Saturday, December 27, 2014

November Adventures 2014

 On a trip to Malawi, Elder Bingham saw this combine thrashing grain in a field.  He was so excited to see it he pulled way off the road onto the farm just to watch it work. Made him think of home.  We see such a contrast here.  Modern machinery like this one, but maybe a mile or two down the road, they are farming by hand or with an ox team.  The contrasts here are amazing!
 We spend quite a bit of time traveling and training with our advisor from Zimbabwe, Kasnos Paradzai.  He was a stake president in Gweru, Zimbabwe, but when he accepted his job for the church in Harare, he was released to move.  His family will be joining him shortly.  We learn much from his counsel and experience in leadership in the church and he has become a good friend to us.
 The Flame Trees here are so beautiful.  Brilliant red blossoms.
 The couples in Lusaka decided to go for Mexican.  They found a Taco Hut that we didn't know was here and went for lunch.  L-R:  President and Sister Erickson; Kristy and David Skidmore; Stan & Sharon Bingham; Tom Humphreys; Howard and Cindy Bodily; Shauna Humphreys.
 On our way back from Malawi, we took a trip to see Lake Malawi towards Monkey Bay.  We found a nice hotel right on the lake and they had beautiful gardens and beaches.
 We got a chuckle out of this sign:  Beware of Camels & Donkeys.  We later found out that the resort had camels and donkeys that people could pay to ride.  The sign on the lake just seemed a little out of place.  We never did see the animals but others verified they were there.
 Just past the beaches of the resort (Sun n'Sand), Malawi, the villagers would come out to get water and to get into their dugout canoes to go fishing.  These are very rustic canoes and are literally made out of hollowed out trees.  Was definitely a "step back in time".  A couple of men approached us to hire them to take us out to the small island just barely visible in the picture below.  For $12 USD they would take us to the island for two hours for swimming and snorkeling.  They told us it was very beautiful.  We were pressed for time and the wind was blowing so the water was rough.  We both knew we would be seasick so we opted to stay on land!

 We watched the women of the adjoining village come out to the water very early in the mornng.  They go out far from the bank so the water will be cleaner then bring the buckets back to do laundry and wash their dishes they have brought from their little homes/huts.

 Elder and Sister Bingham on the banks of Lake Malawi.  The lake is very large and it is very beautiful.  There is everything from dugout canoes to very sophisticated fishing boats out on this lake.

 There was a large dining area on a patio close to the Lake shore.  It was quite pleasant but the temperatures were in the high 90's so it was hot.  We went out to watch the boats very early in the morning so it was very nice at that time.
 Sister Bingham found a new friend!
 Sunset in Malawi.
 Sister Orr, Sister Proctor, and Sister Bingham at the Sister's flat in Lilongwe.
 Driving out of Lilongwe, we saw these men making trucks and motorcycles to see by the side of the road.  They loved it when I asked to take their pictures.

 We found another place as we traveled between Lilongwe and Blantyre that we liked the crafts even better.  Most of these people love to have their pictures taken and these men make some really cute wooden toys.
 Before we left Utah, one of Shanna's neighbors asked us to try and find his grandparents grave in Blantyre.  We have spent quite a bit of time finding and working out details for this cemetery.  The grandmother was buried there and we found her grave and marker but we couldn't find the granpa's marker.  We paid for a marker to be put on his spot, then months later, Mr. Banda (below) found the grandfather's marker just two rows from the grandma.  We worked back and forth with the Shearer family and they finally decided to have Mr. Banda take the money we paid and move the marker to beside the grandma.  Mr. Banda has been very helpful over the months.

 While in Blantyre, we learned of a man who carves and paints for a living.  We wanted to find him and maybe purchase some nativity sets from him.  He lives on the side of a mountain in the Blantyre area.  We parked the truck and hiked up the mountain to their home.  They are such a delight!  She makes paper jewelry and he carves.  I bought necklaces and nativity sets as well as Stanley bought some other carvngs.  As I sat there on the floor looking at their goods, I saw something move slightly in the far right corner.  It was a chicken setting on a nest on the bottom shelf of their bookcase.  I just had to laugh.
 Joseph Banda Family
 The Banda's told us that when they first moved there, their house was bamboo and thatched roof.  Gradually they have been able to make a cement structure and put a roof on it.  Now they are in the process of adding on a room for a niece to come and live with them.  It is very common everywhere here for family members to take in other relatives children and care for them.  The Banda's live on the side of a rocky mountain (with other families) but every little spot of dirt had something planted in it like: banana trees; mango trees; avocado trees; cassava; tomatoes; lemon trees, etc.  They are doing all they can to become self-sufficient.  We were so impressed with this special little family.

 Overlooking down the mountain from the Banda's home in Blantyre.
 Sister Banda's friend (also a member of the church) stopped to meet us and to say "hello!"  They have to carry water from up the mountain.  At least they carry it downhill when it is full and not the other way around!
 Elder Bingham loved this picture.  This young girl was carrying water (full to the top) down the mountain and barefoot too.  Most of the people there didn't wear shoes and it was very rocky.
 Before we left Blantyre, other missionaries had told us to make a trip south to see the tea fields.  They weren't very far from Blantyre so we drove down and they were so beautiful.  We saw workers harvesting the tea leaves.  This area also grows a lot of macadamia nut plantations.