Monday, January 28, 2013

Last Week of January 2013

By Debi
This is a grove of rubber trees
Life is good here in Africa.  We keep thinking that we have probably taken most of the pictures we need and then we go and do something new and take more pictures and have new experiences.

Someone has to empty these cups every day
I just want to mention a few things in Liberia that we haven’t talked about.  We saw the rubber tree plantations.  I didn’t really realize how rubber came from trees.  Goodyear Tire Company has thousands of acres of rubber trees in Liberia.  They hire the people to empty the cups that catch the rubber every three hours.  The rubber is collected and used to make tires.  This is a big industry here and it does provide a lot of jobs for the people but the pay is very low.

They do not make the tires here, however.  They only get the raw material.  This is one of the problems in Africa, the manufacturing needs to come to the raw material for this country to expand.

Also, one day as we were driving through town we saw a couple of young men roller blading.  I thought it was so funny because I never would have guessed that someone here in Africa would have rollerblades.  Then the next thing we knew they were hanging on the back of our truck and getting a ride through town.  They were very happy that we took their pictures.

We are living in a different apartment complex because they are doing some repairs on the building that we have been living in.  We took a few pictures of the view out of our windows. This mother is bathing her son. We see the people here washing their children out in the front of their homes with a bucket of water. 

Also, every morning this man comes out around 7:00 and sits on a rock.  He sits there for a couple of hours.  We call this his morning constitution. 

He is not doing what you might think he is doing.  He just sits there and talks to himself.  Every morning, the same.

Across the street from our apartment is a cute little preschool for very little children. They wear uniforms and look so cute every day.  I love watching them run around playing and laughing.  I will admit that it makes me homesick for my grandchildren but I keep watching.


Saturday all of the senior couples went for an excursion.  We drove out to where the Volta River runs into the ocean.  This is quite the resort area and we wanted to see what it was all about. There are some islands in the mouth of the river with some private Villa’s.

On the way we made a stop at a radio station. I took a picture of the DJ.  He looks just like one in the United States.  He was happy to have his picture taken.  Also there by the radio station was one of the biggest thatched roofs I have seen here in Africa.  It is a pavilion for public use.  Also, as we traveled to the river we saw a village that was all thatched roofs. This is a very authentic African village.  We noticed that the farther away from Accra the more we saw the old African way of life.


While we were waiting for our boats we saw a lot of little children by the water.  This cute little girl was walking around with the pot on her head.  The little girls practice what they see their mothers do.  Also, I thought it was so cute to see this little girl with a pot like a hat.


Another tradition here is when a baby girl is born they put a string of beads around her waist and she wears them the rest of her life.  Of course beads have to be added as they grow.

This little girl has on her beads and that is all!

We hired two boats and loaded up.  The views were beautiful but it was very hot.  The air is stifling.  We are very close to the equator and so even a breeze feels hot.  We had a great day and saw some very interesting things. 
The name of the boat company was "Not now".  We were not sure what that meant.  Are were going on time?  Not now.  Will the boats sink?  Not now.  Are there crocks in this water? Not Now.  Can we go back to the shore? Not now.

There are a few resorts out by the shore of the ocean and the river.  Much different than what we would be used to but a very popular place here in Ghana.  Also we saw a tower that people can climb on to see out to sea. 

We did see one very nice villa that was probably privately owned.  They had their own dock and very nice grounds.  They also had their own sea doo.

We also had a great time watching some fishermen pulling in their nets.  They work so hard and their livelihood depends on what they bring in. 

It was a very fun day and we enjoyed the company of the other missionary couples.  We all work hard during the week and sometimes a little diversion helps us renew our spirits and our friendships.

All in all we keep seeing new things and we continue to be amazed with the wonderful people and their surroundings.

That is the ocean out there.



By Greg:

I don’t want to give another history lesson, but there is a lot of history here.  All along the coast there are the remains of old forts that the Europeans built as trading posts and most were also slave trading forts.

In Accra, near the light house is the James Town Fort.  This was a prison until 2007, just 5 years ago.  Out of this prison the first president walked across the street and became president.  Our friend Nice One took us up the light house (we took some new couples there) and then to the fort/prison.  It was pretty grim.  They still had a slave auction area and a “door of no return” like the bigger one in Cape Coast.

We saw the men prison area and the women prison area.  The prisoners had to cook their own food and take care of themselves.  Nice One showed us the “private place” which was their toilet area.  This was a latter addition from the slave castle era.

Aids is such a serious issue here in Africa.  Although it is not as bad in Ghana as it is in other countries, still, there are warnings everywhere, espeically in the prisons.

While we were in Liberia we walked to the beach with Elder and Sister Miles.  It was a lovely beach and except for the village, could have been a beach in any resort area in the world.

We spent a couple of hours at the beach in Cape Coast as well.  This is the Resort area of Ghana.  We borrowed two folding chairs from President and Sister Shulz and ate our lunch on this beach.  I wish I had taken a picture.  There we were, on two folding chairs, like the ones in most Relief Society rooms, with padding—church chairs, dressed as missionaries on the beach, eating our lunch.  We were quite the site, I am sure.

We have seen a lot of different Church buildings.  Most of the smaller buildings are rentals, but the Church is building as fast as they can.  There is a new style, which they call the “Harmony” and it is comprised of several buildings.  The chapel is one larger building, but the offices and classrooms are each separate.  They say this style is cheaper to build and maintain.


We do spend time doing Church work, even though it may seem like we are tourists.  I can assure you we are not tourists!

We realize this has been a very hard winter in Utah, so we may have chosen the right time to be in Africa.  The work is moving along here.  We have Elder Cook and Elder Clayton coming in a couple of weeks and so much is being done to get ready for their visit. 


  1. It looks beautiful. and very poor at the same time. You must be having a wonderful time. Great pictures. You never answered my question, Did you serve on the Alabama Florida Mission?
    Just curious. I just taught my grand children Stick to the task, and my granddaughter used in a talk for young woman's. My Grandchildren also sing it. while they work. Have a wonderful Mission

  2. It looks beautiful. and very poor at the same time. You must be having a wonderful time. Great pictures. You never answered my question, Did you serve on the Alabama Florida Mission?
    Just curious. I just taught my grand children Stick to the task, and my granddaughter used in a talk for young woman's. My Grandchildren also sing it. while they work. Have a wonderful Mission