Monday, January 21, 2013

It's Raining in P.N.

One or our rainy days.  The water stays like this on the roads for days sometimes, especially out in the cartiers where there are large pools of water that you can lose your car in or get stuck really really good.....

This is a friend who is making saka saka.  It takes a lot of work and is a basic food for most people here.  There are a certain kind of leaves, and several other ingredients like pieces of fish (you have to watch for little bones).

These are huge generators that are sitting in a yard.  Everyone needs a generator if they want electricity for sure, and these are big enough for a business or apartment building.  Ours is tiny next to these.

Views from Ouside the City

 We were invited by one of the Branch Presidents, to have dinner at some property he owns on a hillside out of town.  The pictures make it look close to the harbor, but that is compliments of a zoom lens.  It is actually a few miles from the ocean. 

Another view showing more of the ocean

This shows the view in another direction, towards trees on the horizon.

This is what it looks like back towards the city.  Many of the homes you can see are not completed and not lived in yet.

This is during the delicious meal, by which time it was getting pretty dark.  We had fish and vegetable shish cabobs, manyoke, rice, beans, barbecued chicken and some bread.  There was cold bottled water and soda to drink - a feast!  President Caillet is in the background.

Here is our lovely hostess, Soeur Caillet, and her two precocious daughters, Erika and Chloe, and a friend.  It takes all day for her to cook a dinner like this.  I made a pasta salad....and left it at home in the fridge by accident!

An African Painting

I met this charming young woman the day I bought a creche from the artist next to where she paints, along the road.  She sets up her outside studio in between some trees and displays her paintings there.  She had a huge painting that I loved, but would have no place to hang in our home.  I arranged with her to paint something for me that had beautiful orange and yellow colors and that she could express herself in.  When I went back, she explained that this is a woman who is standing in 'the light' and the tube on the left and the broken jar on the bottom right show darkness leaving.  It is painted on rafia and I really like the colors.  I am not sure yet if I love the painting, but I love that she feels it is beautiful and it is very African.  She speaks English really well and her name is Jenny.

Fixin' Things

This truck, which has a load of cement, has a flat rear right tire.  Usually that means the truck stops in the road and everyone has to figure out how to get around it.  But because it is in front of the beer factory, it moved over to the side.  To chang the tire, the driver dug a hole and is down under the truck changing the tire - I wish I had been able to get better picture.
This truck is just outside our parcel wall.  Someone is building a home behind the little house you can see, and they cut down a large palm tree that was in the way.  When they did that, the electrical wire fell down and was just laying in the road.  It was OK with the workers - they just worked around it for several days!  This truck brought in a new pole and the next day it was up again.  Our electricity was only out for a little while - we were surprised and don't know how it worked while the wire  was down, but glad it did!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wedding Celebration at the Church

 A lovely wedding celebration was held at the LeBase church house recently.  A traditional wedding is first done, with the families, then a civil wedding is required at a government building (Commune).  Then everyone gathers, this time at the church house, and since it was being refurbished, tents were put up outside.  This was a large wedding - a large, well established family, with both the bride and groom being members of the church, but it appeared many of their extended families were not.  At this ceremony, the bride and groom arrive in a decorated car, have their entourage, and walk slowly up to the front, where the Branch President or someone talks, they usually each talk, and then there is music and food and lots of celebrating. 

This is the car they arrived in - it has ribbons and flowers on it, but they are not showing well in this photo.

This beautiful little girl appeared to be one of the relatives.

There were 6 young women friends who walked slowly in front of the bride and groom and had a special dance they did to music while they waved these cloths.  I had been to one of their homes the day before, and the young woman was having her nails done by one of the men who walk around the cartiers clicking noise-makers together to advertise that they are in the neighborhood looking for customers. These dresses were so pretty and modest and we have seen the young women wearing them to church since then.  Many times the dresses worn are more like prom dresses - very fancy (like at home!).
This is the bride and groom - a beautiful couple.  They had a large picture of a Temple in the tent where they sat.  They plan to go as soon as they are able to make the long and expensive trip.  Pointe Noire members usually travel to the Johannesberg Temple, in South Africa.  It is a huge challenge for couples to marry because of the tradition of families requiring a 'dote' and so a marriage of a young couple is a very special occasion.  Most people have to wait for  many years to save the money for the dote before their families allow a civil marriage.