Sunday, February 26, 2012

Odds 'n Ends

We begin with a picture of our own Sister Hatch all dolled up in her latest Congolese costume, made for her (without pre-measurements) by one of her Congolese admirers. Included in the gift of the hand-made outfit was the pearls. They weighed 5 lbs. (We made her wear this to the Sisters' Conference that day -- her last day of her mission). She was a good sport, and we all enjoyed the reactions she got from the sisters she saw that day. As a side note, as is Congolese custom, she did not remove the tag/label from the necklace, but you can't see it because it is on the back of her neck. The Congolese love keeping the tags on their clothing items -- we are not sure why -- We bid good-bye to our beloved Hatches and wish them a joyous reunion with their family back home in Aztec, New Mexico. They touched all our lives for good.

Elder Bingham took this picture so Sister Bingham could enjoy the muscles this man is developing through the hard work of digging a trench for water pipes at one of our projects. Wow.

Here we are at one of our projects. The road washed out, so we got to walk to the site. I know one of these times I will lose my balance and take a little dip in this nice water. That's Francois, another one of our site monitors (also in the green shirt), waiting for me to successfully cross the chasm.

This is Ezah, our apartment manager. He is wearing a shirt from the town in California where I grew up, Glendora. What are the odds that I would find a shirt here in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, with my hometown school's logo on it, on OUR apartment manager?

The man in the green shirt is Jordao Mulumbo, one of our site managers, training a water committee. There is quite a story behind this picture, far too much to explain here, but I wanted to put Jordao on our blog to share with you what a great young man he is to do what he is doing to make a water project succeed after some unfortunate setbacks. He is another reason we love what we are doing and being where we are.

Another one of our awesome site managers (green shirt) beginning to load a concrete ring onto our truck - a load of 500 lbs or more - by 6 men pushing it up a ramp consisting of 4 boards of uneven lengths. Only one ring would fit in the truck at a time, so we made 4 or 5 round trips to deliver the rings at a new site. That's Dede, our faithful translator, in the white shirt giving a hand, and Albert Embimen, our engineer, in the red shirt. All very special men to us. Oh yes, that's skinny Elder B directing. We tried to download a video of this in action, but once again, the download failed.

Dede Mapiya (our number 1 translator) and his new wife Jocelyn showing off their new wedding rings shortly after their wedding ceremony. About 22 couples, one after another, were married here at the government building according to law. Next month Dede and Jocelyn will fly to Johannesburg to be sealed in the temple. There is a possibility that their trip and ours for a Humanitarian conference will be the same week, and we may be able to attend their sealing. We hope so!

This man knows how to get a big job done in a hurry by using a big broom -- straight off the palm tree nearby. This is at the Mission Office parking lot. And these brooms really work well.

We are in the midst of beginning a new project of 10 wells, a school latrine and water catchment system, and capturing a spring; two smaller school latrine projects; a shipping container of wheelchairs and training from some US doctors; a shipment of Neo-natal supplies and training from US doctors; refurbishing two drilled wells; a trip to Luputa to finalize a new water project there; a trip across the mighty Congo River to the Republic of Congo to go to Point Noire to evaluate a finished water project; three more closing ceremonies; and writing up another project in case we can plead our case and get more $$. There is quite a bit of paper work involved, but we think we have figured it all out and shouldn't make too many mistakes.

We love our work, the people, and the country. We are blessed beyond measure. We know we are surrounded by angels every single day.

We thank you for your interest and concern for us and our work.
We love you! Have a wonderful week.