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Monday, October 21, 2013

YSA Game night

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

Church Uniform

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!


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Monday, October 14, 2013

The Okevango Delta

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

Baboon

Birds in a thorn bush



Watching the Elephant knock down palm fruit


Framed!

Hill and Rog in the mokoro


Hippo channel


Hillary and Roger in the mokoro on the hippo channel

Lily

Lion tracks

Mokoros in the evening

Above the Delta

At play

Warthogs





Hippo troll guarding the channel

Waiting for the plane

Elder Gubler






Kasane

Kasane (Chobe National Park)
Cape-Buffalo

Elephant by the road

Hippo on a swim

Impalas

Elephants at the river


Last April we went to Kasane, with the Abrahams and the Taylors, two other missionary couples. When we were in Kasane we went on a river trip on a pontoon boat. It was amazing to see the African animals from the river. We loved watching the Hippopotamuses from the boat. They were huge! The elephants came down to the river to bathe and roll in the mud.

The next morning we went on a game drive. There were 3 couples in a game-drive-jeep. The weather was cool and driving made it even cooler. It was a wonderful morning and we were able to see lions, giraffes, elephants, impalas, zebra, and cape buffalo. We loved it! 

On the way up to Kasane and going back to Gaborone, we passed elephants and giraffes crossing the road. The Chobe National Park doesn’t have any fences and the animals literally walk the streets. We saw a Hippo and an Elephant on the street the night we spent in Kasane. 

The only problem in Kasane was that there were quite a few other safari jeeps in the same area during our game drive. When we saw a lioness picking up her cubs and moving them down the road, there were a bunch of jeeps jockeying for space.

Madikwe


Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


The Madikwe game trip we took was taken in June (our winter) with Barbara, Maddie and Sam. We stayed in a bush camp. Showered with hot water from a “water donkey” and slept in a platform tent complete with hot water bottles. 

We went on game drives in the morning and evening. It was cold on the drives but nice and warm during the day. We felt like we were all alone in the area and there wasn’t anyone around for hundreds of miles. The stars were amazing and our “host” showed us the constellations such as the Southern Cross. 

We had a lion sit about 10 feet from our jeep to rest in the shade! We stopped by a watering hole and just watched the elephants, lions, impalas and other animals come into get water. We got to see lions napping, rhinos wandering around, elephants fighting and playing. We even saw a few giraffes. The animals were all so close!

The bush camp was nice and the food was good. The best part was being with Barb and kids while seeing Africa. The part that wasn’t as good was the cold! It probably would have been better to go when it was warmer but it was so fun, who cared?
While we were at Madikwe, we drank our weight in Hot Chocolate! 







Sunday, October 13, 2013

For our Grandchildren and anyone who loves animals


Elephants and Zebra at Madikwe


Zebra in Okevanga Delta

Baboons behind our office

Hyena at the BDF

Cheetah at the BDF

Lions at the BDF