Friday, August 29, 2014

Still in Accra…For now

We have been assigned to the Kpong (the K is silent) area of Ghana.  Until they are able to find us housing, we are staying in an apartment on the Temple grounds in Accra.  Kpong is about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Accra or 80.5 kilometers.  We've made that drive several times already.

On our way to Pkong we drive by the Shai Hills Reserve.  If it's early enough in the morning, we can see baboons on the side of the road.  Later on in the day, it's too warm for them to be out.

Just before we get to Kpong is the Cedi Beads Annex.  More beads for me to look at!

Cedi is also the name of the currency here in Ghana.  We cannot use American dollars like we did in Liberia.  Also, they have coins here which Liberia did not.  
Each American dollar is worth about 3.3 Cedis.

Downtown Kpong!  
Every time we've been to Kpong there are goats walking down the middle of the street.  We've learned that there are no grocery stores here.  We'll be able to buy our fruits and vegetables from roadside stands, but will have to do our grocery shopping in Accra.
We decided that we're not big city missionaries.  We like being 'in the bush' so, you can just call us 'bushinaries'!!

This is the chapel in Kpong

This week meetings were held in Kpong as part of our Mission Tour with Elder Dube.  The missionaries lined the walkway leading into the chapel to welcome Elder and Sister Dube. 

Elder and Sister Dube greeting the missionaries.
Elder Dube is Second Counselor in the West Africa Area Presidency.

Earlier in the week, while our husbands were busy, Sister Dever and I went with a group of Senior missionaries for a boat ride on the Volta River.  It was a perfect day for a boat ride...

…with beautiful scenery.

On shore, the ground was covered with shells embedded in the dirt.

As part of our trip, we visited a village and school.  
For a small fee, homes in the village get a battery, 2 light bulbs, 1 light socket, and a plug - to charge their cell phones!  Once their batteries run out of power, they simply trade for a new battery at this charging station.

Electrical power for the school is made when the children play on the merry-go-round or...

...swing on the swing.  
(See the yellow box on top of the swing.  There's an electrical wire that runs from the swing to the school building.)   They also have solar panels on the roof of the school.

We walked through the village,

and at the end of our walk were given fresh coconuts to drink.  My first!

It has been fun for us to be able to see some of the Liberia Missionaries that are serving with us in the Ghana Accra Mission.

Elder Orton

Elder Jensen and Elder Zaugg

Elders Cottrell, Anderson, and Abbott

They are all working hard and adjusting to their new areas.  We love these great young men.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Since we've been in Ghana…..

….We've been to dinner at the Movenpick Hotel - the nicest hotel in Accra - with President and Sister Kirkham and all the Senior Couples from Liberia, before everyone left for their new assignments.

…We've visited a light house in James Town

…And climbed the 97 stairs to get to the top

The view from the top of the light house.

...We've been to several markets.  Was excited to see what they had at the American Grocery Store.  Turned out it was about as big as a closet but everything in it WAS American.

…Had a fun trip to TK Beads.

The beads are actually made right there from recycled glass bottles and car windshields.  The process is fascinating.  So many beautiful beads.  I wanted some of each!

Elder Berrett and Elder Wilde enjoying the bead shopping!

…We were able to be a part of the All Africa Service Project day.  We helped the Dodowa Branch clean up the inside and outside of a building that will be used for a new police station.  
Great turn out - hard workers.

Elder Berrett helped with this rake made from rebar.

While at the service project, these boys came running by with this toy they had made.  We stopped them so we could have a closer look.

Pretty clever - a stick, some nails, and a couple of old wheels.

...We've visited several craft malls and made a few purchases.

…We've eaten the best hamburger we've had since coming to Africa.  Tasted just like at home and with french fries, too!!
L to R - Elder and Sister Watson, Elder and Sister Kirkham (not the mission president Kirkhams) Elder and Sister Berrett, Sister and Elder Wilde

…We've had dinner with President and Sister Curtis.

…We've been able to attend the temple - several times.  Something that was on our wish list, but didn't think we'd be able to do.

Since we've been in Ghana….we've been so well taken care of by Elder and Sister Wilde who are in our Stake back home.  A BIG thank you to them.

We still miss Liberia and all our friends there, but are having a great experience here in Ghana.  We are  staying in a small apartment on the temple grounds while our Mission President hunts for housing for us in the Kpong area of Ghana.  Once they find us a place to live, we'll move there and help the branches and missionaries in that area.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Farewell Liberia

July 30, 2014 
We receive word that all missionaries would be evacuated from Liberia because of the Ebola virus.

Here are some pictures as we prepare to evacuate.  

The Liberia Monrovia Missionaries gather as a group one last time at the Mission Home.

Missionaries waiting at the Mission Home to receive instruction from President Kirkham

All suitcases were gathered in the driveway at the Mission Home and weighed.  You should have seen all the re-packing as the missionaries tried to keep their suitcases under 50 pounds.

Saying their goodbyes.

This is what a porch full of missionaries looks like. 
As we looked around, it touched our hearts to realize that we know and love each one of them.

  Elder Berrett says of President Sayon, "I love him like a brother."  
He worked so hard to help us all get on our way.  It was so hard to tell him goodbye.

Here we are with Naomi Johnson, the housekeeper at the Mission Home.  
As we drove away, I stuck my arm out the car window and waved to her.  There she was standing on the stairs doing the 'I love you' sign back to me. That picture will stay in my heart forever.
Naomi's baby boy is due the first part of September.  She told us that they are going to name him after President Kirkham and Elder Berrett.
Roger Denney?  Denney Roger?

Elder Berrett with President Kirkham.
President Kirkham was our calm leader.  We are so grateful for the way he handled the evacuation and that we were able to serve with him and Sister Kirkham in Liberia.

Saying good bye to the AP's
Elder Dahlin who was reassigned to Tennessee and Elder Burr who is now in the Ghana Accra Mission - with us!

At the airport.
Elders Burr, Tolar, and Bowring

When we walked into the waiting room at the airport in Liberia, one of the missionaries said, "Welcome to the Celestial Kingdom."  That's what it felt like, to enter the room and see all these missionaries that we love.

Our special friend Abraham knew something was up and stopped by our apartment to see us the night before we left.  We were able to tell him goodbye.  Early the next morning when we opened our apartment door to start loading our suitcases in the truck, there he was.  He wanted to come help us!

We flew to Ghana by way of Brussels and London.  Here are the missionaries resting during our layover in Brussels.

Sign at the Roberts International Airport in Liberia.
We hope we can "Come Again".

This is the sign we left on the back of our apartment door.
We do love Liberia and the many friends we made there.  We are praying for their good health and that they know just how much we love them.

The whole evacuation story is just too long to tell here, so when we get home we'd love to share it all with you.  We witnessed many miracles and can testify that Heavenly Father really does watch out for his missionaries.  We have been greatly blessed.

We have been reassigned to the Ghana Accra Mission and look forward to serving there for the last 7 months of our mission.  A new adventure awaits us!