Friday, May 20, 2011
Posted by Kriss Gates
One day, in January, we had quite an unusual day! I have kept thinking I will blog it when we can laugh about it, and now we are finally at that point. One of my kids had heard a little about this day... and asked me to blog it. One morning we woke up and went for our jog on the beach. We always drive down to the ocean and park the truck on the sand. We always lock it up tight. For safety’s sake we both carry our cell phones, because we run at different paces and we want to be able to call each other if necessary. On this particular morning Ed’s phone slipped out of his pocket as he was getting out. After he locked the car, he saw his phone through the window on the driver’s seat. He decided it wasn’t worth the trouble of unlocking the door to get it. When we returned from our jog, Ed said… Oh, oh. We’ve got problems. Someone had thrown a big rock through the truck window and shattered it. They took the phone (one of the cheapest models in Africa) and went through our glove compartment. There was nothing but paperwork and they left it on the carseat. However, this truck model has 2 glove compartments, and we keep Ed’s good, expensive camera in the top glove compartment. It sort of blends in with the upholstery on the dash board, and as we held our breath and opened it up, we saw the camera and sighed in relief together. That camera would be irreplaceable in the Congo. We counted our blessings and took the car in to get the window repaired. Later that morning we drove into the market for our weekly shopping day. Ed had to stay in the car, because of the smashed out window, to protect our purchases. We went to the grocery stores first and then headed to the Grande Marché for buying our fresh produce and meats. Ed parked at the end of the block and I walked into the Marché streets. I was looking for Turkey legs, for one of our African elder’s farewell dinners. Thanksgiving turkey legs dinner was his favorite. He had never had them before and wondered if we could possibly get them again. We had asked our butcher to try to get us a box. I was thrilled! He had found some and had them waiting for us. I purchased the box and carried them out to Ed who was sitting in the truck. I was afraid the box might drip turkey juice, as the huge drumsticks thawed, so I set it in the back bed of the truck, right behind where Ed was sitting. We drove down the street and I ran into one last store, leaving Ed to guard all the groceries. When I came out Ed got out to help me put my bags in. Then he said, “They are gone… I can’t believe it, they are gone!” Sure enough, we both stared at the back of the truck and there was nothing where the box of turkey legs had been. Ed said there had been 3 people come up to the window of the car and try to sell him some stupid stuff, and he just kept saying “No, merci, No”. They finally left. (Evidently they left with our turkey legs.) We drove back up to the Grand Marché, and went into the butchers… again. Luckily, they had ordered a second box of Turkey legs, along with our box… and I was able to buy them. We were happy to have them! That same day, later in the afternoon we met with 6 of our Elders and went to the fanciest hotel in town to meet the American Ambassador to the Republic of Congo, at a special reception we were invited to attend. It was fun to meet the Ambassador. There were probably another 25 people in attendance... who were Americans. They were mostly men who worked in the oil industry. However, the best part of the reception was watching our cute elders enjoy the hors-d'oevres and the fancy grounds and the banquet room. Compared to what they work in, most hours of most days, it was total luxury. They were perfect gentlemen and very good Mormon Ambassadors. That night in bed, we knelt down for our nightly prayers together. My very special husband said the prayer that night and very seriously said, “Please bless whoever took the turkey legs that they and their family might be able to enjoy a wonderful dinner tonight with all their friends. It might be the best meal they will ever have.” As we were falling asleep in each others arms, we counted our blessings.