Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fish Pies in Africa

Fish Pies

This week in the cooking lesson we made Fish Pies.  Our lesson was interrupted last week and we did not get the pies made.

This is what it looks like when it is complete.   Basically like a tart with a stew inside.  The stew can be fish, or other meat.  We made fish.  We showed the pictures of Sister Sherwood preparing the fish in our previous blog.

This is the fish stew before it is put into the dough.  It is tomato, onions, peppers(mini jalapenos), and the crumbled fish.  Spicy and good.

Here is the most beautiful sister Missionary  preparing the dough.  It is kind of between a pie crust and a bread dough.  It has interesting flavors in it.  Nutmeg and bouillon.

Here they are ready to fry.  You can fry them in vegetable oil, or bake them in the oven.  We tried it both ways.  They were crispier and flakier fried.

Here is the instructor.  Every week she has her hair done totally different.  This week she was wearing purple ringlets in her hair.  These styles are very common here.  Sister Sherwood has yet to try one, however.  But she is becoming a very accomplished African cook.

Literacy Classes

The classes went really well this Sunday.  One of the instructors couldn't come so Sister Sherwood taught the new beginners.  It is fun to see these older women using a pencil for the first time in their lives.  They are thrilled that they are able to make letters, and then read the words they have written. Their homework assignment was to write the names of everyone in their family, with the help of family members who can read and write.  We teach a gospel principle in every lesson.  This week it was the importance of family.  The three letters they learned last week were I, A, M.  This week they learned F, L, Y.  For the first time in their church experience they are getting something from a class. They are participating and learning.  It is wonderful to see.

We are having so much fun here.  God Bless you all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rainy Season and Ramadan are upon us

Here is one of the prettiest Muslim Mosques in Kenema.  June 5th to July 5th is Ramadan this year.  Muslims fast every day during Ramadan from 6:00am to 8:00pm approximately.  Up in the top of those towers there are loudspeakers that really are LOUD.  The first day of Ramadan we had Muslim music and sermons going from 3:00am til 6:00am preparing the Muslims for the upcoming fast. The small mosque a block away from our apartment gave a clear, long, loud call to fast and prayer that first morning.  Really loud.  Since the first day they have been much quieter and not so long but they go every day in the morning from 5:00am to 6:00am and from 7:00pm to 8:00pm in the evening.  I wish I knew Arabic and could understand the sermons.

Traveling back from Kenema one day, we ran across this van on the highway.  This little goat, tied to the top, was standing up while it was going about 60 mph down the road in the rain. He was absolutely drenched and looked very pathetic.

This is a group of sisters at the Bo East District conference in their beautiful outfits.  The women here always dress beautifully and colorfully.  You rarely see a woman wearing pants.  Some of their headdresses are very elaborate and match or coordinate with their dresses and I feel pretty drab next to them.

They thought Elder Sherwood should be in it too.

Jestina had me gutting and scaling these small fish for our cooking lesson this week.  We made meat pies and "King driver" biscuits which are like a shortbread cookie. You can see them in the pan in the picture below ready to go in the oven.

Here is Sister Sherwood in front of her favorite tree at the mission home in Freetown.  The leaves look like a fern and the flowers are stunning and look almost like small orchids.

I loved the leaves on this plant growing under  the tree above.

We had a busy two weeks with District Conference, literacy classes, a trip to Freetown for Mission Leadership Council and Temple Trip preparation meetings where we did training both in Bo and Kenema. We also spent time in Dr. offices and Labs with a sick Elder trying to figure out what was wrong and getting him well again.  We also delivered generator fuel to all nine missionary apartments and a bed, wardrobe, desk and chairs to one of the sister's apartment to prepare for a new sister coming to Bo this week.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Another Two Weeks in Sierra Leone

Good Bye to Good Friends in Africa
These are Elder and Sister Miles with us.  They flew out with us to Sierra Leone in February.  They had been in Ghana on a mission and had gone when their time was over.  They were then asked to come back for 3 months to help start up the Sierra Leone Mission.  We can't believe they are going home already.  They were our next door neighbors while we were in Grafton, before we came to Bo.  We will miss them.  They helped us adjust to life in Africa.
Sister Sherwood Is A Plumber
This is Sister Sherwood's attempt at fixing the leak in the shower until Elder Sherwood could go buy some parts.  When the shower is only a dribble to begin with, it is important not to lose a single drop.

Propane Gas Anyone
We just received 36 medium cans and 4 huge cans for our elders to use for cooking gas in their apartments.  I believe this will last for two years, or at least a year.  Aren't we lucky that we get to store it on our front porch.

From the Top of Leichester Peak Overlooking Freetown
These pictures are taken high above Freetown on the highest peak.  This was where Elder Scott dedicated the country of Sierra Leone for the preaching of the gospel many years ago.  We take our new missionaries up here for the view, a devotional, and a short lunch before we take them to their areas.  You can see the bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the US Embassy down below, 

Gospel Literacy Comes To Bo East District
This past week we have been working with a couple, Elder and Sister Heckle, from the Africa West Area who are responsible for putting together a program to improve the Gospel Literacy in West Africa.  Another sister Mellissa Hawkley, who helped develop the teaching pattern, was here to help them.  We are starting a trial program in the New England Branch, Bo East District.  2 Instructors have been called, as well as a Literacy specialist in the branch and in the district.  They have materials to last for 2 months.  We will be helping train the teachers and specialists.  The Heckles will come back in two months, review what has happened and begin spreading it out to more branches.  We are really excited about this program and so are the Branch and District leaders as well as those who have been called to implement it.  We spent a week with Elder and Sister Heckle training the priesthood leaders and the people who have been called.  The classes are taught in the Sunday School hour.   Last week we taught all the adults in the 2nd hour to assess how many we would have in the beginning and how many in the intermediate class.  We are now ready to begin next week.
Elder and Sister Heckle
These are our instructors and Sister Heckle
Training the leaders and teachers

Melissa with the beginning class instructors
The Dice Game in Africa
We searched the market for two days trying to find dice so we could play the "Dice Game" with the Heckles and Melissa.  We finally found a vendor who said "Come back tomorrow and I will have the dice for you".  We came back and he did have them.  They were not quite what we expected but they worked.  After all "This is Africa".
How good are your eyes?

Busted again!