Wednesday, September 19, 2012

By popular demand

Of course, he is facing East

By Greg


OK, we got the message from some of our faithful fans that you want more information about us and Africa.  For those of you that have had enough, you can click forward.
The flowers are so lovely


We are assigned to the Ofankor Ward.  There is a couple from our ward that works here at the Ancillary Building (where we live) whose names are Josephine and Douglas.  They have to get up at 3:00 am and take several tro-tros (those van buses I showed in the last post).  They don’t get home till after dark, but they are so happy to have this great job.  She comes dressed very nice (this is near the Temple) and then changes into her work clothes.  We really like them.

The workers work so hard to make everything nice and clean and beautiful.


A couple of things that I did not expect.  It is cloudy most days but does not rain.  We cannot see the sun.  I have not seen the moon since we left and as I ran my life by the cycles of the moon this is hard for me.  We get home about 6:00 and it is getting dark. It feels like it is winter, but we know it is not. I have not seen any stars either.  Maybe that is why I cannot get my bearings. Perhaps that is why Tarzans family, the Swiss Family Robinson and others crashed on the shore.


Each morning we walk around Temple Square.  We are going to bed earlier and so getting up at 6:00 am is getting easier.  Debi wants to walk faster than I do.  She always has walked circles around me.  They are doing a lot of construction around the Square, but they do a great job keeping it clean and safe.

This is Sister Haws at her desk and new computer, which she loves!

I also thought that maybe the water in the toilet would go in a different direction like Kenny and Wayne claim it did in South America.  Well, we are right on the equator and the toilet just goes straight down.  Thank goodness!  Where it goes from there we don’t ask.


They are building a new building to house the Area Presidency, the Temple Presidency and some others.  When this is done, there will be a “”grand musical chairs” and we will probably be asked to move to some condos down the street.  The problem is that the traffic is so bad it takes a half hour to go just a mile or two.  We asked if we could just walk.  Noooooooo.  So we will drive.

 We are not sure what this Hippo 200 is, but it is made in Ghana and may be the only hippo we see for a while.


We have been watching a couple every morning sitting on a bench in front of the Temple.  He really looks like he wants to ask her a question.  I don’t think he has yet, but he will.


There are not a lot of birds of paradise.  We have seen some small birds, ravens and vultures.  They always seem to be circling above me. Hey, I am not dead, yet! There are great big bats flying around out there, but we like bats because they eat mosquitos.


We are making a lot of new friends.  The men all look alike. Here are three of them.  No, they are not triplets.  They are smart, educated and older than they look.  They are all either Stake Presidents or have been.  They rotate around and one is now a branch president, again. 

Arnold is the head of the Member and Statistical Records Department.  He has a very important job.

Joshua is the assistant controller.  He is also very important.

Another friend is Ruben.  He is an IT guy and we would be lost without him.

There is another Joshua, and a Ernest, William, David, Nicolas and Daniel.

They all have African last names that we are having trouble learning so we call them all by their first names.

Friday is a national holiday.  What a job—we work two weeks and get a holiday.  It is founder’s day.  This is not Independence Day.  It is more like Presidents day in the US.  We don’t know for sure what we are supposed to do.  We just may “go on a holiday”.  Actually, we may go to the office or go visit some of our associates.  We will see.


They don’t measure the temperature the same as we do.  I was trying to convert.  Debi just knows 22 is too cold.  I did some work and the conversion is C=(F-32)*.5555 and F=(C/.5555)+32.  She thinks I am weird.  Oh, our new phones are so cool and the have a world clock so I don’t have to wear two watches anymore.

Debi needs no calculator to convert wash and dry times.  Pretty nice set-up.  This wash room is just across the hall from us.

The Church is learn as they go.  They put these beautiful stained glass windows in the Temple then they covered them on the outside with an opaque glass for security and so someone could not see into the Temple.  What they did not expect was that was like a petrie glass for growing mould.  So they had to fly in a crew from Utah to fix the problem.  The good part is now the beautiful windows are better seen from the outside.


(I saw this little table with a stapler just sitting there with no one around.  But then we saw a bigger and better one)

I have worked most of my life in an office.  I have had my tools ready at hand.  I like things organized where I can be efficient.  We have had the darndest time getting some basic supplies.  We needed a work table and some other things, like a stapler.  Well, they gave a stapler, but it did not work.  We saw this table outside our room and it looked perfect.  No one seemed to be using it, so we “borrowed” it while everyone else was at lunch.  (I have no idea where they go for lunch.  There is a room on the ground floor—not the 1st floors—we are on the 1st floor which is the second level—maybe they go there).  Anyway, when they got back some of the love that they once exhibited for us “was entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions” as it says in the book. Anyway, we tried to apologize and assure these sweet sisters that we would return it soon.


Today I got my own stapler.  In fact, we got two.  Maybe they could all see the stress I was under.


I reviewed over 150 unit audits today and have a lot more to go.  I ended the day looking at some from Cote d’Ivorie (the Ivory Coast).  They are all in French. I guess they are all good.

 This is the guard house and the gate.  We are in a compound and are safe all the time.  Out there the same cannot be said.  We wanted to go and walk down the street.  The security guard would not allow us.  He is not going to lose two whites on his watch.


I am reading a book called Walking in the Sand by Emmanuel Abu Kissi.  It is the history of the Church in Ghana.  We met brother Kissi’s daughter while shopping on Saturday.  This is printed by BYU press and is probably available at Deseret Book or the BYU bookstore or online.  So far it is very good.


One point the book makes it that the “God of Heaven and Earth, moved with compassion, decreed to his prophets that is was the time for this people to receive the healing balm of our Savior’s atonement.  They had suffered enough.  It was time for them to receive the everlasting ordinances of His priesthood and the temple.”  What a blessing this is and I can already testify that these people, so long left in sorrow and misery, this people who have endured brutal tribal wars, the slave trade, devastating diseases and poverty, are grateful.  They are not angry.  They do not call out for anyone to pay them back.  They are truly grateful.  And their land is being blessed.


We are blessed to be among them.


  1. I am so glad to hear everything about your lives and see the pictures. It was so fun to talk to you guys yesterday for my birthday. We love all of the updates. Good work on all of the audits! Keep up the good work!


  2. Very interesting indeed. Elder Haws I worked all day yesterday in the FM office getting records ready for our auditor who is coming early October. These are all in english, I think. I concur with Kate, stay in the gate.

  3. But can you balance an egg on the head of a nail?