update you on that with day 3. Breakfast consisted of yogurt and granola for me, Mom had yogurt, granola and milk. Dad had a chocolate rice krispy treat. Mom offers to make Dad breakfast every morning but he usually says, “You go ahead and eat whatever.” The pineapple and mango juice is pretty good flavor, just weak. All of the OJ that Mom and Dad have tried are very airplane type OJ. After breakfast I went out with Dad while Mom stayed home to do some book work. The first stop for Dad and I was the Elders house to pay the rent. It was great to see Dad working it. They pay 3 months in advanced here. Dad put down some money and asked if he had any questions. The owner looked a bit confused and told him that wasn’t enough. (Keep in mind one of the Elders was doing the translating). Dad laughed and thought that he was very funny and put the rest of the money down on the table. Shakily the owner laughed too. Then the owner asked about what we will call the electric bill, here they call it currant’. Dad with his serious face told the Elder to tell him he isn’t going to pay for it because it is so weak. (see side note for more info) The Elder paled and started hesitantly translating. Dad then dramatically placed the extra money down. I started laughing as I knew this was just Dad. Then the Elder and owner started shakily laughing too as they realized that Dad was just je drague (teasing) them. But Dad did say, “I want to know how come I need to pay for something that doesn’t work?” No answer was offered. Side info: Most places have currant’ but it is weak and or unreliable. This is just something that they are used to. The missionaries and the church have a generator to use as back up. This specific house that we were paying the rent, they always use their generator as the currant’ just isn’t enough. Next we were off to the chapel. It is a beautiful building. It seats 140 but there is over 200 that attend each week. We dropped off the curriculum for the year. It was comforting to see that same cute boy on the front of the primary book that is on the front of my book. Next we drove by the well. The well house was supposed to be finished today but no work has started. Dad called the interpreter to have him see what is going on, we still have not got an answer. After that we drove by the new church building. This is an actual apartment type building that they are going to remodel to use as a church temporally. Their long term goal is to buy some property to build another actual chapel. Our next stop was at the airport to pick up my passport (I feel much better having it in my hands). Also at the airport was the BYOS (Bring your own spoon). There is a soft serve ice-cream guy with a portable ice-cream machine. It was so good. It hit the spot big time. The reason why you bring your own spoon is they don’t provide spoons. It is crazy as it is served in a plastic cup. I asked Dad what people do that don’t BYOS. He said they just squeeze it out. That is just crazy. You would not be able to get every last drop. When it is 90 degrees with 95% humidity, you NEED every last drop. After ice-cream we went home for lunch; most of the time Mom and Dad don’t stop for lunch. I was honored that they did for me as I was getting hungry. We had yummy ham sandwiches on fresh French bread that Dad and I had bought. After lunch Dad and I were back out for our rendezvous (their word for teaching appointment). Our first stop was teaching a 72 year old man with a lot of kids. His wife had passed away years ago and the wife’s family “gave” him her younger sister. The Elders taught this man and then asked him to be baptized. He set a date! Whoo Hoo! His house was very humble. To call where he lived the “projects” would be way too kind. First of all the “projects” are government subsidized. There is no help from the government as there is barely a government. Secondly, calling these the “projects” would imply that they were nicer than what they were. Let’s just keep it as, it was a VERY humble house. Here are a few photos of the family. This one of Dad, behind him is their “bathroom”. Funny side note: the little boy in this photo was stark naked the entire time. When I asked if I could take a photo, then the Dad told him to go and get pants on. Our next stop was to each a 12 year old new member. His Dad has been a member for a little while. This boy was very sweet. The Dad was very honored to have Dad and I there. His house was kind of neat as while humble, the yard was beautiful. The photo shows that he swept the dirt and everything. It was so cute to see the pride that he had with what he had been given. This was also a fun stop because the Elders taught from the picture book of Mormon stories so I was able to follow along. It was kinda cool because in the first stop they asked if I wanted to share anything. I talked a bit about how we are given a road map to help raise our family, our scriptures. On this lesson I was thinking about what I would talk about if they asked me and I looked at this cute 12 year old boy and thought immediately of Nephi’s Courage. Sure enough, what lesson did the Elders share, Nephi going to get the brass plates! Our next stop was at a new Sisters home. This was fun as we got to go inside. Wow…talk about humble. She had a sheet for a door. The steps leading up to her house were tires. Side Info…Unfinished houses: There are a few different kinds of houses. #1 Humble….no windows…most have no doors. They are made of wood or homemade cinderblocks with cement. Some have tin siding and roofs. The closest thing that I can use to describe it would be pioneer log cabin homes. #2 Humble but working on it…these are very much like #1 except they have a bit bigger lot or yard. They build this little shack/cabin on there and live there while they build a bigger, nicer home. However, I have yet to see one of these but Dad does tell me that they exist. #3 Homes like Mom and Dads. Nice homes with tile floors and very fancy gates around that lock. I am amazed at how many fancy touches are inside. There is crown mold in every room. Lastly #4 People from #1 or #2 trying to make a home like #3. They buy the land and start building. They build the frame out the cinderblocks. Then they cover it in cement. They add beautiful arches and pillars and columns. Then they are done for a while. The next things to be put in are windows. Windows are very expensive here so that there are tons of these homes that look like they are going to be big beautiful homes, but work has just stopped as they can’t afford the windows. Our next stop was to the hospital. Words are not enough for what I want to share. Everything you see on the movies and TV is so true. It resembled old army barracks. The room we went to was about 8 feet by 15 feet. There were 3 twin beds in this room. One bed had 4 little babies, another had 3 toddlers and the last one had 2 young kids. We were there to see Reine (pronounced Ren). She is a darling 9 ½ year old girl. She was in there for malaria. She has had it before. When she had it before, they drew blood to test it and it was a dirty needle; she now has Aids. She was such sweetheart! She had the cutest dimple when she smiled. Dad and the Elders gave her a blessing. Mom brought her a DVD to keep and the Elders let her borrow the Picture Book of Mormon stories. Her Dad then said she couldn’t read because she has missed so much school from being sick. You know that Mom was on that! She is going to teach her how to read. After the hospital we went to dinner at a local pizza restaurant. It was very yummy. They knew Dad and Mom as they go at least once a week. Then we went home and I fell asleep while watching MASH with Mom and Dad.


  1. Keep them coming Amy. This is fantastic! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it all out.

    That story about the little girl in the hospital is so sad! As if Malaria isn't bad enough...lets add aids to the mix. So sad! I was wondering if mom and dad come into contact with that much.

  2. That hospital bit, brought tears to my eyes. Little kids in hospitals just make me so sad.

  3. I am so excited that Amy is able to visit. And I loved her commentary. What an adventure you are having. the picture on the beach looking out at the waves looks just like So.Cal. and makes me miss it and you too. We actually had snow and frozen pipes this week in TX. But out adventures aren't nearly as exciting as your. Love you much, Greg and MarJane