Thursday, May 19, 2016

Random Shots in Bo, Sierra Leone, West Africa

African Wildlife
Ooh a spider in the bathroom!  About the size of a lime.  The Africans say it is harmless but it is very fast.  And I suppose it does eat the other bugs.

We Are Starting A Garden
Here is a pineapple planted by Brother Marigboi, a member security guard several years ago with the previous missionary couple here in Bo.  It is almost ready to harvest, but not quite ripe yet.  It is planted right outside our bedroom window.  We promised he could harvest since he has been watering it during these dry months.  We just asked him to replant the tops so we can grow another one.  This plant will keep producing fruit year after year.  It has been fun watching it grow from very small when we arrived to a full big pineapple now.  It will be ready in two weeks.

Welcome To The Palava Hut
These are found all over among the local homes.  We might call them a gazebo.  Every village and most neighborhoods have at least one.  A village Palava Hut is where the chief settles disputes between village members or counsel together will people in the village.

This is a more decorative one within a compound.  It is used like a gathering place for family and friends.

Behold the Calabash Tree
The calabash tree has a large nut about the size of a basketball.  It is not a fruit.  We are not aware that they do anything with the nut meat inside.  They cut it in half, clean it out, and it becomes a large mixing bowl.

It is hard to believe the limbs can hold all of these.

The African Candy Sister
Here are some of the many children who come running as soon as they see our truck.  It is amazing how many friends you can have when you have jolly ranchers.

Another Baptism In Bo
Here we are at another Saturday Baptism.  We had several this Saturday.  This was at the Gbondo Town Branch near our apartment.  Unfortunately, they only had two towels for this baptism.  The men share one and the women shared one.  As hot as it is, no body really cared.

This baptism was in Njaie Town Branch.  It was for the Njaie Town Branch and the Batiama Branch.

A Normal Day In The Market Place
This blue "mannequin" is a real man.  We have been seeing him in various places downtown.  He is an "Advert" (advertisement).  They pay him to be all painted up and stand absolutely still for several hours. People gather around trying to catch him blinking or something.  With the dark glasses you can not tell if he blinks.  He does not move though for up to 2 hours.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Few Weeks in Bo, Sierra Leone

Here is Sister Sherwood with the neighbor children at one of our Elders apartments.  Where ever we go the children know her because she gives them sweets.  Today, not only the children came but the mother of a couple of the children came to show her new baby.  We are beginning to make friends here.

Each Saturday we try and go to the baptisms that are being held in Bo.  This one was at the Torkpoi Town Branch.  A whole family was baptized this day.  Father, Mother, teenage daughter and 2 primary age sons. It is a challenge to get the baptisms done correctly when there is a water shortage.  There was about 18 inches of water in the font.  The father had to sit down, then lay down flat on his back to get under the water.

Elder Sherwood and Elder Oyebambi were the witnesses at the baptism.  Elder Afonne, next to Elder Sherwood, was calling the names.  The baptisms were performed by a branch member.

Here is Sister Sherrif, wife of the branch president, playing the keyboard for the baptism.  Notice she has a helper on her back.  Her daughter kept trying to reach the keys as her mom played.

Here is another view of the future pianist peeking over her mother's shoulder.  Most mothers here carry their babies on their backs.  It leaves their hands free to do other things like playing the piano.  The babies are happy being right up next to their moms.  It is a great way to do it and it is fun to see the two little feet on each side of the mom as she is walking towards you. They would not think of putting their babies in a baby stroller.  Trying to push a baby stroller through a crowded market would be a disaster.

We do, however, see lots of baby strollers here in Sierra Leone.  This is what they usually look like.  They always have a cooler in them and are selling ice cream bars or frozen yogurt.  This one was selling yogurt.
We tried it.  It was not good.  But it was wet, cold, and refreshing.

Today on the way home from church in Kenema, we decide to explore a side road into the bush. We went for about 4 km and found a beautiful small village.  We can't believe we didn't take a picture of it.  Unlike everything along the highways which is very littered, this village was very clean.  The people kind of shied away from us so we didn't feel comfortable taking a picture.

The forest/jungle along the way was beautiful.

Notice how these trees are lined up.  We see this quite often.  It is clear that they have been planted.  Sometimes very large orchards.

This week was our mission tour by Elder Curtis and his wife.  They are the Africa West Area President and wife.  Here we are with them and President and Sister Clawson at a zone conference in Bo.  It was wonderful.