Sunday, May 27, 2012

This young woman had her baby on her back, but when I asked if I could take a photo, she took him off so he could be seen better.  She was on her way up the road to either sell the load on her head, or take it home, I am not sure which.

These people are doing their laundry and the children are playing in the river.  There were women with large loads of laundry in buckets on their heads going up the side of the hill, but I was too slow getting my camera out to get a shot of them.

This woman is gathering the blossoms of this bush to make beesap, which is a deep purple-colored drink (non-alcoholic) that is a favorite in this part of Congo.  We have enjoyed the drink at a family's home during Family Home Evening and also at a Pointe Noire Branche activity, where the Relief Society sisters were learning how to make it.  When I asked if I could take her picture, she laughed and laughed and had fun looking at it on my camera.

This is the plant that provides the blossoms to make beesap.          

We were stopped in traffic and this beautiful baby girl kept staring at me, a 'mondellie' so I asked her mother if I could take her picture.  The moment I took the picture she looked down, so I missed the cutest shot!

On our way to visit a new member family in this  area out of town, we offered this woman a ride, but she said she was just going to the top of the hill.
This is the type of home that most of the general population live in.  This one is out of town but in town they are like this.  Many have cement floors and sometimes they have good furniture and even rugs in the rooms.  Some also have wooden or iron gate types of doors, but during the daytime, curtains are used so that air can circulate.  Many, even most, do not have electricity or water.  There are usually not kitchens, but areas where kitchen supplies are kept, some with a gas hot plate usually on the floor.  Almost all of the cooking is done outside in pots, on briquets.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I love this picture!  All 8 Elders heading out after our morning meeting with President and Sister Jameson.  This little lane ends right after the house next to ours. The piles of rocks and sand are being used on cinderblock homes being built on the left.  When you get up to the trees at the top, there are more homes and a little outside 'shop' where people can watch a TV mounted on the side of a building and have a drink.  Then you have to make a sharp right turn onto another dirt lane that leads to the main road.  We make this trip many times a day.  Sometimes we come home to a pile of sand or rocks right in the middle of the lane and Elder Wheatley gets out and helps the workers shovel it out of the way for us to get through.   

This is Elder Wheatley's garden:  1 voluntary beanstock, several voluntary tomato plants supported by bamboo sticks from the swamp across the way, and peanuts.  We have running water, so even though we are entering the cool, dry season, we should be able to keep the garden going.  Along with the cinderblock homes in Pointe Noire, are the little wooden homes, usually with 2 or maybe 3 small rooms.  All the cooking is done outside in metal pans, using briquets that people make and sell for cooking.  There is a water spout at the top of the little hill outside our gate and also one back onto the property next door, where most of the people in this area get their water.  Most of the population here does not have running water and many don't have electricity.  We have power when  it works and now we have a generator that we use a lot because lately the power goes out almost daily.

When I took this picture, I wanted to remember how hard even the children work here. 
This young man (I am guessing about 10 years old) is carrying a load of bottled water on his head.  Then I saw the writing on the wall and thought it was perfect as a memory of Pointe Noire.
Elder Wheatley, the Elders and President and Sister Jameson on our front porch during the President's visit to meet our 3 new Elders who had just arrived recently from the U.S. 

An indication of  visitors

 Our last P-Day Activity  before two more of our elders completed their missions in Congo and left for home, was a picnic at the beach (never in the water).  Here are the 8 greatest missionaries in the world!  They love to roast hotdogs (we tried to explain what hotdogs were to our English class yesterday!) and eat lots of other food and play soccer, then watch the sun go down over the ocean.
Great appetites!!!

Thanks to Elder and Sœur Gates, who were the previous Senior Couple here, we have hotdog roasting equipment!
These two elders left for home a few days after our picnic.
We know they will be blessed throughout their lives for the honorable missions they served.  
There were a few cookies left - until they were discovered as the missionaries were packing up to head back to their apartments.