Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Elders Fix African Dinner

Start with, fresh veggies, flour for fou fou, etc.

The other elders said that Elder Mukadi  was a great cook, so we asked him to show us how to cook an African meal.  He is just getting started here.  He had gutted most of the fish in advance, but wanted to show me how to do it, so he saved one for me!

Elder Mukadi is showing Sister Bybee and I how to stir the corn flour into boiling water.  Fou fou can be made from different types of flour - manioc, rice, corn, or a combination.  We decided to just use corn flour this time.

Elder Brockbank and Heritier, who is a branche missionary and had worked with the elders this day, came to help.
YUM YUM - smells delicious!

Heretier and Elder Brockbank busy making....I am not sure, but it was sure good!

This fish was extraordinary - it came off the bones easily and if you didn't want to have it watch you eat it, you could make sure you didn't get a piece that included the head.

Our cooks:   Heritier, Elder Mukadi, Sister Bybee and Elder Brockbank.
From the left:  Elder Wheatley, Elder Johnson, Elder Lundberg, Elder Lavering, Elder Brockbank (standing) and Sister Bybee.

Starting on the right, Elder VanAusdal, Elder Mukadi, Heritier, Sister Bybee, Elder Ntambwe and Elder Lavering.

Visit to the African Mercy Ship

Three days before we left Pointe Noire, we were able to visit the African Mercy Ship, which was docked in Pointe Noire for at least 6 months.  We wanted to see it because of the wonderful medical care the staff on the ship are able to provide for people living in Africa.  Their website tells about their mission to help:
The staff of 400, including doctors, nurses, cooks, teachers, etc., either pay their own way or find sponsors to support them.

I had started watching a blog belonging to a couple from Salt Lake City after reading a news article about them.  The website of the Mercy Ship said they would be coming to Pointe Noire.  I tried to get permission for our 8 young Elders to visit the ship but was not successful with that request and felt very blessed that we were allowed on board for a  visit.
 The young woman on the left was one of our hosts.  She is from South Africa.  I can't remember all the details she told us, but she said that there are 400 crew members and at each port they screen and hire about 200 local people to help with daily tasks, including interpreting the dialects of the people being helped.

The medical help they provide is for maxio-facial tumors, leg bone  malformations (before age 16), cleft palates, and corrective surgery for women who have been injured during long labor giving birth. 

This is one view of the harbor from one of the ship's decks.  There were 8 levels.

Last Week in Pointe Noire

This man owned a pottery shop in the sand by the ocean.  He spoke English pretty well and we often stopped and talked with him.  We gave him some church literature and some Friend magazines for his 2 little boys.

This beautiful sister was engaged before we came to Pointe Noire and she and her fiance were still working to save money to pay the dote so that they could marry.  She moved from a nicer home to this wooden house which had more room outside so that she could dry fish to sell.  

One day when we went with the missionaries to visit a woman, these little boys were playing with their stuffed animals at a home next to hers.  They were playing so cute, then when I asked their father if I could take their photo, they weren't so happy about it!

We passed this gorilla (the only one we saw in Africa) almost daily, on the way to Faun Chi Chi.  He was guarding the plants that were for sale.  

This little store was never open when we had time to go in, but it had displays of American holidays and we always wondered if it might be an American who managed it.

This building was in the same parcel as the well the church paid to drill, but we didn't know what it was until the week we left.  Elder Bybee was with us so we were able to talk to a family that was under a tree by it and they  lived there and took care of homeless children.  It was supported by the Catholic Church.  There is a garden to the right of the building.

A sea urchin on the beach the last day we walked there.

Cherished Friends

Many Aeroport Branch Branche Friends

Some Pointe Noire Branch Friends

President (counselor in Aeroport Branche) Kende and his wife, with a dress for me and mens' congo top and bottom for Keith.

President Kende's son, Gracia, who was a branche missionary and sometimes guardian for us.  He received his passport the week before we left - the first one to get his in the 23 months we were there.  He will be off to serve a mission as soon as the paperwork is completed and our Mission President  can come and interview him.  We are so happy for him and for the hope this gives  to other young men and women who want to serve missions and the families who want to be sealed in the temple-that they will be able to get passports!
John Francois and Heretier - fine young men converts who want to serve missions.

Our interpreter, Leondra's family.  His daughter just turned 8 and he baptized her.  They will have another child in February.

Frere Bonne - wonderful young man who is in school and plans to serve a mission as soon as he can.   He has learned how to do the Distribution orders for the Mpaka Branche.

More wonderful friends from Aeroport Branche.
Mpaka Branche and Aeroport Branche Friends