Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas week….

 No, the sky is not filled with flying birds….these are bats!  
Whenever we are in Accra and drive by Hospital 37, which is a few kilometers from the Temple, we always look up in the branches of the the big trees that are there to see if we can spot any of the hundreds of bats that hang on the branches.  We just happened to be there this day when the bats were flying around.

On Wednesday, Nana Welbeck, our Branch Clerk, who is known for being a good cook, came over to teach me how to make Jollof rice for the Christmas dinner we had planned for the Elders.  
You need a little rice, spaghetti noodles (which he called macaroni), tomato paste, onions, carrots, oil, and corned beef.  I tried to get him to make it without any meat in it, but he was adamant that it needed either tuna or corned beef for a 'good base'.  

That night, our Branch went Christmas caroling.  We started out with about 20 but by the time we finished there were at least 40 people singing with us.  People came out of their houses to listen and then joined in the singing.  It was a great way to spend Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day we had 'our' 10 Elders over for Tacos - something they wouldn't have a chance to make for themselves here.  We had flour shell tacos with all the trimmings.  It was the first time I've bought lettuce since coming to Africa.  Since we're not able to find corn chips, we had plantain chips with salsa.  Really good!  I made homemade tomato salsa and a mango pineapple salsa.  We had brownies for dessert.

Here's 'our' Elders
Left side of table - front to back - Elders Cartwright, Bengel, Snyder, Obasogie, Bass
Right side of table - front to back - Elders Peterson, Ridenour, Beacom, Uwadi, Bianucci

This was Elders Obasogie and Uwadi's (both from Nigeria) first time to have tacos.  
They must have liked them because they went back for seconds.

Elder Peterson was the taco eating champ.  He ate 6.
(That's 6 big, flour shell tacos!)

We did a White Elephant exchange.  Elder Bianucci got this great looking bow tie.  We told him he looked like a waiter, so he struck this pose.

I just thought this was a nice picture of the whole Christmas Day group.
Front row- L to R - Elders Obasogie, Bianucci, Uwadi, Beacom
Back row - L to R - Elders Peterson, Ridenour, Snyder Cartwright, Bass, Bengel and us

We love these Elders and were grateful to be able to spend a few hours with them on Christmas before they left to go call home.

Christmas Day also meant calls home for us.  No electricity tonight or as they say here 'light out'.

Went into Accra on Friday.  These costumed young men were at the fruit stand we stopped at.  We asked a girl working at the stand what they were supposed to be.  She told us they dress up like that to beg for money after Christmas.  We paid them a little to let us take their picture.

We stayed over night at the Mission Office with the Keeles and then on Saturday took them on a drive to Kpong - the area we were first assigned to when we got to Ghana and were in the Ghana Accra Mission.  We love this part of Ghana.  I think this is the 3rd time we've taken one of the Senior Couples on a ride to show them the area.

We went to the Senchi Hotel and took the boat ride and had lunch.

We love the beauty of the Volta River.   
So relaxing and such great scenery. 

Had to stop and take a picture on the John Deere tractor.  
Don't you think Elder Berrett looks right at home?

Sunday at church, everyone was wearing their new Christmas outfits.  
Here are Joyce and Justice Kumordzie.  She's the Relief Society President and he's the Elder's Quorum President.  I told them they looked so nice that we needed to take their picture. 

It's been a week of celebration that will continue through this week and the new year.  
The 'Happy Ur Self Spot' across the street from us, where you can also buy 'tyres',  has added several of the largest  speakers I have even seen out front and have been playing music non-stop.

New Year's Eve is called Crossover.  It will be interesting to see how that is celebrated here!


  1. Mom, you've always wanted to be the person to do "Lights Out" at the Marriott Center... Probably don't love having the lights out at your house though.

  2. Would you add your bat photo as a citizen-science observation to the AfriBats project on iNaturalist?:

    AfriBats will use your observations to better understand bat distributions and help protect bats in Africa.

    Please locate your picture on the map as precisely as possible to maximise the scientific value of your records.

    Many thanks!

    PS: these are straw-coloured fruit bats (Eidolon helvum)