Thursday, November 28, 2013
Now the sun is out, the water is soaking into the ground and the hail has melted. But, for a little minute, it felt like a bit of heaven to feel like home here so far away. We'll eat our chicken stuffing casserole and enjoy the evening trying to watch Shenandoaha. Heavenly Father gives such kind tender mercies to his missionaries who get a bit homesick during the holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
|This gives you an idea of how large these elephants were!|
Sunday morning, we attended church, taught classes and helped out in various ways. Kasane has a group and meets in a house. Right now there are only a couple of children who are members who attend church, but they bring their friends so there are normally 30 children. It's very amazing how quiet and respectful all of these children are at church especially without adult supervision in Sacrament meeting. After church we divided into groups and visited some of the ward members and less actives. It was quite a fun experience.
Monday morning, we were up with the crack of whatever and at the clinics by 8:00 am. There were 5 clinics in Kasane and we supplied volunteers to three of them. Elder Gubler and I served in the Habitat clinic. (Named after Jimmy Carters pet project, Habitat for Humanity.) 2 sisters were at the Kasane Clinic and 2 were at the Plateau Clinic. Cornelia was at the Kghota clinic (where the chief of the villages stays). No one was at the Habitat ready for shots so the Gublers went walking to find some small children. Oh what a walk we had! It was about 100 degrees and 85% humidity and we walked for about 3 hours. One of the clinic workers came with us because she wanted to practice her English. It was really wonderful for us that she came! All of the people we spoke with told us they would be bringing their children. We were so proud of the work we were doing because we had gotten commitments out of so many parents. Later the helper told us that she had told the people, in Tswanan, that clinic workers would be checking on Tuesday to see if they had really taken the children for their immunizations. Such a deflation on our part! Here are a few people we saw along the way:
|Just finding out that he gets to go to the clinic for vaccinations. Lucky!|
|Elder Gubler finally found someone in Botswana that is older than he is! This gentleman is 78 and came to Kasane when there were only 3 houses. He's a retired customs officer|
|Mom washing her clothes. Her child saw us and ran screaming back to his mom. I don't think he'd seen white people before, at least not dressed in orange shirts and hats!|
|This grandma was taking her grandchildren to the clinic in the best chariot she had, her wheel barrow|
|The Kasane Group with our missionaries|
|Elephants showing their best sides|
Tuesday night, we used our pass to get back into Chobe and had a wonderful time seeing more animals:
Wednesday we worked at the clinic, Elder Gubler giving Vitamin A drops while Sister Gubler took pictures and painted left pinkie fingers with a permanent purple marker to designate vaccines had been given. Then it was off to get more pictures developed and home to cook dinner and make goodies for the party on Thursday to celebrate all that had been done at the clinic.
Thursday we woke bright and early to start our last day in Kasane. More clinic vaccinations, vitamin A drops, and deworming pills given to children ages 6 months to 5 years. We picked up the sisters and went to get our new pictures developed. And, we ran into Cornelia! She said she had a little time so she took us the border area in Botswana, actually the area where the four countries, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet. All in all we had a great trip!
*Note: All of us Kasane missionaries who worked on the campaign at one time or another had someone really, really want our orange shirts.. Yeah. Of course, we were wearing them so we kept them. However, with 1,000 shirts for the missionaries and church members volunteering and only about 400 being needed, we were left with a bunch of shirts in Gaborone. (We didn't take extras with us to Kasane). While we were in Kasane, some entrepreneurs decided to break into the G-West chapel. These braniacs cut "sky-lights" in several different area, including the chapel, the library (only church books), the vault (only church books) but EUREKA!! They hit pay dirt, found and stole the orange shirts we had left in G-West and didn't know how to use. Took care of the G-West problem.
|Out in the middle of the river is the point where the 4 country, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana |
Monday, October 21, 2013
Last night we had a wonderful time with the Young Single Adults (YSA) group in Lobatse. The Clowards, our Church Education System (CES) couple went with us. We played a cards game that the Clowards had based on 5 Crowns and with the scripture mastery scriptures. It's a fun game we've played several times with them. The other game we had fun with was a game that Kim and Alli should remember well. It's the board game based on "For the Strength of Youth." We had 17 kids there and 4 missionaries plus the two couple missionaries. We had 9 member kids with 8 investigators. It was so fun. One of the young men that the missionaries have been working with came to church with a friend two weeks ago, last week, he brought another friend. This week, he asked the missionaries when he could be baptized. So fun. Have I mentioned yet how much I love being on a mission? Love the people here in Botswana and especially Lobatse!
Saturday, October 19, 2013
In Botswana many churches have "uniforms" they wear. Usually the color of the clothing designates what sect you are with. It's very common to see groups walking together on Sunday in their uniforms. Some of the uniforms are lavender, pink, pale blue etc. We are constantly asked why the girls in our church wear different colors when the men all wear dark pants, white shirts and ties. Yesterday was zone conference and Sister Wilson, our mission president's wife, asked me to take a young sister to the doctor. Elder Gubler, myself and Sister Cook couldn't resist taking a picture when we met at the church. Here is what we had all chosen to wear (of course without consulting with each other.) When Sister Cook and I went to the see the doctor, the receptionist smiled and nodded, obviously liking our church uniform. We just laughed. It was a fun time!
Monday, October 14, 2013
We have been to three of the most amazing places in the world while we’ve been here in Botswana, Kasane, Madikwe and the Okavango Delta. All three of these places are so hard to describe. We are always asked which place we liked best and all we can say is that they are all so different! The scenery was definitely the best at the Okavango.
Lastly, we got to go to the Okavango Delta compliments of Hillary and Roger. We flew to Maun and then took a small (really small) prop to the Okavango Delta. I thought I would be nervous flying over but it was so beautiful I just started snapping pictures.
As soon as we got off the plane, we went out on the mokoro (canoe). Our guide poled our mokoro out to an island and we started walking. It was amazing to be on the same level as the animals. We weren’t quite as close but it felt more intimate with the animals than the other two places. We walked about 8 miles a day (going out 2 times a day). Elder Gubler and I were there 2.5 days and Hill and Rog stayed 3.5 days. We stayed at a bush camp with tents on platforms.
The sunsets were probably the most amazing I had ever seen. The only power at the camp was solar energy. We (I) woke up one night about 1 am, and heard then saw an elephant walking past out tent. The next night we had a hippo outside slogging by. We had hippos in the water channels next to our camp. An elephant came to camp after Elder Gubler and I left. He spent the evening causing delays in eating dinner and late bedtimes.
We saw zebras, impalas, hippos, elephants, warthogs, cape buffalo etc . everyday. There was such an African feeling in camp. We loved walking around the islands. We noticed more plants and termite mounds. There was definitely a feeling of vulnerability being on ground level with only as fast as we could run between us and the animals. I think everyone else felt pretty safe because they only had to run faster than I could!
We loved the time in the Okavango, it is so beautiful and spending time with Hill and Rog was awesome!
|Sunset in the Okavango|
|Birds in a thorn bush|
|Watching the Elephant knock down palm fruit|
|Hill and Rog in the mokoro|
|Hillary and Roger in the mokoro on the hippo channel|
|Mokoros in the evening|
|Above the Delta|
|Hippo troll guarding the channel|
|Waiting for the plane|