Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 13th, 2009

We arrived home safely from our trip to Johannesburg for our Humanitarian welfare training. There were 7 couples in attendance plus Elder and Sister Godfrey and Bro. & Sister Elks who oversee all that we do in SE Africa. The couples and their area of responsibility were:
Lester and Joan Moody – DR Congo, Cameroon, Congo, Guinea, Gabon, Central Africa Republic
Neuman and Judy Callister – South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland
John and Geri Esplin – Kenya, Tanzania
Robert and Susan Bird – Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion
Bruce and Linda Cox – Mozambique, Angola
Kent and Becky Himle – Ethiopia
Jim and Nancy Bullock – Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi
Arthur and Alice Glenn – Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Southern Sudan

We were really impressed with some of the projects they are doing and it was fun to share and learn from each other. We stayed in a lovely hotel that had good beds, hot water for the shower & tub, electricity that never went off, and a wonderful buffet of food for every meal (and of course we all ate way too much).
Duck at hotel in Jo'burg

We had meetings everyday and learned about ‘raising the bar’ in regards to what projects we do and how we do them. It is our main objective to help people become self-reliant and do only projects that will accomplish that and get away from just ‘giving’. We had two video conferences with people in SLC who oversee water projects, wheelchairs and agriculture and could ask questions.

Thursday afternoon we attended a session at the temple with just our group. It was really a good experience to be there together.
To finish off our conference we were then taken out for supper to a very nice restaurant with some great food. Friday we met up with Elder and Sister Ward (who we met at the MTC) and they took us shopping. Johannesburg is a very modern city with real freeways and malls with good stores!! We bought ourselves a set of flannel sheets (which we are loving), an electric frying pan, a sharp knife and some raisins, nuts and a ‘little’ chocolate! The nuts and chocolate have already been eaten and we are now on our ‘sugarfree’ diet again and trying to eat carefully. We had fish and salad for supper tonight. (It was good). We brought back 2 computers and a projector for the mission (as carry-ons).

flying from Johannesburg - the haze is smoke from all the burning of grass etc. that goes on
This just shows the layer of smoke hanging over the country from all the cooking fires and the burning along the roads and in the fields.

Harare airport

We came home on Friday evening to no electricity or water and again none on Saturday night either. O well – that is life in Zimbabwe! We haven’t had water much lately – we have to haul it from the nearby borehole tap outside. Oh – and by the way – we managed to get 5 - 100 Trillion dollar bills. They are not easy to come by (collectors item – supposedly worth something on e-bay). They are the largest bills they printed here but never really went into circulation before they did away with the Zimbabwe money and started using U.S. dollars. We had a good week and enjoyed our time in South Africa but are now back and ready to go to work.

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