I'm starting to feel even better about my internal GPS! I can honestly say I never felt lost on the road in my life until being here. I seem to know where we are, we just can't find where we are going! The roads are not marked and landmarks that people tell us are like: turn left at the purple fruit stand - I mean how many could there be - unfortunately there are several in an area. They may as well say turn left at the brown goat:) I have gotten though so I can take shortcuts in areas I've come to know. Traffic is crazy - what ever happened to taking turns and leaving a car space for every 10 mph you are driving?!? - that means 2 or 3 taxis can fill that space here. I think I could do a whole blog just about traffic, but I won't now.
One of the first things we noticed after we got here was the frequent calls we got from missionaries about not feeling well. I know the first week it was every day. The missionaries may have just been testing to make sure they still had someone to call:) Part of my job is being the medical advisor to the mission. Besides Dr. Elmer, who I talk to often, I am lucky to have 2 doctor sons who are on my consultation list. I'm trying to give them experience so they can go out in to the world and understand other culture symptoms:) I'm working on missionary nametags for them!
After visiting a few apartments, seeing the limited methods for cooking (only a stove-top no oven) and seeing left out food (they do all have refrigerators though the excuse was they were going to eat what was on the counter in a few hours & they didn't want it cold?!? or there is not enough room for the pot in the refrigerator ?!?) - we talked about the possibility of microwaves -
1) to make sure all food (left out or not) was cooked well (kill the well nourished bacteria growing in the pots:)
2) increase the ease and methods of cooking &
3) increase the likelihood of missionaries eating better and thus feeling better.
We researched brands, costs and checked with electricians on feasibility. We felt so blessed to get approval from the Area Presidency and by the end of July had microwaves in all of our apartments. It was an exciting day when we had the microwaves delivered to the Area Office and, on the advice of our electrician, had all the plugs changed to increase the durability and help with the electrical current fluctuations (since our currents are sporadic and unreliable, at best).
Below are a few shots of our production and delivery.
This is in back of the dormitories near the Area Office/Temple where we had the microwaves delivered and the old plugs removed and 3 prong 240 volt plugs attached;
Our purchasing agent, Daniel, from the area office and our electrician with the boxes of microwaves:
President Hill and Brother Wall loading up our SUV for deliveries to apartments:
New microwave in Missionary Apartment:
It was a mission wide celebration! The best reward for me was the call I got a couple of days later that an apartment of Elders had made BROWNIES (the microwave also has a browning unit) and they were enjoying eating them and had just called to thank me! YEAH! Brownies wasn't exactly what I had in mind for eating better but I also know that there's nothing like COMFORT FOOD especially CHOCOLATE to cure what ails you.
I have gotten lots of reports of the fun they are having trying new recipes and eating things they haven't been able to make before. YEAH, again! Also, our numbers for complaints of sick "tummies" are down by half of what they were in July. YEAH, a third time!!! I did have to explain that clothes washers were not next on the list - microwaves were not a convenience - but a health issue remedy.
MISSIONARIES & APARTMENTS
A couple of weeks ago I started to post about missionaries apartments and district meetings. My uploading was taking forever, my computer crashed, and the day was gone so I gave up. I'm trying again!
Below, rest of Nsawam and Nsawam 2 Apartments:
Nsawam 1 Apartment:
Nsawam 2 Elders
(they now have 4 Elders in this apartment)
Nsawam 2 - Bedroom with Mosquito nets (standard for all apartments), fans and desks, though this bedroom is the RITZ-CARLTON of missionary bedrooms - probably the size of most apartments:))
Nsawam 2 front porch
Nsamam 2 - backup water supply and baptismal font in yard:)
Below: innovative water supply system to "baptismal font":)
(Joking about the "baptismal font" in case you didn't get my humor)
Ashtown Elders - SHOES WORN OUT IN THE SERVICE OF THE LORD!
McCarthy Hills courtyard
(the Ritz-Carlton of Missionary Courtyards!)
Apartment is on 2nd floor to right.
NO - the DISH is not for the missionaries:)
McCarthy Hills Elders
More Apartments and Missionaries to come!
In case you are wondering? In the Ghana Accra West Mission we have 3 Stakes - the Kasoa, the Keneshie and Tesano Stakes, which are also the names of our MISSION ZONES.
We also have 2 Districts - Asamankese and Abomosu, also the names of our MISSION ZONES. Abomosu is our newly created Zone, created the last transfer, August 21st. Each Zone has 2 Zone leaders.
Our Zones and Districts are as follows:
McCarthy Hill District
New Towon District
We have President Hill and I, 3 Missionary Couples, 108 Elders, & 12 Sisters - Total 128.
This is a day later than I planned. Yesterday, half of our mission (including President Hill and I) spent all day at the Area Office getting Identification cards showing we are non-residents. We found out a week ago about this new law and the deadline was August 31st. We have an extension, apparently, but wanted to make sure we got as many missionaries as we could to be registered, thus the all day activity. We asked 2 of our Zones to come in to have this done. (Even though we tried to stagger times it ended up that the Accra Mission and President and Sister Judd were also there so it was also a reunion day:)
If you didn't get an email from your missionary it is because he/she didn't get back in time to get to the internet cafe. Just FYI, I got to visit with many missionaries while President Hill interviewed many and we were reminded of how lucky we are to have such great missionaries in the Ghana Accra West Mission. Thanks to those of you who are sharing your son or daughter with us!
In case you haven't heard, we have started a Mission Facebook Page - Ghana Accra West Mission - LIKE US! Thanks if you already have!